By Sophia Mest
October 10, 2016 - When you have happy customers, everyone wins.
Customer satisfaction is crucial to success for any business. Companies that maintain a high degree of customer satisfaction not only benefit from the respected word-of-mouth marketing that clients generate, but they also keep a favorable reputation in the broader public eye. That can strongly influence a consumer base that increasingly values personal, honest and authentic interactions. Here are three reasons you should aim to take these interactions to the next level (plus some outside-the-box ideas to draw inspiration).
Customers have higher expectations these days. With a multitude of channels to communicate, customers expect timely and personalized responses. You should remain mindful and demonstrate that you are thinking about the best interests of each individual customer when you communicate with them.
During a sign-up phase, request personal style choices and links to Pinterest boards for reference.
During the assembly phase, provide up-to-date information with order progress and give opportunities to change things.
In the delivery phase, include a personalized note to accompany your order.
Consider all the points in the order process where you can add an element of personalization (extra points if it’s handwritten, face-to-face, or another ‘classic’ form of communication!).
You’ll gain more customer (and brand) loyalty. Positively standing out in customers’ minds and gaining long-term loyalty requires cultivating a relationship with them. Contrary to popular belief, accomplishing this doesn't have to require much effort.
Consider the technique of many NGOs — offering a sincere thank you to accompany all of the income received. Some fundraising departments even refer to themselves as the department of generosity and gratitude, a rhetorical device acknowledging that a genuine thank you can make supporters feel an extra connection with the organization.
Furthermore, these measures can put a smile on your customers' faces! So while you may already have an automated thank you in place, re-think the ways in which you can make it more personally authentic for your customers.
Customers want to have a voice. Most companies have a space in which customers can file questions, suggestions and complaints. Customers appreciate these kinds of features because it amplifies the channel and keeps a company accountable.
Unfortunately, many customers don’t get responses on these threads. While a company may not have the capacity to respond to each and every communique, they should still demonstrate the effort to try and seriously consider some of the ideas that customers posit.
For example, a customer may suggest re-naming a product or that your company expand your inventory for certain products they don't already carry. Following through on this kind of feedback gives you an opportunity to show that you care (which earns you customer satisfaction points for listening and acting).
Wondering where to begin? Start with developing a better system to collect, analyze, and implement customer feedback. They are your most valuable troves for information when it comes to improvements, and they really do want to share their thoughts. You can also ask your colleagues and employees on the customer service front lines. They likely have a lot of qualitative insight into what customers want in a given interaction.
About the Guest Author
Sophia Mest is a Content Manager at BizDb in the UK where she aspires to put her writing passion into practice and spread her words across the world. She spends her free time travelling and exploring the wonders of nature. You can follow her on Twitter: @MestSophia.