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What is Customer Satisfaction, Really?

May 6, 2014 7:00:00 AM  |  Jackie Bishop

customer-satisfactionYou know that feeling of importance you get when you make certain purchases, like you just helped these really great people succeed?

That’s the feeling of customer satisfaction.

A customer should feel that way because they are valued, important and are helping your business succeed! 

Consider this and ask yourself, do your customers feel important? Do they feel valued when they are making a purchase? How about when they aren’t making a purchase, do you still check in with them?

You should!

In this blog post we are going to talk about the finer points of customer service and the importance of customer satisfaction.

Customers Are Important, Very Important!

While it’s true that satisfied customers are the key to the success of our business, it is especially true when we are talking about B2B businesses. B2B customers are different from B2C customers for several reasons:

  • They typically invest more time in researching your product/service
  • Their purchase can be long-term or a higher price point
  • The focus during the sales process is on developing a relationship
  • Their expectations are often higher
  • They have developed a relationship with you and as a result you understand their goals
  • They trust you and it’s very possible they are or will become repeat customers

These customers are not impulse buyers. We aren’t talking about a customer who is buying a pair of shoes. We are talking about a customer that is investing in a website design. Their investment in your business is large enough to make an impact on your sales amount and be reflected in your ROI. One pair of shoes will not have the same effect. 

In a B2B business your customers are super important, which means it’s essential that you are providing excellent customer service. Often customer service is the aspect of your business that differentiates you from the competition.  It can be the reason you get word-of-mouth referrals or the reason that a first time customer decides to become a repeat customer.

According to Defaqto Research, 55% of customers would pay for better customer service [Salesforce]. Even in niche markets your business probably isn’t the only business offering the product or service you sell, so it’s having superior customer service that will make you stand out.  

Quality is more important than quantity, meaning that 20 satisfied, repeat customers who jump at the chance to sing your praises are much more valuable than 40 customers that received adequate service, but didn’t make that emotional connection needed to compel them to return for a repeat sale. Knowing how to nurture your customers and provide them with the exceptional service needed to turn them into repeat customers is the key to customer satisfaction.

Educate and Offer Solutions

In a B2B business the focus should be on the customer’s goal or problem they are looking to solve. What is the customer trying to do? What problem are they looking to solve? Ask yourself these questions instead of thinking about what your product does or what your service includes. This will help you develop a relationship with your customers. It will help you understand what their needs are and by doing that you will naturally be able to provide them with better service. 

You will also develop trust because the customer will feel like you are helping them as opposed to selling to them. Research suggests that 70% of the buying experience is based on how a customer feels [Salesforce]. By making a customer feel important and valued you are ensuring your customer’s will be satisfied with your service and speak highly of you in the future.

Keep Your Relationship Fresh

Just because a customer has been purchasing from you for years does not mean they have to keep purchasing from you. B2B products aren’t likely to change as quickly as B2C products. Maybe there are a few tweaks here and there or an upgrade every few months, but it’s probably safe to say it’s not going to go out of style as fast your once favorite pair of stilettos did.

It’s easy to take a repeat customer for granted when they have been buying from you for years. But it’s these customers that are more valuable than ever and should be receiving the absolute best customer service you can offer.

Before you assume someone is going to renew their subscription with you, because they have for the past 3 years, do an internal evaluation of your relationship with them to notice areas where you can improve and brainstorm ways you can step it up. It might be as simple as sending them a personalized email thanking them for their continued support. Whatever it is you decide to do remember that there is always room for improvement.

A Few Other Tips to Consider

Here are a few other, simple ideas that will lead to increased customer satisfaction:

Communicate with your customers using the language they speak in. Technical jargon is okay and can make you sound more accredited, but only if they know what you’re talking about.

Keep your contact information correct and up-to-date. How is your customer going to feel important if you continue to spell their name wrong? How is a business going to feel valued if you never took the time to recognize a change in their company’s name?

Case studies can be a great testimonial for your business. It can be that last bit of information that a potential buyer needs to convince them your product or service will be a good fit for their business or it may help build trust with a new buyer. Choosing the right customer to do a case study on and asking the right questions are essential to creating a case study that will act as a sales person for your business.

Never stop analyzing marketing and sales data to stay up to date on trends or catch bad habits before they become a real problem. Keep an open communication with your team to see what changes they would like to see or think may be necessary.

What other tips have you found effective in increasing your customer satisfaction? Leave a comment below!

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Customer Satisfaction

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Jackie Bishop

This post was written by Jackie Bishop

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