A loyal customer is as precious as a gem: you ought to cherish and take care of. It is well-known now that customer retention is easier than the acquisition of new ones. More than that, it is much more expensive trying to convert potential customers than maintaining a good relationship with the people you have already acquired.
More than ever, it is essential to create a solid base of loyal customers. How do you maintain this loyalty? What is customer satisfaction and how do you measure it? Appvizer answers your questions in this article!
What is customer satisfaction?
The concept of customer satisfaction appeared in the late 1980s, a time when customers were becoming more than just people buying your products. As marketing was developing its way, companies understood the very importance of having recurrent and faithful customers.
Customer satisfaction is the general impression related to the consumption of a service or product in your company. It is composed of three elements:
- Quality: it has to do with the quality of the product or service. Is the customer satisfied with the quality or service they paid for?
- Reliability: this point has to do with the services you offer. Did your customers receive what they asked for on time?
- The response to needs: it has to do with whether or not customers were satisfied with what they bought according to their expectations.
These three parameters give rise to the same feeling: that of having made “a good purchase”.
Conversely, dissatisfaction is the unpleasant feeling of having made the wrong choice. We regret the purchase. Not only will we not repeat it, but it is also likely that we are tempted to spread the word about our disappointment. Word of mouth is a powerful process that can have both a negative and positive impact.
As the internet is getting more and more important, a “bad buzz” can be extremely harmful to your business, not to say fatal. With one unsatisfied customer, you can lose ten more potential customers at the same time because of word of mouth.
Creating a great customer relationship
Asking customers about their level of satisfaction is part of a continuous process improvement approach. It is important to give them the possibility to speak and share their opinions. By listening to them and trying to understand their expectations, you contribute to improving your business, products and services. The more you push toward the direction of customer knowledge, the better you will find and know what solution you can offer them.
Measuring the degree of satisfaction of your customers
How to measure customer satisfaction?
Customer satisfaction is measured using quantitative and qualitative indicators. Among them, three are frequently used by companies:
- The Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) concerns the short term. Submitted just after the purchase, it proposes to the consumer to give a score on a scale of 1 to 5.
- The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is for the long term. It assesses the likelihood that the customer will recommend the purchase. The score ranges from 1 to 10. From 1 to 6, the score is considered negative. From 7 to 8, the answer is considered neutral. From 9 to 10, the answers are considered positive and the customers can be seen as promoters, ambassadors of your brand.
- The Customer Effort Score (CES) is the opposite of satisfaction. It evaluates the effort that the purchase represented for the customer. It is evaluated from 1 to 5.
These three indicators seek to integrate the emotional dimension into the experience linking the buyer to the seller. The first, CSAT and NPS, play on the register of effect. However, the third one, CES, has a more operational scope. It can result in corrective actions to improve the customer experience and build loyalty.
How do you formulate your survey?
Your satisfaction survey can include several types of questions: open, closed or graduated. The main thing is to be simple and direct. Your satisfaction questionnaire should be fluid and understandable by everyone.
Conducting surveys is one of the most efficient ways to get feedback in order to improve your customer satisfaction. Thanks to the surveys, you will get the answer you can then analyze and take decisions that will lead to improvement.
How to submit your questionnaire?
The most classic way to submit a satisfaction survey is to send it by email to your entire customer list. Nowadays there are many different channels available to you to contact your customers. Social media, networks, blogs or mobile applications allow you to reach customers or prospects.
5 tips to improve customer satisfaction
As you clearly understood, customer satisfaction is deeply important for your company and its future. Find below 5 key tips to improve your customer satisfaction and make the prospect of today your customer of tomorrow.
1. Creating a customer-focused corporate culture
There are many different departments within the same company. Even though these departments are different, each employee needs to dedicate special attention to customer satisfaction. You should write a charter of good practices so all of your different teams know what lines to follow.
2. Answering customer needs and expectations
Thanks to different processes such as intent data, surveys or CRM software, you are able to identify the needs and expectations of your customers. With the knowledge you acquire from them, you should do everything possible to satisfy customers to create loyalty.
3. Delivering a flawless customer experience
The customer experience represents all the interactions that a customer will have with your brand during their journey. Nowadays, the customer journey is as important as the product or service. You must create a feeling of uniqueness in the customer.
4. Collect feedbacks
In order to improve you need to know why your customers are satisfied or not. First, make sure that your customer service is easily accessible and responds quickly. You need to be particularly careful about any comments, issues or complaints. You should send satisfaction surveys on a regular basis in order to know what customers are thinking about your products.
Ask them directly about how you can improve and how you can help them. They are the solution!
Satisfaction surveys and CRM
Customization and predictive analysis
For your marketing strategy, customer relationship management (CRM) software has a real added value. CRM soft has a powerful database compiling your commercial contacts and related information. There is a question of setting up adapted scenarios, in a relational marketing approach.
The tool, fed progressively with more and more segmented data, becomes a mine of information. For your short-, medium-, and long-term decisions, knowledge of customer behaviour refines your forecasts for the management of your company.
Surveys are the most efficient way to know if customers are happy or not. In order to be confidential, they can be anonymous. It helps to identify potential problems and provide real information on their opinions. The customer should always be at the centre of your attention.
Benefits of marketing automation
Among CRM software, various tools offer multi-channel distribution of satisfaction surveys.
Customer satisfaction is a crucial variable. To place it at the heart of your sales strategy, it is necessary to identify its different components. You will be able to increase your customer loyalty and acquisition ratios by staying as close as possible to your target’s expectations.