If you have launched a business with a new product or service to change the market, you will not get far unless you also learn how to increase customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction is the essence of building a profitable company. While innovation stimulates business creation, it is customer loyalty and repeat business that will sustain it. From an economic perspective, it costs more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
What are the deciding factors in building customer loyalty? How do you persuade customers to continue to do business with your company? All of these points are important when trying to deliver high levels of customer support.
You have to design customer perception through the quality of your service. You do this by anticipating needs, by improving response times to orders, and by consistently over-delivering
With that in mind, here are 4 little known factors that can help you win customers over:
1 – The Technological Factor
When business owners think of customer service, they think of helpful sales people and problem-solving customer service reps. They rarely think of technology as a means of facilitating customer relationships. However, a company like Astea can provide the technology you need to identify problems before and after they occur. For instance, a field technician who has access to customer information such as repair histories, technical specifications, and parts availability can complete a service call during the first visit. This will not only impress the customer, but it will also save your company time and costs. In other words, the right technology can help streamline business operations significantly.
The internet has also drastically changed how customer support is done around the world. It’s no longer necessary to hire an in-house team or even provide a location for a support center, as the internet and social media are now used for most customer support issues. Gone are the days when you need to call a number to get answers to your questions, now it’s all online. This has been a huge advancement for both customers and the brands that have implemented these service changes.
2 – The Metrics Factor
After a customer has made a purchase or asked for help in solving a problem related to their purchase, how do you know they will buy from you again?
In most cases, a company just hopes for the best.
However, if you were to measure customer satisfaction, you would get a much better idea of what turns customers on and what turns them off. Measuring customer satisfaction can be the key to a highly profitable business. The happier your customers, the more likely they will buy from you again and the more likely your business will grow through positive referrals.
You can measure customer satisfaction by using online survey tools like Client Heartbeat, Survey Monkey, Survey Gizmo, and Google Forms.
What exactly should you measure?
According to ClientHeartbeat.com, you should track the following the six metrics:
- Expectations. Did you manage to meet customer expectations?
- Recommendations. How likely are customers to recommend your business to their friends?
- Ideal customer experience. How closely do your services match an ideal customer experience?
- Overall satisfaction. What is the overall satisfaction level of your customers?
- User experience. What did customers think and feel about your product or service?
- Repeat business. How likely are customers to buy from you again?
3 – The Loyalty Factor
Developing customer satisfaction is only part of the process of providing excellent customer service. Your real goal should be to transform that satisfaction into loyalty. Think of customer satisfaction as a short-term goal and customer loyalty as a long-term goal.
Satisfaction arises from providing customers with what they want and need from you. Loyalty, however, is transforming that initial contact into a relationship. Relationships can be built by remembering important occasions like birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries.
Loyalty can also be built by providing customers with content that empowers and educates them. This can be done through a blog or through a newsletter.
4 – The Expectation Factor
Customers use a business because they have some expectations about it. People go to Wal-Mart because they expect low price, not because they expect the best quality products. They go into Panera Bread for lunch because they expect healthy meals for a reasonable price, not because they expect an attendant waiter or gourmet meals.
How did customers develop these expectations?
They were designed by the company itself, as part of their branding strategy. In other words, they were managed expectations rather than expectations that arose spontaneously from experience.
Wal-Mart’s advertising talks about their falling prices or how to save more to live better, but it never talks about providing the highest quality products. As a result, people come to expect low prices, but are unlikely to quibble because they can’t purchase premium quality products.
When it comes to expectations, the primary mistake most new businesses make is setting expectations too high and failing to deliver on them. There is an erroneous belief that hype is necessary to get people through the front door or to make an online purchase.
When expectations are set too high, it results in disappointment. This, in turn, results in more returns, bad publicity, and a reluctance to buy from the business again.
It is far better to under-promise and over-deliver than to over-promise and under-deliver.
Customer Service As A Unique Selling Proposition
When discussing business growth, customer service is often considered only one element in business success. However, if, according to the late Management Guru Peter Drucker, the purpose of a business is to get a customer, than providing exceptional customer satisfaction may be the most effective strategy. It could be the secret ingredient that distinguishes one company from others who sell similar products or services.