Six Reasons to Survey Your Clients
"It's customers that made Dell great in the first place, and if we're smart enough and quick enough to listen to customer needs, we'll succeed."—Michael Dell, Dell
"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."—Bill Gates, Microsoft
"The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer."—Peter Drucker, Business Guru, Author, Professor of Business
Is your organization delivering on the top three to four things your clients need, want and expect from you? Do you know what they are without a shadow of a doubt? Does every employee in your organization know, and do they do everything in their power to deliver on them?
I am referring to those needs and wants, that when provided as a "frictionless customer experience," result in extremely high client satisfaction and loyalty scores. They are also the same criteria that would cause your client to leave you if not consistently met.
The only way to accurately pinpoint the most important expectations of your clients and how you are performing against them is to hear it directly from them through a formal survey process.
Formal client surveys equal revenue growth for your organization, and here are six reasons why:
- Revenue Growth does NOT equal satisfaction or loyalty:
Just because a company is experiencing high revenue growth, does not mean that they are meeting customer needs. Think of the rapidly growing company with an innovative solution that is running around like chickens with their heads cut just trying to keep up with demand. Chances are their customers are experiencing a reactive approach to service and it is only a matter of time before their client begins to look for other options. By conducting a voice of the customer survey, operations can be prioritized and streamlined to continuously meet the most important (and often changing) needs of clients. It’s the best way to stay on the "offense" and avoid stalled revenue growth.
- Dissatisfaction is tied to revenue loss
Research shows customer dissatisfaction is much more heavily correlated to defection than customer satisfaction is to loyalty. A customer is only willing to put up with unmet needs for so long before they leave you. Your proactive approach to listening to a dissatisfied customer will give you time to course correct and save them from leaving. A "satisfied" customer may stay, or they may be lured away by a company that appears to meet their needs in a way that appears to be an improvement. Either way, you must ask to find out so you can take the right actions.
- Clients will Reward you for it
Understanding the collective voice of your customer does wonders for your company brand. Your clients want to matter to you. Taking the time to listen is a sign that they matter and they won’t forget how they felt when and how you asked. A satisfied customer will help you understand where the holes are that your competition is burrowing through. They will help you close those holes and ultimately build stronger fences around your clients.
What else will your customers buy from you? What unmet needs do they have that your product or service could meet with a little expansion or tweaking? Or, perhaps you have a strategy to add a service or a product, but will it produce revenue? The best way to be sure is find out from your clients; often they are willing to pilot, tweak and perfect your strategic ideas giving your company a competitive edge.
- Organizational Effectiveness
Revenue growth accelerates when your operation runs smoothly. As a COO, nothing was more important than having fact-based customer input on what we were delivering and their associated experiences. It allowed me to structure my workflow and focus my teams’ priorities to provide a frictionless customer experience, increase client retention and expand our share of the wallet. Give your operations the insight.
Your clients belong to associations, they network and they connect with other like-minded business associates. Loyal clients are willing to recommend your organization to others. You need to find out who is willing to be a referral and grow your revenue. Ask!
Successful client surveys require a focus on: balance, objectivity, themes, timeliness and action. Increase your revenue and integrate your customer experience by using Butler Street to administer a best-in-class Voice of the Customer (VOC) survey for you. Create meaningful dialog and strengthened relationships with clients by not only asking them for their feedback at regular intervals, but by acting on that feedback and sharing what you've done. It’s your way to a strategic competitive advantage.
Butler Street, a leading management consulting, training and research firm focused on client and talent development, has formed an alliance with Printing Impressions, America’s most influential and widely read resource for the printing industry, to provide the de facto industry standard for measuring customer loyalty through its Best of Print & Digital Customer Survey.
If you are interested in understanding how Net Promoter Score and the Best of Print and Digital can help you grow your business, go to www.bestofprintanddigital.com
Click here to watch the Printing Impressions interview with Mike Jacoutot, founder of Butler Street, and Mark Subers, president of Printing, Packaging and Publishing at NAPCO Media, as they discuss the new partnership program.
Mary Ann McLaughlin serves as a Managing Partner at Butler Street, a leading management consulting, training and research firm that focuses on client and talent development. Prior to Butler Street, she served in executive roles for 13 years including chief operating officer, president and managing director. A Six Sigma Champion certified executive, McLaughlin leverages her robust process background with 32 years of sales and operational experience.
A recreational triathlete, McLaughlin has completed three marathons (Chicago 2x, Marine Corps) and numerous triathlons. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from Bradley University.