High customer satisfaction translates to customer loyalty, and loyalty is one of the biggest drivers of corporate growth. Let’s face it – customer satisfaction is at an all-time low in our country. So, what exactly is going on?
For one thing, in responding to customers’ needs, companies often rely too heavily on their customer surveys in which only a small percentage of consumers participate. In addition, even high CSAT scores do not necessarily translate directly into customer loyalty and profitability. Despite these facts, over three fourths of customer service organizations rely exclusively on CSAT scores to understand their customers’ experiences, according to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review. Certainly, surveys can offer valuable information, but they’re only a tiny piece of the overall puzzle. Customer expectations of in-store, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and online systems that deliver services and products are very high, and we all know where ignoring the bigger picture leads.
As we’ve seen, when a company fails to meet customers’ expectations, they take action. Consumers cancel cable services, they switch cell phone providers, they change banks, and they refuse to book a flight on the airlines that lost their luggage. They also share their experiences and not through surveys. Instead, they tweet, they chat, they blog, they assign ratings, and they make recommendations and give warnings. In short, many more customers are sharing their opinions and their preferences with their virtual next door neighbors—thousands of like-minded friends—in real time. Word-of-mouth has assumed an additional dimension.