“If I gather market sensing information with the concept of customer satisfaction, then I understand the market’s perception of my product, but I am not sure how to gather such information.”
The motto “the customer is always right” was popularized by highly successful retailers like Marshall Field in the early twentieth century. They advocated that customer complaints should be treated seriously even if they can sometimes be dishonest, unrealistic, and/or greedy. This concept did not seem to have too many benefits for the business owners, so why? What did these men really get out of it?
Customer satisfaction is one of the three groups for gathering evidence to determine your sense of the market. Market sensing helps to discover your competitors within the market, the market forces and behavior, and the market’s perception of you. Customer satisfaction is largely the latter. It measures how products or services supplied by a company, meet or surpass a customer’s expectation.
The point is to gather honest information from your customers about their feelings on your product. Some of the customer satisfaction techniques include the following:
- Enhancement Requests: The users provide noteworthy improvements after reviewing the product or services.
- Customer Surveys: This method is all about constructing surveys and selecting respondents for specific targeted market segments.
- Net Promoter Score: This is an approach to measuring and quantifying the level of your customers’ satisfaction. It involves a quick questionnaire, that gathers a small amount of data to monitor your customer standing.
- Lead User Analysis: This approach engages your users in testing and evaluating new products and services by bringing them in early during the development process.
- Voice of Customer: This method helps teams balance the customers’ voice with their expertise.
- Sales Force Inputs: This method leverages the Sales Force to gain insight and direction for increasing customer satisfaction, including modifying the sales process.
- Employee and Business Units: Use those closest to the work to gather market evidence and ideas for customer satisfaction.
- Creativity Events: This method leverages many different disciplines for creating high-performance teams, and driving them towards solutions of specific market needs to produce an enhanced innovation process.
- Beta Trials: This method encompasses many varieties of pre-launch activities leveraging customer/user engagement to test the product.
- Defect and Issue Tracking: Tracking the defects and issues to leverage for use in customer satisfaction initiatives.
Marshall Fields and company understood that the customer is always worth listening to, and therefore always right, because knowing the customer’s expectations provided them with a metric that they can use to manage and improve their businesses. Customer satisfaction is a point of differentiation in the market, it provides indicators for customer intentions, it increases customer lifetime value, and reduces negative word of mouth.