When customers are satisfied, they’re more likely to return to your business. They’re also more likely to tell others about their positive experience. It’s easy to see why customer satisfaction is one of the most important variables to consider in your business.
But what steps can you take to reliably and consistently boost customer satisfaction?
How to Measure Customer Satisfaction
Before we delve into strategies to boost customer satisfaction, we need to talk about measuring customer satisfaction. After all, how will you know whether your strategies worked if you don’t have metrics that track satisfaction in your customer base?
The easiest way to measure customer satisfaction is with a customer satisfaction score, or CSAT. With this approach, you’ll use surveys with a combination of numerical questions and opportunities for open-ended feedback to get a snapshot for customer satisfaction. If you track satisfaction consistently, you can determine whether your tactics are working.
How to Boost Customer Satisfaction
Try using these strategies to improve customer satisfaction in your business:
- Under promise and over deliver. One of the most commonly touted expressions in business is to “under promise and over deliver.” But what does this really mean? The idea is to set customer expectations lower than usual, and then exceed when you deliver on those promises. The result is that you’re always exceeding customer expectations, which will make them think more highly of you. Consider setting more conservative expectations when it comes to pricing, deadlines, and even product quality; that way, your customers are always pleasantly surprised.
- Improve product quality. Speaking of product quality, consider improving it. This is the true heart of customer satisfaction; if customers are happy with your products and services, little else will deter them from purchasing from you. Make sure you’re giving customers the best quality you can.
- Provide multichannel customer support. Inevitably, your customers will seek support—whether it’s to answer a simple question or get a refund on a defective product. Different customers have different needs and expectations when it comes to customer service, so the best approach is to offer multichannel support. Make yourself available via email, phone, social media, and other channels.
- Allow self-service. Roughly 40 percent of customers prefer self-service over human-based service, so make sure you appeal to them. Provide detailed information that customers can use to solve their own issues and make it easy to find.
- Offer proactive customer service. Get ahead of issues by offering proactive customer service. For example, you can follow-up with a customer who made a recent purchase and ask them if everything went as expected. This shows that you care and can help you take care of potential problems before they fester and become worse.
- Improve employee training. Your employees will be interacting with customers on a daily basis, whether they’re on the sales team or the customer support team. Providing better training to them can help you in a number of ways. For example, better-trained employees are more knowledgeable about your products and services and will be more competent when providing help. It’s also important to educate them on best practices for serving customers.
- Read customer reviews and take action. Spend time reading customer reviews, whether they’re positive or negative, and take action on them. Sometimes, this means responding to a review directly; for example, if a customer complains that they aren’t satisfied with a purchase, reach out to them and see if you can make it right. Other times, it means drawing conclusions about your approach and tinkering with it. Can you learn from these reviews and improve your business because of them?
- Decrease customer annoyance. Small annoyances add up, so try to get rid of them for your customers. Things like long wait times, delayed shipments, and aggravating conversations with a customer service agent can turn customers away from your brand—sometimes permanently. Try to make your customers’ lives as convenient as possible.
- Get active on social media. Make sure your brand has an active social media presence. It can make it clear that your brand cares for its audience and can serve as a reliable channel for getting questions answered.
- Provide pleasant surprises. Customers love getting pleasant surprises. That could mean getting a product a week earlier than expected or receiving a thank-you gift in the mail. Take the time to occasionally go above and beyond your normal business functions to impress your customers. They’ll be grateful for it.
Higher customer satisfaction will lead to a variety of positive outcomes in your business, including more revenue from more customer purchases, a greater number of new customers due to recommendations, and better brand-consumer relationships overall. Learn from the experience and continue optimizing your approach.