Businesses should strive to provide high quality customer experience throughout customer lifecycle

Friday, April 13, 2012

Customer retention is a critical factor in determining a business's success or failure, as struggling to constantly replace customers can be a major drain on a company. One of the primary reasons why businesses tend to lose clients is because of customer service. According to a U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, 68 percent of consumers cited dissatisfaction with the way they were treated as their reason for abandoning a business.

To avoid succumbing to this statistic, Kerry Bodine, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, recommends organizations work to ensure a quality customer experience throughout the customer lifecycle, not solely at the beginning. The customer lifecycle includes every step of a consumer's experience with a company - evaluating a product or service, purchasing it, using it and seeking support in the event of a problem.

She compares this sequence to a dramatic arc, arguing that as a good film with a disappointing ending leaves the viewer dissatisfied, a client who has a disappointing experience with a company will harbor negative feelings and likely move on to another business.

By providing a consistently high level of customer care, businesses can improve customer satisfaction and retention.