Are your customers satisfied?

Common sense tells us that if a customer is not satisfied, then they may be more likely to leave and do business elsewhere. However, customers need to be more than just satisfied to stay loyal to a product or a company. A growing body of research shows that customer satisfaction scores are much less important that anyone would have surmised just a decade ago. Customer satisfaction levels are not predictive of customer behavior, let alone financial outcomes for the company. The difference in customer satisfaction levels between competitors rarely correlates to a difference in financial performance. For decades most companies have been content to measure customer satisfaction, without realizing that simply ‘satisfied customers’ are just as likely to switch to a different product or company as dissatisfied customers.

If there is no difference to the rate at which both satisfied and dissatisfied customers leave, then customer satisfaction is clearly the wrong thing to measure.

So then, what is the right thing to measure?

Advocates, not just satisfied

Advocates are your most valuable customers. The percentage of each company’s customers that can be considered a “customer advocate” is strongly correlated to growth. Well beyond mere satisfaction, customer advocates have a positive emotional connection to the company. They are loyal and refer your company to others. Numerous studies show that there is a strong correlation between an emotional attachment from your customers and sustainable growth. Consider some characteristics:

Customer advocates…

  • Have great confidence in you as a trustworthy company
  • Feel a sense of ownership in doing business with your company
  • Are likely to recommend you to others.

Customer advocates are among a company’s most valuable assets. Not only are they are willing to be advocates, they typically spend more, and are generally less price conscious. Therefore, measuring this key dynamic becomes critical in evaluating a company’s success from year to year.

Measuring up

The importance of measuring customer advocacy over customer satisfaction has enormous implications for anyone wanting to turn their company into a World Class organization. Customer satisfaction is simply the entry point for achieving a deeper foundation that rests on total customer engagement. In helping companies measure their overall place in the market, SRG shifts focus to the much more meaningful metric of Customer Advocacy.

SRG’s Customer Advocacy survey can show companies what percentage of their customers are truly advocates. SRG has the means and the infrastructure to conduct the survey with an organization’s customers. We work with our clients to ensure that the survey contains information relevant to their specific industry.

After the survey is collected, SRG uses proprietary methods to process and interpret the data. We deliver meaningful conclusions and help our clients use this information to focus on activities that will increase their productivity and profitability.

In our continuing evaluation of the factors that help build World Class Organizations, customer advocacy is being recognized as an increasingly important and reliable measuring stick to evaluate the quality and progress of any organization.

Measuring is just the beginning

SRG’s provides insightful information regarding your company’s relationship with your customers. We break down the various components that add up to customer advocacy. Data from specific questions can provide clear targets for improvement.

The beginning stages of cultivating customer advocates can be likened to the difference in owning vs. renting a house. As an owner, you take care of the house. You make the repairs and upgrades that are needed. As advocacy grows, you now have something you value, that you want to hold onto, and it is something that gives you a sense of pride.

SRG’s Customer Advocacy gives businesses a powerful tool to measure the degree to which their customers are attached and provide focused initiatives to improve in this critical area.