If you’re dependent on customer satisfaction for success—and most of us are—then you’ll want to know that your efforts to that end are effective. Here’s your cheat sheet with three key steps to pleasing your number one stakeholder: the customer.
1. Know the customer loyalty loop.
Pick up a copy of Noah Fleming’s Loyalty Loop: The Science Behind Creating Great Experiences and Lasting Impressions and you’ll get intimately acquainted with that loyalty loop, a proven cycle that savvy business leaders aim to achieve:
- Imagination and Persuasion: researching a
nd influencing your customer before they’re even at your door
- Conversion without Coercion: sealing the deal, even for the skeptical customer who isn’t a believer in your product just yet
- Experience Choreography: creating what Fleming calls “remarkable moments” in product delivery
- Happily Ever After: the period of prompt and adequate marketing that happens post-purchase
According to the principles of the loop: “no customer should go more than 90 days without at least a 15-minute phone call,” plus “the top 10% of customers shouldn’t go more than 45 days without some sort of follow up.”* It’s a swift and surefire way to keep the loyalty cycle going, in a way that benefits both customers and corporate leadership.
If the product is sold well, and you can deliver on a quality product and experience, it should be fairly easy to bring the customer back for more.
2. Go straight to the source.
When evaluating the effectiveness of your customer service and sales strategies, it’s best to ask the customer directly about how satisfied they are with their experience instead of looking at sales numbers alone. Making sure your customer is satisfied can ensure your next sale and the overall longevity of your operation. Surveys, when executed and analyzed well, can be a valuable source of intel both for building customer profiles and for innovating sales practices. Your options vary with customer surveys, from delayed email surveys to immediate, in-person surveys. But no matter your survey strategy, you’ll want to use the experts to collate and interpret your data.
3. Adjust and remeasure.
Once your customers move into the loyalty loop and you receive your survey results in a discernable form, it’s time to adjust and remeasure for maximum impact. Were sales representatives consistently too pushy? Retrain for more subtle social influence. Were lines too long? Streamline checkout staffing. Were marketing messages too vague or confusing? Dial in your messaging.
Remeasurement can come once again in the forms of surveys, or even audits, as you confirm that the new strategies you put in place are being executed consistently.
Need another way to bring your numbers up a level? By studying the work of your competitors, you’ll be able to find what works, emulate it, and innovate from that starting point. Competitive intel can find customer service trends and also zero in on the needs of your customers.
Bring these strategies to the table this fiscal year: follow Fleming’s loyalty loop carefully as it plays out in your organization, always check in with your customer, and then adjust accordingly and remeasure. These three transforming strategies will produce big returns for today and for the future of your corporation.
*From Noah Fleming’s Customer Loyalty Loop, as paraphrased on readitfor.me