With increasing competition for consumer attention and new substitutes entering the market on an almost constant basis, the demand for customer satisfaction has never been more important. Companies must be able to not only consistently acquire consumers, but also be able to retain them for as long as they possibly can.
If companies are not capable of effectively managing customer satisfaction levels, it is only a matter of time before their sales drop and they take their business elsewhere. The primary reason for this is the increase in review websites that have advanced controls to filer authentic reviews, increasing the transparency of online business.
This article is designed to help you increase your customer satisfaction levels by presenting the top five ways to increase customer loyalty.
1. Establish measurement controls
The measurement controls are a fundamental foundation that surprisingly, many companies do not have in place. It is often not enough to simply have basic controls in place, companies need to form unique measurements based on their industry and business model.
The customer satisfaction measurement method for a subscription based SaaS company is tremendously different than one that services tourists that are highly unlikely to return. A software company may be more concerned about churn rate, the amount of time that customers are retained. A company that serves tourists would not be able to effectively measure the churn rate, but may be more concerned about digital reputation management.
2. Incentivize staff based on satisfaction levels
Your most important staff will have the closest and most engaged relationships with customers. Therefore, it makes sense to incentivize them based on customer satisfaction levels if you want to increase customer satisfaction.
With many companies focused on increasing efficiency and decreasing costs, it is easy to avoid hiring more talented team or increasing compensation levels to boost performance. We encourage companies to re-consider their compensation structure. For instance, rather than distributing a holiday bonus for no reason that is the same amount for all staff, structure it based on the performance of customer satisfaction levels.
3. Ensure that staff are not requesting the reviews
When staff are requesting the reviews, it is likely that they will avoid requesting them from dissatisfied customers and focus only on those with a positive experience. It is also possible that if they directly handle reviews, that they directly alter them or somehow manipulate the data to provide a false impression.
The system of gathering customer feedback must be done so in a way that can gather the full scope of satisfaction levels. This may be done through collecting customer personal information and having an unbiased individual submit the request. It is likely that customers will either reply when they will either be expressing their concerns or seeking an incentive.
4. Have a monthly meeting to discuss operations changes
The most important information derived from the customer reviews will be the complaints that have been expressed. It is highly likely that if one customer expresses a complaint, that the situation is not isolated, and many others have either not expressed them or vented in another manner. Therefore, it is very important that companies effectively act on the consumer feedback as to yield tangible changes in the organization.
Where many companies fail is not the awareness of customer dissatisfaction, but the inability to effectively implement the change. This is partially accomplished by the compensation of staff related to customer satisfaction, but also the responsibility of management to yield tangible change.
5. Make use of mystery shoppers
If you are concerned that the ratings that you have received have been altered by staff, or ratings are difficult to acquire, you may make use of a mystery shopper to gain data. This does not need to a private company that charges fees, it can be a simple friend or relative that may go in as a customer with the purpose of analysis in mind. Doing this a few times can help your company to effectively understand the experience that customers go through when using your product or service.
Upon this realization, you will be able to have a deeper understanding of the process customers experience.
There are many things to consider for the increase of customer satisfaction levels, it is not always as simple as being motivated. Many companies focus on cleaning up the mess through reputation management rather preventing it. While this may work for a much later company, smaller ones that have a less established brand in the market can unstable if they are working to build up an image.