Although there are a lot of factors that play into customer satisfaction, there is one simple thing your janitorial teams should start doing today.
Cultivating a loyal customer takes time and energy, but the effort is well worth it. According to the Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer can cost from five to 25 times more than retaining current customers. If you’re consistently losing 25 percent of your customers every year, think of how much your company is spending just to stay the same size.
However, there is hope! According to Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, if you increase your customer retention rate by 5 percent, you can increase profitability by 25 to 95 percent! If you want your janitorial business to survive and thrive, your team needs to strike a balance between the costs of bringing in new customers and retaining them.
In today’s article, we return to the basics: We are going to look at what customer satisfaction is, then talk about how you can influence your customer’s satisfaction levels, and finally, we are going to explore how your team can help.
What Is Customer Satisfaction?
Customers aren’t often forthcoming about their concerns. According to 1st Financial Training Services, which trains bank employees in customer service, 96 percent of unhappy customers leave a financial institution without voicing a complaint and 91 percent of those customers never come back. The bottom line is, in any industry, a lack of negative feedback does not automatically mean your customers are satisfied.
The first step in influencing customer satisfaction is understanding what contributes to a satisfied customer. According to the Kano Model, the customer’s emotional reaction (i.e., the customer’s satisfaction) directly ties to your janitorial business’ service offering and delivery. Each of your service offerings, the Kano Model says, can fall into at least one of these categories:
- Performance: As you might expect, the customer’s satisfaction is directly tied to the types of services they’re getting and the delivery of these services. For example, if your team can perform more specialized cleaning work, the customer’s satisfaction will increase.
- Must-Be: From your customer’s point of view, if something gets routinely missed during cleaning, the customer wouldn’t just be dissatisfied; over time, they would become furious. Such issues demonstrate why quality control software is important to any cleaning business.
- Attractive: Attractive features are usually rated on a scale and are often noticed by the customer when they experience something beyond what they know. A small but familiar example could be when the housekeeping team leaves a chocolate treat on your pillow after making your bed.
- Indifferent: Just as there are attractive features, there are some offerings in our service delivery that the customer doesn’t care about one way or the other. Use customer surveys to identify these portions of your service so you don’t waste time and money developing them further.
Managing customer satisfaction would be a lot easier if you could directly control your customers’ emotional reactions to your team’s service offering. However, customer satisfaction is only something we can indirectly influence.
Influencing Customer Satisfaction
If only four percent of customers give you an opportunity to fix problems before they leave, how do you spot and fix problems early? Just talking to your customers may inspire you to find simple answers to complex problems. As janitorial managers and business owners, it is important that you ask the people you serve for feedback.
Talking to customers, whether verbally or through texts or emails, may feel hard and overwhelming. But, without communication, how will you:
- Know if each customer is really satisfied with your service offering?
- Discover what your customers really care about?
- Offer additional cleaning services based on your current customers’ needs?
The good news is, your customers generally like to share their opinions when asked. The bad news is, customers often have trouble getting their feedback to individuals who can make changes. Work with your team to determine the best way for your customers and their patrons to interact with you directly. Such interactions will help your team channel the information to the right people within your organization.
Engaging Your Team in Customer Satisfaction
Before you reach out, think about what kind of feedback you are ready to hear and act on. Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” But if your team isn’t ready to receive and act on a whole spectrum of feedback, now may not be the right time to start.
However, if now is the right time to get started, keep your interactions simple and sincere. An easy way to do that is to think of yourself as a friend checking on another friend. Just like a “normal” friendship, eventually your customers are going to want to share their experiences. Although this feedback can be hard to hear at times, think about all the things you can learn, improve and change for your customers!