Pre Attrition Check Ins Can Keep Your Company Healthy
Ask any business owner if they’d like to grow their customer base, and you can bet they will answer with a resounding yes. Increasing revenues is always a good thing. But . . . Not if it comes at the expense of losing existing customers. The reality is, it costs much less to retain a customer than to gain a new one. So says MacGuard Security Advisors – the trusted electronic security experts that specialize in working with electronic security companies to assess business operations, review short- and long-term business initiatives, and provide blueprints for long-term success.
Attrition is always a hot-button issue.
No business wants to lose customers to their competitors. In a recent ESX presentation, “Pre-Attrition Indicators you Need to Know to Reduce Customer Erosion,” MacGuard Security Advisors delivered solid advice and solutions on how to hold onto customers and continually meet their expectations. MacGuard has developed a survey and process for its systems integration company clients that has had amazing results in addressing attrition. Their targeted Customer Satisfaction Surveys go right to the source – their client’s end users. The surveys gather detailed customer feedback that can be used to improve the overall customer experience – from the products and services a company offers to the business processes that work toward supporting customer satisfaction and maintaining customer loyalty. The results of their surveys are quantified and qualified to provide actionable plans that speak directly to addressing the concerns voiced by participants.
Led by Kirk MacDowell, President and Founder, MacGuard Security Advisors and Deb Moretti, Senior Advisor, Customer Experience, for MacGuard Security Advisors, the presentation covered several key tools companies can leverage to reduce customer erosion. MacDowell and Moretti bring a broad arsenal of industry insights and knowledge. With over 40 years of security industry experience, MacDowell also remains active in many associations serving on numerous industry and private company boards. He was the Past Board of Director of the Security Industry Association (SIA) and The Monitoring Association (TMA), past Chairman of AIREF (Alarm Industry Research & Education Foundation), and past president of the Los Angeles County Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (LABFAA). He currently serves as the Chairman of the Security Industry Alarm Collation (SIAC), and Chair of ESA’s Leadership Identification and Nominating Committee (LINC). Moretti, a 25-year security industry veteran, served as the former Director of Customer Experience with Guardian Protection and now dedicates her diverse experience, which also includes Sales, Operations and Administration, to providing customized Customer Experience programs for MacGuard clients.
The info and insights that Customer Satisfaction Surveys can uncover deliver many key benefits to a company. They provide valuable feedback, determine areas that need improvement, identify trends, and enable the company to better understand their customers, maintain their loyalty and deliver to them the best possible customer experience. A common point of dissatisfaction for customers is that they would welcome more ongoing communication from their integration partner on new products and technologies. Not responding to that area of concern, for example, can result in that customer looking to another integrator to provide that service to them. A Customer Satisfaction survey can easily relay that insight to the company so they can respond to that customer need and keep them on their client roster.
Well-conducted Customer Satisfaction Surveys can deliver telling results, based on various scores. MacGuard terms these the Net Promoter Score (NPS), the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and the Likelihood to Stay Score™ (LTS Score™).
Here’s what they pertain to – NPS – On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends or colleagues? The CSAT score determines the level of customer satisfaction across the entire company, as it peels back the onion in each department (Sales, Installation, Service, Communication, Billing, Customer Service, Central Station, Website, Mobile App, etc.). MacGuard surveys look at all areas of the business and find golden nuggets and opportunities for improvement. The Likelihood to Stay Score (LTS), which MacGuard has trademarked, is a pre-attrition metric designed to help their clients understand their customers’ propensity to cancel so they can avoid that.
There are two key types of surveys that MacGuard recommends to get a complete picture – Transactional surveys and Relational surveys. By definition, a Transactional Survey is a survey that captures customer feedback after a specific interaction, referred to as a “touchpoint”. It is meant to measure customer satisfaction with specific touchpoints, and is not meant to measure overall satisfaction. Relational survey models are research models that aim at defining the degree or existence of change between two or more variables.
As MacDowell points out, “A transactional survey basically looks at a single event in time, such as ‘How was the service call yesterday?’ So if the client gets positive feedback on that one interaction, that would lead them to think their company is doing really well, which may be the case, but they could have had a great day on Monday and a terrible one on Friday, so you need to do an annual review – a relational survey, which relates to the overall journey the customer has taken to evaluate how the customer’s overall experience with the company was. Those responses may not be as positive.”
The focus of those relational surveys that spans the entire relationship duration between the customer base and the integrator details overall how the customer views what the integrator has done for them and delivers a lot of feedback that’s valuable to clients. With regard to transactional surveys, it’s important to act on that feedback, as well, or it’s worthless. It’s essential that the company has a plan in place where that info is given to the right person to handle that customer’s specific area of dissatisfaction.
While the words “transactional” and “relational” and the acronyms for the score results – NPS, CSAT and LTS – may seem complex, the objectives are really quite simple and provide a clear path for companies to actively retain their customers.
As MacDowell points out, “You don’t know what you don’t know until you ask the pointed questions. The surveys receive a lot of honest feedback and constructive criticism that companies can look at, so they know the areas they need to improve upon.”
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY RESULTS:
- Established Customer Experience metrics for Net Promoter Score® (NPS ®), Overall Customer Satisfaction and Customer Satisfaction by Touchpoint (CSAT), and Likelihood to Stay Score™ (LTS Score™)
- Identification of the most important steps to your customer journey, with pinpoint focus on which touchpoints are causing customer frustration
- A roadmap of what steps to attack, and in what order
- A clear picture of where to invest strategic resources, both human and financial
- A reduction in customer attrition due to high satisfaction, decreasing your total acquisition cost
Security integration companies that have hit the 500 mark of monitoring account customers or more can especially benefit from these Customer Satisfaction surveys, Moretti says. “It’s a perfectly sized security company to do a survey, because if you are a growing company, you want to see how you’ve evolved the business to that point and let your customers tell you how they’re feeling and then react to them and those results.” For smaller growth companies, MacDowell recommends doing a satisfaction survey with customers to glean important feedback that can keep them on a steady growth path. Client companies have the assurance of confidentiality, as this is a collaborative effort with clients and MacGuard works with an NDA.
Another important takeaway of the “Pre-Attrition Indicators You Need to Know to Reduce Customer Erosion” presentation is that to be most beneficial, surveys, both transactional and relational, should be repetitive so that key findings can be uncovered and responded to.
“Companies should be prepared to not just do well in their customer satisfaction scores one time, but rather to make that an ongoing goal to continually meet their customers’ expectations.”
Gaining new customers is a top priority for security integration companies. But it’s critically important to remember that in order for your security business to thrive, your top priority should be focused on retaining customers. Attrition.