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Increasing customer satisfaction begins by determining where the company or product can improve by implementing a customer rating system, measuring internal information, and combining these to determine what actions the company can take. Understanding what the customer needs and wants is also a good means of increasing customer satisfaction. Involving the entire company in the improvements, even if a specific department does not necessarily deal with customers on a daily basis, can also be helpful.
A customer rating system or survey can help to give a company a good idea of what is wanted and expected from the customer base, directly from the consumers themselves. Outside of this, monitoring how much revenue is generated due to returning customers can also provide an indication of how well the company is impressing its base. Measuring service times, whether in a checkout line or the amount of time that it takes a customer’s phone call to be answered, can also provide a good starting point for increasing customer satisfaction.
When information from customer surveys and internal measurements are combined, a company has the best chance of making its customers happy. For instance, if surveys consistently indicate that wait times for customer service are too long, and internal information indicates that the average customer waits 20 minutes, the company will have a better idea of how much time it needs to cut. Simply knowing how long a wait is or that the customer is not happy with it provides no actionable information.
One of the best tips for increasing customer satisfaction is to determine what the customer expects and what he or she wants. Providing the service or product in a timely fashion is typically the main desire of the customer. Meeting this need will not necessarily impress the customer, but not doing so will typically cause him or her to find another source to fit these needs.
Once expectations are met, smaller things can be implemented to impress the customer. These are typically services that are not expected and not necessarily related to the main product or service that the company provides. For example, a customer who enters a restaurant expects good food, reasonable service, and a decent ambiance. Once these expectations are met, free appetizers, drink refills, and entertainment will likely impress the customer and aid in increasing customer satisfaction.
No matter what changes a company makes to increase customer satisfaction, every department in the company should be involved, even if a specific department does not routinely provide direct service to the customers. Those who do not handle the company’s client base usually provide the support for those who do. If each department has separate goals, it can make the company working together as a cohesive unit difficult.