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What Is Customer Satisfaction?

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One of my favorite thing about shopping at Trader Joe's -- besides the vegan cookie butter sold there -- is its generous return policy:

Customers can return any product if they're not happy with it -- even if it's already been opened and consumed.

Talk about customer satisfaction.

This policy is no doubt an expensive one for Trader Joe's, but customer satisfaction programs like these pay off for businesses -- and end up earning them more revenue.

I tell all of my friends and family about this policy because I'm so wowed by it, and now, I'm sharing it with everyone reading this blog post. In fact, I started shopping at Trader Joe's after hearing about the store's policy and affordable prices, and the business didn't have to spend any marketing or sales dollars to get me into the door. 

Customer satisfaction is a critical concept for customer success professionals to understand and live by, and it's actually about more than a money-back guarantee. In this post, we'll start discussing customer satisfaction: what it is, and why it's important for your business to start measuring.

What Is Customer Satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction is a measurement used to quantify the degree to which a customer is happy with a product, service, or experience.

When it comes down to it, customer satisfaction is a reflection of how a customer feels about interacting with your brand. And businesses and brands quantify this positive or negative feeling primarily using surveys.

You might have heard of some of these surveys -- like the Net Promoter Score survey, or the five-point Likert scale. These responses can give you an idea of your average level of customer satisfaction -- along with a picture of customer loyalty, which predicts the likelihood of customer referrals.

Remember -- customer referrals like the one Trader Joe's got when I first walked into the store.

Why Is Customer Satisfaction Important?

If you don't measure customer satisfaction, you can't identify unsatisfied customers. You can't analyze their feedback, make changes to your product or service to make them happy, and you can't predict or prevent customer churn.

And most importantly, if you don't measure customer satisfaction, you can't identify your happy customers who are finding success with your product or service. And if you aren't prioritizing customer success, odds are, your company isn't growing -- at least, that's what we found in a survey of nearly 1,000 business leaders across industries.

Growing companies prioritize customer success, and a key way to identify and activate successful customers is to request customer feedback to identify your satisfied customers.

These customers are the ones who will shout your praises to their friends and family, and they'll refer new customers -- growing your business faster than sales and marketing, at no cost of customer acquisition.

Not only is it cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one, but repeat customers spend more, and so do referred customers.

So, there you have it. Customer satisfaction is important because it helps you solve problems, prevent churn, and identify happy customers that can become your advocates and evangelists.

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