Your business is booming, which is, of course, fantastic, but when it comes to your rates of customer satisfaction, you cannot help but notice that they are lower than you would like them to be. If you have noticed that your levels of customer satisfaction are lacking, don’t panic because you are not alone. It has been reported that over the past year, many businesses have noticed a slight decline in how satisfied their customers are with the service and care that they receive.
The good news is that there are various ways in which companies can increase the satisfaction that their customers feel, and make them more likely to recommend them to others. Bearing that in mind, the question is: what can your business do to improve customer satisfaction and boost your brand’s success?
Below is a guide to eight simple steps that you can take to ensure that your customers’ levels of satisfaction are as high as possible.
1. Keep your business premises clean
Research shows that businesses with premises that are poorly looked after, tend to have worst customer satisfaction rates. Companies with dirty or messy facilities, often have a drop of over 30 percent when it comes to customer satisfaction. To put that into perspective, 94 percent of people asked said that they would not return to a business that had dirty bathrooms, which demonstrates just how crucial cleanliness is in business.
2. Listen to your customers
Sometimes it can seem near enough impossible to know how to improve customer satisfaction. However, usually, the easiest thing to do is listen to your customers. If you choose to listen to what your customers have to say, they will feel more valued, and thus, will be more likely to use your service again in the future or recommend it to others. When it comes to finding out what your customers actually want, services like SimpleSat, for instance, can be invaluable. This is because they can make the process of understanding what your customers need from your business, a much easier and less stressful one.
3. Offer proactive customer service
What is proactive customer service? Proactive customer service is thinking one step ahead and ensuring that you always offer your customers the very best experience possible. You know how when you are in a nice restaurant, your server comes over to your table after your food has arrived to check that everything is okay? Well, that is a prime example of proactive customer service. The best proactive strategies have the potential to improve a business’s efficiency and decrease complaints. The aim is to check in with your customers about their experience with your brand before they can contact you to make a complaint, should they need to. This allows you to turn a negative experience into a positive one, by ensuring that you react well to any problems that a customer mentions.
4. Slash waiting times
One pet hate that all consumers have, it’s waiting times. As a business, if you manage to find a way to slash waiting times, you will (quite literally) go down in history as being one of the world’s best businesses. You will find that your customers will be twice as likely to recommend your brand to their friends if you take the issue of long waiting times seriously. Everyone is busy, and if you can’t cater to your customers’ busy lives, they will find a company that can, it is as simple as that. Reduce inbound call waiting times, and your customers will be forever grateful. Implementing an online, real-time instant messenger service can work well, and is a concept that is currently being used by many larger companies across the country.
5. Utilize social media
Today, customers expect a speedy response to any questions or queries that they may have about a product or service that you offer. For many people who lead hectic lives, a phone call is not a viable option, so you need to offer something faster than that. Social media is the key to offering a much faster service when it comes to answering questions. If you don’t already have a social media team on hand to help manage your business’s social media needs, it could be worth considering hiring one or outsourcing the task.
6. Take the right approach to building relationships
When it comes to customer satisfaction, a lot of the satisfaction that customers feel is linked to how businesses treat them. Bearing that in mind, it is important that brands take into account the approach that they take to customers and the relationships that they build with them. It is important to understand that today, the kind of treatment that customers expect from brands is very different to what it was even ten years ago. There is, in many sectors, a more casual approach to customer relationships, with a friendlier approach being taken to customer service and care by many companies.
7. Exceed your expectations
Want to ensure that your business offers the best customer service out of all the competing brands? Then the best thing to do is set high goals and aim to always exceed them. When it comes to goal setting, take the time to look at what your competitors are offering and benchmark them, so that you can ensure that you are able to offer more than what they are, and go that extra mile for your customers.
8. Take complaints seriously
Every customer complaint is a chance to improve your customers’ satisfaction levels, so it is vital that you take each complaint seriously, regardless of how strange or unnecessary it may seem. Complaints show you where the issues in your business lay, and what you need to do to improve what you are offering. When a customer complains, what they focus on is how the business responds, which is why ensuring that you have the perfect complaints procedure down to a T is so vital.
Want to boost the customer satisfaction that your business has? Then take note of the tips above and implement the advice from them in how you run your business.
Featured Image by Shutterstock / By cifotart