Granted, the drive-thru line was long, but Cynthia thought it would move pretty quickly. After almost 10 minutes of only moving up one spot, she drove away.
Benny was on hold, but the system didn’t tell him for how long. Then he looked at his watch; 5 minutes later he looked again. And 3 minutes later, he looked again. Then 2 minutes later, he hung up.
Jenny took her lunchbreak to go to the bank and get a few questions answered about her account. She got into the branch and stood in line. She stood, and she stood, and she stood. Eventually, she could not stay in there any longer. She was frustrated and had to get back to work. She turned and walked away.
Three different customers with three different needs – they were trying to get their needs addressed three different ways. And if each of the three companies did a customer satisfaction survey, they would never know why Cynthia or Benny or even Jenny left. Technically, they might not have information on those three customers, and none of their systems may even know those three people had a need. These customers left – maybe to never return.
The companies lost business that day and maybe customers for a lifetime, and they didn’t know why they walked away. They didn’t know why they hung up the phone or drove away.
This is the big problem with gauging customer satisfaction based on numbers of complaints or who visits your office the most. If we don’t find other ways to uncover what the customer experience is like other than surveys that occur after the transaction, then we could miss information on some of the most important customers – those who were so dissatisfied that they left before getting served.
Take a step back and look at your overall research strategy. Do you incorporate mystery shopping? Do you conduct annual surveys of customers gauging more broad-based perceptions? Do you conduct research such as focus groups with customers who don’t engage with you anymore or who have not renewed contracts or have closed accounts?
Make sure that your customer experience research provides the answer to the question: Why did they walk away?