Customer satisfaction (commonly represented by the acronym CSAT) is one of the most meaningful metrics for the ongoing success of a business.
In a hyper-competitive market where a myriad of new startups are springing up and customers are spoilt for choice, high customer satisfaction is the holy grail for businesses looking to stay ahead of the pack.
If you’re reading this post right now, it means you probably understand the importance of customer satisfaction, and you are looking for ways to improve it, right?
So let’s not waste your time anymore. Here are the best methods to increase customer satisfaction – beyond surveys – and get your customers to buy more and recommend your business to others.
Table of contents:
- How to assess customer satisfaction and why it is important
- 6 tried and tested ways to increase customer satisfaction
1. How to Assess Customer Satisfaction and Why It Is Important
Defining customer satisfaction is not easy, but it is essentially exactly what it sounds like – a measurement that determines how satisfied customers are with your products, services, and experiences you provide.
As satisfied customers are likely to purchase from you again, customer satisfaction is essential to retaining your customers and building customer loyalty.
Here are the five main reasons why customer satisfaction is so important:
- Enables you to stand out in a crowd of competitors
- Reduces the customer churn rate
- Increases your customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Helps you create positive word of mouth advertising
- Customer retention is more affordable than acquisition
Customer satisfaction is an essential metric that should be set as one of the top key performance indicators (KPIs). Doing so can help you to identify latently dissatisfied customers, find ways to win back their trust, and generate even more revenue for your business.
With that being said, here is a quick roundup of the most effective ways to assess customer satisfaction and understand how your customers feel about your products or services.
- Check your social media pages
In today’s digital landscape, a customer’s bad experience with your business can go viral with a single tweet.
As the power of social media to influence purchase decisions is growing exponentially, be sure to monitor your brand’s online reputation and regularly check what customers say about your business on social media channels. You can potentially initiate different types of surveys on social media and ask your customers directly what they think of your product or service.
- Web analytics
Web analytics enable you to gain insights into your website visitors. For example, Google Analytics lets you assess your customer satisfaction by measuring website bounce rates, engagement rates, and user flow.
Also, another major area of interest today is website optimisation. By conducting A/B tests, you can learn which version of a webpage brings the best results.
- Qualitative interviews
Qualitative interviews (also called intensive or in-depth interviews) are based on actively listening to what customers have to say about your product or service.
Although qualitative interviews are expensive and time-consuming, they are an effective way to assess customer satisfaction as they typically rely on open-ended questions that encourage customers to share their experiences with a business.
- Mystery shoppers
Some businesses use mystery shopping (MS) to measure the quality of sales and service and, ultimately, customer satisfaction.
Mystery shoppers can help you evaluate the Customer Experience (CX) and identify areas that need improvement. As a result, you will be able to keep customers satisfied and keep up with changing customer needs.
- Other sources to get customer feedback
Other ways to get customer feedback and assess customer satisfaction are email, phone, and online reviews.
For example, you can ask your team members to take note of any suggestions that customers might share by email or during a call. It is also important to check out online review platforms and reviews on Google My Business for customer insight and ratings.
Now that you know how to assess customer satisfaction and understand its far-reaching benefits, let’s explore the most effective ways to keep your customers happy and make them stick around.
2. 6 Tried and Tested Ways to Increase Customer Satisfaction
- Adopt a continuous improvement approach
A continuous improvement model is an approach that engages your team members in understanding customers to better serve them and keep up with their ever-changing needs.
In business, continuous improvement can mean a variety of approaches, from improving the products and services you offer to customers, to improving internal and external processes.
A continuous improvement model can truly enable you to achieve operational excellence, improve productivity and product quality, implement a more proactive learning culture, and get in-depth insights into objectives and strategies.
You can read more about the continuous improvement approach here.
- Take the customer journey yourself
The most efficient way to assess the current state of your customer journey is by taking a walk in your customers’ shoes.
Go through the experience yourself to identify areas that need improvement and uncover valuable insights that allow you to connect with your customers on a deeper and more personal level.
For example, you can sign up for a demo or register a complaint and see how it goes. Ask yourself about your customer journey touchpoints.
This will help you put the finishing touches to the process and boost customer experience and customer satisfaction.
- Create memorable experiences
Exceeding customer expectations and creating wow moments that delight your customers at every opportunity is key to gaining a competitive edge and creating customer loyalty.
Most of the time, wow moments are small, but powerful details based on timely, outstanding, personalised customer service.
Examples of a wow customer service experience include customised greetings, 24/7 coverage, developing innovative and workable solutions, and incorporating random acts of kindness.
Even if you’re running your small business on a shoestring budget, you can make great strides in customer experience and customer service with a professional virtual receptionist.
While hiring an in-house receptionist involves sourcing, onboarding, and training costs (not to mention salary and benefits), a virtual receptionist can help manage more calls and is far more affordable than hiring a new employee.
- Respond to customers on social media
It’s reasonable to assume that most of your customers use social media channels regularly. And with the growing importance of social media in business marketing, it’s become natural to engage customers through a variety of channels.
There are many ways you can increase customer satisfaction through social media, from communicating prompt and professional messages to empowering customer advocates to respond for you.
In addition, you can use social media as a customer support channel and give your customers the opportunity to resolve any issues fast.
Don’t get me wrong; having a 1300 or 1800 business landline number where customers can contact you is highly imperative as it can help your business build a more professional, reliable, and legitimate image.
However, several customers want to reach you via their mobile using social media instead of just contacting you over the phone, so make sure you set up a social media customer support channel.
- Show your human side
In the age of the Internet where thousands of businesses have become faceless, one of the best ways to stand out and boost customer satisfaction is to showcase the human side of your business.
Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the people behind businesses and feel more comfortable purchasing from human brands rather than stuffy, impersonal brands.
Take this as an example: Ikea’s virtual assistant Anna was shut down because it was unable to maximise customer satisfaction. Customers didn’t know if she was a real human or a chatbot, and her communication skills weren’t good enough to always provide accurate answers.
Don’t get me wrong; using chatbots has many benefits for customer care – as long as your customers know it’s not a real person.
However, be sure to also show your customers the human behind the product. In an increasingly digital world, customers still want human interactions. Remember, consumers ultimately choose to do business with people they know, like, and trust, not faceless brands.
- Meet customers face-to-face
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are all now so used to conducting meetings via Zoom and working from home.
Now more than ever, we seem to be in the age of virtual meetings. Video conferencing has become ubiquitous.
Of course, rolling out of bed 30 minutes before a Zoom meeting has lots of benefits for crazy-busy business owners looking to get rid of commuting pains. But this doesn’t mean you should ditch face-to-face communication.
Showing your face to customers every once in a while is key to nurturing customer relationships, building trust, and, ultimately, boosting customer satisfaction.
Even if you’re running a remote business, enabling your customers to visit you in person is a great way to make them feel valued and treated as individuals, not just robots on the other side of a computer screen.
However, do note that meeting your customers at your home office or a public facility such as a coffee shop isn’t a great idea as you risk losing your professionalism.
If you’re operating from home, getting a flexible virtual office that provides you with fully equipped, professional meeting rooms on-demand can go a long way towards building a trustworthy image and life-long customer relationships.
Conclusion: A happy and satisfied customer is a repeat customer.
If you aren’t attempting to understand customer expectations and increase their level of satisfaction, your competitors most certainly are – making it easier for consumers to jump ship.
Follow the tips in this post to quickly develop those oh-so important customer relationships, boost customer satisfaction, and build a successful, customer-centric business.
Looking for ways to build trust with customers and make your customer service more personalised? B2B HQ can help you deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction by providing you with an attractive range of services included in our virtual office packages. We would be more than glad to give your office an accessible and professional location where customers can visit you. If you have any questions, a member of our team will always be happy to help. Feel free to contact us about any of our virtual packages you are interested in.