Customer happiness is very important to your business. When customers are unhappy, they are not going to use your service or buy your product again. Research shows that at least 91% of all unhappy consumers will not go back to that company. Meanwhile 90% of all consumers say they would pay more for good customer service. There are ways to improve customer satisfaction. Here are a few ways to make your customers happier.
- Get feedback.The first step you need to take in increasing customer satisfaction is to ask for feedback from your customers. No one is in a better position to tell you what they like and dislike about your service or products than the people who buy and use them. You can get this online, on postcards and on the phone. There are a great many ways you can communicate with your customers. Provide incentives for them to give you their feedback. That will increase the likelihood that they take the time to respond to your inquiries.
- Talk to your customers. Bring in groups of your customers. These are called focus groups and are often used by political campaigns. Basically, you bring in some of your customers and talk to them about what they think of the job you and your employees are doing. Be open minded when you enter this process. You also need to be careful to not be defensive in your responses, that will only heighten and reinforce any negative feeling the attendees have about you and your brand. Ask them questions. Make sure you take notes of what they tell you. Pay attention. At the end of the session, thank the participants for their time and their input. These sessions can be very helpful and can give you insight into what you are doing wrong and right.
- Read the feedback you get. One key to customer satisfaction is making them feel like their concerns have been heard and listened to. You are wasting your customers’ time and energy if you ignore the comments and complaints that people leave for you. You need to see the value of the feedback forms that people leave for you. You also miss out on a great opportunity to improve your business and bottom line. Take advantage of the data you are getting to provide better customer service.
- Have customer service hotline. There are people who are bold enough to come right out and tell you what they think you should do differently but there are many who would prefer to have their identity remain private. When you have a customer service hotline, people can do just that. Make is as easy as possible for people to reach out to you to give you their thoughts. The easier you make it for them to reach out and give you feedback, the more likely you will be to get it.
- Invest in a “mystery shopper.” Having objective people go through and try out your service is one way to see how your employees are interacting with customers. These people can really help you see what is happening at at your business and get the customer’s point of view, which is the most important one, really. When they give their feedback on their experience with your business, be open to what they have to tell you. You need to have the same attitude with them that you had with your focus groups. Be open minded and not defensive if they give you feedback that you do not like. Us this as an opportunity to improve your customer satisfaction.
- Check out your competitors. Go to your competitors. Look at what you like about the service they provide. Are there things they are doing better than you? Worse? Study how happy their customers look. Talk to their customer service people and see how helpful they are. You always need to be on the lookout for ways to improve your customer satisfaction. This is a process, not a destination.
Having a high customer satisfaction level is the fist step you can take towards building customer loyalty. It is said that it costs between six and seven times more to bring in a new customer as it costs to keep an existing one happy.