There many assets a company needs to consider, but your two most valuable ones are customers and employees. Let’s talk about customers in this article. Over recent years, we have seen that focussing on your customers’ needs is essential for a successful business. Their needs and desires are what drive innovation, product and service design, and the market in general. In the digital age, it is easy to compare businesses and switch with ease. Through excellent customer satisfaction, you can not only acquire new customers but retain existing ones and thus keep up with competitors. We’ve compiled a small guide of 4 tips to increase customer satisfaction here.

Customer Satisfaction: two smiling customers happy about their purchasing decision
Customer satisfaction is the key to successful business development.

1. Treat every customer as if they were a VIP

Give every customer the same excellent treatment as you would like to receive yourself. It’s as simple as that! You could use some of the following approaches:

  • Thank your customers for their business, both in person and also printed on the receipt.
  • Make a real effort to help your customers and assist them in every way you can.
  • Keep your promises and integrity. If you say that you will contact them to let them know when an item is back in stock – be sure that you do! Every so often, businesses forget or fail to get back to their customers, who might very well find another supplier in the meantime.

This extends specifically to providing an excellent customer service. It is not about preventing any issues to arise, but making sure they’re resolved quickly. You need to make sure that your customers feel heard and valued. Attend not only to their best experience, but attend even more closely when their experience isn’t perfect.

However, don’t make too big of a fuss of spoiling your customers. In the groundbreaking HBR article ‘Stop Trying to Delight your Customers,’ Dixon, Freeman, and Toman argue that against that. It is not about delighting, but about reducing efforts for your customers. This makes their experience smooth and easy-going, which is a simple key to satisfaction. The Customer Effort Score (CES) is an important metric to consider in measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty.

2. Keep measuring customer satisfaction

Studies show that 91% of unhappy customers will never come back to a business they believe is below par. By frequently measuring to improve customer satisfaction, you can reduce the number of unsatisfied customers and prevent customer churn. An effective and easy way to measure and improve customer satisfaction is using an online survey tool from a survey provider. Although it can be daunting to implement a feedback system, it will prove fruitful. Don’t be afraid to test out surveys and get support from experts.

A successful feedback system does not merely include customer satisfaction surveys, but integrates various types of surveys. You can choose puzzle pieces depending on your needs and goals. While it makes sense to conduct general annual satisfaction surveys, you might want to add other components. These can include:

  • Pulse Surveys can follow up on some implemented changes, or give customers a chance to review a product, service, or interaction they had with your company.
  • The Net Promoter Score (NPS) will give you an overview of how likely customers are to recommend you.
  • The Customer Effort Score (CES) will help you reduce the effort customers have to put into interactions.

There are many more types of surveys. Surveys are essential in ensuring customer satisfaction. The key is to implement a feedback system that works for you and to keep measuring. Only if you follow up on surveys and track results, can you see the effect changes have – and keep going or reroute. It will also help you gage the competition, by comparing yourself to benchmarks relevant to your industry.

3. Find out how to measure customer satisfaction most effectively

With a customer feedback survey, you are able to find out how happy your customers are with you. It also helps you to see if and what you need to do to improve customer satisfaction. This could be your product or service and to identify those customers who love your product and could possibly send new customers your way. As mentioned before, the Net Promoter Score is the ultimate survey to find out how likely it is that your customer would recommend your business to others, with one simple question. If you choose to have a slightly more comprehensive survey, make sure you keep it fairly short, less than 10 questions and not longer than 3.5 minutes.

As each industry is different so are their demands, needs, and benchmarks. In the hotel sector, for instance, you want to focus on ensuring guest satisfaction in ways that differ to a store selling products. This means that different survey types correspond better to certain interactions that your customers may or may not have with you because of your specific industry.

Finding out what works most effectively for you will help you with your strategies to increase customer satisfaction. Feedback helps to identify weak points and customers’ specific needs. You can use this to see where action needs to be taken at different parts along the customer journey. Do you need to implement a customer reward system? Do you need to improve customer service? Do you need to reduce effort for ordering from an online shop? Can you streamline communication channels?

4. Keep an eye on what customers say about you on social media

When you track and monitor customer satisfaction on social media you are updated on both positive and negative feedback and can take appropriate measures to resolve them. The majority of people use their mobile phones up to 150 times per day and many of them turn to social media when they want to leave a complaint. Take the opportunity and use social media to improve customer satisfaction!

Here is how you can use social media:

  • As a customer support channel – make sure you are active and respond to your customers within 24 hours.
  • Hold Q&A sessions, live chats and tutorials
  • Monitor brand mentions

A happy customer is for sure one that returns. Read more about how Circle K stayed at the pulse of the market by frequently collecting data and feedback.