There’s no better measure of your business’s overall health and ability to grow than customer satisfaction. A thriving company hinges on happy customers and one of the most reliable ways to gauge their satisfaction is through a consistent NPS process.
Satisfied customers translate into growth through word of mouth. They mean that your product or service delivers significant, measurable benefits. They prove that your business is capable of growing into an even larger, more profitable operation than it currently is.
Just like measuring and monitoring your personal 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 a long-term commitment and an ongoing process that, when done correctly, yields lasting rewards.
How aware are you of your business health? Do you have up-to-date insights into your customers’ perception of your product or service? Or are you relying on outdated statistics from months or even years ago?
Below, we’ve explained why measuring customer satisfaction is a long-term process, and how you can leverage Retently and Net Promoter Score® to get an accurate gauge not just of 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, 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 with time.
That is particularly common for the technology industry, where growth can happen overnight, and a company that had 1,000 customers last week can have 5,000 the next.
Staying up-to-date is also important because products can quickly become obsolete. A product that looks and feels new at one point in time may lose its appeal within a few years, especially if it’s in a fast-growing market segment with rapidly developing needs.
Your customers will inevitably 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 progress, it’s important that you stay aware of their thoughts and feedback over time.
By treating NPS as a one-time survey, you miss out on the opportunity to capture the evolving nature of customer sentiment – a wealth of data that enables you to make informed decisions about your products and the overall customer experience.
Embracing NPS as an ongoing process and measuring customer satisfaction on a consistent basis lets you stay up-to-date with exactly how your customers feel at any given moment. Instead of using data points from months ago to keep track of customer needs and sentiment, you can access current data exactly when you need it the most.
This data allows you to identify emerging needs and trends before they reach the point at which your business could be affected. Rather than reacting to a shifting industry too late, you’ll stay ahead of the curve and deliver what your customers need before it becomes mission critical.
Moreover, a proactive approach to customer satisfaction, fueled by an ongoing NPS process, will help you foster long-term customer loyalty and leverage advocacy marketing.
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 customer base expands over time, your ability to deliver your product will also change. Your marketing and service approach will likely evolve with it as you adapt to the new scale of your business.
That could result in your business’s customer experience and satisfaction improving. It could also have the exact opposite effect and lead to more dissatisfied customers. Without recording the thoughts and feedback of your customers on a regular basis, it’s impossible to predict the outcome.
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 to be aware of their response.
Measuring customer satisfaction with NPS on an ongoing, long-term basis lets you identify areas where you’re falling short due to growth and scale. If these weaknesses frustrate or annoy customers, you can quickly act on their feedback and implement new processes to win them back.
Ignore customer feedback as your business grows and you could find yourself replacing one set of customers with another. Measure, track and respond to feedback, and you’ll develop your existing base of satisfied, loyal customers.
As your market matures, new competitors increase the stakes
The more competitive your marketing becomes, the more critical 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 in your niche 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 start losing customers.
That 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.
An ongoing NPS process and continuous 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, hence increasing their customer lifetime value.
Even in a highly competitive market a consistent NPS process has proven to be an invaluable strategy for market leaders like Apple, Tesla, Amazon, or Rackspace. These companies have capitalized on customer feedback to tailor their products, proactively address pain points and elevate the customer experience. Regardless of your size or niche, a similar approach will help you pinpoint growth opportunities while maintaining a loyal customer base.
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.
Treating NPS as an ongoing process lets you stay in tune with customer needs and expectations and, as a result, deliver meaningful experiences. If you are looking to make NPS an integral part of your operations, consider investing in dedicated NPS software, following-up on the received feedback and regularly reviewing performance.
Retently lets you automate customer feedback using a simple NPS survey. Start using Net Promoter Score to gather, analyze and act on customer feedback to improve retention and grow your business. Find out more about Retently’s unique features or test it out in a free trial to witness the positive impact this ongoing input can have.