Customer loyalty is a major contributor when it comes to sustainable profit growth in business. In any economic environment, a business firm cannot afford to lose it customers. It is applicable to all small and big business firms out there, irrespective of which section of the society they cater to, or how long they have been in business.
A customer who has turned his back to your business will seldom come back to you, with so many options available for him out there. Nowadays, it is very easy to bring a customer to your doorstep. The difficult part is to retain him, which is where customer satisfaction comes to your help.
The same can either be measured by survey techniques (by getting in touch with the customers with survey questionnaires), or by analyzing the company's growth. On the basis of this, the company can devise its future plans.
Its Importance for Successful Business
Like we said, there exist some basic rules of customer satisfaction that are applicable to all business firms, right from a small eatery to five star restaurant. 'Repeat business', i.e., the customer availing your services again and again, makes up a major chunk of any business.
Even if you happen to be a funeral undertaker, people will resort to your services again, but only when they are happy (satisfied to be precise) with what you have to offer. Customer satisfaction goes hand in hand with customer loyalty, with a satisfied customer being more likely to be a loyal customer for your business and give you more leads.
If your customers walk away unhappy, the chances of them coming back to you are as good as none, as they are more likely to look for the same services elsewhere. If you happen to be in a monopolistic market with no competition whatsoever, you can take the risk of being liberal.
However, that is seldom the case in a competition driven economy that we are a part of, and that's the reason why customer satisfaction in terms of service, quality, price, value, etc., is important for your business.
It is obvious that word of mouth can help your business grow or even bring it down. If your customers are satisfied with the services you provide, they will not just give you repeat business, but will also give you new business by referring your firm to their friends and family.
Again, they need not specifically refer to your firm's name, as the mere mention of their experience in the middle of a conversation can work wonders for your business. In contrast, a dissatisfied customer will spread bad word about you―if not intentionally, then by sharing his bad experience with others.
Also, the advent of the Internet has made business firms even more vulnerable to bad publicity owing to the boom of social networking websites, blogs, and online complain forums.
How to Improve Customer Satisfaction?
The simplest way to keep your client base from eroding is to make sure that you stick to the quality of products or services that you have to offer, and create a customer-focused environment. It plays the most important role in improving customer satisfaction.
Being a business firm, you must be well-versed with the fact that you need to give due importance to quality.
As far as customer-focused environment is concerned, simple steps, like ensuring that you pay personal attention to their needs, following up with after sales service and maintenance support (as and when required), interacting with your customers, paying attention to their queries and problems, etc., can be of a great help.
Your customers will definitely appreciate the fact that you make them feel special and your efforts will reap rich dividends for you.
Simply put, customer satisfaction all about improving your relationship with the customer in order to make 'him' a part of your business. And lastly, you shouldn't forget your customers in your good times, as it is a happy customer who spells s-u-c-c-e-s-s for your business.