October 30, 2017

Do your customers send you holiday cards?

If your customers are happy, how would you know?

In today’s competitive world, it would seem that the best metric of success is happy customers.  Happy customers will buy your products and services, share their happiness by endorsing your company to their friends and family and financially support your business through investment crowdfunding.

Are your customers happy? What is happiness?  We are not talking about getting a rating of ‘satisfied’, ‘acceptable’, or ‘meets needs’ on a survey form.  We are talking about someone who is overjoyed and thankful that your company exists.

What would make a customer so happy?  What combination of features, customer service, delivery/handling and price would make your customers ecstatic?

Who would know?  Is this someone on your team: the founder, a VP of Marketing or Business Development or a sales person?  Or, is the person someone else: the customer, an association of customers, an industry expert, a community leader, or a psychologist?  Or, is the task of determining happiness so hard that it is a job for a police detective, a news reporter or a psychic? 

Every business should have a system for determining if their customers are happy.  This system should be integrated into every operation of the business.  Every employee should consider the happiness of their customers a primary goal and the determination of their happiness part of their responsibility.

Systems for determining happiness levels will be a combination of intentional listening, proactive feedback and creative forms of engagement.  One of the elements of customer happiness is the belief that they are heard and respected.

If understanding and meeting the needs of a customer is not magic, then why are there so many unhappy customers?  How do ordinary people become disgusted, disgruntled or angry with a product or service that they have been sold?

Many businesses do not know the names of their customers, let alone their preferences.  A relationship with a customer may amount to no more than processing a credit card online.  Without a relationship, customers are not loyal and business decisions may occur in a vacuum with bad results.

So, are you maintaining a customer happiness monitoring system?  Can you predict if your customers  will give you six gold stars on an Amazon five star scale and send you a holiday card?  Or, start shopping somewhere else?

Karl Dakin is principal with Dakin Capital Services LLC. Reach him at kdakin@dakincapital.com.

If your customers are happy, how would you know?

In today’s competitive world, it would seem that the best metric of success is happy customers.  Happy customers will buy your products and services, share their happiness by endorsing your company to their friends and family and financially support your business through investment crowdfunding.

Are your customers happy? What is happiness?  We are not talking about getting a rating of ‘satisfied’, ‘acceptable’, or ‘meets needs’ on a survey form.  We are talking about someone who is overjoyed and thankful that your company exists.

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