We’ve talked a lot about the major ways to survey your customers, how to create recognised scoring systems and how to build that all into a customer satisfaction strategy.
But one key part of that that we’ve only mentioned in passing so far is the customer lifecycle.
Throughout this guide, we’ve made mention of all the different touch point that you should be looking at in your company. That’s all great but it would be good to have a more complete list right?
Well, your wish is my command.
Of course, I can’t say that this list is 100% complete because I don’t know what your business is like.
But what I can do is say that with a good deal of oversight of what our customers do and from extensive research into customer satisfaction, that this list will cover 90% of your customer lifetime touchpoints.
Let’s dive right in!
The most obvious touch point in the customer lifecycle is after a purchase. Why? Well, it’s because until they purchase, they’re not really a customer, right?
But beyond being glib about it, it’s super important that you get a feel for how you’re doing in converting leads into customers. The reason for that is that unless you can convert the leads with a good deal of satisfaction, you’re going to give them the wrong first impression of your company.
And that’s going to cause a lot of churn in the long run if you can’t turn it around during the first go around their lifecycle.
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Post sale + 90
The second stage where you can have a big impact is 90 days after purchase of a service or product. During the first three months, a customer has generally either accomplished or failed at what they were trying to do when they bought your product.
That means that their customer satisfaction levels are going to have changed. Perhaps they will be better than when you first surveyed them. But if they have a bad experience, you’re going to want to know about it too.
Plus, staying in touch with customers is a great way to increase their value to your company and to increase the value you provide to them!
Maybe they’ve discovered they need more support or to buy additional products. A nudge at 90 days can have a big impact on their satisfaction and your bottom line!
You might not often review the support you have received from a company you’re a customer of… but a lot of people do. And there’s a lot to indicate that it’s super important to customer satisfaction overall.
For example, 93% of customers, according to HubSpot, are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service.
And woe to you who neglect the humble support request. It takes a customer 12 positive experiences to redeem one unresolved negative experience.
Asking customer satisfaction questions after resolution of a support request will yield very insightful results and is a metric you can improve on fast.
Perfect survey template for this stage? CES would be grand. Find out more here.
Post product update
This isn’t going to be something that’s available to everyone, but for companies that regularly update their products (e.g. software) asking a customer’s satisfaction levels can provide very meaningful insights.
As soon as a customer has experienced your product update, it is worth asking them how satisfied they are with the work that you’ve done. Specifically, you want to understand whether the updates you pushed have made a positive or negative impact onto their experience of the world. Has it made it easier? Has it made it more difficult?
There’s only one way to find out.
Post big changes in company
Perhaps a more interesting metric for many people to measure will be customer satisfaction when a big change in the company happens.
This could be a big news story which may have changed how some one sees the company and how satisfied they are, but it could also be a merger or a new CEO.
Measuring customer satisfaction at these key points in your business can do two really specific things:
- If the changes are unpopular, it gives you time to address that before churning too many customers
- If the changes are popular, it gives you metrics to talk with your team, investors and other customers about. That can have a catalytic effect for positivity in a tough time!
Maybe the smiley face survey could work here? Or an NPS would also be good in this scenario.
Complaints aren’t ever fun to receive but they do happen. And the worst strategy for dealing with complaints is to pretend that they aren’t happening.
Rather than that, address the complaint however you see fit and when the complaint has come to a resolution (i.e. you’re no longer needing to deal with it directly) then you can send out a customer satisfaction survey.
The benefit of doing this is similar to your support requests: measuring how effective your team (including you) are at dealing with complaints and understanding how you’ve done is a good way to understand how your customers feel in a more visceral way.
Again, no-one like churn but it’s going to happen to you. Most people experience a fairly high level of churn in their companies. It’s natural, but you should still be managing it.
Getting a customer back once they’ve churned is always going to be a little difficult. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be valuable to you still.
Understanding why a customer has churned will help you because you can make changes to reduce churn. That’s really important.
Harvard Business Review (HBR) says that it can be up to 25 times more expensive to invest in new customers than retaining existing ones.
Surveying post churn makes sense. It’s like a free way to learn how to save up to 25 times more money in future!