Our blog this week is guest written by Ashley Lipman. Ashley is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on topics closest to her heart - all things digital. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.
Customer satisfaction defines how content people using your products and services are. It affects their ratings and referrals to friends and family.
So, it's your job as a business owner to keep them satisfied. Meeting and exceeding expectations creates a happy, loyal customer network that will make your business flourish.
Let's take a look at customer satisfaction basics and how you can make your business one that brings them joy.
Measuring Customer Satisfaction
If you run a big company with hundreds of customers, conducting a survey is the best way to gauge people's satisfaction.
Satisfaction Surveys 101
You'll often use a numerical scale with 1-10 scores, indicating (dis)satisfaction with your service.
Since most companies achieve an average of 7-9, you should acknowledge a grade of eight as the midpoint, not five. Most people won't do business with a company that scores below seven on the scale.
Another thing to remember is not to consider your scores in isolation, but concerning your direct competitors. There's also a factor of high-quality services out of your purview, which also informs how customers judge your business.
In a nutshell, always put the scores in context.
While the scores themselves speak volumes, you could take advantage of the survey even more.
Ask the respondents whether they'd recommend your business. If possible, learn which aspects of your service satisfy customers and which failings discourage them from using it.
Once you gather your data, try to work on it in-company. Take internal measures to improve the aspects that represented issues in the past survey. Check your progress in the next (semi)annual survey.
Communication Is an Essential Factor
Reports show that many customers stopped doing business with a company after a poor customer service experience. Apart from the concrete areas of improvement you discovered, you should review your customer support quality.
It's a full-proof way to ensure satisfaction and generate loyalty, and it's not challenging.
Customers want to feel known and supported in a world packed with companies battling for their attention.
Making a real effort to help, thanking people, maintaining transparency, integrity, and honesty - we'd ask for all these from our friends, so why not companies?
Actionable Customer Support Improvement Strategies
Happy customers are the best advocates for a company. A lot of that happiness comes from feeling like your business's focal point is them, not the profit they bring you.
Here are ways your customer support can reflect a focus on the person, not the sale.
Omnichannel support is a simple strategy that caters to people's desire for convenience. Open many conversation lines, including social media, email, phone, and live chat to engage with your customers in a way that suits them.
Plus, listing numerous communication channels on your website gives you an air of credibility.
People are impatient. In general, they'll leave your website or stop trying to call you if you don't tackle their concerns quickly.
The most straightforward way to address this issue is through live chat or a 24/7 call center. However, if you delegate various issue types to different agents, this might not be enough.
Ideally, you'll also build an ACD strategy, ensuring that the customers get connected to the best resource to handle their issues in no time.
Your staff should be polite at all times. Some approaches that leave a good impression on the caller include:
- Positive phrases. Instead of focusing on the problem's negatives, your staff should reassure them. For example, don't say 'you won't be able to use your PC anymore,' but 'it looks like it's time to treat yourself with a replacement.'
- Gratitude. Always thank the customer. Even if they called to complain, appreciate them for taking the time to contact you and note that their feedback matters to your business.
- Honesty. While your staff might want to make promises to maintain positivity, setting expectations that you can't meet breaks customer trust and loyalty.
If you see poor feedback and nasty comments, your emotional instinct is likely to ignore them. However, reviews help potential customers assess your service, and seeing that you responded and acted on them helps reduce their negative impact.
Turn complaints into opportunities to fix your service issues and proactively respond to the comment, no matter how rude it might seem.
Don't get discouraged if your survey results show a lower score than you expected. There's nothing in the world that wouldn't benefit from some improvement, and by starting off measuring their satisfaction, you’re on the right track.
Focus on communication with your clients, and couple this with actionable strategies. Your customers will feel welcome, cared for, and appreciated. In practical terms, it'll help you build loyalty and grow levels of satisfaction.
If you'd like to discuss any of the business improvement opportunities mentioned here, get in touch with us anytime for a chat!