Do you often ask yourself why you should care about customer satisfaction? In this article, we'll dive deep into the nitty-gritty of customer satisfaction. We'll explain why it matters, how to make it happen, and we'll showcase best practices with real-life examples.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
Customer satisfaction metrics refer to how happy customers are with the service they receive. But because happiness is subjective, it is related to how an individual customer feels about the product, service, or experience. Thus, it is fair to say that customer satisfaction is closely related to customer experience.
In fact, customers are willing to pay more for a better service experience. They want businesses to go the extra mile and provide them with something personlized and memorable. Therefore, by providing a better customer experience, you can increase the value of your product and bring in more inbound customers.
But, let's circle back to our original question. What is the goal of customer satisfaction?
First and foremost, the happier your customers are, the more likely they are to buy from you again. If you consistently provide a positive experience, your customers will develop a sense of brand loyalty, and thus spend more money on your products. This ultimately reduces your churn rate and increases your recurring revenue.
Delighted customers will not only spend more, but also spread the word and tell their friends about your brand through word-of-mouth. With word-of-mouth, you are essentially growing your customer base through an initial pool of happy customers.
90% of consumers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. And the more satisfied your customers are, the easier it is to convince them to leave an online review of your services.
In addition to influencing potential customers, reviews also impact your SEO ranking. Google's algorithm takes your company's reviews and testimonials into account. The more reviews and testimonials you have, the more relevant it is for Google to feature your company with relevant search terms. If you need a tool for rank tracking, consider Nightwatch.
Happier customers mean easier customer support. In other words, dealing with happy customers is easier as they are not a pain to work with, and thus customer support agents can be more efficient with their work.
Aside from that, upselling existing customers becomes a no-brainer, and you increase profitability.
If you’re able to satisfy most of your customers, you’ll eventually cut down on the number of negative reviews and comments received from unsatisfied customers. This, in turn, contributes to your overall employee happiness as they'll have less stressful situations to handle.
Now that we know why we should care about customer satisfaction, we should talk about how to measure it.
There are tons of satisfaction metrics you should be aware of. But you don’t have to keep track of all of them.
In fact, we are advocates of using an overall satisfaction ratio that goes well beyond the usual Net Promoter Score used by most SaaS companies.
Even though NPS is an efficient and useful metric, you shouldn't solely rely on it to determine your customer's satisfaction. NPS is very hard to measure effectively because it's asking your customers the likeliness of them recommending your brand in the future, which can vary from one day to another.
Additionally, because customer experiences are omni-channel, you have to be present across all channels and measure customer happiness at each point of the customer's journey.
Below are some of the common customer interactions after which it is important to ask for feedback and measure customer satisfaction:
With the growth of marketing automation and customer feedback tools, it's easier than ever to entirely automate NPS surveys. By creating a closed feedback loop, automating feedback requests, and informing your team about what is going on -- measuring customer satisfaction can be a piece of cake.
The best-performing companies perform best because of -- or thanks to -- their ceaseless desire to provide a top-notch customer experience.
One of the recurring themes we see among companies that are really excelling is that customer experience is a key part of their business strategy. It's not viewed as a cost, but rather as an opportunity to differentiate their product and service. And so the conversation isn't, "How do we support our customers?" But rather, "How do we constantly improve the experience for our customers so that we can make them increasingly loyal and drive incremental value for our business?"
In a nutshell, it comes down to creating a feedback-friendly culture and educating your customer success team with best practices. We've outlined them for you below.
1. Be proactive
Integrate your service tools and implement notifications so that your team gets alerted whenever something is worth looking at (fx. negative feedback comes in).
Livestorm provides us with a perfect example of proactive customer success. They seek feedback right after they have ended a webinar hosted on their platform.
As we mentioned above, measure your customer's satisfaction at different touchpoints -- support channels, in-app, after purchases and so on.
3. Be Personal
Personalize as much as you can -- from email subject lines, content, and videos, to the greeting you use on the phone! Personalization is key because it makes your customers feel special and cared for. Customers don't want brands to be indifferent to them and to treat them 'like a random customer' in their sales cycle.
To understand the importance of personalization on a deeper level, check out this post written by Aazar from Userpilot.
“As a SaaS company, we’ve seen two things that have helped improve satisfaction. Work with your customers and find out the numbers related to your product and show the “outcomes.” Our customers' satisfaction has improved when we showed them increase in their activation, conversion, and retention rates. So, focus on outcome-based results and show the before and after. Your customers will already start appreciating you. Secondly, our chat support response is less than 5 minutes. We give 14 hours of chat support each day. That has been our clear differentiator. If you’re available for your clients immediately, they know we’re there to help and resolve their questions. I’d definitely recommend this strategy too.”
- Aazar, Head of Growth, Userpilot.com
4. Handle negative feedback
The best way to handle negative feedback is using the HEARD framework. The framework was inspired by Disney's approach, and basically states that you should: Hear, Empathize, Apologize, Resolve, and Diagnose your customer's problems.
5. Gain a deep understanding of why your customers feel the way they feel
Having a thorough understanding of your customer's problems is proactive and important, because you need to understand the pain points of your customers to provide satisfactory service. There are different methods to go about that -- from customer feedback surveys to customer discovery calls or interviews.
6. Be original
The icing on the cake you ask? Delivering original, fresh, timely content.
A great example we've found is Revolut keeping its users informed about Brexit and the repercussions this may have on its British bank account holders.
All-in-all, it’s fair to assume that many companies are successful because of their impeccable service and high customer satisfaction. It's 2020, and customer satisfaction is one of the biggest differentiators between brands (bigger than the price point.) Therefore, it's time to start measuring your customer's satisfaction and to create achievable plans on how to continually improve your services.
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