When you’re running a business, there are hundreds of factors influencing its success. If you want to be on top of your game, all elements need to run smoothly and efficiently. That means everything from product quality to brand image is immensely important. You need to take care of it and have it under control. One of the most crucial piece of your business puzzle is customer satisfaction.
The term may seem to be self-explanatory, but we believe it should be covered in depth. Due to the beneficial effects it has for your business, it’s imperative for you to understand what is it and just how important it is.
Let’s find out together.
What is Customer Satisfaction?
Let’s start with the basics.
As defined by Wikipedia, customer satisfaction is “a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectations.”
To put it simply, it is about whether or not you succeeded in making your customers happy and will they continue being your customers in the future.
You measure it by taking surveys, using data statistics and analyzing the numbers.
It depends on all the elements of a customer doing business with you:
- customer service
- your website
- placing orders
- product quality
- return policy
All these aspects influence the shaping of a general opinion about your business and have the customers decide whether they’re satisfied or not.
Think about the last time you were in the role of the customer. What was it like? How do you feel thinking about it? Well, that is customer satisfaction.
The customers may not be aware of it, but they shape certain opinions and develop positive or negative emotions for a brand or a business. It means that by simply mentioning its name those emotions appear.
That may not be physically tangible and you can’t exactly pin it down. However, it’s invaluable for the success of your business.
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, it’s time to focus on the importance.
What are the benefits of customer satisfaction?
1. Long-term Relationships
When you think about customer satisfaction and its benefits, the first thing that pops up as a benefit is definitely customer retention.
Capturing the attention of a new customer is the easy part – making him a regular customer turns out to be much harder.
Everyone can make a tempting and catching ads or CTA (Call to Action). With a good hook and some content marketing knowledge, you can make people visit your website or learn about the product.
The question is, will they come back?
Well, unless you up your game and give your customers a pleasant, satisfying experience, you may lose them forever.
Customer satisfaction plays an important role in creating long-term relationships with people and having them come back to your business after the first purchase or contact.
Therefore, it is about building a loyalty club and having a firm customer base which keeps your business going.
2. Strengths & Weaknesses
Your business needs constant efforts on your side to improve. But, how can you know what needs upgrading and what is running effortlessly?
Well, customer satisfaction surveys can provide valuable data which reveal all your best and worst sides. This means that it could help you:
- identify your business’ weaknesses
- recognize your strengths
- decide what needs improvement or change
- determine which steps to take to make things better
“In order to improve your business, you first need to know what needs improvement. Customer satisfaction can help you learn about your weaknesses and how to remove them”
says Mariah Richards, a business consultant and editor at Trust My Paper.
By analyzing data directly coming from your customers, you gain knowledge which is gold for your business. All you have to do is listen to them and you won’t be making a mistake.
3. The Power of Reviews
Maybe you’re not aware of it, but positive reviews of your business go a long way.
Research shows the numbers:
- 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- 72% will only interact with brands that have positive reviews
Obviously, it’s crucial that your customers leave positive reviews to make others choose you over the competition.
If you want to get positive comments, you need to make your customers happy.
This is a way in which customer satisfaction returns the favor back to you:
- you make the customers happy
- they spread the word
- other customers come
- you make them happy
The circle continues.
That is another major reason why customer service is hugely important.
4. Emotional Bonds
As stated by Forbes, “only an emotional connection has the power to make the competition fade from consideration”.
Customer satisfaction is essential for appealing to your customers emotions and securing that you are the choice they are always going to make. It increases the number of your loyal customers.
If your customers feel pleasant or even happy thinking about your brand, you’ve succeeded in creating a strong, positive association with your brand.
It’s the inexplicable feeling of warmth they get when thinking about business and the overall experience they had with it.
5. Profitable Actions
In the end, it all comes down to your profit and how much your business earns.
When joined together, all the above-mentioned factors create a secure and strong workflow for your business. That, consequentially, secures regular income and business stability.
Therefore, customer satisfaction influences your:
- overall success
What more can you ask for?
Clearly it helps your business thrive and become a prominent, trustworthy company which does business confidently and profitably.
Now that we’ve broken down the beneficial effect customer satisfaction has for your business, it’s time to learn about mastering the art.
How can you improve customer satisfaction?
1. Know Your Customers
You can’t improve your customers’ satisfaction without understanding exactly who your target audience is.
You need to start by identifying your typical customer and making sure you understand everything about the people connected to your brand, business or company.
So, how can you define the target audience?
Use Data Analysis
Although it may sound a bit too complex, data analysis is actually quite simple. It’s about tracking the key metrics and drawing conclusions out of the numbers they provide.
Data analysis can tell you:
- which sex prefers your brand
- what age groups like you the most
- which locations are the people from
This is only the basic data information you can easily detect. By using this information, you will know how to craft your services and where to aim your customer satisfaction aims at.
2. Ask Your Customers
Yes, it’s as simple as that.
There are people out there who would gladly share their opinion about your business. Your job is to give everyone a chance at sharing the feedback about the experience with your business. You can do this by creating surveys.
However, don’t rush into it. Make sure to plan it thoroughly or else it may not go the way you wanted it.
What do you want to know?
Firstly, you need to set a goal for each individual survey you take. That means you need to clearly define what is it that you want to know and what metrics do you want to keep track of.
It could be:
- overall satisfaction: “Overall, how happy and satisfied are you with the Fly Away travel agency?”
- specific satisfaction: “How satisfied are you with Fly Away offers for the Greek islands?”
- recommendation: “Would you recommend the Fly Away travel agency to your friends and family?”
- retention: “Do you plan on continuing to travel with Fly Away travel agency?”
- improvement: “Which are of our business do you think needs improvement: customer service, pricing, accuracy…?”
How will you conduct the survey?
This part is a bit tricky, so make sure to dedicate it some serious planning. You need to think about the ways in which you’ll ask your customers to contribute and ask a couple of brief questions.
You can do this:
- via email
- over the phone
- on your website/blog
Of course, you need to make the surveys simple. If they take more than a couple of minutes to complete, people will be annoyed.
This is why you need to be very careful about them.
3. Please Your Customers
Your customers deserve only the best so even the slightest detail makes a huge difference.
One of those details is definitely the design of your webpage.
You need to be able to offer a visually appealing platform for the communication between you and your customers. It’s important to make your webpage:
- simple and straight-forward
- easy to get around
- in accordance with your customers
Even though you may think the design isn’t important if you offer top-notch services and extraordinary products, you’re wrong.
The design appeals to the aesthetic senses of your audience and motivate them to stay around just long enough to develop an interest in your product.
You should definitely think about hiring a professional to design the perfect website for you and the needs of your customers.
A great design will certainly make a strong impact on all your visitors and will influence the overall rating of your brand.
4. Talk Live to Your Customers
One of the things your customers are definitely going to appreciate is a great customer service. It’s about providing round the clock care, help and information for all your customers around the globe.
There are two options people appreciate the most:
Available instantly, this type of customer service is perfect for those who need a helping hand ASAP. If you can set up a live chat room for customers to report any problems, doubts or insecurities about your business, you’ll be having more happy customers than you can handle.
This will make them feel safe and cared about, not to mention you’ll actually solve their problem.
For those who prefer live conversations, you should consider setting up a hotline. The benefits are the same as with the live chat, only it targets the different type of people.
In addition to this, you can design a pop-up chat window for every person who enters your website:
“Hi, there! Looking for anything special? Let me know if I can help you find it!”
This will save your clients the time of wandering through the website looking for the information they need.
5. Pay Attention to Your Social Media
Don’t forget about the importance of social media: there are billions of users you can reach out to and thousands of those who’ll engage in your posts.
Once they engage, make sure to analyze their comments. They might reveal more than you expect. It’s a great source of information.
In addition, you can reach out directly to specific customers, thanking them for the support or apologizing for any inconveniences.
It will work wonders for your customer satisfaction.
Hopefully, you’ve realized just how important customer satisfaction is for your business. Not only does it influence your current clients and their retention but it’s the key to having more people choose you over the competition. In addition, it brings you profit and secures you run things smoothly and without problems.
If you’ve only just realized its importance, start thinking about how to improve it. Put some work in it and wait for the results to kick in. We can promise you one thing – it’ll be worth the effort.