Satisfied customers are the key to any business. Sure, it’s possible to stumble upon that rare business sector or idea with little marketplace competition or to raise funding through private equity or venture capital with a smooth presentation and some promising numbers. However, to truly build a long-term, viable business you ultimately need to send customers home happy after they’re done dealing with you. Especially if you want them to come back for a second round.
This isn’t just for altruistic reasons either: It’s significantly easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to sell to a new customer. It’s also cheaper to do repeat business with existing customers than to constantly be scrambling to find new customers to take the place of ones who will no longer buy from you.
How do you enhance customer satisfaction? Whether it’s gathering opinions from customers through measures like Customer Satisfaction Score or personalizing their online experience, here are six ways businesses can ensure that their customers feel well-served in this area.
Seek experience from those on the front line
If you’re running a business, you probably have a better picture of how things look from 50 miles up than anyone. In other words, you understand how every aspect of the business connects and what the totality of your operation looks like. But, especially if you’ve scaled to a certain size, you’re probably not the one dealing with customers on a daily basis. You know who does? Your customer agents. Seek their expertise to find some of the bottlenecks that exist in your customer journey so that you can fix them. Not only will this make their work lives easier, but it will provide you with a perspective you may not have encountered before.
Better yet: Give your agents the autonomy to resolve certain frequent customer issues themselves.
The result: More empowered employees, more satisfied customers, and an ear-to-the-ground to let you know how customers experience your business. On that note…
Train your agents
Everyone will, at some point in time, have had a customer service experience they’d consider to be exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. Sometimes, even a complaint can be turned around by dealing with an informed, polite, responsive agent. Similarly, a compliment about a particular product or service can be undermined if you pass the feedback to an employee who doesn’t seem to care a jot. Investing in proper customer service training for agents will work wonders when it comes
to successfully resolving queries in a way that will enhance a customer’s experience.
Respect your customers
This one is so obvious it barely needs stating… except for the fact that, time and again, businesses fail to take heed of just how important this is. Don’t take any customer – repeat or newcomer – for granted. Take concerns seriously and work to resolve them, not to view them as personal attacks you can safely ignore. Making your business a customer-centric one will pay dividends when it comes to customer satisfaction. And showing how seriously you take this will help ingrain the attitude in your business’ culture.
Embrace multiple channels
Imagine if the only way to get a question answered as a customer was to watch a VHS tape and then fax over your request. That may be an extreme example of outdated tech, but the message holds true: That customers don’t want to have to deal with inefficient ways of resolving queries. Providing support in the form of videos or online documentation and letting customers reach out via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger can help resolve issues more efficiently for both you and your customers.
Only make customers reach for the phone or draft long explanatory emails when you absolutely have to. There are myriad multimedia and social media options out there to help make people’s lives easier: use them to your advantage. Customers will thank you for it.
Personalize your offerings
In the digital age, every business with an online presence can engage in personalization. This is something that’s difficult to do at scale with physical retailers, but is more than possible through the power of big data. Today, companies gather a whole lot of information about their customers. But what they do with that data can make a world of difference. Sitting on that data benefits nobody.
On the other hand, using it to recommend products or services based on past purchases, or to utilizeloyalty programs and incentives, can lead to customers feeling like you’re offering them a bespoke service. Data can be used in all manner of interesting ways in this capacity. Select the right ones and businesses will reap the benefits.
Keep track of customer satisfaction
“How was your meal?” is a question you expect to be asked by a server at the end of a meal in a restaurant. That information could then be fed (not literally) back to the chef, who could use it to hone their service in the future.
But not every business carries out such direct feedback sourcing from customers. Why not, though? After all, in a world in which customer data is – as noted above – constantly gathered, it makes perfect sense that customer satisfaction should be one of the most important data points to collect.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a widely recognized (but not always implemented) measure of how satisfied customers are with a particular good or service they have received.
By using AI behavioural insights, it’s possible not just to collect this information, but also to pinpoint how certain behaviours affect CSAT. The results are an insight that can make all the difference to a business trying to improve customer satisfaction.