Customer Satisfaction Could Make or Break Your Business
With increasing evidence that customers are the backbone to any company, and the abundance of information that’s available about our very own customer journey, companies have no excuse for ignoring how to improve customer satisfaction. Better yet, it’s alarming how many companies don’t fully understand the importance of increasing customers’ satisfaction and are comfortable with the status quo of “satisfied” when they have all the resources available to them to really “wow” their customers and increase customer retention.
Let me assure you, efforts to improve your customer service and satisfaction are not done in vain. The reality is, with competition rising, acquiring new customers is costly. It makes more sense for you to invest in your customer experience and focus on delighting the customers you already have and offering them relevant products or services that will increase their lifetime value, than it does to acquire new ones. How can you improve your customer satisfaction?
An effective way to kickstart your customer satisfaction strategy, is to build an “opportunity blueprint.” These action steps will help your organization to take a good look at the end-to-end experience you’re delivering and will highlight areas for improvement before your next round of CSAT surveys. Here’s how you can get started:
Step 1: Identify every touchpoint of your customer journey and assess how they are working together
Customer support is often given the heavy burden of keeping customers happy, reducing customer churn. However, you and I both know that just as it takes village to raise a child, it takes a village to “wow” a customer. Taking a look at the full scope of what your customer journey looks like is critical in assessing where your customer satisfaction is falling short and where customer satisfaction could be improved. Looking at support efforts in isolation puts you at risk of ignoring intent-rich moments, which are moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped by your customers. Understanding how your content, search capabilities, customer community, and support efforts fit together is essential in creating a seamless experience from start to finish.
Step 2: Measure customer satisfaction
Recent studies show that 91% of unhappy customers will never do business with you again, which means measuring your customer satisfaction is just as important as the effort to satisfy them. And how can you be sure you improved your customer satisfaction if you are not measuring it?
A poor customer experience results in angry customers… and angry customers are bad for business. According to 1Financial Training Services, 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, they just never come back, which is why measuring your efforts is a particularly important step to increase the number of happy customers.
Not knowing why you’re losing customers is simply not an option if you want to survive. Nor is it necessary in the digital age. Once you’ve determined how to improve your customer experience, you need to figure out what to do to make it possible. Measuring your efforts shows you which parts of your strategy are working and which are the areas that need work to provide excellent customer service. There are multiple ways to measure customer satisfaction and understand the number of satisfied customers, including:
- CSAT score
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Customer Effort Score (CES)
- Case deflection rates
- Social and community listening – the new version of “word of mouth”
Step 3: Leverage your data
You’re likely sitting on a ton of valuable customer feedback that’s going underutilized. Leverage what you know about your customers to deliver a personalized experience that will leave a lasting impression and improve their satisfaction. Observe their behavior, acknowledge what content they’re using to self-serve, and gain insight into what they’re searching for but are not finding. If this sounds like an impossible task, it’s because it is–without the proper technology. However, with machine learning, you can easily and automatically surface relevant insight from your usage analytics that will drive customer satisfaction.
Step 4: Identify opportunities to build customer loyalty
Excel doesn’t stop at your customer community or self-service portal. Close the loop by making sure the opportunities are realized and acted upon by every department that touches the customer journey. Every interaction presents an opportunity to delight your customers. These can be as simple as:
- Recognizing who they are when they revisit your page and welcoming them by name on your website
- Recommending contextually relevant information that would further contribute to improve their experience
- Offering a chatbot service to conveniently solve a problem or answer a question they have
- Thanking them for their business via email or social media to improve response rates
- Asking them how the experience was for them and how it can be improved
Step 5: Constantly evolve
Make sure every customer feels heard by continually incorporating their feedback. To improve customer satisfaction, you mustn’t allow your strategy to go stale. It must constantly evolve to meet your customers’ growing demands, the ever changing landscape and constant innovation of your competitors. This evolution is made possible via intelligent search and machine learning technology. Self-learning and self-tuning models help you continuously optimize the customer experience and ensures that every interaction throughout their end-to-end journey is personalized and relevant. With the insight you’ll have through this technology, your organization will be able to proactively recommend resources your customer hasn’t even searched for yet, delivering a truly memorable experience not unlike the Amazon experience.
As customer expectations grow, the importance of improving customer satisfaction continues to grow with them. Your technology stack will make or break your position in the market and will ultimately determine your fate. Investing in artificial intelligence will not only reduce the amount of manual labor that’s needed, it will increase your ability to offer personalized and relevant experiences that will keep your customers coming back. More loyal customers are worth the investment.
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