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February 8, 2013

How Important Is Client Satisfaction?

SNI's Philosophy

Jeff Cochran

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No matter what field your business is in, there’s no such thing as a one-time customer. Even if you’re in the business of selling caskets, you know that a one-time client can become a repeat client with the right amount of work.

What exactly is “the right amount of work” you need to get repeat clients? It all starts with high client satisfaction rates. As a performance improvement firm, we’re in the business of helping our clients make the most of their clients and employees.

We’ve come to the conclusion that the old business adage is true: 80% of your revenues come from just 20% of your clients (the Pareto Principle). While you obviously want to satisfy every single client that your business serves, it’s especially important that you satisfy that top 20%.

Achieving Perfect Client Satisfaction…

… is virtually impossible. And that’s okay. Over the years we have worked with some incredible business leaders and business models. Despite impeccable customer service, even the very best businesses were unable to make 100% of their clients happy 100% of the time. In some instances, a good business leader will make the decision to cut loose those clients that can never be satisfied.

There’s no sense in wasting energy on those clients who will not be satisfied despite your best efforts. So what can you do to improve client satisfaction where it is possible?

 

  • Respond to dissatisfied customers in real-time. There are numerous reputation management software programs and systems that can alert you immediately about dissatisfied customers.
  • Let the client know that you understand their issue by repeating it back to them.
  • Use a personal tone to deal with clients who are dissatisfied.
  • Never make a promise that can’t be kept – even when you feel under pressure to recover a bad situation.
  • Go over and above what you deem “satisfactory” in resolving a customer’s bad experience.
  • Keep a regularly updated database of your client’s satisfaction history. Good or bad, you need to know how a client has felt about your company’s treatment of them in the past.

Remember, you can’t please everyone. But, of the clients you can please, anything you can do to keep the account is worth it. Good “client satisfaction practices” don’t just keep the client you’re dealing with. They also bring in additional clients through referrals and recommendations!

How important is client satisfaction to your business? What strategies do you use to satisfy your clients?

 

 

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