A recent ForeSee study pointed to the fact that website users were often more driven by satisfaction than price in key areas like brand commitment, likelihood to refer new business and to also purchase offline from the same retailer.
No greater example exists than Apple which– as the data from the ForeSee study confirmed — consistently scores lower on pricing as compared to competitors but leads by a clear margin on overall customer satisfaction.
Apple’s investment in driving higher customer satisfaction via a highly usable website, consistent product quality and clear product focus has allowed it to maintain high pricing in a down economy and still achieve record growth in profits.
The argument for investing in customer feedback and satisfaction is rooted in a simple question: what else can deliver equal or greater gains in customer loyalty, repeat business and referral activity consistently.
For many companies, a focus on looking internally for growth opportunities within the existing customer base is a key driver for investing in customer loyalty and satisfaction programs.
One interesting insight came from the CEO of a customer loyalty solutions company which had recently launched a customer feedback system to accompany its other solutions.
When asked why, the CEO gave a very frank answer. “Whenever we got to the final approval phase of a packaged loyalty solutions for clients, without exception, there would be a challenge getting final budget approval from the C-Suite. The biggest reason? A lack of data from customers about what their key areas of focus were. As a result, the C-level executives had trouble tying ROI to our solutions. We decided to tackle the problem head-on by providing a customer feedback system to clients first and then leveraging the findings to upsell to deeper loyalty solutions.
This CEO’s perspective adds strong practical credibility to the notion that customer feedback is a critical factor in directing your investments in customer facing areas. Companies often make large investment decisions in the dark — an avoidable mistake with the right customer feedback program. All the answers are there: in the minds of your customers — your company’s challenge is to extract those answers efficiently and thoroughly and transform that data into a more actionable format.