Worryingly, the remaining 29.7 percent cited reasons for not measuring customer satisfaction as:
- Belief that customers would tell them if there were problems (69.4 percent)
- Never thought about it (20.2 percent)
- Too busy (19.0 percent)
- And only 22.6 percent (almost 10 percent of the total sample) planned to measure customer satisfaction in the future
Avoid this – get some insightBusinesses that rely on unsolicited customer feedback are not getting the information they need. Of those that do measure customer satisfaction, 55.7 percent are only employing the most basic and informal techniques or are waiting for clients to complain. This means that in reality only about a third of businesses (36.1 percent) are really bothering to find out what their customers think, while well over half (56.3 percent) are waiting for their customers to tell them. Previous research by Shape the Future indicates that the majority of clients are very unlikely to volunteer this information – they are much more likely just to go to a competitor.
Peter Martin, managing director at Shape the Future said: “What’s interesting about the results is that too many businesses assume that people will give them useful feedback. In reality, unhappy customers often leave without telling them why. Falling sales are not always related to falling demand. Companies may simply be losing market share to their competitors and not even know about it. Given the current economic downturn, business owners and managers need as much detail and business information ammunition to hand as possible.”
Among the companies which do not measure customer satisfaction at all, the main reasons given were:
- Our customers tell us if they’re not happy 69.4
- We don’t know how to do it 14.9
- We are too busy 19.0
- Our business is booming so we think our customers are happy 7.0
- It’s too expensive 5.4
Measuring satisfaction and complacency:
It has never been so important to find out what your customers want
The research also indicated that the larger the company, the more likely it is that customer satisfaction will be measured formally. Among companies of 50 employees or fewer (which make up 99% of the UK business community), 57.6 percent are not measuring customer satisfaction by any formal means.
It is generally recognised that acquiring new customers costs between four-to-six times more than keeping existing clients happy. It makes sound business sense to spend a fraction of this to help ensure your current clients stay just that – current.
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