When you run a business, satisfying your customers should be one of your biggest focuses because a low level of customer satisfaction will mean low levels of customer retention and a poorer reputation.
Since it can cost several times more to find new customers than to simply keep selling to existing ones, and since unsatisfied customers are way more likely to leave negative reviews, if you aren’t already doing everything you can to keep your customers happy, you really need to change that as soon as possible.
With that in mind, here are some of the best ways you can deliver greater customer satisfaction right now:
Show them you care
A study by Wunderman found that a whole 79 percent of customers are more likely to use a business if they felt like that company cared about them, so it should go without saying that if you want to deliver greater levels of customer satisfaction, you need to show them you care.
A really simple way to do this is to use their name whenever you are communicating with them, Thanks to customer relationship management software, this has never been easier to do.
Of course, it is not the only way of showing customers you care and everything from ensuring you always deliver on your promises to treating them to loyalty points and schemes will help you win them over a lot too.
Run a focus group
One of the best data collection methods, running a focus group made up of customers and/or people from your ideal target audience is a great way to find out what customers really think about you, and perhaps even more importantly, what customers would like to see you offering as a company.
It’s obvious, but if you want to satisfy your customers, you need to give them what you want, but you will never truly know what that is until you ask them so make customer feedback a big part of your operation and you will always be on the right track.
Go above and beyond when correcting your mistakes
Businesses are run by humans, which means things can and will go wrong from time to time. This is fine but what is not fine is dealing with complaints and errors in a belligerent or dismissive manner.
If you want to deliver great customer satisfaction, what you need to do is admit to your mistakes and try to come up with the most satisfying way of correcting it.
If a mistake is pointed out, you should always aim to take it calmly and first apologize for what has happened. You should then try to fix the mistake as quickly and efficiently as possible and maybe throw in a freebie or two as a sorry. This may seem like overkill to some, but it will definitely win the customer over, and chances are they will tell everyone about it, which means lots of good PR for you and a potential customer relations disaster turned into a customer satisfaction win.
If you are lucky enough to have a number of loyal customers who stick with you through thick and thin, you are going to want to reward them before they decide that their loyalty is pointless and go elsewhere. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to do this by setting up some kind of loyalty scheme whereby they can earn points and get money off your products and services. However, why not do something even better? For example, you could send them free gifts on their birthdays each year or invite them along for a behind-the-scenes tour of the business if you own something like a brewery where that kind of thing would be of interest. You could also offer them first look at any newly launched products or services – you get the idea.
Ensure your customer support is first-rate
If your customers do need to get in touch with you for any reason, it is of the utmost importance that they can do so quickly and efficiently. If they spend an hour on hold listening to terrible music, then they are hardly going to be satisfied with their interactions with your company. Not are they likely to be happy if, when they do get in touch with a customer service agent their concerns are dismissed or the agent does not know what they are talking about.
That’s why it’s so important that you hire an ample amount of customer service staff and that you train them to the highest level possible. Ideally, you should also offer a number of ways to contact your company from phone and email to lie chat, so you can answer more quickly and allow the customer to contact you in the way they feel most comfortsable with.
Offer a great returns policy
Something that many customers have said they hate are returns policies that are complicated and very limited. So, one really simple thing you can do to improve customer satisfaction levels is to ensure that your returns policy is simple, clear, and very generous. This will reduce the perceived risk level of them buying a purchase, which means you are likely to make more sales in the first instance, and if they do need to return, it will ease their frustration and leave customers feeling much better about potentially using your business again in the future.
Let them have a trial period
If you are selling a product, such as software, where it is possible to do so, letting your customers have a trial period where they can try things out, is a really good way to not only showcase your product and services, but also to foster goodwill between your business and the client, so it is always worth doing.
Delivering great customer service may mean making a few changes to the way you currently operate, but it will be very much worth it if it means that your customers stay loyal and your reputation on or offline is as good as it can possibly be.