One of the questions businesses are constantly asking themselves is, “how to improve customer satisfaction?”.
Firms place a lot of emphasis on improving customer satisfaction because happy customers are more likely to continue with them.
And not only do high levels of satisfaction help you retain customers, but it also helps you save costs — after all, attracting one new customer is a lot more expensive than retaining an existing customer.
In this article, we’ll cover how to improve customer satisfaction levels of your business. We’ll also tell you how to use technology to enhance your customer satisfaction rate.
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20 Actionable Tips on How To Improve Customer Satisfaction Levels
- Pay Individual Attention to All Customers
- Provide Proactive Customer Service
- Set Clearly Defined Expectations and Surpass Them
- Personalize Communications with Customers
- Provide Omnichannel Support
- Provide Self-Help Options to Customers
- Ensure 24/7 Support
- Regularly Check Customer Satisfaction Levels
- Encourage Customers to Give Feedback
- Reply to Both Positive and Negative Feedback
- Share Feedback with Your Team
- Act on Negative Feedback
- Develop a Strong Customer Service Community
- Empower Your Team to Help Customers
- Provide Quick Responses
- Appreciate and Reward Loyal Customers
- Ensure Your Team are Experts on Your Product
- Provide High-Quality Service
- Offer Free Shipping and Discounts
- Use Technology to Measure Employee Performance
Let’s jump in.
20 actionable tips on how to improve customer satisfaction levels
Here are 20 tips you can try out to increase customer satisfaction:
1. Pay individual attention to all customers
Did you know that almost half of all clients expect special treatment in exchange for customer loyalty?
To satisfy customers, you need to listen to what they have to say. When customers realize that you pay individual attention to customer needs and concerns, building confidence and loyalty for your brand is easy.
When your team makes a genuine effort to assist every customer, you’ll start to see results like reduced customer churn and more return customers.
2. Provide proactive customer service
Customer service shouldn’t be about waiting for customers to reach out with issues.
Proactively reaching out to customers helps you identify problems early and shows your customers the level of customer care you provide.
Proactive customer service can be as simple as sending an email with a customer satisfaction survey or even a payment reminder that helps clients prevent their subscription from expiring.
Providing proactive service will not only increase customer satisfaction levels, but it’ll also help keep your customer service agents focused on improving their service.
3. Set clearly defined expectations and surpass them
Nothing reduces customer confidence than unmet expectations.
Think about it.
If your service rep promises a client that their issue will be resolved in a couple of hours when it actually takes a few days, how does that reflect on your business?
To ensure customers are satisfied with your service, set a realistic goal and try as hard as possible to exceed the customer expectation.
If a customer service representative promises a customer that their matter will be resolved in two days, try to reasonably push your team to get it done in one day.
When you provide solutions ahead of deadlines, you increase the levels of customer expectation and confidence they have in your ability to deliver.
4. Personalize communications with customers
Imagine being a loyal customer of a brand with regular purchases, and when you reach out to support, your brand loyalty is rewarded with a generic support message.
You’d be pretty frustrated, right?
It’s the same way your customers feel when met with generic messages and marketing content without the slightest hint of personality — they’re great at turning every happy customer into an unhappy customer.
To boost satisfaction rates, you need to make customers feel important and valued.
And the easiest way to do that is by personalizing all communication with customers.
Use their first names when addressing them or send a birthday greeting through email. These are simple tasks that can be automated, but they make customers feel important to your business.
5. Provide omnichannel support
It’s 2021, and your customers won’t reach out to your agents via just phone and email.
They’ll reach out through a platform that’s most convenient for them, and every business owner needs to ensure each customer service representative covers every possible touchpoint.
Omnichannel or multichannel support allows customers to reach out through whatever channel is most convenient, with real-time responses assured from your agents.
You can service your customers through touchpoints like:
- Live chat
- Social media
When you deliver real-time support through several channels, increasing customer satisfaction will be simple.
6. Provide self-help options to customers
Did you know that around 53% of customers think resolving problems on their own is more important than getting an agent’s help?
A great way to ensure a satisfied customer is to provide them with access to a thorough knowledge base with tutorials or a detailed FAQ section on your site.
As a business owner, you can also link your knowledge base to a chatbot, so customers can easily find the answers they’re looking for.
This helps capable customers solve issues through self-service, leaving your agents to cater to those customers who really need help via channels like live chat.
7. Ensure 24/7 support
Whether you’re already a large business or a growing company that’s looking to build a network of clients, providing round-the-clock support is essential to keeping your customers happy.
When customers reach out with an issue, especially through live chat or social media, they expect an immediate response.
You might not be able to resolve every customer interaction right away. Still, a message that acknowledges their situation and a promise to work on it can leave your clients with a positive impression.
The ideal way to provide support is to have several remote agents working round-the-clock to support clients worldwide. You can also use a chatbot to manage and direct customer queries to ease the stress on each customer service representative.
8. Regularly check customer satisfaction levels
You can’t improve customer satisfaction levels if you don’t know where they are at, right?
An essential part of improving customer happiness is measuring and quantifying how your clients feel about how they’re being treated.
Remember, if you have problems with your internal processes, they ultimately show up on your finished product or service. So ensure you regularly measure customer satisfaction to identify which areas of your business are doing well and which areas need improvement.
Customer satisfaction metrics like the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) can help you set benchmarks and focus on improving customer experience.
You can also use the Customer Effort Score (CES) metric to see how much effort customers have to put in to resolve an issue, directly affecting customer satisfaction.
9. Encourage customers to give feedback
Proactively asking customers how you can improve can go a long way in boosting your customer satisfaction rate and customer loyalty.
You can reach out and conduct an individual customer survey, ask them to leave an online review, or even conduct polls on social media platforms. Ask them what they’re happy with and what they would improve about the level of customer support they’re getting.
10. Reply to both positive and negative feedback
Positive feedback from clients to satisfaction survey questions is an excellent indicator of your business doing well.
It’s obvious that businesses like to respond to customers who have good things to say about their customer experience. This is undoubtedly important, as client satisfaction grows when customers realize their positive feedback is valued.
But it’s even more important to get back to clients who have complaints about the business.
Negative customer feedback lets you know what you need to work on to boost satisfaction and make clients happier.
Responding to customers who’ve had a negative experience with the promise of finding a solution to their problem helps them understand that you value their business.
11. Share feedback with your team
Once you speak to your customers, it’s important to share positive and negative feedback with your whole team.
It won’t do much good if you get customer support agents to pass on customer feedback only to managers. Advice trickled down from seniors managers to your operations team can sometimes get miscommunicated.
Instead, you should gather your whole team and directly share customer feedback, especially negative reviews, with them. This way, each separate department and individual employee knows exactly what they need to do to boost satisfaction rates.
12. Act on negative feedback
If you’re looking to make every customer a happy customer, it’s important to fix their problems quickly.
You can use negative feedback from each customer interaction to look at what you can improve. But pay special attention to complaints that represent a pattern.
If most of your customer base complains of the same issue, you need to pay urgent attention to that problem.
Provide your support team with all the data they need to rectify the error. Once you’ve fixed the problem, reach out to your clients and see if overall satisfaction rates have improved.
13. Develop a strong customer service community
You can create a forum or platform for your customer base to interact with each other and find solutions to problems they may encounter.
Your team can also engage clients within this platform to provide assistance and build customer relationships, leading to increased satisfaction and customer loyalty.
14. Empower your team to help customers
Your agents can be willing to go the extra mile and help your customers.
But if they aren’t given the support and authority they need, employee engagement rates can drop — and so will your customer service satisfaction rates.
You need to boost employee satisfaction so your team is motivated to provide great customer service.
As a business owner, you also need to ensure the team has the appropriate equipment to deal with customer issues. Ideally, your clients shouldn’t have to ask whether they can “talk to a manager.”
When agents can quickly solve any issues that pop up during a customer interaction, you can see customer happiness levels start to skyrocket.
15. Provide quick responses
It’s normal for clients to expect businesses to provide solutions quickly.
After all, they’re paying customers who expect nothing but the best, right?
To keep customers happy and increase customer retention, you need to reduce response times.
Long wait times can lead to unsatisfied customers, and regularly waiting long for support can drive your customer base to switch to competitors.
To prevent this from happening, ensure you have agents monitoring all your support channels. They should quickly acknowledge any issues that arise and take appropriate action to resolve the problem.
16. Appreciate and reward loyal customers
Many businesses strive to personalize and offer rewards based on customers’ needs.
While you may struggle to personalize the experience for every client, you shouldn’t disregard people who have been loyal customers over the years.
When you reward customer loyalty, not only do you further increase their loyalty to your brand, but you also turn them into solid brand ambassadors.
You will find your team onboarding new customers brought in through loyal customers’ word-of-mouth, ultimately increasing your sales.
An excellent way to reward your customers is to run a loyalty program. This way, you can collect purchase data over time, use those analytics to determine your most loyal customers, and reward their commitment.
17. Ensure your team are experts on your product
When customers reach out for help, they expect your agents to know everything about issues and how to solve them.
If you have incompetent employees answering customer queries, it’ll only lead to frustration and a bad experience for your clients.
To help resolve issues quickly and to boost customer satisfaction, ensure your customer-facing agents know everything there is to know about your product or service.
18. Provide high-quality service
Did you know that over 60% of customers have stopped doing business with a brand after a poor customer experience?
Customers transact with your business and not your competitors because they expect a certain level of quality and customer support for their money.
If your team can’t live up to customer expectation levels and provide the service they’re looking for; customers are bound to switch to one of your competitors.
To provide good service, ensure your agents:
- Are transparent with your customers.
- Use positive language.
- Actively listen to clients.
- Are sincere with customers.
Once you nail these factors, your agents will be on track to offer stellar support to customers.
19. Offer free shipping and discounts
To know that you’re offering up a bargain for customers can always make them happy, bringing in more sales revenue.
You can use discount schemes to attract new customers or reward loyal clients who’ve been with you for several years.
Alternatively, you can offer free shipping, an excellent incentive for customers looking to buy from you.
If you have the budget, you can go a step further and even offer free return shipping on specific items. If customers have any problems, they can easily exchange the item without a hassle.
20. Use technology to measure employee performance
Your employees are meant to keep your customers happy throughout the customer journey.
But they can’t do that if they’re not working properly, right?
You need a way to measure your employees’ performance at work, so you know how well your customers are being treated.
Fortunately, you can use a tool like Time Doctor to instantly see how productive your employees are at work.
Time Doctor is a powerful productivity and time management tool used by businesses around the world. Everyone from large corporations to SMBs use it to boost team productivity.
You can use Time Doctor to:
- Track how long your team spends working with clients to improve satisfaction levels.
- Access real-time reports detailing the productivity of your team.
- Prevent employees from idling at work with idle times pop-ups.
- Monitor productivity across other business tools with the Chrome extension.
Take a look at the complete list of Time Doctor features.
Keeping customer satisfaction levels high is key to driving increased revenue and profits.
Take a look at the excellent customer service tips we’ve mentioned in this article. Put them to practice at your business and pair them up with tools like Time Doctor to ensure your team delivers consistently to keep clients happy.
If you do these things right, chances are you won’t have to worry about how to improve customer satisfaction levels anymore!
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.