Why should I manage my customers’ satisfaction? Unclassified

Did you know that about 80% of companies think they deliver a 1st class customer service when actually, only 8% of customers agree to that very statement (*)? Did you know about the “Three 70s rule”?

  • Today, about 70% of your customer would leave you behind if they think that as a company, you don’t care about them (Forum Corporation, 2015)?
  • The way you talk to your customer represents 70% of their purchasing experience (McKinsey)
  • And 70% of unsatisfied clients will remain loyal to a company if their claim is answered (Lee Resources)

With the soar of mobile consumption and an increasingly more social and collaborative market for consuming goods and services, marketing has shifted from a product-centric approach (offering few core products to a broad audience) to a client-centric approach (proposing a broad range of products or services to a single customer). 

The findings of Thomas O. Jones and W. Earl Sasser published in HBR as early as in 1995, revealing that “the gap between satisfied and very satisfied customers can sink a business”, has never been more true.

1.What does it really mean?

It means that today, making your customer more than happy is no longer a nice-to-have, but a pre-requisite to make your company thrive; and here are the evidence:

#1: Since 2011, customer service quality has become the first criteria when choosing a supplier in France, which makes it more important than price (“The Cost of Poor Customer Service” by Genesys Global Survey).

#2: in 2014, 54% of French consumers left a company behind because of poor customer service (Accenture, 2014)

#3:  Acquiring a new customer costs 6/7 times more than keeping one (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)

#4: Satisfied customers speak about a brand to 5 others, while unhappy customers will speak to 10 (White House Office of Consumer Affairs).

However, this has become a real trick to manage: while you handle your own content, how can you control what is being said on other platforms such as online booking platforms, private social media channels, blogs, forums etc. ?

What can you do for all these unhappy consumers, especially when these platforms are defined by very specific usages and specific target audiences?

How do you make sure it won’t affect your brand image, as a prospect willing to spend more than 100€ online is likely to use at least 10 different sources of information before the actual purchase?

2. What should I do?

To manage your customers’ satisfaction, give them a valuable, useful and customized answer on the right channel, quickly.

  1. An answer: This is a sine qua non condition of customer satisfaction. A Tripadvisor study shows that about 80% of users think that a hotel that answers their comments is more customer-oriented. Aditionnally, 85% of them said that a constructive answer to a negative comment would increase their opinion of the location.
  2. Customized: the minimum customization in an answer should include the name of the user, the actual location, a clarification of the issue raised in the comments, and a clear signature of someone actually in charge. This will show the user they have a direct and dedicated contact and provide a “human touch” to the conversation
  3. Quickly: digital and social platforms have contributed to making fast problem-solving processes a standard for all brands. The average response time on social networks is currently 3hrs42min, but most consumers wish it was reduced down to 2hrs. The opportunity to provide a quick answer to customers’ requests has become a key business model pillar for many startups (take TokyWoky and its click-to-community service for example).
  4. Useful: The answer must provide the user with actual added value: it should be an action undertaken following the comment or a commitment for the future
  5. Generous: More than just being useful, an answer to a negative comment can also come with a compensation to support customer loyalty. For an even stronger positive impact, proactivity is key: following flight delay or cancellation, Air France contacts each of its affected passengers within 4 days to offer compensations in Miles. Another best practice could be to ask the user directly what type of compensation they would value.
  6. The right channel: the more exclusive and the more direct the better: 51% of users are satisfied when called back; 49% when chatting with a customer service officer and only 38% with an email or a phone call.
  7. Do I really benefit from it?

A deep dive into customers’ verbatims is also an opportunity for brands. It is als an opportunity of multiple qualification:

  • Customer qualification: by studying verbatims, it is possible to better know a customer from its identity basics (age; location; etc.) to its interests (its communities, likes & dislikes) and expectations (worries and feelings).
  • Offers and relationship qualification: it gives qualitative insights to measure the gap between the brand promise and what customers think of it, and to measure the customers’ engagement.
  • Competition qualification: to get to know your competitors better, their perceived image, the customer experience they provide to their customers, and how they drive loyalty.

All in all, it is a way to improve a brand’s products and services and to work on what makes it unique.

It is finally a way to create value. Showing customers that they are cared for and that their opinion is being listened to is a proven successful business lever for many brands:

  • British Airways purchase intent amongst customers who complained online and were contacted back is 20 points higher than the average.
  • For a French travel agency, the actual loyalty rate is 24pts higher than the average
  • Each time a crew member on Air France shows some proactive special attention to a customer need (“Do you want some extra blanket?”), its Net Promoter Score increases.
  • A survey conducted by Phocuswright and TripAdvisor for a global hospitality brand shows that a 10-point increase on a TripAdvisor score leads to a booking increase by almost 9%.

Now that it is clear how important customer satisfaction is, it is key to define the right strategy to boost customer experience, and to monitor its success: choose the right tools, the right indicator, and the right measurement method! And because customers are more and more demanding on standards, it is key to review all new technology opportunities that enable a quick and personalized interaction with them (think of bots and how to make them more and more “human”).

3. Do I really benefit from it?

A deep dive into customers’ verbatims is also an opportunity for brands. It is als an opportunity of multiple qualification:

  • Customer qualification: by studying verbatims, it is possible to better know a customer from its identity basics (age; location; etc.) to its interests (its communities, likes & dislikes) and expectations (worries and feelings).
  • Offers and relationship qualification: it gives qualitative insights to measure the gap between the brand promise and what customers think of it, and to measure the customers’ engagement.
  • Competition qualification: to get to know your competitors better, their perceived image, the customer experience they provide to their customers, and how they drive loyalty.

All in all, it is a way to improve a brand’s products and services and to work on what makes it unique.

It is finally a way to create value. Showing customers that they are cared for and that their opinion is being listened to is a proven successful business lever for many brands:

  • British Airways purchase intent amongst customers who complained online and were contacted back is 20 points higher than the average.
  • For a French travel agency, the actual loyalty rate is 24pts higher than the average
  • Each time a crew member on Air France shows some proactive special attention to a customer need (“Do you want some extra blanket?”), its Net Promoter Score increases.
  • A survey conducted by Phocuswright and TripAdvisor for a global hospitality brand shows that a 10-point increase on a TripAdvisor score leads to a booking increase by almost 9%.

Now that it is clear how important customer satisfaction is, it is key to define the right strategy to boost customer experience, and to monitor its success: choose the right tools, the right indicator, and the right measurement method! And because customers are more and more demanding on standards, it is key to review all new technology opportunities that enable a quick and personalized interaction with them (think of bots and how to make them more and more “human”).

In the meantime, here is one extra tip: should you have 100 € to spend in customer satisfaction management, make sure you dedicate 30% in collecting the data and 70% in taking action, and not the other way around.


(*) Bain & Company, 2005

2015 ‘Custom Survey Research Engagement’ étude conduite par Phocuswright pour TripAdvisor.

2014 ‘Marché des consommateurs volatiles’, Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey

Blog : Sensduclient.com, 2016 : Relation client online : l’excellence à la hausse


Avatar de Claire Paquereau
Claire Paquereau

Diplômée d’un Master en Management International à L’IAE de Lyon, Claire est consultante en Marketing Digital au sein d’Equancy depuis près de deux ans. Après des stages dans le monde de l’annonceur chez Accor España, et des agences au sein de TBWA\ Corporate, Claire a finalisé ses études à L’Australian School of Business, Sydney. C’est par envie d’enrichir ses connaissances marketing, surtout digital qu’elle postule au cabinet de conseil Equancy. Elle accompagne aujourd’hui Nissan Europe dans ses problématiques de mesure de performance, d’optimisation de user journey et de lancement de véhicules compactes.

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