Connecting Customer Satisfaction to Customer Retention

How important are excellent service, quality products, fair pricing, responsive problem-solving and an overall good experience to your Customer Retention program? In a nutshell: very. So, let’s get to the nuts and bolts of these value-added factors.

These are the building blocks of “customer satisfaction” – and that general sense of “Yeah, I feel good about my experience with them” is what keeps customers coming back. No surprise, MarketingSherpa research shows numbers that back that notion: 66% of satisfied customers are very likely to continue to purchase services and products from a company, while only 8% of unsatisfied customers are likely to do so.

So, this no-brainer result brings a valuable question to mind: If your goal is to retain customers, what can you add or improve in your service to them to improve their customer satisfaction? Or shorter question: How do you add value to your customer’s experience?

What your customers are looking for is not a great mystery. In that same MarketingSherpa survey, more than half of consumers selected these factors as reasons they are likely to be satisfied with a company: convenience, quality products, reasonable prices, reliable products, good customer service. Doesn’t that sound like something you would want too?

Let’s just suppose customers like for an appointment to be scheduled at a time that is convenient for them. A “cable guy” promise obviously won’t cut it: “We’ll be there between 6 a.m. and midnight. Please make sure someone is at home, or we’ll have to reschedule for three weeks from today.” It’s not unreasonable to expect for customers to like workable windows – and especially early notification that gives them time to head home from the office to meet the service tech.

Or said another way: They want what you’d want. And you sure don’t want poor quality systems installed by unskilled techs and offered with jacked up prices. To get customer satisfaction in your focus, a list of bullet points easily rattles off the tongue: Be reasonable. Be likable. Be sincere. Provide quality. And provide value.

So, that’s how you keep customers, but what sends people away? No surprise here either. The MarketingSherpa survey said that the top reasons that customers are unsatisfied fall into these categories: “Customer service wasn’t great.” “I don’t have consistent good experiences.” “If I have a problem, the company doesn’t try to resolve it to my satisfaction.”

So, there you have it. Companies that don’t care about the customer, deliver inconsistent value and don’t resolve problems have serious issues with Customer Retention.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson, CEO of Transformational Consumer Insights (TCI), points to this study as an encouragement to shift from a “product-first” worldview to “problem-first.” Put your customers’ problems at the center of your mission (not what you want to achieve for your company). To do so, Nelson says this requires three commitments:

Rethink or re-envision what you sell. You’re not just selling contracting services and equipment. You’re selling a solution to a problem. If it’s too hot, you’ve got cooling. If it’s too cold, you’ve got heat. If drains won’t flow or circuits are overloaded, you’ve got the fix. You’re not selling gadgets, equipment, training and service vehicles, you’re selling the solution.

Rethink your customer. What steps are they taking to solve their problems? What do they need from you? And how will they seek their solution?

Rethink your marketing. Rather than focusing on your awesomeness, provide content that solves your customers’ problems. Present information that shows how you can remove their pain – in discomfort (physical issue) and even purchase (financing) or uncertainty (risk reducers).


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