According to the research by Dan Kennedy, one of today’s foremost marketing experts, sixty-eight percent of customers who abandon your service or product for one of your competitors do so because they believe you are indifferent to their needs and opinions.
It is actually a very common organizational error to grow complacent with regard to customers’ wants and needs, most especially during prosperous economic times. While you might appreciate the statistic that earning a new customer costs five to six times as much as retaining an existing one, it’s all too easy to make the mistake of allowing customer feedback to fall to the wayside when you have two or three new customers lined up in rank for almost every one that you kiss good-bye.
On the other hand, how are you affected when that supply of new users or buyers abruptly dries up? Regardless of whether there had been a number of classic warning signals, more than a few companies were caught off-guard by the present economic slump. Businesses across just about all sectors have been adversely impacted by a contracting GDP (which decreased at an annual rate of 6.3% in Q4 2008) combined with soaring unemployment rates (which grew to 8.5% in March 2009). The American people are tightening up their spending belts and businesses are clamoring for a fewer number of buyers who almost all have fewer greenbacks to spend. With demand for both consumer as well as B2B services and products falling, it most certainly is more crucial than at any time before to satisfy and hold on to the customers one does have.
Although pulling in new customers will invariably remain an objective to strive for, very few companies have the luxury during these challenging economic times to allocate many of their diminishing marketing and advertising dollars on that goal. It happens to be considerably more efficient to concentrate focus on keeping, up-selling, and generating repeat business from existing customers.
As demonstrated by a fairly recent survey from Accenture (2008 Customer Satisfaction Survey), “how well companies understood and met the distinct preferences and expectations of the customers they serve” is the first and foremost reason that customers remained with their current service or product provider instead of seeking out a competitive alternative. It may well astonish you, considering the current overall economy, but customer experience scored much higher than price when assessing when and if to abandon a provider.
Insomuch as a great customer experiences with your products, services, as well as your client service staff, is essential to retaining customers and, therefore, essential to the overall health and resilience of your enterprise, right now is among the most critical periods of time in our economic history to pay attention to as well as respond to feedback from your customers.
Harvesting customer feedback should never be viewed as an optional expenditure, even in the face of sharp spending cuts. As stated by a recently available report by the Aberdeen Group, 55% of businesses surveyed have made little or no budgetary cuts in the area of customer feedback initiatives, not to mention 19% have actually have increased spending in this area. Well informed business leaders recognize that a smart investment in customer feedback and retention is a great investment in the long term survival and year on year growth of their companies.
To see a video about how MindTouch can help you tune into and improve you customers’ product and support experience click here.