With all the talk of social media and its importance in marketing and lead development, sometimes the importance and value of the sales representative in the B-to-B environment are overlooked. This concept was reinforced to me this week while working on a project for a client.
We conduct product delivery surveys for this client, and these surveys are designed to measure customer satisfaction with the product and their sales process. Our client, like many, has a network of dealers that sell and support their products to the end-user. They wanted to know which of the questions on the survey were most strongly correlated with overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.
In the past, I have written about the importance of consistency in delivering a great service experience. In my opinion, you will likely win at the service game if you deliver good, no great, customer service consistently (rather than having it great one time, average the next, and not-so-good the next time). I want to highlight a critical component of delivering consistently great customer service which is not taking loyal customers for granted.
When a customer gives you the highest possible scores on satisfaction and loyalty, it’s understandable that you may feel compelled to declare victory and shift your attention to the next relationship. Time to break out the champagne! Unfortunately, you may want to wait before popping the cork. We find that in a surprising number of the surveys we perform, highest-score customers also offer negative feedback in their open-ended comments. So, while you may have scored a 10-out-of-10, your work is not yet done.
Poor customer service really carries a high cost in many ways. One way is through customers that defect. In an article by Kana Software that appeared in Loyalty Magazine, I was struck by some numbers he quoted. Let me share them.