Your customer experience may have a big impact on the value of your company. Acquirers take a close look during due diligence and are likely to adjust their offer based on the results. You definitely should not rely on the “traditional” method of collecting annual surveys conducted by the sales force or even the customer service team. You need to be able to collect anonymous customer feedback on a regular basis to protect the value of your customer relationships. If you don’t have a system in place to collect empirical data relative to your customer opinions of your products or services, you should start now. If it's important, measure it!
Measuring "Word of Mouth"
Now you can actually measure what we used to call "word of mouth" and understand what your customers really think of your company, product or service. Chelsis Financial collects customer experience data in real time and, when needed, provides the data in support of an opinion of value. The technology is at work with companies around the world to track customer satisfaction. If there is a problem, it gives you time to react before your customer base erodes. Customer experience is the new battleground in business today and it’s happening right now. Don’t get left behind. This system is an essential tool for growing companies. When a customer is unhappy with the level of service, they start questioning their loyalty privately and they begin to evaluate your competitors.
Research by the SBA found that 9% of customers will leave because they perceive a competitor’s offering as better. More than one industry leader believes that to stop this, companies must focus on offering a ‘perceived service’ that is better than competitors. Tracking customer satisfaction and then benchmarking it against others will help you discover how you stack up against the rest and see if you are at risk of customers potentially defecting.
Getting the customer in your door for the first time is just the start. The trick is to keep them coming back, focusing on their lifetime value to your business.
In one article from Harvard Business Review, the co-owner of five Domino’s Pizza stores calculated that regular customers were worth more than $5,000 over the life of a ten-year franchise contract. He made sure that every order taker, delivery person, and store manager knew that number. For him, telling workers that customers were valuable was not nearly as potent as stating the dollar amount: “It’s so much more than they think that it really hits home.” Protecting the customer relationship through the use of customer satisfaction survey tools can help you build the lifetime value of your customers and be able to demonstrate that value to a potential acquirer at some point in the future.
As a business owner, you can’t interact with every customer. In fact, to have the most valuable enterprise, your business should be able to run without you. At the same time, poor customer experience will hurt your business before you know it, if you don’t have a way to receive independent feedback. In other words, if you have unsatisfied customers, find out early and react before you lose them.
For example, during normal interaction with your customers different challenges may come up. Different employees may handle customer inquiries and the customer will have many customer experiences. With no customer experience tracking, you are “flying blind” and you may not discover (until it’s too late) how your customers really feel about your company, product or service.
Make sure your customer feedback tool is independent and don’t count on a problem employee to give you the “straight scoop”. It is a truth that “your business is not what you think it is…..it is what it’s perceived to be!” You can manage the overall customer experience by better understanding how your business is perceived and act on what you learn.
By ensuring your customers are satisfied, you put yourself in the very best possible position to create customer advocates that will send business referrals to you and generate great “word of mouth”. High customer satisfaction gives you the confidence to ask your staff to go into every customer encounter as if they were going to ask for a business referral at the end. Stay on top of your game, offer outstanding service and strive to exceed customer expectations.
Customers stay where they feel welcome and are treated well. They refer business when they trust that their friends and associates will have the same experience.
In addition to using your customer experience rating to support the value of your business, keeping track of your overall customer experience rating serves as an advance warning system. A drop in your score means something is happening and customer feedback will help you understand what the problem is.
This technology has been used by large companies for a while now, but only recently has it become surprisingly affordable for midmarket and main-street sized business owners. Whether you want to sell now or 10 years from now, Chelsis Financial delivers the technology to help you strengthen customer relationships and add value to your business.