Whether in print, in person, or over the phone, nothing is better than asking customers exactly what they want and how they want it. (Ask them what they don’t want, too!) Use feedback sheets, mail-back forms, comment cards, telephone scripts, and more.
2. Conduct focus groups.
Bring a group of customers together for an open-ended chat session. Set them at ease and get them talking about what they really like, don’t like, and wish they could get from your business. Don’t defend, justify or argue. Just ask questions and take good notes. Follow up with a sincere “Thank you!”
3. Study complaints and compliments.
Every message from a customer presents an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction. Compliments show you what to reinforce, while complaints point to new ideas and action steps for improvement.
4. Set up a customer hotline.
Some customers will tell you what they think, but they want an “anonymous” way to do it. Fine! Set up a special voice recording “hotline” for customers only. And don’t worry about receiving any strange messages; just sort through them for the gems that will give you specific information about ways to improve customer satisfaction!
5. Hire a Mystery Shopper.
Have someone you trust mingle with your customers and strike up conversation to find out what they do and do not like.
6. Become a customer of your best competitors.
Use their products and services regularly, and compare them to your own. Ask their Customer Service Center to describe available services in detail, then copy the best and do better than the rest.
7. Visit your customer’s site.
Go your customer’s physical location to see exactly how they put your products and services to use. See with your own eyes what works and what doesn’t, what gets used all the time and what gets left behind.
8. Go online to seek more feedback.
Find an Internet users group related to your industry or topic, then read the postings for new ideas and information. Actively participate in the discussions and follow up by e-mail to gain even deeper input and understanding.
What is your favorite technique to improve customer satisfaction?
Key Learning Point to Improve Customer Satisfaction
Before you invest time, money and effort to improve customer satisfaction make sure you know exactly what steps and actions to take!
Action Steps to Improve Customer Satisfaction
Improve customer satisfaction year round with a robust program of connection and consultation. Your customers will appreciate the contact, your staff will learn from the information gathered, and your business will grow from the continuous, constructive communication.
Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission.