Customer satisfaction is such a generic term for something that can be quite hard to measure and attain. It derives from a customer experiencing a good level of service, perceiving a quality product for a reasonable price and perceiving that they can trust the vendor or provider should any issues occur in the future. Customer service is so important as it often implies the likelihood the customer will recommend the company to consumers in the future which of course promotes ongoing business. In this article, we will investigate relational methods of improving customer satisfaction and promoting business.
Identify the problem while remaining customer-focused
A big faux pas to be aware of is to get into a solution-focused mindset where productivity is noted by the number of problems dealt with and ticked off the ever-growing list. As satisfying as it is to tick things off and mitigate problems that arise, customer satisfaction can be jeopardised. This claim might seem strange but with each problem or issue that a customer faces and brings to your attention, there are attached frustrations and feelings. It is usually these frustrations that dictate satisfaction, feedback and the likelihood to recommend or discredit the service or product, not the resolved issue. Therefore, it is essential that while you are finding a solution for a customer, you are still remaining personable and caring, ready and willing to address any other issues that may arise until they truly feel their problem is sorted and their custom is valued.
Personify the digital interface
With the growing dependence of companies on digital interfaces and social media for customer reach and interaction, there is a risk of detachment and no longer personally connecting with consumers and making them feel valued. However, companies must remain current and therefore the use of social media and digital means for connection is recommended. The skill lies in ensuring employees who sit behind a computer screen are just as personable and well-trained in customer service as those who deal with the customer face-to- face. All interactions with customers, be it over the phone, from behind a screen or in person, need to be laced with politeness, friendliness and the desire to understand them and their needs.
Celebrate success, work on failures
It is fantastic when companies obtain a large Net Promoter Score (NPS), which implies a high level of customer satisfaction and corresponding likelihood to promote the company. These instances need to be celebrated as it is clear something is being done correctly. However, so long as there are any dissatisfied customers, the company cannot and should not rest on their laurels. Dissatisfied customers provide a fantastic opportunity for growth and development as a company. A focus on these people and what they need can increase the NPS and increase future business. However, what is required to improve their satisfaction? Asking the right questions in order to understand where the issues lie is paramount. Steer clear of impressing your own comprehension of the issue and what should be done upon these customers; instead, try to ask, listen and empathise with them to gain the most accurate understanding.
Take Home Message
In business, where success is measured through a series of metrics and quantitative data, it is difficult to bring things back to simple principles that promote good relationships, respect and honesty, despite what the numbers may be saying. However, where customer satisfaction is concerned, it is these relational techniques that hold a significant amount of value and should be a focus in training and practice. To promote customer satisfaction and the growth of business, ensure there is an inherent practice of listening to and understanding the customer. There must also be a genuine interest in positive interactions and quick resolutions when dissatisfied customers are encountered. Ensuring these goals are met will go a long way to facilitating the growth and success of the business.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.