Customer satisfaction is something that is earned through a single exchange between a customer and a business. In the Cambridge dictionary customer satisfaction is described as: a measure of how happy customers feel when they do business with a company. The big question is how do we really know that the customer was happy with our services/products/experience? The obvious answer is to ask. Ask the customer about their experience and get feedback. Often clients are reluctant to share how they really feel, so offering a survey on-line through your website is an easy solution, or a follow-up phone call. As consumers we have all received survey requests with our sales slip, offering discounts for completing it in a specified period of time. Often we just dismiss these requests, however if you have developed a relationship with your customer, they will be more inclined to follow through.
Here are a few ways to help you cultivate customer satisfaction in your business:
1. Build a Relationship: It sounds easy enough but customer relationships start with the first phone call, and people may argue that they start earlier than that with your marketing and advertising. Getting to really know your customer and their needs and wants and cater to those requests. Remember that they called you! Don’t lose the chance to build your relationship immediately. How a customer is treated on the phone is an early predictor of how they will respond to you. If you haven’t already, get all your staff trained on telephone etiquette.
2. Getting Systematic Customer Feedback; As mentioned, feedback is critical to your business’s performance and the development of customer satisfaction. If you do not ask for customer feedback, it is time to start. You could be loosing customers and not even know it. Share feedback with your team and use it to improve how you do business. You can also use surveymonkey.com to generate your own survey that you can share with your clients.
- Have Established Protocols for Customer Complaints/Resolution: Customer complaints and issues need to be dealt with quickly and effectively in a timely manner. No matter the situation that led to the complaint, a quick resolve is the best way to get your customer back. Although you cannot predict every potential customer issue, having your staff trained on how to handle complaints properly is key.
- Focus On Satisfying the Customer: Look at your operation and focus on key areas where you can have the most impact with your customer. Your goal is to meet, anticipate and fulfill your customer’s needs. Find ways to go above and beyond to satisfy your customer.
5. Take Care of Yourself: In order to have the best interactions with your customer and provide the best service, employees need to feel good about themselves. Employee burnout is a real issue and can have disastrous effect on your business. Make sure that all your staff/employees are presenting their best selves, getting enough rest and exercise. Happy employees=Happy Customer.
These are just some ideas on how your can cultivate customer satisfaction in your business. Customer satisfaction is a process that involves your whole team; don’t let a good customer get away.