How often do you ask your customers if they are satisfied with your product or service?
If you never ask, you may never know. You have a customer who is either satisfied or unsatisfied. It’s like Schrodinger’s cat. Schrodinger, an Austrian scientist, designed an experiment where a cat was placed in a box with a flask of poison and a radioactive source. When a Geiger counter detected a radioactive particle, the flask shattered and the poison was released, killing the cat. The experiment, which was meant as a thought exercise, argues that until the box is opened, the cat can considered to be both both alive and dead.
Much like the cat, your customers are satisfied and unsatisfied until you open the box and check. Checking might not be a pleasant experience, if you’re dealing with an unsatisfied customer, but at least you now know. And that may also lead to a learning opportunity to improve your product or service.
More companies are cluing into the importance of customer satisfaction and are actively soliciting information. You may be asked when calling a company if you’re interested in participating in a brief survey when the call is concluded. Or you may have an employee at a retail store point out information on the bottom of your receipt asking you to complete a survey about your experience.
Don’t wait for someone to open up Facebook or Twitter and tell the world how unhappy they are. Don’t wait for an unsatisfied customer to tell colleagues, co-workers and friends how much they dislike you.
The longer you wait to ask someone if they are not satisfied, the more likely you will end up “dead” to them.
If you asked your clients to rate you on a scale of one to 100, can you guess what your average score would be?
What Did You Get On Your CSAT?
About two years ago, Sam from Smiel.io had a booth at the annual ITNation event in Orlando. A swanky looking booth and either golf balls or sunglasses – something catchy – brought me to the table. After pocketing my swag, they delivered their pitch.
“What is your CSAT score?” Sam asked me, as I raced to figure out what CSAT was. Did I need that to get into college?
Then, I thought he had pronounced it incorrectly. So I replied back: “CSAT – what is that?”
“It’s your Customer Satisfaction Score,” he said, matter-of-factly.
“Oh, right,” I said. “Yeah, it’s high.” I had no idea what a high score was, or how we would even rate.
But standing there, listening to him talk about how easy it was to implement, what the clients would have to do to rate us, and how efficiently we could report on it – I was sold.
Now, two years later – I wouldn’t look back. I’m surprised, really. Not only did I realize all of the benefits Sam spoke to me about, but I got vision into client issues that I never would have seen before.
Our clients now have three options to rate us – a green smiley face, a yellow neutral face, and a red angry face. That’s it. Click one of them and continue about your day.
If someone responds with a yellow or red face, a copy of their issue, their name and phone number, and any remarks they added go directly to my email.
Fix The Problem. Before It Becomes a Big Problem
Now I can reach out and try to understand and fix the issue before it escalates. More than 60% of people who receive a prompt to participate actually respond to it. To me, that is an impressive number. It tells me that people want to tell me how we did.
This is such a simple idea, yet it shows clients that I care about whether I am doing a good job and it shows me whether my clients are happy with the work I am doing. More companies are asking customers to participate in surveys following interactions; it’s instant objective feedback.
It’s important for companies to be soliciting feedback from their customers, especially at certain milestone moments in a lifecycle. For example, asking how satisfied before a renewal process is about to begin is a good time to undertake that process. Doing so about six months before a renewal gives the company a head start on learning that the customer has potential problems or issues that might keep them from renewing while also providing enough time to address those issues.