What does customer satisfaction mean? What makes a customer feel satisfied? Can customer satisfaction be easily achieved?
Elements that make up customer satisfaction can vary from business to business and customer to customer, but at the core of every interaction there are people making the exchange. And, as a business, the best way to have satisfied customers is to act as a person behind your brand and makes offering the best experience for each and every customer your focus.
Our two previous posts in this series – 3 Things You Can Learn From Lost Customers, And What To Do and 3 Steps to Win Back Unhappy Customers – we talked about how to learn from, and remedy, situations where customer experience has been poor and customers have been lost. In this post, we will share three simple, yet effective, tips you should employ when planning your customer engagement strategy in order to give an experience with your brand that keeps customers feeling happy and forms lasting relationships.
1. Treat your customer like your best friend
It’s not as odd as you may think.
Like the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you), if you wouldn’t treat your best friend a certain way, you shouldn’t treat your customer that way, either. As a business, the concept of treating your customer like your best friend comes to taking the time to listen, learn, and nurture the relationship to ensure longevity.
Think about it from the perspective of the 80/20 rule as it relates to sales: if 80% of your sales is generated by 20% of your [most loyal] customers, it is in your best interest to exercise all necessary efforts to keep them happy and loyal. Little actions like an automated email greeting on your customer’s birthday, a special gift for newsletter subscribers or active followers, etc. can go a long way in not only making your customer feel special, but increase the likeliness of referrals as well.
2. Their experience with you means everything to them
It may be difficult to remember, but while your business may cater to hundreds, or thousands, of customers, there is only one business – yours – to your customer. And though you may think that one bad customer experience out of 100 isn’t worth the worry, typical businesses hear from only 4% of their dissatisfied customers while the rest don’t complain and 91% will not return (Ruby Newell-Legner).
In the age of instant access to an unlimited audience, even just one customer who’s felt wronged can easily escalate into a public (think social media) backlash and harm to your brand reputation. For example, 80% of the 1 million tweets about customer service every week are negative (Touch Agency).
Put the customer’s experience first and employ measures to follow your service performance at your points-of-experience to minimize the risk of dissatisfaction. A well-handled customer complaint can be an incredible source of positive media for your brand, and a great opportunity to gain specific insights into what you can do to be better.
3. Be a real person behind the brand – loyalty is earned, not bought
Customers today want to feel special. They want to feel like they connect with the brand as if it were a person, not a company. Things like discounts and offers can lure a new customer in to make their first purchase with you, but what keeps them coming back?
Incentives are always great, but what sets a great business apart from a good business is their ability to connect with their customers as people. From engaging with your followers, to prompt responses in social media and personable customer service reps, each addition of a genuine human touch to your brand brings you closer to connecting with your customers and establishing a strong bond (the loyalty!). When you offer a customer experience that exceeds their expectations and is far better than the competition, it’s almost impossible to have them lured away.
It is vital to your business success to have a strong focus on customers satisfaction, and a key element to achieving such is your workforce. Your employees are the ones who interact directly with your customers, and so play a significant role in winning over and keeping your customers.