A happy customer equals a prosperous business. Customer satisfaction is definitely the No.1 priority of your business because it is usually the underlying factor that determines whether your commercial activities are successful or not. Customers are satisfied only when their demands are met and/or exceeded even. Thus, every time they make a purchase or get in touch, there are expectations which they wish for you to meet. If you don’t fulfil their needs, and the customer is unsatisfied, you risk losing even the most loyal customers. So much so that unsatisfied customers due to bad customer service cost businesses worldwide more than 60 billion dollars a year. Care to save some money? Read our guide with 7 insightful tips on increasing customer satisfaction!
Tip #1 – Let your customers feel heard
Let us show you a small chart that can show you the vital importance of making your clients and/or customers feel heard.
The best way to make a person feel heard and their opinion – appreciated are by using positive language in communication. It’s both Neuro-linguistic programming and just generally, good service which will help your business reach better figures in terms of customer satisfaction. We’ve already written a detailed paragraph
on positive language in our blog on how to avoid bad customer service. Check that out to know more about the utilization of phrases like “Let’s see what we can do” and “I understand why you called/got in touch”.
To help you out, even more, try to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Many of them get in touch because they’re very anxious to understand why something is wrong and they have all kinds of worst-case scenarios planned out in their head. That’s why they can be angry, upset, vocal or rude, even. The goal of your customer service staff is to make them feel heard and little by little try and calm them down by helping them understand the cause of the problem and the way to a solution. If you can help a person see that there is an imminent solution, they should relax a bit. But, if you aren’t able to communicate with them in the right tone… Well, let’s show another chart to help you understand.
As we can see, failing to address the concerns of your customers and the tone of communication of your customer support staff hurts your business in more ways than one. Improved churn rate, free money for your competitors, decreased advocacy and negative reviews are just the tip of the iceberg.
If you want to remember why this is important, don’t forget that a recent study in the UK and US concluded that 80% of customers who churn after a poor customer service experience say that the business didn’t seem to care. And we all know you should care!
Tip #2 – 24/7 support is key
Now we all understand that a small family business can struggle to upkeep a 24 hours customer service, but in reality, there really isn’t any reason why you should not keep your support open 24 hours per day. If you can’t at least don’t turn off the live chat feature and allow your users to leave a message which you’ll respond to ASAP.
Around 50% of users, according to Statista, expect a business to respond within 24 hours. However, this data is heavily saturated (god knows why) because during working hours and if they called in over the phone, the vast majority of customers agree to wait up to 10 minutes. But it’s worth also mentioning that they’re automatically quite dissatisfied if they have to wait more than 1-1.5 minutes when it’s your working hours.
Tip #3 – Personalize openers and customize auto-replies
Personalized openers automatically improve the customer’s conscious and subconscious response to your service. Remember what we mentioned in the first point? Customer support has a duty to allow the client to feel heard. Personalized openers will help slightly tone down their anger (if they’re feeling anxious, angry, or distressed) whilst maintaining a more friendly and approachable tone of voice.
When it comes to fast and automatic replies, they really seem to put people off a lot. If you provide an automated response, the customer usually is automatically forced to believe that a support agent is very busy, entangled in bureaucracy, and/or unwilling to genuinely listen and involve him/herself in the situation. This is not ideal for your users. Thus, what you should want to do is have at least 3-4 different auto-response variations for different situations. This way you can minimize the feeling that the initial responses are scripted whilst maximizing the efficiency of service.
The thing with automated messaging is that businesses choose to implement it because it becomes too difficult to cope with the stream of inquiries. And whilst stats indicate that commercially successful companies are very likely to automate a lot of support-related communication (when possible), it’s also beneficial in the short term. Most people are generally very dissatisfied if they’re only able to talk to a chatbot and can’t request human assistance. One more thing why automating too much customer service is bad can be seen by looking at the chart below.
As data suggests, automated tools will help only take care of two points from this chart. But what about five others? With a person who’s handling communication, you can get the maximum satisfaction for your customers. Although ~79% of people will try their luck at the self-service or FAQ site before reaching out to customer support, you have to be able to provide knowledgeable insights and a professional approach on demand.
Tip #4 – Research and ask for reviews
Regardless of which tip you follow; the goal is always the same – understand what your customer wants and give it to them. That’s the main idea behind every customer service tip, course, or insight. And wouldn’t you agree that the best way to understand what your customer wants is just to ask them directly? Even though only around 1/3rd of customers voluntarily leave a review, you can incentivize reviewing to gather more information and data about your service.
For example, after a customer makes a purchase or completes a chat with a customer service agent, you can offer them a discount, bonus points, cash bonus, whatever else in exchange for a detailed opinion on particular points or your service quality, as a whole. Setting up an automated form on Google or integrating a dedicated plug-in for user-experience data gathering isn’t expensive nor too difficult. There really isn’t any single downside to asking your customers for their feedback.
One more illustration to show you why gathering such leads is super important for your business.
As we see in the chart, if your business offers at least an OK customer experience, the customer will be 72% more likely to make a 2nd purchase, 66% more likely to recommend and 47% more likely to forgive a bad experience in addition to being overall, more trusting. So, we probably don’t need to explain any further. It’s clear as day – good customer experience (which primarily comes from good customer service) improves the prestige of your business and the likeliness of commercial success.
Tip #5 – Make loyal customers feel rewarded
Customer churn rate is one of the most important figures for a subscription-based business or a shop that sells consumables. But not only these areas rely on loyal and returning customers. Pretty much every niche and business area is keen on having more loyal buyers.
But a question arises – how can a business have more loyal customers and reduce the number of churned buyers? Well, no need to invent the wheel once again. If you want more loyalty from customers – implement a loyalty program. It’s one of the most efficient ways to reduce customer churn rate and increase the number of returning buyers.
As you can see, people mostly expect to save money by buying products or services from your store. There’s also a significant chunk of people who would appreciate receiving rewards (e.g. free goodies) but that’s a nice extra. The underlying factor for improving customer satisfaction is the ability to introduce a program to save money through a customer loyalty program.
The loyalty program makes every purchase experience much more personalized, which the customers want and like. In addition, besides personalization, your business also gathers valuable insights, helping tailor ad and marketing campaigns whilst also seeing higher customer satisfaction figures. If you have the available funds, you should invest in a high-end personalization engine to offer customers products and/or services according to their browsing history, habits, and behaviour patterns.
Tip #6 – Fuss-free way to refunds
Even in the best conditions, after serving a certain number of customers, and leaving them satisfied, you’ll definitely encounter someone who’s not. It may not necessarily be your fault. For example, the shipment could’ve been lost by the postage company which is not yours nor the customer’s fault. And whilst the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the postage company (in this case), you can’t leave your customer in the grey. If something like this happens, and you can’t immediately solve the issue or agree on a free next shipment, you should definitely offer a refund – no questions asked.
One refund isn’t going to hurt your company financially as much as a bad review could. If you do that, the customer will definitely still recommend you to other people in addition to remaining more likely to buy from you again, even. By increasing the level of trust between your organization and your customers, you can automatically increase customer satisfaction figures because a positive bias towards your business can appear. But, be wary, this bias is very fragile and easy to damage, so you want to add an extra layer of security for your customers.
Publish a refund policy and overview the most often cases when customers ask for a refund and how you’ll be dealing with them. Don’t forget, that if a situation is in the grey area, it’s always more beneficial to make a decision for the benefit of your customer because you don’t lose them automatically. However, if you decide that they’re at fault or that you can’t do anything to help and won’t refund, you’ll definitely lose the customer for good. The refund policy should be free of fancy legal talk. People don’t like that. Write clearly and maybe have a separate document for the customers (easy-to-read) and the full legal disclaimer.
Lists with bullet points will help readers understand what’s what.
Tip #7 – Don’t try to profit from their mistakes
This point is quite closely related to Tip #6. In situations, where the customer has made an obvious mistake (e.g. accidentally purchased a more expensive plan, forgot to renew, etc.), don’t try to punish them for it. The meaning of the gain for your company is much less significant than the meaning of a refund for your customer.
By setting such an example and refunding or resolving a debatable situation in their favour, you show that your brand is empathic and that it cares for the customers. That’s a great set of qualities to display because customer satisfaction is usually a two-way street. What we mean by that is when your customers are happy, your business has a much higher chance of success!
A short overview
So, we’ve successfully covered 7 insightful tips for improving customer satisfaction. One more free recommendation for you – implement a high-quality communications tool that you can use for fluent and efficient chats with your clients. Atlasmic
can be your main outlet for efficient communication which results in higher satisfaction rates. Remember to strive for personalization and show care towards every case. All in all - we hope this helped and we hope to see you checking up on our blog for weekly updates on a wide range of topics on e-commerce and business online!