You can become a successful business owner by listening to your customers. Here I have narrated 5 powerful ways to improve customer satisfaction by making necessary changes to your business strategy.
Imagine having friends in life with whom you never become angry. Not possible, right? And then there are moments when your friend may also become angry or unhappy with you. However, reconciliation happens when you try to understand the reason for unhappiness and take action accordingly. Your relationship with customers can be explained in the same way. It is not possible to keep your customers satisfied always. What is indeed possible is to understand the reason for dissatisfaction and address the issue immediately.
The rich companies and MNCs allocate huge funds for marketing and operation. Their purpose is to reduce customer acquisition costs and thus keep clients satisfied. However, if you are a small business owner, unfortunately, you may not have the budget to hire consultants or advisory firms to do the job for you. And this is why you need to follow these 5 powerful ways to improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Listen to Your Customers – One of the Key Ways to Improve Customer Satisfaction
In today’s virtual world of business transactions, customers often feel unheard of and neglected. Suppose a customer has made a purchase from your online store. Then he finds the product defective or not up to the mark. Now he is calling your customer service but no one answers the phone. Even worst is that the customer service executive hung up on the customer! Would you expect the customer to make a re-purchase or refer your product to his friend? Definitely not!
And then listening to your customers is not always about addressing issues or solving problems. It is also about listening to their needs, suggestions, and requirements. Thus it becomes easier to improve customer satisfaction by building up a long-term relationship with them.
So, what are all steps you can take to listen to your customers? Give them multiple options to reach out easily, be it over the phone, SMS, Whatsapp Chat, Website Chat, Social Media, or Email. Thus the customers feel secure about the fact that they can quickly make an inquiry because they have multiple channels to access customer service.
Accept Mistakes and Offer Solutions Quickly
It is not possible to never commit a mistake while running a business. Sometimes customers may take to social media to file complaints publicly if their issues are not solved otherwise. And we all know the power of negative reviews being posted on review sites or social platforms. Rather than trying to hide the mistake or giving lame excuses to justify it, you need to make sure to get in touch with the customer, apologize, and explain.
For instance, the one common grievance that customers often have is trouble making an exchange or receiving a refund. If you notice that many buyers are making a similar complaint, then you need to revise the strategy to reduce your e-commerce site return rate.
Remember that the key to customer retention is acknowledging the fact that your company is not perfect. If the customer has posted complaints/ queries on social media and review sites, then you can post your replies against those queries. This is a great way to show them that you are not sweeping the issue under the carpet!
Seek Suggestions and Ideas For Improvement – One of The Effective Ways to Improve Customer Satisfaction
When you seek customer feedback, it is a great way of showing you value their suggestions and ideas. And of course, customer feedback lets you measure customer satisfaction. Based on customer inputs you can improve your products and services. And all these you can do without spending lots of money.
The easiest and quickest way to seek suggestions and ideas from existing customers is by conducting satisfaction surveys. You can request customers to complete the survey whenever a purchase is done. However, the problem is most customer surveys don’t have a 100% response rate. This is because most surveys are not planned properly. For instance, if you present them with a lengthy questionnaire, most customers are likely to skip it. So, keep it short, simple, and easy to understand.
You can also improve participation by offering a small gift or discount when someone takes part in the survey. Plan to use this input to identify the problem areas and take action accordingly. For instance, the customer survey might reveal that buyers have a problem using your e-commerce portal. They find it difficult to search for the right products or complete the check-out process. Whatever is the problem, you can solve it to boost customer retention.
Stay In Touch To Strengthen Customer Relationship
Talk of ways to improve customer satisfaction, and this is perhaps the easiest way to do so! You need to nurture the customer relationship by staying in touch. And then staying in touch doesn’t mean sending business emails about promotions and discounts only. It also means sending wishes or greetings on special occasions. Customers always feel special when you send customized e-mails or gifts on their special days.
Do all these sound too much of a trouble? Worry not! You can simplify the entire customer relationship management process with the help of efficient CRM software, like HubSpot, Zoho, or SalesForce.
Monitor The Performance of Customer Service Executives
Sometimes it doesn’t even matter that your product is perfect and competitively priced. If your customer service guys are not professional and knowledgeable enough then it can negatively impact the customer retention rate.
Therefore, as a business owner, you need to make sure that your front-line staffs, dealing with customers know precisely what they are doing. You can randomly monitor their performance. Then many companies have this system of seeking ratings from customers about service staff, after each interaction.
By reviewing your staff regularly you can find out the issues that might be pushing clients away. Accordingly, you can guide the customer service people to improve their performance. You can apply any of these employee appreciation tricks to motivate your staff to improve and excel.
Retaining old clients is far easier than acquiring new buyers. When you have loyal customers, they help reduce customer acquisition costs. And it can ultimately lead to brand expansion.
The above-explained ways to improve customer satisfaction are not difficult or expensive to follow. So, if you are a small business owner working with limited resources, you can try these above tips to build up a loyal customer base.