No matter which industry your business lies in, customer satisfaction would be the first and last thing in your mind. From the moment you step into office to the moment when you step out, each and every action you take or process you oversee is geared towards ensuring that your customers are satisfied and happy with the products and services that you have to offer.

All over the world, businesses spend millions of dollars for the purpose of maximizing customer satisfaction, which also helps in developing brand loyalty among customers. Plus, it has also been proven through research that the more loyal your customers are, the more your profitability will grow. The reason for this is encapsulated in the “three R’s of customer satisfaction”, which are known as ‘Retention, Related Sales, and Referrals’.

This article covers everything you need to know about these important factors that influence customer satisfaction, and how businesses utilize them to drive more sales and profits.

Retention

The relationship between you and your customer is a special one, and it starts when they start buying something from your business. The relationship strengthens and becomes an ongoing one when they start coming back to you with recurring orders and purchases, and such customers bring in the highest revenue for your business. 

This is why it should be your aim to make every customer a returning one, and this can be done by maximizing customer retention. Moreover, as you gather more and more repeat customers, you don’t have to spend as much money on marketing and advertising as before. Plus, you can focus on bringing in new customers, rather than investing in retaining customers.

Another benefit of increased customer retention is that your customer is already familiar with your products and services, and they also know how you conduct your operations and processes. Plus, they are familiar with your pricing to some extent.

Related Sales

The next facet of customer satisfaction involves related sales, which refers to the sale of new products, services, add-ons, and much more to your existing loyal customers. As we already know, marketing your business to a new customer and getting them to buy your products requires much more effort and money, as compared to customers who are already familiar with your business.

For instance, if you have a product that comes with supplemental products or add-ons, you may market them to your existing customers who have already purchased the main product. They are your target audience for the add-ons and extra features that you may have developed, and these contribute to your related sales.

In essence, you can earn more revenue through your related sales than you would from selling products to new customers. The actual product might not gather enough revenue as compared to related sales. Moreover, you can continue to roll out new upgrades and add-ons for the original product for many years, without having to change anything in the actual product.

The benefit of related sales is that it reduces the cost you have to invest in developing new products and solutions, as well as the marketing cost that you would otherwise spend in selling new products to existing customers. Plus, there will be reduced paperwork and a lower time to market. Last but not least, your loyal customers won’t have a problem with the pricing of your products, because they are familiar with it. 

Referrals

The last rung of the ladder of customer satisfaction is referrals, which provide you with the best marketing strategy there is word of mouth. When customers buy your product and are pleased with the experience they get, they will be more likely to speak positively about it among their family, friends, co-workers, and other circles.

Thanks to these positive reviews, the word will spread like wildfire, and more people will be compelled to buy your products or try out your services, thus boosting your customer base and your revenue as well. If you provide a quality customer experience, each of your satisfied customers is bound to tell at least five other people, according to research. 

However, the opposite can be quite devastating for your business. Generally, people tell other people more about the bad experiences than the good ones, and if your customer experience isn’t up to the mark, your disgruntled customers may tell as many as 11 customers! Not only would this prevent you from having new customers, but it might also cause some of your existing customers to walk away.

Referrals are the most effective form of marketing for your business, and it doesn’t cost virtually anything. If you have maintained a stellar customer experience for your customers, and are also responsive to their queries and concerns, you won’t have any trouble in getting maximum referrals from your customers, who help in growing your revenue.

The Impact of the Three R’s on Marketing Budgets

Generally, the marketing budget of any company shows that a huge portion of it is dedicated to gathering new customers, whereas a small portion goes towards retaining existing customers. In today’s world, companies don’t put too much effort into retaining their existing customers, although this is one of the best ways to maximize their revenue.

This is where companies lose out on a lot of money. They put all their focus and money on bringing in new customers, and they will do anything for it. Some companies even spend millions of dollars in attracting new customers, but most of it goes down the drain and causes them significant losses. In fact, most businesses push their finances into the red, go into debt, and have to resort to debt settlement and other measures.

It is time to change the strategy and direct a major share of your budget towards retaining existing customers and building customer loyalty, as it would help your business bring more revenue in the long run. 

About the Author: Lyle Solomon has considerable litigation experience as well as substantial hands-on knowledge and expertise in legal analysis and writing. Since 2003, he has been a member of the State Bar of California. In 1998, he graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, and now serves as a principal attorney for the Oak View Law Group in California. He has contributed to publications such as Entrepreneur, All Business, US Chamber, Finance Magnates, Next Avenue, and many more.

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