I saw an ad from a social WiFi marketing company touting the data they collect on your customers from Facebook which includes:
- Page Likes
- Location & Language
- Facebook Usage
- Purchase Activity
Great data for a brand but how useful is this generic data for a SOHO or small business looking to increase customer retention. After all, aren’t all 34 year old women who like to bike, who buy Lululemon, who work in sales and who log onto their FB page once a day, all the same? And does it really matter? Yes, according to the National Business Research Institute. The NBRI pointed to research conducted by Frederick Reichheld and W. Earl Sasser that revealed that when a company retains just five percent more of its customers, profits increase by 25 percent to 125 percent!. And they found that the key to improving customer satisfaction comes from simply listening to the actual voice of the customer.
The NBRI wrote: “The only way to know the changes your company needs to make is to listen to the voices of your customers. Incorporating customer research into your marketing efforts is a wise investment that will result in a significant ROI.”
THE VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER IMPACTS THE BOTTOM LINE
The impact on the bottom line is tangible to any size business. Where it costs 4-10X more to acquire a new customer than retain a new one and where satisfied customers make 56% more visits.
“Research is the only universal best practice. The only way to know the changes your company needs to make is to listen to the voices of your customers. Incorporating customer research into your marketing efforts is a wise investment that will result in a significant ROI.” according “The Fallacy of Universal Best Practices.”
Your customers have a voice and most* are happy to tell what you want to know if you give them the chance. Use multiple channels to hear what your customers are saying, what they like (what they don’t) and what they want. Try implementing customer feedback as much as possible, through the WiFi you provide (Turnstyle Solutions, via email (Constant Contact or MailChimp) or through your mobile app. Add a CRM that captures every interaction you have with a customer, online and in your place of business. And, as simple as it sounds, ask them. Pick up the phone and randomly call your clients (especially those that left a poor review) learn who they are and listen to what they have to say.
Or you can listen to the group-speak voice of a generic group of 34 year old women who like to bike, who work out and who log onto their FB page once a day.
THE 6 KEYS TO IMPROVING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Michael Carver and Gary Cagnon, Professors of Marketing at Central Michigan University, have identified keys to improving customer satisfaction programs. The key activities they identify include:
- · A customer-focused culture
- · Executive support, persistence, and intensity
- · A set of customer listening tools
- · Linking performance measures
- · Identifying improvement opportunities
- · Evaluating and rewarding customer value and satisfaction (CVS)
But none of this will work unless you add the critical 7th key: