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8 actionable strategies to improve customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction matters. It can help to build trust, encourage customer retention and increase loyalty. So, even if you believe you have satisfied customers, there are ways you can improve customer satisfaction and help your business to thrive.

This article will outline some actionable tips to help you improve customer satisfaction and stand out in a busy marketplace, including how to survey customer satisfaction and offer customer feedback options.

There are various ways to improve satisfaction and it’s not all about complicated and time-consuming approaches:

If there is a disconnect between expectations and experience, you need to change it, and surveys are essential for different stages in the experience. Customer satisfaction surveys highlight their expectations so you know what they want from you. They can also help you to gain feedback on a specific product and use a range of customer satisfaction survey questions to focus the input.

There is no exact science to identify potential customer issues proactively, but you can use customer analytics to predict the problems before they occur. And it’s worth it because companies who shine in customer experience can have up to 8% higher revenue than those who don’t. In addition, by reviewing your customers, you can use this strategy to pre-empt questions so that you tackle them before the customer approaches you.

While being friendly to your customers is great, it's more important to be efficient and carry out what you promised to deliver. For example, it doesn't bode well if you promise to respond to a customer about an issue within three days but fail them in the time frame or forget altogether. It doesn't matter how friendly you are. If you don't follow through on the customer experience, customers might take their business elsewhere.

Presumably, your customers range across locations and demographics, so one solution may not fit all. Therefore, you need to offer a range of options for customers to ask questions, make a complaint etc. While some may prefer to phone or email, others may choose a self-service option where they can solve their problem in their own time. For this to work, you need to ensure you have easy access so they can quickly resolve issues without needing to speak to a business representative.

Depending on the size of your business and the locations you work across, you need to offer a consistent service. This means that customer service employees will require training to respond to customer questions or complaints.

How do you send surveys to customers or collect feedback? There are several ways to ask for feedback. You can use social media to promote your business and ask customers for quick feedback. In addition, if someone is complaining about your business on social media, step in quickly and work to move them into satisfied customers who will praise you. You can also use email marketing to reach out to existing customers.

 Although in-person customer support can go a long way, it may not be an option for all. Therefore, you need to offer customers various online options and ensure quick responses. According to one study, 12% of customers expect businesses to reply to an email within 15 minutes, and 46% expect a reply in under 4 hours. It can be difficult to maintain quick response times if you don't have enough customer support staff or have numerous social media channels. You could use CRM software to help you collect and address complaints and questions in a single platform.

If you don't provide your employees with a positive work experience, it could lead to increased turnover and reduced engagement. This can impact the cost of replacing and retraining staff and negatively affect your company’s reputation. Therefore, treat your employees like your customers by conducting employee satisfaction surveys, regular pulse surveys and creating a culture of 360-degree feedback. If your people are happy, they will work more effectively and it's likely that your customers will experience it from their interactions.

Although you may not have a specialist customer experience manager, you still need to find a way to survey customer satisfaction and measure each customer’s journey with your product, service or brand. So, whichever method you use, you must identify positive and pain points. Such customer experience management will help to understand customer expectations, satisfaction and loyalty and highlight where issues have occurred in the process.

At Momentive, our SurveyMonkey service can help you to review consumer segmentation and review customer satisfaction over time and across locations. Sign up now to improve your customer satisfaction using our survey design, data analysis and other customer satisfaction tools.

You can provide a knowledge base on your website that you update with current information and frequently asked questions with answers you add to as new questions occur.

Some questions may arise regularly, so you could compile suggested responses that all team members can use. Scripted responses will ensure consistency and should reduce response time. You can also add these responses to your online FAQs.

It can benefit customer service employees to experience the customer life cycle. For example, you could ask them to make a complaint, sign up for a callback or ask them to use the online FAQs and then gain feedback on their experience of being a mock customer. This may help them understand future customers and identify unknown pain points.

Including customer satisfaction in your overall business strategy should feed down into team and individual objectives. You also need business leaders to practise customer service with customers and also all employees so that it becomes incorporated into the business culture.