In tough economic times, it is natural for businesses to shift gears from a focus on growth to a more pragmatic approach, focussed on consolidating past gains.
What can make that job harder, however, is that consumers are also dealing with hard times and may be re-evaluating their own brand and company alliances.
This means that businesses can't afford to drop the ball on customer retention and must continue to make a compelling case for their products and services.
This is illustrated in a recent survey by YouGov SixthSense, which reveals that many legal firms in the UK may be losing out because of a failure to keep track of consumer satisfaction.
Research published in the Legal Services 2013 report shows that, compared to two years ago, three per cent less Britons used a law firm or solicitor in the last three years.
Cost was also found to be an increasingly important factor when people were deciding between legal services providers, with the number saying it played a part in their decision rising to 77 per cent this year, compared to 71 per cent in 2011.
Despite these clear changes in consumer behaviour and preferences, only 20 per cent of those who had used law firms or solicitors within the last three years were asked to fill out customer satisfaction surveys.
YouGov SixthSense research director James McCoy said that tough economic conditions were changing what people look for when they need legal advice.
"That so few customer satisfaction surveys are taking place should concern traditional providers as they will be unaware that many of these issues exist," said Mr McCoy in an April 12 statement.
The Australian economy may not be stagnant, yet the effects of the GFC have still been felt in practically all sectors – and reflected in consumer behaviour.
Australian businesses need to be aware of the great value of satisfaction questionnaires in helping them understand and adapt to changing customer preferences.