A loyal customer base is the cornerstone of any business. It’s so important that research conducted by the Technical Assistance Research Programs Inc. reveals that more than 12% of clients who receive unsatisfactory service spread the bad word to over 20 people.
On the other hand, those who are happy with the services they receive tell only 4 to 5 people on average about their experience. If these numbers don’t convince you that the success of your company lies with how your customers perceive you, I’m not entirely sure what will.
This article explores how to achieve customer satisfaction for your brand, as well as, the technology you can harness to do this. Read on to discover how you can take your business to new heights.
Criticism Is Always Constructive
While you may believe you’re running a tight ship when it comes to ensuring the quality of service delivery of your business is above board, receiving feedback to the contrary might be hard to digest.
Nevertheless, this is actually a good thing. After all, it’s all about keeping your customers happy right?
Feedback is not a curse. Listen to what they would like you to change about your business and see if it’s something you can tweak. If the same issue comes up from a couple of other customers then it’s definitely something you need to work on to improve your brand.
Having a website live chat is a great way to receive feedback in real-time.
Your Customer Needs to Know Their Feedback Matters
Communication is a 2-way street. It’s not enough for your customer to give feedback if they end up feeling like they’re talking to a brick wall. You need to assure them that you’ve heard their cries and are doing everything humanly possible to ensure that the anomaly won’t happen again.
This simple action could be the difference between your customer giving you another shot and vowing never to return again. On the flip side, response time is just as important.
Making your customer wait for an unreasonable period of time to receive feedback on a query is unacceptable. A simple acknowledgment of receipt will suffice.
The best way to do this is to incorporate an automated messaging system to let your customers know that you’ve received their query and are working to resolve it. It should issue a unique reference code for tracking purposes.
You’ll be surprised to learn that the majority of people value the promptness of the response than the actual quality. Consider hiring someone to help you manage your customers. It’s a win-win all around.
Add a Human Touch to Automated Emails
If you’ve ever dealt with a company that keeps referring you to their FAQ page in response to your email, then you better than anyone knows how incredibly frustrating this can be. Others go as far as directing you to refer to their company policy. It’s all quite ridiculous!
In the era of marketing automation, one must endeavor to add a human touch to customer interactions. While reading every email might be impossible, ensure that automated responses are built around certain trigger phrases that address your clients’ issues comprehensively.
Directing one to the FAQ page isn’t particularly a problem. Provided the link directs you to the section that addresses your issue.
It’s Always About the Customer Not the Issue
Imagine purchasing an appliance only to have to return it after a couple of days when it stops working. The worst thing that can happen is encountering a customer representative who passes the blame to you.
When running a business going the extra mile for your customer should be at the top of the list. If a product isn’t working as it should don’t insinuate that the customer is doing it wrong.
Apologize for the inconvenience and then proceed to find an amicable solution to the ordeal. This will not only leave them satisfied but, delighted at how well you treated them.
You’re more likely to get word-of-mouth referrals this way which are a lot more valuable than the cost of resolving the issue for your customer.
Using data analytics tools, you can log all the issues with products/services, analyze and monitor this data over a period of time to determine if there are specific products/services you’ll have to discontinue. This is especially important if it costs your brand its reputation in the long run.
Keep Your Employees Happy If You Want Your Customers Happy
Your employees are the first point of contact between your business and your clients. If they are happy working for you, it will be evident in the way they deal with your customers.
It is therefore important that you make sure your employees love your brand as much as you do. Create a positive organizational culture that makes them want to come into work every day and work overtime if they have to.
The last thing you want on your hands is a difficult employee who takes it out on your customers. Give them a sense of ownership in your business by nurturing them and having a fair reward system.
Empower them and make each one accountable. Quality-driven CAST software can help make employee management and accountability a breeze. A productive employee means a satisfied client.
Employee Training Is a Must
What comes naturally for one employee may not be the same for another. It’s therefore crucial that all your members of staff are read from the same page to ensure customer satisfaction.
Enroll them to customer oriented online courses that enlighten them if you hope to stay ahead of your competition. The beauty about it is that it offers flexible learning hours and is available all year round in case one needs to brush up on their skills.
It’ll empower them to overcome unknown obstacles that could be holding them back in their quest for success. You can also enroll yourself in a course that helps you develop your leadership skill set. Both your staff members and customers will appreciate it!
Get Passionate About Your Customers
If you want to know how to ensure customer satisfaction time and again, the CRM module is a great way to learn about your clients. Get to know their personal side. You can occasionally surprise them with a complimentary gift for their birthday, or a hand-written note congratulating them on a recent achievement you learn about.
A thank you note email template might impress them but a handwritten note you signed off on will leave a lasting impression. This is especially applicable when a sales representative personally arranged a sale.
Get to know them and log this information in the system for future reference. This is the best way to inspire brand loyalty.
Enhance Your Brand Awareness
Delightful customer service and great communication skills position you as an expert in the industry. Offering unique products and services is great an all but let’s face it; there’s nothing new under the sun.
It ultimately boils down to value addition. What do you offer in addition to the products/services you sell? If you run a Nutrition Supplements store, what would make you stand out from all the others within a 10-mile radius?
Perhaps you also have a website with health-related articles that touch on how different supplements can positively impact your lifestyle. Maybe you’ve partnered with the local fitness studio to offer your customers a discount on membership when they purchase your products.
Or, it could perhaps be the mobile app you developed to update customers on the special offers that keep them coming back for more. It could be all the different modes of online payment you offer for added convenience.
Finding a way to add something extra to your product offerings will certainly leave a positive mark on your customers.
How to Achieve Customer Satisfaction Using Metrics
Just like every other part of your business has metrics, the same applies to customer service. You need to set up some goals related to it, and KPIs you and your staff can deliver on. Some of these include:
- Customer Acquisition Cost: This measures customer service quality and overall customer satisfaction. To calculate it, divide all marketing expenses by the total number of new customers acquired during a particular period. Aim to keep this number low to remain on the right track.
- Customer Satisfaction Score: This measures if the products/services you offer provide customer satisfaction. It assesses the experience of a very specific interaction by answering the question: On a 5 point scale with 1 being “Very Unsatisfied” to 5 being “Very Satisfied”, how would you rate your experience in relation to… The higher the number, the happier your clients are.
Choosing comprehensive surveys will help you identify their pain points. You’ll also identify customers who love your product and could possibly send new ones your way.
Keep the questions short to make sure customers can get through the entire survey in less than 4 minutes. Tools like Net Promoter Score survey your customer base to reveal how likely they are to promote your brand to others.
Use Social Media to Track Customer Feedback
There are an estimated 2.77 billion users plugged into some form of social media channel. Leverage this resource for your brand by establishing support channels through which customers can engage with you.
Take it a notch higher by holding live Q&A sessions and video tutorials also enhance interaction. You can use social monitoring tools to keep track of brand mentions across social media, and, different websites rendering reviews, testimonials, and opinions about your products. Use this information to improve your customer experience.
The better you are at analyzing customer feedback and optimizing the channels through which it’s done, the more impressive your customers’ experience will be. This, in turn, translates to revenue and growth.
Did you enjoy reading about how to achieve customer satisfaction using technology? We’d love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime find out how social media changed the way we search.