The foundation of all business success depends on keeping your customers satisfied and coming back. However, today’s businesses must overcome a sluggish economy and increased competition. Here are three ways to drastically increase your customers’ satisfaction and make sure you keep them loyal to your brand.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), simply listening is one of the best ways to improve customer satisfaction. However, this can be more difficult than it sounds because customers and employees don’t often have time for lengthy face-to-face conversations. The SBA recommends businesses elicit feedback through alternative methods.
Related Article: 3 Hidden Benefits of High-Quality Customer Satisfaction
For example, consider giving customers post-sale surveys to learn more about their expectations, preferences, and feelings. Companies that do business online can easily email customers a quick questionnaire. Be sure to offer a simple incentive, such as a coupon or discount for completion.
Use Data Driven Metrics
Simply opening up a dialogue with customers won’t be enough to fully understand how to satisfy them. Businesses must use survey tools and customer satisfaction metrics to properly understand and adjust their business practices to better meet the needs of customers.
For example, surveys can focus on quality of customer service, product satisfaction, and the company image. Customer satisfaction can be measured through metrics that will analyze customer expectations vs. perceptions, and actual experience vs. ideal experience.
In addition, be sure to measure the repeat purchase intention, overall satisfaction, and likelihood of making a recommendation to others. For example, the customer expectation vs. perception metric involves a simple question with five-point rating scale. Be sure to conduct the same survey with standard questions every year in order to benchmark your company’s overall improvements, weaknesses and performance.
Increase Customer Loyalty
The most loyal customers are often the most satisfied. Your businesses should use techniques to build customer loyalty. For example, consider sending out birthday discounts or rebates. Be sure to offer educational content on your website or in your store that will empower customers. Decrease customer service wait times by increasing your self-service support platforms. For example, add an FAQ section to your website or a user-friendly customer service kiosk in the store. Be sure to have supervisors take an active role in troubleshooting and helping solve customers’ service problems. As a final option, consider establishing a formal loyalty program that offers incentivizing rewards to long-term customers.
Overall, delivering excellent customer service will increase your revenues and customers’ satisfaction. This can be accomplished through eliciting feedback, using objective metrics, and increasing customer loyalty.
Author: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger for sites like Discountrue, which work with businesses like Nordstrom to make your savings bigger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.