A typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers….
So says Ruby Newell-Legner in her blog 20 Customer Service Statistics You Can’t and Shouldn’t Ignore https://www.infinitcontact.com/blog/20-customer-service-statistics-you-cant-and-shouldnt-ignore/
It used to be said that if someone liked your service they would tell 4 people and if they didn’t they told about 10. Now, thanks to social media, they can tell everyone they know and many more that they don’t. But that doesn’t mean that they will always tell you!
If you want to know what your customers and clients think of you, and the service you provide, you have to ask.
Why should you care?
It is much easier to upsell to an existing customer than to find a new one. According to Marketing Metrics there is
- 5-20% Probability of selling to a new prospect
- 60-70% Probability of selling to an existing customer
Understanding how your customers feel is critical. Remember that most dissatisfied customers don’t tell you, they just leave. You need to make it very easy for customers to tell you what they think, and you have to be open to it all, the brilliant, the bad, and the very scary.
See complaints as an opportunity to make things better for your customer, you and your business. Remember that instead of complaining to you they could have ranted about you on social media and just walked away. Try not to take it too personally. This is business. And if you have not met the customers expectations, even if it seems like an unfair request, this is your customer’s perception of the situation.
Respond quickly to complaints. Say sorry and acknowledge their feelings. It is tempting to ignore the anger and frustration and just respond to the facts of the situation. Saying I am sorry, and I understand that you are angry/upset/frustrated, and this is what I am going to do to fix it, will usually be enough to move on to talking about solutions and stop focussing on what went wrong.
Testimonials that deliver
When you ask for feedback you will, of course, also get some lovely positive stuff too. Sharing customer testimonials is a very powerful way of promoting your business. Make sure that the testimonials you share work for you by containing specific things you do well. If they just say, good products, good service, arrived on time. That is nice, but it doesn’t tell us much about what sets you apart. Share the ones that give some insight into what makes you special. For example: not only did they deliver what I asked for, but they also suggested innovative improvements, so I had an even better outcome. This may mean you need to be cleaver about how you ask – to get feedback on a specific topic, be specific in your request.
What can you measure?
Think about the targets and results you measure in your business now. How can you spot trends that show if you are giving customers the service they expect? What measures can you add to track this?
A good measurement for service is the Net Promoter Score (NPS), this measures the likeliness of a customer recommending you, and it’s probably the most popular way of measuring customer loyalty. Customer are simply asked how likely they are to recommend you to a friend or colleague on a scale from 1 to 10. What’s great about this metric is that its question isn’t about an emotion (“How satisfied am I?”), but about an intention (“How likely am I to recommend?”), which is easier to answer.
Calculating your NPS score is fairly easy. Take the percentage of respondents who fall within the ‘promoter’ category (10 – 9) and subtract the percentage of ‘detractors’ (0 – 6). There are lots of free calculators available on line. A really simple one is npscalculator.com http://npscalculator.com/en
If managing metrics and feedback scores isn’t your strength or you simply don’t have time, then consider outsourcing this important task. You may find it feels better for an independent party to be gathering the feedback on your behalf. They may be able to get insights that a customer wouldn’t say to you.
Start asking today to find out what you could do to really make your customers happy.