Business cannot exist without customers. And they aren't going to support a company that treats them poorly. Studies show that 91 % of clients will simply leave without complaining and won't do business with such a company ever again. Customer satisfaction is therefore one of the most important aspects you need to focus on in order to retain old clients, as well as gain new ones. Especially today, when negative feedback spreads faster than ever.
We collected several tips on how you can improve customer satisfaction and ensure their loyalty.
Why Is Customer Satisfaction Important?
The definition of customer satisfaction has been changing for the past few decades. Nowadays, business owners define it as a measurement of how well a product or a service meets or surpasses customer’s expectations. Why is it so important?
Let's look at numbers. In the end, they never lie:
First, customer satisfaction directly affects your business revenue. Low quality service lowers retention. You should mostly focus on existing clients. According to Question Pro, around 65 % of companies' business revenue comes from them.
While the chance of selling to new customers is only about 5 to 20 %, In the case of loyal ones, it ranges from 60 to 70 %. Bain & Company's The Value of Online Customer Loyalty e-book claims that existing clients spend on average 67 % more than new clients. To add another interesting number, 76 % of respondents see a quality of customer service as a test of how much your company values them.
And we have some further stats for you - According to BizReport, up to 92 % of people trust recommendations from friends and family. McKinsey & Company claims that around 20 to 30 % increase in customer satisfaction can be achieved solely by using customer-first strategy.
How To Improve Customer Satisfaction
Businesses need to have clear strategies to improve their customer service. Let's discuss the 11 most important ones.
#1 Treat Every Customer Like a VIP
Modify the good old saying to suit a business world: Give customers the same excellent treatment you would like to receive yourself. How? Show them that they matter. Everyone loves recognition, especially when they pay for it.
First, make a genuine effort to help your customers as much as you can, with an emphasis on the word genuine. They need to feel that you do it from honest interest, not only because you have it in the job description. Therefore, assist clients in every way possible.
Also, always thank your customers for calling. A good way to incorporate this in your call center is to organize internal training with a simple role play in which call center agents can act out a few scenarios with various types of customers. Watch how they solve the situations and give them tips on what to improve.
#2 Personalize Your Customer Care
Automated messages save a lot of time, sure, but in today’s era of digitalization, personalized approaches are much more efficient. It is one of the best ways to improve customer satisfaction. For example, research by Experian Marketing Services found out that personalized emails have 29 % more open rates, 41 % higher click-through rates and deliver 6 times more transaction rate.
You may start with addressing the customer by their name. Use friendly and non-formal language when appropriate. You can also try remembering special occasions such as customers’ birthdays and give them personalized promotions or discounts.
If a client purchased your product, call them and make sure they don't need any help. This way, they will feel like you see them as people, not as numbers on a bank account.
#3 Listen to Customers
If you want to grant customers what they want, you first need to know now how they think. Understanding customers' psychology is crucial for meeting their needs. Granting them exactly what they expect gives them a feeling of specialized treatment and increases loyalty by 48 %.
By understanding customer behavior and emotion, you provide a higher level of intuitive support. Customers feel that they are listened to, valued and cared for. Also, knowing their expectations help you to tailor your products exactly towards their needs and boost your sales.
Another important point lies in actual active listening, for example during phone calls. If your agents fully focus on what customers want and read in between lines, not only does it eliminate misunderstandings, they can also recognize a bigger picture behind a specific issue.
#4 Be Honest
One of the biggest reasons for customer dissatisfaction is when a company lies to them. Be honest and keep your word. Don't promise what you cannot fulfill, since customers may think that you are either incompetent or lazy enough to check if a product is in stock, for example.
Also, don't promote only the positives. Show also cons. Forget making your product look like something it is not. That may result in acquiring new customers, but why bother if you lose them straight away. Only thing you gain this way is a bad reputation. No increase of revenue, no ROI, no profit.
#5 Be Proactive
The objective is to contact customers before they need to pick up the phone and contact you. For example, send them regular updates about the status of their order. This strategy can reduce inbound calls and improve customer satisfaction and agent efficiency.
Also, if you know there will be some issue, for example your website will have an outage and customers' won't be able to order, let them know beforehand. They may not be thrilled about it anyways, but it's still a better approach than receiving angry phone calls.
#6 Provide Omni-channel Support
How easily can your clients reach you? A common complaint of SaaS customers is that they cannot easily get in touch with company's support, mainly with a real person.
They won't be happy if they'll receive an answer within days after finally contacting you, since 64 % of customers expect to get real-time support. That is why you need to be where your clients are. A strong omni-channel experience can increase revenue by approximately 9,5 % year by year.
Allow customers to reach you via:
- Social media
- Live chat
Seamless transition between channels also prevents clients from repeating the same information to different contact center agents. If your customer comes with an issue on Facebook, don’t force them to make a phone call or write an email. They contacted you on social media because this is the most comfortable way for them to communicate.
#7 Don’t Underestimate Social Media
Another way to improve customer satisfaction is focusing on social media. Take the time and observe what people are saying about your business online. In today’s virtual age, word of mouth is incredibly important. Customers like to post and share their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your products or services.
This can have a direct impact on your business. People use their mobile phones around 150 times per day and turn to social media especially when they want to share a complaint. Take the opportunity and use social media to improve customer satisfaction. The reviews might inspire you to implement changes or innovations.
Also, if there is a post that requires an answer, do so quickly. Customers demand fast responses on social media - if they issue a complaint, 42 % of them expect a reaction within 60 minutes, while 32 % even within 30 minutes. So, make sure to answer negative feedback in a timely manner and try to offer a solution to fix the client’s problem.
A good tactic is to dedicate an employee or a whole team to focus solely on social media responses. It may increase customer advocacy by up to 25 %.
#8 Collect Customer Feedback
Call center statistics have shown that customer feedback is a great opportunity to improve customer satisfaction. Being aware of any issues is the first step towards resolving them. By truly acting upon the feedback, clients feel as if their contribution has been valued. That results in increased loyalty and lifetime value.
There are several phases of getting feedback you need to follow:
#1 Collecting phase: First, you have to collect the opinions of your customers as efficiently as possible. It can be done in various ways, for example by after-call surveys, social media polls, email follow-ups or various features, such as emotion analytics.
#2 Implementation phase: After you collect customers opinions' on what they like and dislike, it's time to act. Feedback is useless if not implemented accordingly. Look at the results and improve where you lack. For example, if customers periodically complain about your application's user interface, you may need to work on it.
#3 Follow-up phase: Only because you tailored your services by customers' feedback, it doesn't necessarily mean they will be satisfied with your implementation. Follow up with them and find out if they like your changes.
Lastly, make sure you share the feedback and changes through all departments, so your staff's knowledge is always up-to-date.
#9 Measure Customer Satisfaction Regularly
Measuring customer satisfaction on a regular basis is a must in the business world. You gain valuable insights into your customers needs, as well as the opportunity to optimize accordingly. By measuring frequently, you reduce the number of unsatisfied clients and prevent churn. But first, you need to choose the right metric.
Consider one of these:
- CSAT - Customer Satisfaction Score: It can be described as a survey that asks simple questions across different channels - live chat, email, phone etc. Example of such a survey question can be: “How were you satisfied with our services? Please, choose from the following options: very satisfied, satisfied, unsatisfied, very unsatisfied”. You can also use numbers, such as 1 to 10.
- NPS - Net Promoter Score: This metric measures the overall satisfaction by asking key questions, such as “How likely are you to recommend our service to your others?” Most commonly, it has a small number scale, for example from 1 to 10.
- CES - Customer Effort Score: It measures how much effort customers have to put into resolving their issue, or what is their experience with your product. It also uses a number scale.
#10 Reward Loyal Customers
As statistics show, keeping loyal customers is vital. Even more than acquiring new ones. Rewarding long-term clients is a great way to improve customer satisfaction. In the end, 70 % of buying experiences are based on how the person is being treated. Therefore, you can highly benefit from loyalty programs.
Provide your loyal clients with an experience they will not forget anytime soon. You can offer personalized discounts, provide free gifts, additional services, premium features or even tools, tailored specifically for individual customers and their businesses.
You would be amazed how much small gestures like these can mean to your clients. You will not only ensure that they are going to stay with you, but also that they will leave positive reviews and spread pleasant word of mouth.
#11 Offer a Free Trial Period
Lastly, this is a step that no business, mainly in the SaaS industry, should overlook. Make sure to incorporate a free trial period when prospects can test your service by themselves.
It serves as an assurance that after people buy the product, they will be fully satisfied and avoid disappointment. Therefore, you'll avoid unsatisfied customers and negative reviews.
Here are few tips on how to make free trials work the best for you:
- Place a notice on your social media. It's reachable for many more people and more effective than if it's only visible on your website.
- Don't be too aggressive with advertising the free trial campaign. Also, after prospects subscribe, don't put too much pressure on them to make a purchase.
- Let users try as many features as possible, so their final decision is informed and objective. They need to see the real value, not only what you want them to see.
- Provide a decent refund policy.
We, in CloudTalk, also offer you an option to test our services. So, if you're searching for a user friendly, advanced cloud-based call center software.