Regardless of your business or industry, ensuring customer satisfaction and building customer loyalty are key factors to success. Too often we rely on customers’ complaints before taking action or we focus on the individual elements of our service or product, missing the overall level of satisfaction with the various elements that make up your offering. A proactive approach to ensuring overall satisfaction with your service or product is the creation and use of an early warning system.
Identify the Customer Touch Points
To begin the process you must first identify the areas where your business touches or affects the business of its customers. Be sure to select only those for which you have accurate measurements. This could include your ordering process, committed delivery time, quality of service or product delivered and accurate billing. Ward Trucking utilizes Missed Pickups, Late Deliveries, Cargo Claims and Invoicing Accuracy which includes application of correct rates and bill to location for the early warning system we call the Defection Index.
Some computer programming and database creation may be necessary to gather and display results in an easy to read and meaningful format. Decisions will have to be made on the scoring process. For example, if more than one defect occurs in a transaction such as a late delivery and a rating error do you count both? Once determined, defects are totaled and scored as a percentage of a customer’s transactions within a period of your choosing. Comparing the scores will reveal which customers may likely “defect” to another provider.
Perhaps the most important step is how a company responds to the Defection Index Data. Certainly those who provide or produce your company’s service or product should review and develop action steps to improve the score for at risk customers. The Sales team should also be involved to get ahead of issues and present action plans to customers in a pro-active rather than re-active fashion. By developing a Defection Index you will see a reduction of customer churn due to underlying performance issues you may not be aware of.