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EssentialCustomer Service


ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS BEING SERVED?


Customer satisfaction is a marketing term that measures how products or services supplied by a company meet or surpass a customer’s expectation. Simon King, Essential Café’s editor, looks at the hot topic of customer service.


The one thing about customer service is that it’s not some kind of rocket science – you don’t need to have a PHD to be a great advocate of customer service. As an operator, customer service should come second to nature, just like cleaning your coffee machines is. Without a shadow of doubt, customer service is a leading indicator of a consumer’s intention to repurchase and shows loyalty. Customer satisfaction is the best indicator of how likely a customer will make a purchase in the future. Asking customers to rate their satisfaction on a scale of one to 10 is a good way to see if they will become repeat customers or even advocates.


Customer service is as relevant for independent operators as it is for multinational companies


Any customers that give you a rating of seven and above, can be considered satisfied and you can safely expect them to come back and make repeat purchases. Customers who give you a rating of nine or 10 are your potential customer advocates who you can leverage to become evangelists for your company. Scores of six and below are warning signs that a customer is unhappy and at risk of leaving. These customers need to be put on a customer watch list and followed up so you can determine why their satisfaction is low. As a consumer, you only need to have one bad experience of customer service and you may never visit that outlet every again. While customer service is important, I wonder how many operators actually engage with their customers to get feedback – you will only know what customers think if you actually bother to ask them in the first place! In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers – such as the ultra competitive café and coffee shop industry – customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator. Businesses who succeed in these cutthroat environments are the ones that make customer satisfaction a key element of their business strategy. Picture two businesses that offer the exact same product. What will make customer’s choose one over the other? If you had a


recommendation for one business would that sway your opinion? Probably. So how does that recommendation originally start? More than likely it’s on the back of a good customer experience. Companies who offer


amazing customer experiences create environments where satisfaction is high and customer advocates are plenty. Not only can customer satisfaction help you keep a finger on the pulse of your existing customers, it can also act as a point of differentiation for new customers. An Accenture global customer satisfaction report back in 2008 found that price is not the main reason for customer churn; it is actually due to the overall poor quality of customer service. Customer satisfaction is the metric you can use to reduce customer churn. By measuring and tracking customer satisfaction, you can put new processes in place to increase the overall quality of your customer service. As the editor of Essential Café, I want businesses to do well, so I am totally unequivocal in my view. I recommend you put an emphasis on exceeding customer expectations and ‘wowing’ customers at every opportunity. Do that for six months, than measure customer satisfaction again. See whether your new initiatives have had a positive or negative impact on satisfaction. In a study, InfoQuest found that a ‘totally satisfied customer’ contributes 2.6 times more revenue than a ‘somewhat satisfied customer’. Furthermore, a ‘totally satisfied customer’ contributes 14 times more revenue than a ‘somewhat dissatisfied customer’. Customer satisfaction is tightly linked to revenue and


repeat purchases. What often gets forgotten is how customer satisfaction negatively impacts your business. It’s one thing to lose a customer because they were unhappy. It’s another thing completely to lose 20 customers because of some bad word of mouth.


The popularity of social media is something to consider when talking about customer service. Customers will take to Facebook, Twitter or one of the other social networks to praise an experience, but they will also think nothing of sharing a negative experience.


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