Some of the most famous business models demand absolute customer satisfaction to the point where even crazy customers have to be treated with courtesy and respect. (And everyone has dealt with a few if they’ve been involved in customer service for more than a few months.) The reason is simple: people are more likely to complain about bad service, and these complaints can have a much greater effect than praise about good service.
Bad News Spreads
Humans are more likely to listen to and understand negative outcomes. We’re basically programmed to do that because it ensures our survival. In the days where survival meant outwitting various large feline predators, those who recognized that certain people went missing after exploring certain areas tended to live a lot longer.
If you’ve worked in customer service, you’ll understand that achieving customer satisfaction can be difficult, particularly if the customer is being unreasonable. There are countless stories of unreasonable customers online; indeed there are a number of websites devoted to them. Nevertheless, each time a customer is not satisfied, you run the risk of not just losing that customer’s business but also that customer’s friends’ business as well. Remember that businesses tend to hear only from around 4 percent of dissatisfied customers. Bad news often spreads like wildfire, as it’s interesting and people like to feel outraged. That’s not the sort of customer experience that you want to be spreading, though.
Work to Build Customer Satisfaction
Although the customer satisfaction model may be costly sometimes, it does tend to maintain your reputation and therefore your business in the local area. Provided it’s linked to clear and consistent criteria, you’ll build customer loyalty to your business. If you’re a small store, customers are much more likely to expect good customer service.
The nature of competition means that those businesses that don’t adopt customer-centric business models may fail, as those that do have highly customer-centric business models take over the sales in the area. After all, if you had a choice of two businesses, when one offered outstanding customer service and the other offered nothing but a surly grunt when you entered the door, you’d probably choose the business that made you feel good each time you went there. This blog post on a customer’s airline experience highlights this very nicely.
That’s the beauty of good customer service. When you consider that 90 percent of people could bail if they receive bad customer service and that 60 to 70 percent of your business will likely come from repeat customers, you need to have solid customer satisfaction. Customer loyalty therefore drives many businesses into profit.
To stand out from other businesses offering similar products, customer satisfaction should be your main focus. Whatever you sell, you need customers, and these customers should be your primary focus. Because repeat business is the key factor that keeps most businesses afloat, the importance of customer satisfaction cannot be understated.
About the Author
Nancy Anderson is the communities and article editor for Beyond.com. Nancy has 10 years experience in the online job search business with Beyond. Nancy’s team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites. Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on https://twitter.com/BeyondJobs.