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Turn around declining customer satisfaction

By July 21, 2014January 16th, 2023No Comments

After converting leads into sales and closing on deals, companies need to make sure to keep up with their relationships with their customers. Failing to maintain contact with customers may lead to decreased satisfaction. As a key part of doing business, customer satisfaction determines whether companies are able to successfully grow revenue in the long run.

During the first quarter of 2014, customer satisfaction in major economic sectors actually decreased substantially to reach 76.2, down from 76.8 in the previous quarter, on a 100-point scale, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).The drop in the first quarter in the U.S. was the biggest in the ACSI’s history since the University of Michigan created the index and began recording customer satisfaction 20 years ago. Not only does customer satisfaction impact individual companies’ performance, poor satisfaction can actually bring down the entire economy. The ACSI noted consumer spending has slowed down, which could hamper economic growth.

According to the report, all five economic sectors monitored by the ACSI had decreases in customer satisfaction in the first quarter: information, transportation, food services and accommodation, health care and social assistance and power companies. Services such as subscription TV fell sharply with this particular service dropping 4.4 percent this quarter from a previous ACSI score of 68 in 2013.

“There may be more trouble ahead if the slide in customer satisfaction continues,” wrote ACSI Chairman Claes Fornell in the report. “Weaker demand could further threaten economic growth in the second quarter and beyond.”

With companies facing slowing demand for products and services, companies need to figure out how to use their sales resources to increase customer satisfaction.

Here are tips on improving customer relationships:

Encourage customers to ask questions. To enhance relationships with customers, businesses should engage with them by encouraging them to ask questions, according to the copywriting site Men with Pens. While the blog mentions content strategies, the same applies to sales in that sales staff need to be able to ask probing questions that give insight into customers’ problems.

Assign sales reps based on expertise. Companies need to know how to optimize their sales resources for effective sales performance management. Managers should consider assigning sales reps to territories or industries based on their specific subject matter expertise or qualified skills. Firms are better off matching their existing staff with clients who could benefit greatly from knowledge of their industry-related problems.

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Ballast Point Ventures is a later-stage venture capital fund established to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately owned companies in diverse industries, with a particular emphasis on companies located in Florida, the Southeast, and Texas. The BPV partners have more than 70 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in a number of industries, including healthcare, business services, communications, technology, financial services, and consumer goods. BPV has $200 million under management and seeks to make equity investments ranging from $3 million to $10 million.

Harbert Management Corporation

Harbert Management Corporation seeks to generate superior returns for their investors by identifying and investing in the most promising early growth stage companies in the Southeastern U.S. HMC seeks to capitalize on what it believes are compelling regional dynamics, such as a strong and fast-growing economy, significant research and development activities, and an established entrepreneurial community. The HMC team combines substantial investment, advisory, and operating experience with capital and networking contacts to support great entrepreneurial teams in successfully executing their growth plans. With offices in Birmingham, Alabama; Richmond, Virginia; and Gainesville, Florida, it’s well positioned to partner with entrepreneurs throughout the Southeast.

KBH Ventures

KBH Ventures was an early investor in Iconixx Software. KBH's investment philosophy plays a significant role in the firm's successful track record. KBH believes in running businesses to be cashflow positive and profitable every month. Startups and companies in a startup mode, such as one that has been purchased in distress, are expected to generate revenue within the first six months and reach profitability within the first 12 to 18 months. KBH also only invests in or acquires companies that are in the startup phase or have less than $20 million in revenues. KBH targets technology companies that offer business-to-business services.

S3 Ventures

S3 Ventures is an early expansion and growth stage venture firm with $200 million under management. It’s focused on information technology solutions that solve large business problems. S3 also invests in medical devices that improve the human condition. S3 invests in category-defining opportunities. It partners with the team and help focus methodically on what it takes to build a successful company. S3 today helps talented entrepreneurs take their technology and market knowledge and form valuable businesses in a repeatable fashion. Investment sizes start at several million or more for Series A, B, and C financing.