10 minute read
Customer satisfaction measures the degree to which your product(s) and services make customers happy. Unsatisfied customers almost always churn out sooner or later. Whereas happy customers mean higher revenues. 💸
There are multiple factors affecting customer satisfaction, that have the ability to make or break your business. In this article, we talk about the topmost 6—why they always stand strong, and how you can start adopting them today.
Infographic: 6 factors that affect customer satisfaction the most
Customer satisfaction: why does it matter?
Satisfied customers are much more likely to come back than unhappy ones.
Happy customers = repeat customers.
The question is how to measure this happiness? Start tracking some important customer service KPIs, like CSAT scores and Net Promoter Score. Note how they improve/degrade over time, and what are the gaps to be fulfilled.
For instance, customers with a CSAT score of 9 to 10 are most likely to be your returning customers. This means they will be more willing to do business with you again.
Here is how you can create a CSAT survey in seconds.
Higher customer satisfaction reduces customer churn.
Losing customers = Losing revenue
Poor customer service causes more customers to churn out than bad pricing. Therefore, it is important that we take customers’ feedback seriously and improve customer service for higher satisfaction and reduced customer churn.
Retaining old customers is much more cost-effective than acquiring newer ones.
Retaining your current customers costs 6-7 times less than acquiring new ones. And, that's just the monetary side of it.
Coming up with new strategies for customer acquisition is all time consuming, money devouring, and takes up a lot of mental bandwidth. Long story short: pay attention to keeping your existing customers happy.
Factors that affect customer satisfaction the most
1. Personalised services create happier customers
Personalisation is the key to creating memorable customer experiences, making it the top most factor affecting customer satisfaction.
Paying close attention to the individual needs and preferences of customers and customising your services accordingly is known as personalised customer service.
It is natural to think that only small teams can pay attention to personalisation. But, we can prove you wrong with multiple examples. Take the heartwarming customer service story of SouthWest Airlines, for example.
Gabby, a type 1 diabetic 9-year-old, was terrified of flying. But she had the support of Garrick, a member of the flight crew, the entire time. He served her snacks, and comforted her when she felt uneasy––without her asking.
SouthWest Airlines took customised hospitality services to the next level.
Pro tip: Invest in building a team and culture at your company that genuinely cares about the comfort of its customers––one that goes above and beyond its job description and timelines. That, is where magic happens.
You can read more such interesting and heartwarming customer service stories to inspire you here.
Still not convinced?
These studies will convince you: At least 93% of customers will do repeat business with you if you provide personalised services. Moreover, when you provide customised services, 90% of your clients are likely spend more on your business.
Here’s how personalisation can affect customer satisfaction:
- Customers build a psychological and emotional connection with your business when they get services specifically tailored to their concerns.
- Your customer care agents can reply to customer inquiries more meaningfully with the help of personalised service.
- To provide customised support, your agents should require detailed information about the customer. This encourages you to build/invest in meaningful customer engagement platforms which enables the agents to have all the information handy. This means that customer support executives won’t be required to ask unnecessary questions.
Thus, personalisation can increase client satisfaction and lower cart abandonment or churn.
✅ Higher customer satisfaction
✅ Lesser chances to churn even after a negative experience
✅ Effective problem resolution
Listed below are a few tips to provide more effective customised services for your customers.
Have an omnichannel customer support service.
73% of your customers use multiple channels before making a purchase.
An omnichannel strategy can significantly increase the effectiveness of personalised customer support. It offers support across various channels. Having omnichannel support can also help you increase your customer base. That’s because you can reach out to a wider audience spread across various age groups.
Building an omnichannel support system means your customer support team is available across channels. This can range from emails, phone calls, and live chat, to various social media platforms.
It also helps your team to stay efficient and focused by answering all the queries coming through various channels.
Map your customer’s journey experience with your brand.
Every consumer interacts with your brand through a series of events. This is known as the customer journey. These events can include brand discovery, conversion into a purchase, post-purchase customer service, etc.
The customer journey map is a method that, in real-time, summarises each customer's experiences at various points throughout their journey. As a result, you can spot any issues that fall short of the customer's expectations and fix them before the customer churns.
Have all the information handy about your customers.
Personalisation is not limited to addressing your customers by their names. Keeping all the information about your customer handy as soon as they raise a complaint or query is very useful. This makes the customer feel important. This is how you can do this easily.
2. An empathetic team
Empathy in customer service means that you put yourself in the customer’s shoes and try to understand their grievances. Result: more satisfied customers.
Even a simple conversation with a customer service rep can become more memorable and impactful when businesses adopt empathetic conversations in customer service.
Positive brand impressions are created when customers get a sense of being heard. This makes them feel that the brand is making every effort to assist them.
Businesses realise how important it is to be understanding while engaging with customers. This is why businesses have started to include empathy as a part of customer service training as well.
For instance, Apple provides a guide to empathy in its customer service training manual.
- The manual is designed to support the Apple staff in empathising with consumers when assisting them in the physical stores as well as online.
- They learn how to read customer body language and tone.
- They are also given a number of empathetic phrases to use with clients.
This is an example from which you can draw some inspiration.
People want their needs to be acknowledged, especially during crises like the pandemic. Customers who have also lost their jobs, businesses, and even loved ones interact with customer service agents.
3. Paying attention to customers’ preferences and choices
Providing more choices of the same product to your customers greatly improves customer experience. Customers feel more satisfied if they get to choose from more variants of the products that you offer.
Having more options makes the customers feel that they have control over what they want to buy. For instance, in the fashion and mobile phone industry, giving more colour options for the same product can be helpful.
However, too many options may also overwhelm the customer at the same time. This is known as choice overload.
A research study by Columbia University and Stanford University has shown that the number of choices should be around 6. It is important to find the right balance of options according to your industry standards or needs.
Another important aspect is understanding customers’ preferences.
When doing market research about your products or customer service channels, taking customers’ preferences into account is important. At the end of the day, it is your customers who will be using the product and the support channels.
Customers’ preferences will determine what products your customers will be willing to buy.
Understanding these preferences will enable you to predict customer demand. By using this data, you can set your product's pricing.
Similarly, understanding their preferences regarding customer support will also help you to ensure that you guide them to the right channel.
For instance, having data on what are the most common customer service types that your target group uses can come in handy. You can use this data to make customer support available as per needs.
And when customers realise that you are paying attention to such details, they are more likely to continue doing business with you.
4. User-friendly websites and online platforms
Fancy or not – Most businesses today have their own websites. They also have a presence across multiple online platforms.
Most customers also actively surf the internet before making any purchases and would expect you to have a website or online presence of some sort. This makes it an indispensable factor affecting your customer satisfaction.
So it is important to have a user-friendly company website for maximum customer engagement and satisfaction.
Mentioned below are some tips you must keep in mind to ensure a smooth experience for your website visitors.
A website that is easy to navigate
As much as 88% of customers are expected have a negative brand perception of companies with unreliable websites and mobile apps.
The more user-friendly your website is, the greater satisfaction each visitor will feel. They will return to your website if you create a website keeping the UX the in mind.
The CTA on the landing page is clear and simple
The Call To Action is a key element of a web page since it serves as a nudge for the user. It tells them what to do next to get what they came looking for.
A user may not be aware of the steps to make a purchase or sign up for a newsletter without a clear CTA. Not understanding what to do next can be frustrating for your customers.
It is important to simplify the process as much as possible to increase satisfaction. So they may leave the website even before completing the purchase.
This is why a clear CTA on the landing page plays an important role in making your website user-friendly.
An example of a website with a good user-friendly design is the blogging platform, Medium.
Medium has a very minimal and well-laid-out website for desktops as well as smartphones. The mobile app of Medium is also very smooth and has a user-friendly interface.
Here's how the home page of the Medium mobile app looks.
The website is mobile friendly
Search engines report that they get most of their traffic on mobile phones, across various industries––especially the B2C ones. So it is important to provide a seamless experience to mobile users.
- Mobile-friendly websites should be easy to use, simple to navigate, and visually appealing. A better UX also helps your SEO.
- Customers have a better experience because it is easier to find the buttons for CTAs, taskbars, and menus.
- A responsive mobile-friendly website increases trust and shows that a business is up to date with customer needs, demands and preferences.
More than half of your company website and social media traffic could be from smartphones and tablets.
An easily accessible customer service support if customers face any issue with the website
Your customers should be able to access customer service support whenever they face any issue with the website.
Sometimes, your customers might have difficulty navigating through the website. Or they might face any technical glitches while completing a purchase.
In such situations, the customer might want help. So it is important to have immediate support on the website to solve such queries.
There can be various types of customer service support that you can have on your website.
Having a FAQ page or some knowledge videos is the bare minimum. This can guide your customers in not only the purchase process but post-purchase too. Thus, having immediate customer support on websites affects customer satisfaction in a positive way.
5. An active online community for your customers
Customer-centric businesses invest in online communities. They understand that keeping customers happy goes beyond just product quality and prices.
Companies like Canva have a user community on Facebook where design enthusiasts can interact and learn from each other.
How does an online user community impact customer satisfaction?
- Customers, in these online forums, share creative ways to use your product. Every customer also has unique solutions to various queries.
- Whoever reads these conversations also gets to learn more about your products and services. They also get more transparent and genuine reviews.
- This means that customers get an organic source of resources created by the customers and for the customers.
- These communities save customers' time. This helps in reducing their frustration of having to wait sometimes for resolution.
- These communities also have customer service representatives reading the conversations and feedback. They can jump in anytime and make sure customers receive the assistance they require.
Thus, an online community can help your customer base grow leaps and bounds.
✅ Increased customer engagement
✅ Mutual knowledge sharing
✅ A space for exchanging genuine feedback.
At Chatwoot, we connect with all our users, support folks, and open-source enthusiasts over Discord.
6. Customer appreciation and loyalty programs
Customer appreciation is a factor that affects customer satisfaction in more ways than one.
Appreciating your customers will make them feel more valued and seen. When you appreciate your customers, they get a sense of satisfaction that they are not just another metric or business goal.
Appreciating customers is important for brand loyalty. After all, customers who are loyal are five times more likely to be your returning customers than those who are not.
When a happy customer promotes your product or service favourably through word-of-mouth, online forums, reviews, emails, etc. it leaves a great impression. A customer who feels appreciated attracts leads and organic referrals.
One way to appreciate customers and maintain relationships is through thank you emails – for staying with you, for making a purchase, or for referrals.
Another important way to appreciate your customers can be by offering tailored loyalty programs.
For instance, Starbucks offers customised discounts and offers for those who have taken the memberships. The brand offers free drinks during the birthday month of the member. Additionally, it also offers a free upgrade on the size of the drinks sometimes.
Such customised programs and offers for your customers go a long way in increasing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
The ABC of Customer Satisfaction
A for Approach
Use the right approach when interacting with your customers. Help them solve their issues and concerns, create delightful experiences within and outside your product.
During support conversations, understanding the tone of the conversation and the language customers are using is important. This will help you deliver to the best of your capacity.
B for Building Relationships
Build relationships with your customers. Care about what your customers care for. Keep track of your customer service KPIs.
C for Consistency
Making customers satisfied with a single interaction is not enough. Being consistent in how you deliver your customer services and interact with them matters the most.
Consistency also helps with positive branding. So whether you are consistently performing well or not is also important to track.
Until next time 👋
Here’s some inspiration for you.
“A satisfied customer is one who will continue to buy from you, seldom shop around, refer other customers and in general be a superstar advocate for your business.” Gregory Ciotti
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