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When it comes to building a successful business, you can’t rely on one-time customers. You need repeat business to cultivate a sustainable business that’s profitable for years to come. And this requires a high degree of customer satisfaction.
What Exactly Is Customer Satisfaction?
ASQ.org defines customer satisfaction as a, “measurement that determines how happy customers are with a company’s products, services, and capabilities.”
There are plenty of other ways to define this term, but why make it more complicated than that? At the end of the day, it’s a measurement of customer happiness. If people are happy, you have high customer satisfaction. If they’re unhappy, well, your customer satisfaction rating is in the dumps.
In order to understand and improve your customer satisfaction, there are a couple of important pieces of information you need to know:
Who Are Your Customers?
You’re not trying to be all things to all people, but you are trying to keep the people who buy your products satisfied. Figuring out your target audience and being able to track customers through each stage of the sales funnel is vital.
What Makes Them Happy?
Any number of factors influence satisfaction—and that’s different for every industry, company, and customer. Generally, it has to do with factors like perceived quality, perceived value, customer expectations, customer complaints, and loyalty.
Any time you spend getting to the bottom of what makes a satisfied customer will benefit you in the long run. It’s an exercise we recommend doing on a regular basis.
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3 Ways to Give Your Customer Satisfaction a Jolt
Understanding that you’ll have to tailor some of these techniques to fit your audience and objectives. So, here are a few specific ways you can improve customer satisfaction:
1. Know Where You Stand
You can’t improve customer satisfaction if you don’t have an idea on how satisfied or dissatisfied your customers are. Thankfully, doing so is pretty simple.
One of the best ways to get the pulse of your customers is through a Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) survey. By sending out CSAT surveys via email, you can gather meaningful data and get accurate, real-time measurements of how you’re doing in this area. So, you should send these surveys out at regular intervals and track the numbers over time. This will show you which direction you’re trending.
2. Work on Your Culture
It’s rare for a business to have a high customer satisfaction rate and poor company culture. Your company’s culture, which includes your mission, core values, and employee satisfaction, has a direct impact on your customers. Furthermore, positive culture produces greater satisfaction. So it only makes sense that you’d start here.
While we don’t have the space to go into great detail about how you can improve culture, use this guide as a helpful starting place. It shows you how to re-architect your company from the inside out, so that you can prioritize both your employees and your customers.
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3. Lessen Customer Friction
What’s one thing every single customer wants? (Hint: It’s not the “best price” or “highest quality.”)
Truth be told, every customer across every industry and in every single product category wants ease and simplicity. They might also want the “best price” or “highest quality.” But, they always want simplicity. And do you know what gets in the way of this desire? Friction.
However, if you don’t do anything else, we recommend identifying as many “friction points” as possible in the customer journey and coming up with specific ways you can smooth these issues over and remove the bottleneck.
What you’ll discover is that friction is often a byproduct of poor communication. The better you get at communicating clearly, and the more transparent you are, the smoother things will go.
Give Your Customers What They Want and Need
Customer satisfaction is more than a cute metric or flashy key performance indicator (KPI) that you throw around in annual reports. It’s a big deal.
Research shows that 13% of your unsatisfied customers will talk about their experience to at least 15 different people. That means if you have just 100 unsatisfied customers, they’re going to relay that sentiment to 200 people or more.
On the positive side of things, high customer satisfaction can be a point of differentiation in crowded industries and may help you acquire and keep the right kind of customers, meaning those who are focused on things other than just price.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that “fully satisfied” customers bring in roughly 2.6-times more revenue than “somewhat satisfied” customers (and 14-times more revenue than dissatisfied customers).
In other words, there’s a lot on the line! Take customer satisfaction seriously.
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