The Importance of Customer Satisfaction

What do your customers think about the products or services you sell? How satisfied are they with a recen event you hosted or the interaction they had with one of your employees?

As Paul Conforti, CEO of Boston-based Final Desserterie, puts it, “In the game of business, sales and profit are how we keep score. But the game itself is all about customer satisfaction. Small-business owners need to be able to measure customer satisfaction to truly understand how well they’re playing the game.”

There are many ways to gauge the satisfaction of your customers including phone surveys, focus groups, feedback forms and on-line surveys. Today there are many online tools which make collecting data quite simple including Survey Monkey, Formstack, Constant Contact and Mailchimp. Even WordPress has loads of plug ins.

Recently the Polaris Centre contracted market research firm McGregor Tan to contact 120 of our clients to participate in a customer satisfaction survey.

Key survey findings included:

  • A high degree of satisfaction with our services.
  • 95% of respondents would refer other businesses to Polaris.
  • The proportion of businesses that applied the advice they received from Polaris ranged from 97% (for those involved in the mentoring program) through to 87% (for general business advice)
  • The proportion of firms accessing Polaris Centre services are more confident about their future prospects than the general business community (68% confident compared to 50%) and less concerned about their future prospects (15% compared to 26%)
  • The most common way businesses found out about the Polaris Centre was word of mouth (32%) followed by online (26%).

But it’s not just about collecting the data, its taking the time to understand it to identify new opportunities or areas for improvement. For the Polaris Centre suggested areas for improvement including being proactive in following up clients, better understanding individual customer needs, improving the relevance of our networking events, be more targeted in our communication and marketing more widely. These are issues that we will seek to address.

Do you have any great tips for measuring the satisfaction of your customers or stories of new business opportunities that have emerged through better understanding your customers’ needs?

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