The best, the ultimate, the front of the line… Can this be achieved by anyone, with any product or service, at any time? It’s very hard to be 100 percent satisfied with anything, because you can almost always find some little thing you would change or improve. Think about it: Are you 100 percent satisfied with your car, your job, or even your marriage? Probably not, but if you’re even close, and there’s nothing better available or it’s too much trouble to change, you grin and bear it.
Every small business should strive to get as close to 100 percent satisfaction as possible. If your customers and clients are more than 90 percent satisfied, you’ll likely keep most of them without much difficulty. It’s easy for people to repurchase or reorder from their regular source, which can usually be done quickly. It’s more trouble to change where you purchase, because there is always the unknown factor.
The only way to know how pleased customers are with your products or services is to ask them and listen to their comments. What you consider a minor issue may be very important to them—don’t ignore it, or you’ll create ill will. If another business comes along and solves that issue, and everything else in your two businesses is equal, you may lose that customer and others like him. And by the time you find out the customer is gone, it’s too late to do much of anything about it, because by then he has become comfortable with his new source. You’d have to find another issue or problem to solve to get him back as a customer.
Putting in the effort into attain close to 100 percent satisfaction from existing customers is so much easier than trying to win them back later. Have brainstorming meetings with your employees to come up with ideas to get closer to 100 percent satisfaction. Consider everything from store layout to attractive displays, faster service response, the way you answer your phone, and so on. Little things can make a difference and get you closer to your goal. When you add all the little things together, they really add up.
Your goals in these brainstorming sessions can really be twofold:
- Find ways to get closer to 100 percent customer satisfaction.
- Find ways to provide the things your competitors are not doing so their customers will become yours.
With either goal, you come out ahead.