Despite its obvious importance, customer satisfaction can take a back seat in many businesses. Just the pressures of running the business day-to-day can often mean that customer service suffers. You and your colleagues are so focused on getting the job done that you forget about what matters most: customer experience.
But keeping customers satisfied is key to the continued success of your business. Good experiences will keep them coming back time and time again. A bad experience will drive them away, and they may never return.
Here are some tips for improving customer satisfaction to drive up your sales.
Reward High Achievers
As entrepreneurs, we all want great employees. Great employees are what drives our businesses. In a way, we’re totally dependent on them for making a living.
With that said, it’s always a good idea to incentivise employees to do their best. And in no area is this more important than in customer service. An excellent way to improve customer service is to give your employees a direct financial reward for their efforts. Recognising high achievers in the customer service space motivates whole teams to perform better. And that’s important for their paycheck and your bottom line.
Many businesses think that they can decide their customer services approach in the boardroom. It’s just a matter of planning it all out and then implementing it in the business.
But this is a naive view. It assumes that board member knows what it is that customers want. More often than not, their experience is no substitute for customer feedback itself.
The only way to find out whether there are weaknesses in your customer services is to go out there and ask customers themselves. Create a survey on SurveyMonkey and send it to your clients on your mailing list. Don’t worry, if they’ve had a problem, they’ll certainly tell you about it. But remember, this is vital information to improve your service.
Reduce Customer Wait Times
One of the most annoying parts of calling up any company is the wait to speak to somebody. Often there’s not a lot the company itself can do. If it hired more call centre staff, then it would have to put its prices up, which customers would dislike even more.
But there are things now that entrepreneurs and small businesses can do to reduce wait times. One is to use an IVR system for queries that don’t require a human on the other end of the phone. IVR has moved on tremendously in the last decade, thanks to improvements in computers and software. And it’s now a viable option that improves the customer experience.
Go Above Customer Expectations
Customers have in their mind a level of service that they expect from your company. And it’s this minimum level of service against which they’ll judge whether they want to continue to do business. But because of the poor quality of service they usually encounter, this expectation is often low. That, of course, is an opportunity for you. Going that extra mile will put you streets ahead of the competition and secure that relationship for life.