What does a happy customer look like? It’s not the person that’s silently getting on with things, never raising a concern but never really advocating or showing loyalty for a brand either. No, a happy customer is the customer who can’t wait to tell their friends about the products or the service they received… it’s the person who wouldn’t dream of taking their business anywhere else. This type of client is what every company wants to cultivate.
By focusing on customer satisfaction, this should be easy enough to achieve. Too often, companies manage to overlook the strategies that are right in front of them, instead of taking hold of every opportunity to improve their relationships with customers. As leading customer experience management firm nanorep note in their list of essential steps to increase customer satisfaction, the result can include improved income, client retention and Client Lifetime Value (CLV). But how can companies actually make this happen?
Use CSAT metrics to their full potential
Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSATs) are used by businesses of all shapes and sizes, to find out what customers really think of the service they receive. But they also hold a rich array of other customer satisfaction insights for the companies that are savvy enough to dig further and run in-depth analysis.
Take Shop Direct’s latest customer service innovation, for instance. They discovered that ‘Our customers want to chat to us as they do their friends on WhatsApp’ – and used that information to innovate their own customer service app. Based on surveys conducted among clients, the app is offering instant answers to common questions, as well as tracking information.
Make every interaction a chance to convince the client to stay
No interaction between a customer and a company should become a squandered opportunity. Whether it’s by telephone, over social media or in an online service chat, customers need to see a business at its best. The smallest interaction can become a chance to improve loyalty by doing something extra – even if that just means taking the time to ask whether or not somebody is having a good day.
Spend time interacting with clients online
With companies like JetBlue Airways and LinkedIn becoming famous for their online customer service, it’s clear that consumers are taking note of how well businesses can handle queries that are made in front of a wider online audience. They also set a great example to other brands, giving quick responses and genuine human interaction to the people that come to them for help.
Deliver what was promised… and then some
Do the expectations that a company sets for their customers need to be realistic? It can certainly be useful to undersell services – such as how long it will take for a customer service message to be responded to – if this will result in a brand not just meeting its targets, but surpassing them.
Offer something extra
Businesses that decide to give a little extra ensure they’ll be remembered positively. Take Firebox as just one example: they have been known to send sweets with their parcels, an added extra that has even found its way into positive comments on their online reviews.
Use metrics to measure whether customers are getting what they expected
Don’t just measure how customers feel about different parts of their experience, but also compare that information to the expectations you’ve set up. Crucial KPIs here include questions that probe whether or not clients would return to the business, and whether they would recommend it to their friends.
Make the first move
With so much data available to predict what customers will do next, there’s really no reason for companies to be shy. Email marketing is probably the most prominent example, since businesses that do it right can prompt their customers with a friendly newsletter or offer at just the right time. Birchbox have shown everybody else how it’s done, by sending out discounts as a ‘belated extra’, just after customers receive their latest box.
Personalize the service experience
Whether it’s the simple step of always making sure the customer is addressed by name, or the more complex decision to craft a coherent brand identity, this means creating a connection that feels human, not automated.
Make the whole team aware of complaints
Bill Gates has said that the unhappy customers are the greatest source of learning, and good businesses know that this applies to everybody, not just the management. Genuine complaints can be used as the basis for constructive feedback, training sessions, and brainstorming potential solutions.
Consider speed as the secondary concern
Great service comes first, speed of resolution comes second. This is the secret that sets excellent customer service teams apart; although the speed with which customers are responded to is important, once they’re talking to a representative they’d rather be given a proper solution than a rushed one.
Brands with clients who’ll evangelize for them, pledge their loyalty to them and shout about them to their friends aren’t just companies that got lucky. This kind of customer satisfaction takes hard work – and the measures laid out above are all excellent opportunities for this type of growth.