Today’s business models aren’t purely transactional anymore. How people feel and talk about your product or service matters a lot, too. With the huge competition in the market, a discouraged client has no reason to stay loyal to a given company. Moreover, their bad online review may make the company lose many potential customers. If business providers want to survive, it’s crucial they establish a good relationship with the buyers.
Also, caring about customer satisfaction literally pays off. It’s simply more cost-effective to retain your customers than to search for new ones. Satisfied consumers can do the advertising for you, and don’t need as much effort to stay loyal. They’re more likely to come back, spend more money on a product or service, and recommend it to others.
That’s why it’s so important to actually talk to people and use their feedback to improve your service. How can you prioritize their satisfaction in practice? Here’s a list of some useful techniques.
Be More Customer-Friendly Online
Nowadays, the virtual side of a company is as important as direct interactions with its customers. More products and services are getting digitized these days, so you can’t afford to fall behind. You can start improving the customer experience by making adjustments to your site. Keep in mind people like it accessible, simple, secure, navigable, and responsive. Things like the overall design or the site’s loading speed also matter. Don’t ignore little details – what might seem unimportant to you may mean a lot for your existing and potential clients. Try to find out what parts they focus on and change it to their liking.
Humans are creatures of convenience – if they can do something online instead of waiting in a long line, they will gladly use this opportunity. There are many ways to make your customers’ lives easier with technology; for instance, you can let them order products online or allow them to pay via a customer-centric AR platform. Think of your offer and ask yourself: can a given process be done remotely? If the answer is “yes”, let it happen. Your clients will thank you for that with more money and traffic.
Ask, Analyze and Apply
Try to identify your customers’ expectations. What exactly do they want from you? How well does your company meet their needs? What could be done to improve it? There are plenty of tools available for such analysis, including simple surveys, focus groups, or more advanced methods like the Kano Model. Read up on them and choose one or more that you find most appropriate for your purpose. For instance, quantitative metrics can give you a general idea of the strengths and weaknesses quickly and easily. Surveys with open-ended questions, on the other hand, require more time and effort but provide more detailed in-depth information.
Once you’ve collected the data, analyze the strengths and weaknesses. Try to think of possible solutions to reported problems and implement them. Just one satisfaction check isn’t enough, though – you need to repeat the whole process on a regular basis, to see if new strategies actually work and keep up with your customers’ changing expectations. Monitor the results and make adjustments accordingly.
Let Them Decide
Aside from conducting regular surveys or interviews, you can take it a step further by creating a customer advisory board. A group of selected clients meeting regularly can provide valuable insights into your business or a specific product you’re selling. They will help you decide whether the current direction is the right one, suggest necessary changes, and give you new ideas.
Pick your board members carefully – you want honest, outspoken, and opinionated representatives of your customer base. Remember they’re here to help you, so create a relaxed atmosphere and let them speak openly, even if they criticize your ideas. Remember to take notes during the meeting and discuss the feedback with your internal team afterward.
With careful selection and the right management, a customer board can be of great help. Not only will you get to know your customers better, but also make them feel part of the company’s decision process. This group can also work well as beta-testers and great advertisers. Having customers involved in the development of products or services gives it more credibility and attracts new customers.
The Bottom Line
There’s no doubt that happy clients are key to the success of any organization. Their opinions on the brand, its products, services, and general attitude can greatly affect both your PR and profitability. Although prioritizing customer satisfaction requires some effort, it definitely pays off, generating more loyal and generous regulars, as well as new customers.
Now that you know how to measure it and use it to your advantage, it’s time to apply this knowledge in your own business. Collect the most important data, listen to people regularly, and keep improving the customer service both online and offline. Clients who are given attention are more satisfied with what you have to offer, and their feedback helps you gain confidence in the direction you’re going. So if you want a happily ever after for your company’s story, you’d better take good care of this relationship.