Do you really know your customers?

When asked about whether there were any systems in place to gather and distribute customer feedback within an organisation, the CEO responded, “We’ve got a good handle on what our customers think of us.”

A few short weeks later a major account was in jeopardy, the client citing that the poor performance and customer service from a local agent had led them to consider purchasing another system next year.

The CEO knew that they weren’t happy but he was surprised by the client’s depth of disappointment.   He later reported to the board that this client was likely to be lost.

Putting in a customer satisfaction monitor might well have picked up this client’s discontentment much more earlier and galvanised the company to remediate the situation before it had got out of hand.

It’s easy to assume that industrial clients that had been won with personal selling, and whose post-sale relationship had been handled with good account management is sufficient to monitor customer satisfaction.  However as account managers build friendly relations with customers sometimes that customer is loath to spoil the relationship with complaints.

An account manager can sometimes report general comments about how well a relationship can be going but a customer satisfaction questionnaire can help to identify individual components of customer service that might be underperforming.

For example, an account manager might think that the relationship with a client might be “OK’ or even score it 7 out of 10.  But how does that give the organisation something actionable for improvement? How did the company score on presentation, assurance, reliability, responsiveness or empathy?

Independent customer surveys can allow clients to express their views on a supplier’s performance with much more freedom and detail, improving the quality of the information being returned.

If you could benefit from better customer feedback, call us, let’s talk.

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