Customer satisfaction should be one of the top priorities—if not the top priority—of any business. Consumers, after all, are the ones who buy a company’s goods and services. There is empirical evidence that ensuring customer satisfaction makes good business sense. Watermark Consulting’s The 2015 Customer Experience ROI Study claimed that customer experience leaders’ returns were 80 percent higher than those of customer experience laggards.
Ironically, however, many marketers are experiencing difficulty in keeping up with changing customer behaviour. According to Millward Brown Digital, an estimated 55 percent of US senior marketers “[do not] feel confident that their [organisation] understands the customer journey.” Identifying customer needs involves more than just asking, “What do customers want?” To clearly identify their customers’ needs, companies must process map their customers’ “journey”—the steps they take before finally availing themselves of a product or service.
How Do Customers Discover a Business?
Companies must ask themselves: If customers want to buy my products and services, how will they go about looking for my business? A quick online search can easily answer this question. Sales and marketing automation company Vendasta, for instance, provided the following statistics:
- The number of consumers reading online reviews increased from 88 percent in 2014 to 92 percent in 2016.
- In 2014, only 29 percent of consumers form an opinion by reading one to three online reviews. This figure rose to 40 percent in 2016.
- An estimated 38 percent of consumers searched a business by reading online reviews at least once a month in 2014. In 2016, 43 percent of consumers did the same thing.
- In 2016, 61 percent of consumers were more likely to contact a local business if it has a mobile-optimised site.
Based on these statistics, consumer decisions are now heavily reliant on data. Businesses should respond to this reality by increasing their online presence. Since people nowadays are almost always online, having an online presence is the fastest way for businesses to get noticed.
How Do Customers Interact with a Business?
As soon as they determine how customers will get to notice them, businesses must then establish how they will interact with them. Should they have a call center and a customer service number? Or should they entertain customer feedback on their facebook page?
But a company’s means of interacting with customers should be based on customers’ wants and needs. If a company’s customers are active online, then it would be a good idea for a company to create a social media page. But the company must see to it that their page is updated regularly and responds promptly to customer queries. It is poor customer experience for a customer to complain on a company’s social media page, only to be asked to call a customer service number.
What Are the Triggers That Lead to a Sale?
The third question businesses must ask is what actually drives customers to buy something. What should customers see, hear, feel, taste or know so that they will decide to transact with a company? What’s in it for them if they buy a product or service? It must be noted that people pay money to obtain something of value. This value might come in the form of solving their problems, helping them learn something or making them feel good about themselves. Companies should then incorporate this value in their brand messaging.
Process mapping the customer’s “journey” will take time and money. But it is definitely a worthy investment because it ensures customer satisfaction, higher profits and business continuity. It is six to seven times more affordable to keep an existing customer than to obtain a new one. In addition, companies can profit up to 14 times higher when selling to an existing client instead of a new client. More importantly, when satisfied with a brand’s product or service, 73 percent of consumers will recommend that brand to others and 46 percent say that they will patronise that brand.
ADEC Philippines is the managed services provider of ADEC Innovations. We offer business process mapping services that help you gain a better understanding of your key operations and structures. For more information about our business process management solutions, please visit http://www.adec-philippines.com/business-process-management/.
eMarketer. (2016, August 18). Do Companies Understand the Customer Journey? Retrieved January 26, 2017, from https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Do-Companies-Understand-Customer-Journey/1014366
Morris, T. (2016, March 20). “It is 6 Times More Expensive to Win a New Customer than to Retain an Existing One.” Business 2 Community. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from http://www.business2community.com/strategy/6-times-expensive-win-new-customer-retain-existing-one-01483871#hsxpf5Jk013XZCT1.99
Shrestha, K. (2016, August 29). “50 Stats You Need to Know About Online Reviews.” Vendasta. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from https://www.vendasta.com/blog/50-stats-you-need-to-know-about-online-reviews/
Watermark Consulting. (2015). The 2015 Customer Experience ROI Study. Retrieved January 26, 2017, from http://www.watermarkconsult.net/docs/Watermark-Customer-Experience-ROI-Study.pdf