Samuel Moore Walton, founder of the retail company Wal-Mart once said and I paraphrase. The customer is the only boss and he can fire anyone in the company-including the chairman by buying from a competitor. Given the huge success of Wal-Mart over the years, he must have known what he was talking about.
When the Client’s Happy, Everybody’s Happy
What Mr. Walton simply meant was that if the client is happy then everyone else in the company would be happy. This means that client satisfaction is one of the most critical, if not the most critical aspect that every entrepreneur must consider.
What is Client Satisfaction?
Client satisfaction is simply a term used in marketing that indicates how the products and/or services supplied by a particular company meet or even exceed the expectations of the client. It is like the company’s report card given by the client at the end of a particular transaction letting you know how the experience was.
Why is it Important?
Well, the easiest answer to this is probably asking you if you would like to be unemployed. Remember what Mr. Walton said? However, there are other reasons why every business should seriously consider for the satisfaction of its clients.
1. It is the Best Indicator of Customer Loyalty
If the clients are happy, they will come back. The opposite is also true. Client satisfaction will help you gauge the likelihood of a repurchase based on how they rate the experience. For instance, any rating below 6 is a warning of customer dissatisfaction and you may need to follow these clients up to understand what went wrong. A 7 and above is pretty good, with a 9 or 10 indicating you have free marketers for your company.
2. It is the Deciding Factor for New Clients
Think about this: two companies are offering the same product at the same price. What would make you choose one over the other? Client satisfaction, right? The same applies to your business. If you want to keep up with the competition and get in new clients that may be on the fence, concentrate on providing beyond excellent customer service.
3. It Reduces Negative Word of Mouth
I am sure you know by now that no matter how much money you spend on advertising, word of mouth remains to be the most powerful marketing tool. Consumers ask for recommendations from others already familiar with a product. What is this recommendation based on? Client satisfaction! If you have happy clients, you will have good report circulating as will the bad reports from unhappy clients. So try to keep them happy.
4. Retention is Cheaper than Acquisition
Customer satisfaction statistics indicate that it costs 6 or 7 times more to get a new client than it does to keep the ones you have. That should be enough to make you want to keep your clients satisfied. There are many inexpensive strategies you could use to improve your customer satisfaction rates that would only be a fraction of what you would spend trying to get new clients, so why not just do it then?
Your bottom line is directly proportional to the number of happy clients so you should make sure you keep client satisfaction at the core of your business strategy.
Marshall Ford is an avid ecommerce enthusiast and blogger with training and experience in customer satisfaction for web businesses. For more blog posts from Marshall, click on the link.