June 15, 2012 by Ken Dooley
Posted in: In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Industry Spotlight - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing, New Research
A growing amount of research has found satisfaction is a poor predictor of the most important of all customer service goals: Will customers who buy once keep coming back for more? The research pinpoints five myths about customers.
Myth No. 1: A satisfied customer is a loyal customer
Fact: More than 75% of customers across all industries who leave an organization for a competitor rated themselves as “satisfied” or “completely satisfied” with the previous organization on customer surveys. It takes more than mere satisfaction to ensure long-term loyalty.
Myth No. 2: If customers say they’re satisfied, it’s true
Fact: Most customers would rather tell a little lie about being satisfied than engage in a potentially confrontational dialogue explaining why they were not happy with a product or service. Candor is not easy for customers, which is why many choose flight over fight.
Myth No. 3: Customers want the organizations they do business with to ask them for feedback
Fact: Customers want organizations to read their minds. Only the disappointed or angry customers have the motivation to provide feedback. Most everyone else wants to be left alone.
Myth No. 4: Customers believe if they give feedback, something will actually change
Fact: Most customers are twice-bitten cynics. They believe salespeople solicit feedback because they’re either directed to by some edict or offered some prize, not because they want to improve products or services. Even if improvements are made using feedback, most customers never learn of the changes, so the perceptive effect is “They don’t care.”
Myth No. 5: Complaining customers are your most at-risk buyers, the ones most likely to defect
Fact: It’s the quietly disappointed ones you have to look out for. They are the ones who, when approached by a competitor with a shinier widget or a slightly better deal will abandon you for bluer skies, greener pastures, and the promise of a more hassle-free experience.
Adapted from the book Customer Loyalty Guaranteed by Chip Bell and John Patterson.