There’s no better measure of your business overall health and ability to grow than customer satisfaction.
Satisfied customers mean growth, through word of mouth. They mean that your product or service has significant, measurable benefits. They mean that your business – is capable of growing into an even larger, more profitable operation than it is now.
Just like measuring and monitoring your own health is an ongoing process, keeping track of the health of your business isn’t something you can do once and then forget about. Instead, it’s also an ongoing, long-term process that, when done correctly, produces long-term rewards.
How aware are you of your business health? Do you know how your customers feel about your product or service, this month? Or are you relying on statistics from six months, one year or several years ago?
Below, we’ve explained why measuring customer satisfaction is a long-term process, and how you can use Retently and Net Promoter Score® to get an accurate gauge not just on how customers feel about your product, but how their thoughts, feelings and feedback change over time.
As your customers grow, their needs change
In B2B, your customers rarely remain constant. Companies grow over time, and if they use your product or service as a core part of their business, their needs are also likely to change as time goes on.
This is particularly common in the technology industry, where growth can happen overnight and a company that had 1,000 customers last week has 5,000 the next.
It’s also important because products can become out of date very rapidly. A product that looks and feels new one year can feel out of date just a few short years later, especially if it’s in a fast-growing market segment with rapidly developing needs.
It’s inevitable that your customers will change. The speed of change depends primarily on your industry – in tech, it’s fast; in others, slow. Since your customers will grow and their needs will change, it’s important that you stay aware of their thoughts and feedback over time.
Measuring customer satisfaction on an ongoing basis lets you stay up to date with exactly how your customers feel at any point in time. Instead of using data points from months ago to keep track of customer needs and sentiment, you have current data exactly when you need it most.
This data lets you identify new needs and growing trends before they reach the point at which your business could be affected. Instead of reacting to a changing industry too late, you’ll stay ahead of the curve and deliver what your customers need before it becomes mission critical.
As your company grows, your product (and service) changes
Not only will your customers grow over time – if your business is a success and your own base of customers expands over time, your ability to deliver your product will change. Your marketing and service approach will likely change with it as you adapt to the new scale of your business.
This could result in your business’ customer experience and satisfaction improving. It could also have the exact opposite effect and result in more dissatisfied customers. Without recording the thoughts and feedback of your customers on a regular basis, it’s impossible to know.
Every business needs to make compromises as it grows. When these compromises affect your ability to deliver the right product or service to your customers, it’s essential that you’re aware of their response.
Measuring customer satisfaction on an ongoing, long-term basis lets you identify areas in which you’re falling short due to growth and scale. If these weaknesses frustrate or annoy customers, you can quickly act on the feedback and implement new processes to win them back.
Ignore customer feedback as your business grows and you could find yourself replace one set of customers with another. Measure, track and respond to feedback and you’ll only add to your existing base of satisfied, loyal customers.
As your market matures, new competitors increase the stakes
The more competitive your marketing becomes, the more important customer feedback is for staying one step ahead of your competitors.
It’s easy to be the best product in a small market with no competition. It’s far harder to be the best product in your market when you have 10, 20 or 30 competitors all working hard to poach as many of your customers as possible.
In industries with a low barrier to entry, all it takes is a single better offering from a competitor to disrupt your business and cause you to start losing customers.
This is particularly troubling if you offer a product with low customer investment. If it’s easy for customers to switch from your product to an offering from a competitor, there’s a real chance that they eventually will.
The key to avoiding this situation is customer feedback. Feedback lets you stay one step ahead of your competitors by identifying and addressing needs before they can. It also lets you gain a deeper level of awareness of what your customers truly value in your product category.
Continuous, ongoing feedback keeps you aware of how your customers respond to the products offered by your competitors, not just what they think of your product. This data is highly valuable in creating a product that not only acquires customers but retains them for the long term.
The less you talk to your customers, the more you need NPS®
Some businesses naturally have more customer interaction than others. An agency delivering a service will have frequent contact with its customers, whereas a product-based B2C company is unlikely to speak to any of its customers on a daily basis.
In businesses with frequent customer interaction, there’s less of a need for continual feedback, as concerns and questions are communicated naturally. However, in businesses with little or no customer interaction, systems like NPS are essential for measuring customer satisfaction.
Retently lets you automate customer feedback using a simple NPS survey. Start using Net Promoter Score to gather, analyze and act on feedback from your customers to improve retention and grow your business.