According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, a dissatisfied customer shares the negative experience with 19 other people. What is even worse, 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people about it. So to attract new customers and avoid losing money, brands should make customer satisfaction one of their top priorities.
A satisfied customer, on the other hand, can become your most loyal brand ambassador. They attract new clients through positive word of mouth. But to foster such outstanding relationships with your customers, you need to focus on improving your customer support and make it easier for customers to interact with your brand. Brands should always be on the lookout for customer satisfaction improvements.
Let’s take a look at what you can do right now to boost customer satisfaction.
1. Create a Purpose-Driven Company Culture
Before you start doing anything else, you have to work on creating a purpose-driven company culture within your organization. To do this, you need to get your employees on board with the brand’s vision. Remember, it's not just about salary and incentives. A purpose-driven company culture will help push the entire organization in the right direction.
Improving customer satisfaction is more attainable if the company culture is alive and thriving. Each customer-employee interaction should be infused with the brand mission and ideals. The service representatives should always be able to confidently communicate your brand values. When you establish a purpose-driven company culture, continue to keep it alive in interviews, blog posts, webinars, corporate speeches, etc.
2. Deliver on Your Promises
Never fall short on your promises if you want to be trusted by your customers. Always know your limits and capabilities and communicate them effectively to your customers. If a client starts asking for special treatment, thread wisely. Don’t do it just because they asked. This doesn’t appear to be very customer-centric. But it will allow your employees to meet customer expectations by delivering the same amount of quality to each individual client.
Back in the 80’, brands used to rely on the “meet and exceed” approach to customer service. However, it unsustainable for brands dealing with a large number of clients. Consequently, it was quickly overshadowed by ISO 9001, Six Sigma and principles of lean manufacturing. Exceeding customer expectations will not make customers significantly more loyal to your company. Always be transparent and deliver on your brand promise. Customers will know what they can expect from you which increases customer loyalty and retention.
3. Reduce Customer Effort
Another way of increasing customer satisfaction is through reducing customer effort. This means reducing the time and trouble it takes customers to reach out to you. Put in place a comprehensive FAQ section and efficient support channels such as live chat or mobile messenger. Having quick support channels is essential to customer satisfaction, as it ensures your clients will have a smooth customer journey.
Instead of making customers search for the relevant support channel, you can assist them with technology. For example, contemporary live chat apps have features that connect customers to just the right representative. Let's say you need to forward a question to a different department. The apps will make it easy to attach a transcript detailing a client’s problem. Therefore, neither your employees or your customers will have to exert additional effort.
4. Increase Employee Satisfaction
You might wonder why employee satisfaction matters for improving customer satisfaction. But if you push your customer service team to the limit, you will not see an increase in productivity. Instead, you will get a decrease in customer satisfaction. This is mainly due to the fact that customers tend to mirror the mood of your employees.
There is a strong connection between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. Naturally, both sides want to have a sense of respect and value. Give your employees more insight into the positive results of their work. You can integrate a feedback tool with your communication platform so that your service agents can read customer comments, reviews and service ratings.
5. Structure a Memorable Goodbye
Most brands focus on how they greet customers. But few of them wonder about how they craft their goodbyes. This is unfortunate because the “goodbye” will stay with a customer for much longer than the greeting. This is also backed by psychology and this psychological mechanism is called the peak-end-rule.
You should have a customer support etiquette defining how your agents should end conversations with customers. When you define a closing etiquette, make sure to thank your client for reaching out. Always make sure to ask them if the issue they encountered is resolved. Customer service agents should personalize the conversation as much as possible. Also, they shouldn't end a conversation abruptly. Rather, they should let the customer do it first. This shows respect and the ability to fully cater to their immediate needs.
6. Prevent any Potential Problems
Imagine going to a doctor with a headache and the only thing they give you is a prescription for painkillers. Clearly, you can do that yourself and expect something more from a professional. You want to get to sustainable health without having to take painkillers everyday. This situation is similar to interactions between a customer and a support representative.
Customer support reps have an opportunity to help clients more comprehensively than by just giving them canned responses. They can explain more things to the customer instead of just solving one immediate problem. Furthermore, the customer support agent should point the customer to other helpful resources regarding their issue. These can be best practice guides or Q&A sheets. This will avoid the need for recurring support regarding the same issue.
7. Offer Self-Help Options
The majority of consumers expect an extremely high level of customer service. Namely, consumers favor brands that offer an efficient self-service customer portal. Unfortunately, many companies forget how effective self-help can actually be. What is more, it is extremely affordable as it comes in forms of tutorials, Q&As, manuals, videos, etc. When you get your self-service platform up and running, make sure to keep it up-to-date.
One of the three main expectations customers have of your service is the ease with which they use it. What they want is frictionless customer experience. So when a customer uses your self-help desk, they will feel as they solved the problem easily. Moreover, you will earn money for not having to employ an agent. Create fun and easy-to-use self-help desk with comprehensive FAQs, explainer videos and infographics.
Improve Customer Satisfaction Today
Evidently, customer satisfaction is extremely important for a business to be successful. That's why the world’s biggest brands put extra focus on treating their customers in the best way possible. Remember, a happy customer is a loyal one!
But don't exceed a customer’s expectations because your budget could take a tool. Be clear about what you can do for your customers and always deliver on your brand promise. Improve your employee experience and work on tackling problems before they even appear. By being diligent, you will earn brand ambassadors willing to spread the word about your business far and wide.
Neb is a partnerships manager and a writer with Advisera - one of the market leaders in helping businesses implement ISO, ITIL, IATF, AS and OHSAS standards. Neb has several years of experience in creating content for the web. Currently, he is sharing knowledge on the topics of corporate compliance, cyber security, quality management, GDPR, ISO standards, etc.