What is customer satisfaction?Customer satisfaction is a metric which measures how well a company, or more accurately, its product or service, meets customers’ expectations. The importance of customer satisfaction cannot be overstated. Establishing and maintaining excellent relationships with customers is the only effective, long-term strategy for businesses who strive to achieve high growth. Help Scout have found that 81% of companies providing superior customer experience outperform their competition. Happy customers can be equated to loyal customers. Once a customer places their trust in you and is happy with the service you’re delivering, they will not only continue to do business with you but will also be more likely to upgrade or try other services and products you may supply. At the risk of overstating a point successful companies never overestimate the importance of customer satisfaction. According to Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer can be anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than keeping an existing one. So, focusing on customer happiness is not just some new trend which modern businesses are obsessing over, it is a viable profit-driven strategy. A study conducted by Frederick Reichheld, the inventor of the net promoter score, has shown that increasing customer retention rates by a mere 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. How to measure customer satisfaction? Customer satisfaction can be challenging to measure, but first you should thoroughly understand the exact meaning of just what is customer satisfaction. It is typically based on a short survey – populated with appropriate customer satisfaction survey questions – which a customer completes after fulfilling an action on the site, chatting with a support representative, or once their ticket is resolved. The CSat survey can be presented in many forms, but it’s usually a single question concerning a specific experience. For instance, you might be asked “How would you rate your shopping experience with us today?” and prompted to either leave a star rating or choose from a couple of simple options, such as excellent, good, or bad. You will be surprised just what you can learn from a well thought out customer satisfaction questionnaire. Companies often try to make their customer satisfaction survey as lightweight and ubiquitous as possible; for example, by embedding it in the signature of an email or sending it automatically after a support ticket is closed. However, failing to measure CSat can be expensive. 91% of unhappy customers who are non-complainers simply leave and 85% of customer churn due to poor service which was preventable. If you don’t measure your CSat, you will never know of these customers existence. The Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is also a popular method of gauging customer satisfaction. It is calculated using the answer to one key question and a 0-10 scale. That one important question gives an unprecedented insight into customer experience and satisfaction – “How likely are you to recommend us to your friend or colleague?” Service organisations are able to create loyal customers by teaching them how to solve their problems quickly and easily without having to use a support agent, rather than by delighting them in service interactions. These types of organizations often rely on the Customer Effort Score (CES), which measures how much effort a customer invested into a certain interaction with the company. The two versions of the CES survey question that are currently used by different businesses include “How much effort did you personally have to invest to handle your request?” (a 5-point scale) and “The organisation made it easy for me to handle my issue” (an agree/disagree type of question). How are we measuring customer satisfaction? It is vitally important that you know just how to measure customer satisfaction. “You can’t expect your clients to be completely happy with your product if you do not offer great customer support,” says Vitalija Golceva, Head of Customer Success at Teamgate. The customer happiness team at Teamgate has come a long way since 2015 when they started seriously measuring customer satisfaction. According to Zendesk, which Teamgate employ to handle email tickets, the average customer satisfaction rate is 94%. However, due to a consistent and diligent approach to measuring customer satisfaction after each resolved ticket, Teamgate’s customer success team managed to increase the satisfaction rate from 95.1% in 2015 to 97.2% in 2017. But just what was it that made our customers more satisfied with the support they were receiving? A couple of things, really. First of all, we began analysing customer support requests which were repeatedly receiving poor reviews. This allowed us to identify and solve our mistakes, and never make them again. The second important factor which helped us improve our overall performance was adding the human touch. Of course, to save time and work more efficiently, we had to automate some of the most common messages, but we made it a priority to give each of our clients the individual and personal support they needed. Vitalija, Head of Customer Success at Teamgate, comments, “At the end of the day, a kind word from a client makes every customer support specialist feel great.” So, as you can see it is worth the time and effort of understanding exactly how to improve customer satisfaction with Zendesk CRM. Best methods and practices Successful companies will have understood and embedded their own brand’s customer satisfaction definition. “The methods you choose to apply in your organisation can be somewhat influenced by the nature of your business, or your industry,” says Vitalija. “However, many of the core practices ring true in most cases. To ensure your customers are happy with the support you deliver, try to incorporate these timeless tips into your performance.” Positive customer satisfaction examples can be achieved as follows:
- Address your customer by name. Ask your customer if you can call them by their first name to strike a more personal relationship and establish trust. Communicating on first name basis helps to humanise the conversation and create a friendlier interaction.
- Always give the customer your name. By introducing yourself and giving the customer your name, you will reassure them that they’re talking to a real person, not some chatbot.
- Show empathy. A simple phrase like “That doesn’t sound good…” or “I can see why you’re upset” shows the customer that you empathize with their issue and understand how they’re feeling. It is one of the primary elements of successful social customer interaction and should never be overlooked.
- Focus on one goal. If you’re asking your customers to help you improve your service or product, respect their time by limiting your survey to one specific goal and keep it short.
- Monitor the length. Again, you’re asking your customers to carve out time for you in their busy schedules, so, ensure that all questions included in the survey have a purpose. Aim for 5-10 survey questions relating to areas, such as overall satisfaction, service delivery, or customer experience.
- Don’t use jargon. Never assume how much or how little your customers know about the industry you’re operating in. Keeping your surveys free of jargon and easy to understand, for even the least knowledgeable customer, will increase your chances of soliciting more responses.
- Personalize and brand it. To help customers understand what they are participating in, and which company is asking for feedback, make sure the survey is branded and personalised. It’s also best to send the survey within 5 days of the customer’s interaction with your business.