In the wake of current economic decline, organizations clearly understand the need for good customer relations. Consumers are paying strict attention to the quality, cost and availability of the products they desire. Moreover, consumers are watching the business practices of the organizations that provide them with goods and services. Organizations understand that in order to be profitable they need to create and maintain a wholesome customer base and in order to do this the customer has to be satisfied.
When measuring the quality of an organization’s goods and services, customer satisfaction predicts whether they retain their current customer base. At the very least organizations want to maintain current customers because adding new ones can be costly. Organizations need to know what expectations their customers have of their services and products, the effectiveness of their marketing strategies, the strength of their company's image, as well as the key elements that most heavily influence customer retention for their business (Importance of Customer Feedback, 2011).
This paper will explore what best practices such as customer feedback and evaluations, customer satisfaction, market analysis, service analysis and marketing strategic planning organizations are using to measure customer satisfaction in order to keep their loyal customers while adding new ones. Customer Feedback and Evaluations Organizations are listening to and acting on what their customers are saying by using customer feedback and evaluations tools to improve their company’s success.
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They using this to stay in sync with their customers’ wants and demands of the goods and services they provide. Companies understand by tailoring their goods and services to meet the customers desires will lead to higher business success (Bosma Research International, 2011). Customer Satisfaction Companies are realizing that for them to maintain a high level of success customer satisfaction is the key.
They understand to achieve this, they have to know who their customers are, what’s important to them, how satisfied they are with their goods and services, what keeps them coming back or why are they leaving, what are their needs and expectations of the goods and services provided and are those needs and expectations being met (Bosma Research International, 2011). Market Analysis Market analysis is another important tool that organizations are using to measure customer satisfaction.
During this analysis, companies are looking at who are their competitors, how do customers compare them to their competitors, what can they do to increase their competitive edge and how do they compare to industry standards and benchmarks (Bosma Research International, 2011). Service Analysis Organizations rely heavily on their internal analysis and they understand the importance of this tool.
In this analysis, companies are looking at what goods and services they provide are most important to their customers, what elements drive customer satisfaction and what is it about the goods and services they provide affects customer retention the most (Bosma Research International, 2011). Marketing and Strategic Planning Finally, businesses are using marketing and strategic planning techniques to measure customer satisfaction. Organizations are looking at the changes needed to their goods and services, how to prioritize the changes and how to implement the changes (Bosma Research International, 2011).
Companies understand that this tool is probably one of the most important; however, all the aforementioned customer satisfaction measurements are closely interlinked. Types of Industries Compiled below are a list of industries I think would benefit from the customer satisfaction tools discussed in this paper: Chemical; Consumer Products; Electronics; Consulting; Retail; Publishing; Media; Health Care; Professional Services; Telecommunications; Financial Services; Banking; Computer Software; and Utilities.
Each of these industries has a customer ase that they provide goods and services to; moreover, they each have a large number of competitors that their customers can choose. Linkage to My Organization’s Practices This is a challenge linking these customer satisfaction tools to my former organization (US Army) because the Army does not sell products or services. However, I will go out on a limb to say that the US Army sells itself to the American people to gain recruits, trust and support. The US Army uses internal feedback and evaluations to improve training, food, housing, medical services, weapon systems and other equipment to retain current force levels.
They understand that if Soldiers are not satisfied they will leave the service in rapid numbers. The US Army does have competitors (i. e. US Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and Civilian Industries) and they look at what their competitors are offering that is equivalent. The US Army spends millions of dollars on marketing and strategic planning to attract new recruits as well keeping their current personnel. Recommendations for My Organizational Improvements I would recommend improving the quality of pay and benefits, recreational services, medical services, and assignment rotations.
Summary In conclusion, customer satisfaction is an important factor for the bottom line. Statistics show that the typical company gets 65 percent of its business from existing customers and it costs five times more to find a new customer than to keep an existing one happy. One study found that businesses with 98 percent customer retention rate are twice as profitable as those at 94 percent (Evans & Lindsay, 2009, p. 193). This research shows the importance of creating and implementing best practice tools to measure customer satisfaction, in doing so businesses will not only retain their current loyal customers but also in return add new ones.
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