Nowadays, in the era of social media, a company no longer has the right to make mistakes in their customer relationship management. When you don’t take into account a customer’s remark or complaint, you do not only take the risk of losing him or her, but also losing lots of others. Companies are aware that the sustainable development of their business depends on their ability to satisfy their customers. However, not all of them are listening to their customers’ satisfaction, even though this approach has many advantages.
Why measure customer satisfaction
In a schematic way, measuring customer satisfaction consists in offering to customers products and services that meet their needs, expectations, level of requirements. But it goes further than that as it also enables to:
- Reduce the direct and indirect costs related to dissatisfaction: the gains generated through the definition and implementation of remedial and preventive actions fully justify the time invested in implementing such an approach.
- Respond to the difficulties of attracting new customers: revenue growth is based on acquisition of new customers, but also on customer retention and loyalty. Of course, a satisfied customer is not automatically a loyal customer, but there is a greater chance that they will stay with you or agree to entrust you with other activities if they are happy.
- Enhance the company’s image: by placing the satisfaction’s measurement at the heart of the quality management system and defining tailor-made actions with customers, companies can reduce the sources of dissatisfaction. It will hence decrease the number of potential detractors while allowing the business to give itself the keys to increase the number of promoters.
- Boost the efficiency of the continuous improvement system: constantly improving by taking into accounts the needs and opinions of its customers.
- Make customer relationship better: the needs and expectations of customers are sometimes very different from what the company initially perceived. The analysis of the results of a survey can therefore help to reassess and adjust the commercial offer.
- Mobilize the internal staff around neutral and representative figures that justify the strategic decisions made.
Limits of a customer satisfaction survey
A customer satisfaction survey has its limits indeed.
- Surveys can be misunderstood by customers: even the most loyal customer does not want to be inundated with regular customer satisfaction surveys.
- The real meaning of the questionnaire can be misdirected leading to non-exploitable results,
- The targets can be misidentified: by having the wrong interlocutor in charge of answering the survey, the results obtained can be contrary to the real satisfaction of the customer. It is therefore imperative that the person in charge of replying to the questionnaire is the person concerned by the various themes of the questionnaire, i. e. a person close to the field, and/or a person in close collaboration with a decision maker in the context of contract renewal.
- The results can be “rigged”: it would be very easy to rule out bad respondents in order to increase the results, which, as part of a continuous improvement process, would have no interest.
The customer satisfaction survey is therefore a very good tool to help companies respond to the dual problem of “winning AND retaining profitable customers”. And it also helps evaluate the performance of their quality management system, on condition that the results of the perceived quality level (customer satisfaction) are compared with the designed quality level. For service companies, high satisfaction and good quality of service are the only equation that can build customer loyalty.
Customer satisfaction survey and the Contract Logistics Line of Business of GEODIS
GEODIS has been committed for years to satisfying all of its stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders and society in the broad sense) within the whole group and its Lines of Business. Each year, a customer satisfaction survey, via a questionnaire adapted to each of the Group’s business lines, makes it possible to measure this data.
For more than 10 years now, GEODIS Contract Logistics has placed the customer survey at the heart of its organization and has used the results as a strategic sales and operational tool. The results are internally shared every year from top management to the sites and also with the concerned customers. The survey is the object of all our attention and it is perceived as a management tool on its own in order to:
- Mobilize our teams around targeted and personalized operational issues for each of our clients,
- Improve areas of dissatisfaction and capitalize on our strengths,
- Define specific action plans with our customers,
- Manage our teams over the long term by analyzing the effectiveness of the implemented actions,
- Develop collaboration between our sales and operational teams,
- Improve the quality of our services,
- Reinforce the quality approach promoted by our General Management,
- Strengthen intimacy with our customers,
- Compare ourselves with the competition.
The results of our latest survey allow us to proudly display a score of 91% of satisfied customers (overall performance for GEODIS Contract Logistics Line of Business).