Putting the customer at the centre of your business decisions and trying to satisfy their needs along the way is nothing new; it is what every business should do – yet this is one area of market research that has evolved more than perhaps any.
Why the evolution from customer satisfaction?
Satisfaction can mean different things to different people and thus is a hard metric to sometimes measure on its own, especially when analysing satisfaction data across different geographies and cultures. This might be the reason why so many companies have turned their back on satisfaction (rightly or wrongly) and jumped onto the loyalty bandwagon.
Fred Reichheld developed the Net Promoter Score based on the likelihood to recommend question that we researchers have asked since the beginning of time. The argument towards developing a customer loyalty programme is based on the findings that loyalty and advocacy (and not customer satisfaction) translate directly into customer retention and profit over time, although if the truth be known, loyalty and satisfaction are very much linked.
Although customer satisfaction surveys and NPS programmes are the first, useful step in listening to your customers, it is the first step on a long journey to developing a customer ‘experience’. ‘Experience-based’ differentiation is a systematic approach to interacting with customers that consistently builds loyalty but cannot be achieved overnight.
How can B2B International help?
We have embraced these changes by:
- Being able to offer a full range of services: traditional customer satisfaction to customer loyalty research, all the way through to full customer experience management programmes, including customer journey mapping workshops – where we can help build the results into future strategy.
- Offering tailored tracking surveys: For most companies, it is no longer enough to carry out an annual customer survey. With customers being ever more capricious in today’s world, keeping your finger on the pulse of customer satisfaction through event-based surveys and continuous tracking surveys is more and more a common requirement.
- Improving our reporting tools: Gone are the days of having to wait a couple of months for customer results to be presented back. From the creation of online dashboards, delivering real-time information, through to email alerts being sent to customer facing staff when customers aren’t happy, the customer experience phenomenon has welded together traditional market research methodologies with companies’ CRM systems to enable strategic and tactical decision making to take place immediately with no lag time.