Entrepreneur Magazine reported research from Visa that found customer needs, on average, 12 positive experiences to overcome one negative experience with your company. We are also finally being told what most have realized on a gut level for a long time – the country is poised for a recession. As we know from the last recession, companies struggled to stay afloat, as their customer base was swept under with tight money conditions and laid-off workers who were left to live on a shoestring budget.
For these reasons, companies who wish to remain in business must focus on customer success. The following are more reasons why your company needs to focus on CS with some ideas on how to carry that out.
Success Trumps Customer Satisfaction
A satisfied customer can walk into a furniture or variety store or go online and buy a desk that they assemble themselves. That customer may be in Japan, where they don’t have an easy way to get the product to their apartment. Because that customer lives in a 20-story high-rise, like many people in Japan, they have likely not even used a power drill in their entire life and would prefer that the store put it together for them and deliver it to their high-rise.
That same Japanese customer may be better served with a different build on the furniture because space is at a premium in a Japanese high-rise apartment. That customer may have preferred to get the item online, but your website was slow and glitchy. That customer might have bought an under-the-table heater from your company as well, but you have not done anything to train your customers to know you have such an item available on your website.
CS goes far beyond customer satisfaction. CS means your customers can get every drop of value out of as many of your product offerings as they desire. It means they get the type of product or service that best meets their needs and that you have determined what those needs really are. It means that they can get those things easily, with no stress or frustration.
It is Too Expensive to Lose Customers
According to the Harvard Business Review, dependent upon your industry, it is from five to 25 times more expensive to get a new customer than to sell another product to an existing customer.
Customers Are Getting Used to Thoroughly Getting Their Way
Today, there are a lot of customers out there with a cell phone in their hand that allows them to search both online and their local area for most anything they want. With Amazon able to get much of their inventory to you by tomorrow at reasonable prices most of the time, and many different vendors to choose from, customers are getting used to having it their way.
If you expect to have a leg up on your competitors, you will have to know what your customers really want. CS strategies for finding out what your customers really want include gathering metrics from their time surfing your website and asking them to respond to brief surveys online or through emails. Also, you need to research your competitors and see how they are offering their products or services.
Most Companies Don’t Have Advertising Dollars to Burn
Since companies do not have advertising dollars to burn, it is wasteful to scattershot the market with your appeal. It only makes sense to advertise to customers who actually need, want or desire your product and will experience success with it. When you have targeted your market, you usually are able to save money on advertising.
According to Inc. Magazine, customer success strategies for narrowing your target market include surveys and analytics of your customer base, finding out the target market of your competitors as well as thinking of niche markets that competitors have missed reaching out to. Inc. also suggests looking at each benefit of your product and thinking of the demographics of people who would most want that particular benefit.
Inc. suggests you look at demographics, such as gender, income, a region of the country, education level, ethnic affiliation, age, family type, and occupation. They also ask you to consider psychographic factors, such as lifestyle, interests, hobbies, personal values and mores, and personality.
Inc. states that you should think about how your offering will be used by the target customer and which features they will most desire or appreciate. Also, you need to find out how your target will look for information where they will be able to find out about your product.
We live in an advertising era where you can’t be content to have your customers be satisfied with one purchase and then do nothing else to retain that customer and other of their like-minded friends. They have too many other places to go to try to get the value they desire. The key to customer retention and improved sales is to have a mindset throughout your organization of total customer success.