As a marketer and a business leader, you have a deep appreciation for your customers and you know how important they are for your business. In fact, aside from your employees, your customers are probably the most important group of people for your brand and your business. After all, they are responsible for a large portion of your revenue, and they can make or break your profitability and brand reputation.
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the Chairman on down simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton
With all of this in mind, it’s no surprise that marketing leaders strive to delight their customers and improve their customer satisfaction ratings. Here are a few more ways that you can improve customer experience and measurably increase customer satisfaction:
1. Elevate Management Discipline
“Thank your customer for complaining and mean it. Most will never bother to complain. They’ll just walk away.” – Marilyn Suttle
Almost all departments of a business can benefit from a more disciplined approach to management, and your customer service department is no different. It’s important to note that most people think of management as managing employees. While that does play an important role, various other aspects also need to be managed, especially when it comes to customer service. You might need to manage your social media in terms of customer service, as well as your budgets for connecting with your customers on their terms (not yours). Customer Relationship Management capabilities, or CRM, are also incredibly important. This type of software helps bring rigor to your customer service processes, allows you to personalize your customer interactions and elevates your performance in the eyes of the customers.
2. Ask, Ask and then Ask Them Again
“Until you understand your customers – deeply and genuinely – you cannot truly serve them.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
While you can make assumptions on whether or not customers are satisfied, you won’t ever truly know what they’re thinking unless you ask them. Even then, they may not always be completely transparent with you, so you need to ask more probing questions. Most customers prefer to give their opinions anonymously, especially via online surveys. This way, you get to hear what customers want straight from the customers themselves, which will allow you to make the necessary changes. If you notice that a lot of customers are dissatisfied with a particular thing, it’s a sign that you might need to make some changes there. Click here to access some free online survey tools that work well for gathering customer feedback and revealing insight into their preferences.
3. Ramp Up Response Times
“Occasionally problems will occur. When it happens to your customers, fix the problem fast. Make it your speed and generosity that gets remembered, not the problem.” – Ron Kaufman
If there’s one thing that most humans have in common, it’s that they don’t want to be kept waiting. Luckily, online customer service has meant that customers don’t need to wait on the phone for hours to be able to speak to a customer service representative – they can simply send them a message and get on with their day while they wait for a response. That being said, your digital customer service team should still prioritize and promptly respond so that customers don’t have to wait for days before getting an answer to their questions. It’s important to understand the conditions for successful customer engagement in the digital age so that you can make adjustments and improve your customer service operations.
4. Double-Down on Employee Training
“Isn’t it really ‘customer helping’ rather than customer service? And wouldn’t you deliver better service if you thought of it that way?” – Jeffrey Gitomer
Many people assume that everyone knows how to respectfully interact with customers. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Your employees will need to undergo training if you want them to know how to properly address customer complaints and respond to service queries. It is critical to document the process for handling complaints, offering resolutions and escalating for further management attention as appropriate. Of course, in the post-pandemic world, companies face the increased challenge of having remote workers, which makes training and reinforcing key lessons a bit more challenging. However, there are still ways to train remote employees and thus improve customer satisfaction.
If you want more tips on how to delight customers and win them over, let’s have a conversation. As always, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me @toprightpartner, or if you want to go deep on transformational marketing, order a copy of my new book, Marketing, Interrupted.