Trying to improve customer satisfaction from a management standpoint can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility. It seems that no matter how hard you try, one unhappy customer’s negative feedback online overshadows any reservoir of goodwill you’ve managed to build.
Still, almost any manager will agree that customer satisfaction is important. The question is how to go about improving it in a strategic and measurable way.
Identify Your Brand of Customer Satisfaction
An organization’s brand of customer satisfaction depends on specific factors, such as branding, marketing strategy, industry, and product/service.
Some organizations take the shotgun approach and work on improving the entire customer experience (as is the case with Whole Foods), while others go for more specific attributes, such as speed (like Amazon), premium quality (Apple), or efficiency and on-time performance (airline companies).
“Identifying how and where to improve customer satisfaction helps to focus your efforts, predict where you’re going, and measure your progress,” says Scott Adamonis, Vice President of Sales at The Reserves Network.
Build on Your Unique Selling Proposition
If you’re not quite sure where to start delivering different customer service experiences, go back to your unique selling proposition (USP), or what makes you different from your competitors.
For example, if your business is digital marketing consulting and your USP revolves around your expertise and efficiency, your customers’ satisfaction will naturally come from the experience they have with your consultants whose expertise they rely on for advice.
Once you have a clear grasp of your USP, it becomes easier to incorporate your customer service approach where appropriate. In the above case, this would be investing in interpersonal and communication training for your consultants and customer support staff.
Set and Exceed Expectations
Never leave your customers in the dark. The moment they come across your company, let them know what your standards are, how you operate, and how you intend on delivering your promises. How long until they receive an order? How much can they save by choosing this product over the others? How long will they wait before getting a response from an inquiry?
Once you’ve set your customers’ expectations, you can increase consumer satisfaction by exceeding them.
Promised on your site to deliver in two days? Do it in one day instead. Did you offer great customer support? How about offering discounts/coupons to customers with product/service problems to make up for the inconvenience?
Pick Your KPIs
If sales are declining because of low customer satisfaction, the simplest thing you can do is ask your customers what’s wrong. Take your pick from customer surveys, social listening, or customer reviews.
Once you’ve gathered enough data, you can tie KPIs such as brand attributes, overall satisfaction, and net promoter scores to measure the factors that matter most to your customers. These insights will help you determine where to divert resources for employee training, systems improvement, and long-term customer service planning.
If and when it’s time to hire more customer support staff, talk to the staffing specialists of The Reserves Network. Call our offices to learn more about our staffing solutions for any kind of customer-facing role.