Do you know how important customer satisfaction is?

Posted: 11th May 2015

In our experience everyone says yes to this question, but what they actually mean is

“I know that customer satisfaction is important!”

This is just how important it is.

79% of customers being satisfied with your company, its service and its products is just not good enough – in fact it’s not good at all!

Until you get above 90% you cannot feel comfortable that your name and reputation are valuable to you!

Here is how we know this.

According to Dti statistics:

A satisfied customer, on average, tells 5 people he was satisfied.

A DIS-satisfied customer, on average, tells 19 people he was dissatisfied!

If we think about the 79% number we used before – we can see that
If you have 100 customers and 79 are satisfied, then 79*5 = 395 people are told how good you are and the dissatisfied tell 21*19 = 399 people how bad you were!

In other words, when you have 79% customer satisfaction your reputation is pretty much 50-50, and we all know that isn’t good enough.

SO, how do you make customer satisfaction work in your favour?

Well at EllisClarkAssociates we think that improving customer satisfaction is all about managing quality in your organisation, and many organisations agree with us. But a lot of them found that making this happen for real involves a lot more than just believing it. For a start they realise customer satisfaction of the standard needed isn’t achieved just be managing how you answer the phones and whether you deliver on time. It goes to the heart of how you run your business.

Managing quality throughout your business involves getting buy-in from everyone in it – because doing it by looking over everyone’s shoulder and checking everything is quite simply far too expensive.

If you simultaneously improve your processes and tune the whole company into the quality ethos you can achieve amazing results:
• Your customer relationships will be stronger and longer-lasting
• Your management team and your staff will understand and work towards the future of    the business you have in your vision – without you pushing them every minute of every day
• You will free up more time for managing and planning your business instead of solving problems as they occur
• You will reduce costs through less waste, better processes – which means more profit!
• You will reduce stress for you and your team and have the sort of team spirit that wins championships.

So how can you tell how you’re doing?

The following brief questionnaire will help you understand a little bit about your company’s attitude to customer satisfaction and quality

Q1. Do you measure customer satisfaction………………………………………. yes/no

Q2. Is your customer satisfaction above 89.9%………………………………… yes/no

If you’ve answered yes to both those questions, congratulations, you really are getting it right, and you really should be making good margins and growing turnover year-on-year. Do you also monitor the trends? Because competitors have a way of improving, so unless you’re continually improving, you WILL get left behind. If you’re not happy with your profits and turnover, there really is a need for a different sort of review. You might contact us for a chat.

If you answered no to either of them, you should consider some additional questions:

Q3. Do you have a clear vision for the future of your company?……………. yes/no
Q4. If yes – to whom in the company is it communicated?………………….. Management
Q5. Do you have a business plan?……………………………………………….. yes/no
Q6. Do you have a quality plan or a quality policy? ………………………….. yes/no
Q7. If yes are either of these communicated throughout the company?……. yes/no

If you have any negative answers in the second section it is unlikely that quality is in the forefront of everyone’s mind when they come to work in the business. To make quality a driving force throughout the company it has to be enshrined in your mission and your values, from there it communicates itself into the daily attitudes of all staff – including you!

When we start to look at a business with our “Business Makeover” programme, we focus a lot on quality and customer satisfaction, because that is where the long term profitability of your business will come from. But we start with the basics, and the basics are the vision of the managing director, and the buy-in he has for that vision from his management team and the staff.

We would start by asking you these questions, and the companies that will grow and survive answer YES to all of them!

Q8.  Does everyone you employ understand where your business is headed?
Q9.  Would senior management be able to tell me what the business does?
Q10. Would they tell me they had signed up and committed to doing it? Are you sure? Have you checked?
Q11. When was the last time you AND your time reviewed your vision and mission? Inside of 6 months?
Q12. Was everyone involved in developing the business mission? Were all layers of the organisations and all departments represented in the team that was involved?

Liz Ellis