Strategies to increase customer satisfaction are used to achieve a positive customer experience, boost engagement and create better products and services.
Pleased clientele is at the heart of any successful company. Getting their attention is hard, so retaining existing customers becomes an ultimate goal for making a business blossom.
In this article, we’ll talk all about customer retention, from the basics to the most effective customer satisfaction strategies, and interesting business cases of customer satisfaction surveys that work.
Introduction to customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is a set of measurements that determine how happy customers are with a product or service. It reflects the expectations of your customers, perceived product quality, convenience, and their experience interacting with a brand.
Customer satisfaction is measured through direct and indirect means. Direct metrics are qualitative, meticulous gathering and analysis of opinion for improving customer satisfaction. Indirect refers to big data and statistics, which are gathered to create a big-picture result of customer experience. Learn more about customer satisfaction metrics in our previous article on this topic.
A combination of both direct and indirect metrics helps us understand how to ensure a customer is satisfied, and which steps to take for retention.
Examples of the importance of the customer satisfactions
The importance of customer satisfaction in business is hard to overstate. Customers are central to any business. Good experience with a company is a make or break in recommendations and brand loyalty. It helps in keeping a churn rate low by successfully handling complaints or even predicting the possible issues and users at risk.
According to Harvard Business School data, increasing customer retention rates by 5% also increases company profits from 25% to 95%. Statistics on the customer side confirm it too. 65% of customers claim they would become long-term buyers if a company provides a positive experience in the customer journey.
Moreover, your customers often drive business changes. Since it’s their needs and wants you to cater to, a business must be flexible in order to keep their customers happy. If more than half your users want an app to have a Family Share feature, why not consider it as a part of your business strategy? Customer satisfaction importance in this case would be pushing a business toward a change.
The overall cost-effectiveness of keeping the customers happy is another point in the importance of customer experience. The costs of finding new customers greatly overweight those of keeping them. On the flip side, choices of acquisition or retention should not be made based on profits alone, but rather considering the future value a decision may bring.
How can support teams improve customer retention?
Both your sales and support teams play a crucial role in customer experience and users retention. They are the face or the voice of a company as the only representatives who have contact with the customers one-on-one.
To keep the customer retention rate high, there are a few support approaches to consider:
Delivering quality support consistently
Since as little as three negative experiences may turn the majority of customers away from your business, customer support should focus on giving high-quality customer service, and do so consistently.
Having a good recovery process
There might be early signs of trouble, such as a customer asking for unsubscribe steps or requesting all of their data. Having an established recovery process will help you in preventing users from leaving your platform.
Developing analytical reading skills
First customer inquiry may not always be clear. Sometimes, they don’t know how to express their thoughts and concerns in writing. In other cases, customers may not know what they want at all. Anticipation and the ability to deduce follow-up questions is a skill customer support should encourage.
Timely information delivery to other departments is another pointer to having happy return customers. Consider this: one of the services on your website is down, and subscribers are heading to customer support. It’s important to have a good reporting strategy, so that bug information reaches your technical department, and gets resolved quickly.
Effective strategies to increase customer satisfaction
Books and the Internet offer numerous ways for increasing customer loyalty. But which customer satisfaction strategies actually work? How can you apply them to your business case?
1. Know your customer
The simplest solution tends to work wonders. Knowing what your existing customers like and dislike about your product gives you an insight into how to make them happy about using it.
2. Provide an omnichannel service
Having customer support is one of the best strategies to increase customer satisfaction. However, making this support omnichannel is even better. Ensure a few ways to connect with your brand or resolve issues. Especially if your brand caters to a non-tech-savvy audience.
3. Make them feel special
Everybody likes to feel that businesses care about what they have to say, and personalization is one of the best tools for that. Retention rates can improve by 8% with personalized brand experiences. Indeed, more and more, personalization is just expected. According to the recent McKinsey report, 71% of buyers expect to have tailored brand experiences and interactions.
4. Offer benefits and discounts
Customer loyalty is nourished by making sure that both users and their issues are seen. It’s great to have discounts and special offers for devoted customers or for those at risk of leaving. Receiving a lower price offer from one of your favorite services could really make someone’s day.
5. Ask ‘What do you think?’
Ask customers about their opinion and analyze the feedback to keep them happy. Proactive support, who are interested in their customers are much more likely to gain their favor.
Making a customer satisfaction strategy an essential part of your organization means a focus on a more customer-oriented business model — with consumers and progress in mind.
10 powerful customer satisfaction survey examples
Customer success surveys play a large role in getting customer assessments. Feedback helps to know your customers, but also their opinion about your service specifically.
But why is customer satisfaction survey important to implement in your business? Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of reasons! Overall, survey feedback helps you make better business decisions and develop your operations in accordance with market needs and wants. Moreover, you can:
Find out what’s working;
Explore reasons for customers to have stayed or left your service;
Track your progress;
Find new opportunities and ideas.
In this part, we’ll take a look at how customer-oriented companies survey their client, hoping to inspire you too!
Hilton’s large feedback survey gives up simplicity for quality and precision. Their survey is lengthy and full-scale, helping the company get real deep-dive insights into the customer experience with hotels and staff. Hilton details separate scales for overall service quality, accommodation, pre-arrival, and departure.
These kinds of surveys aren't the most common ones, yet indispensable for data collection and product-service improvement. For a smaller scale company, it would make sense to do larger surveys seldom. But they will be a real game-changer in strategy and planning.
In contradiction to Hilton’s complexity, Uber’s rating survey is known for its modern design and simplicity of use. After finishing a ride, you get an in-app pop-up about rating your driver. You can put a rating and specify a reason for it from a set of options without having to input anything. Additionally, you are prompted to tip your driver in case you enjoyed your experience.
This survey is very in-line with Uber’s style and simpler aesthetics. For customers, it is useful to know if the driver is reliable. It decreases the initial anxiety about the drive. For Uber, it gives insight into top platform performers per city, as well into what qualities are most appreciated in drivers.
T-Mobile offers SMS surveys each time you interact with their customer service. It looks like a prompt of firstly asking for customer consent, then asking a few simple 1-10 questions about customer support performance, issue resolution, and promoter scores.
This allows to gather feedback about the inner workings of company’s support department, and look for possibilities to improve in troubleshooting or direct communication.
Viber’s minimalist approach to product evaluation survey questions allows them to get large volumes of feedback. After finishing a call, the application asks you about call quality and reasons why it worked or didn’t.
This approach is brilliant for product development or fixing bugs, as they already have lots of information about the device, and can check connection problems without further follow-ups.
To better the experience of the freelancers, Upwork conducts frequent questionnaires for interest in certain features and improvements. They are detailed, but simple enough with no requirements for open-word answers. Getting feedback in the earlier stage of feature implementation helps companies reduce the costs and even prevent losses in cases customers don’t find them useful.
Delta Airlines Survey
Delta Airlines company understands how many factors go into customer satisfaction, and their survey is designed to reflect that. Flight attendant behavior, luggage, seat comfort, flight entertainment, meals are just among the few they measure.
This thorough approach helps them in identifying the very specific areas that might need refinement.
Upon receiving an unsatisfactory rating, a digital insights company Heap gets back with a survey. This is a great example of the importance of customer satisfaction survey, where the company gets both additional information and the possibility to enhance their product. If you organize your customer retention survey questions right, there’s a high chance of changing peoples’ minds about your service.
Nike’s survey is unique among these examples, since they have a very tangible product, that they produce, market, and sell.
After completing a survey, customers get a special perk — a Nike discount. By entering the survey entry code on their website, the discount is automatically added to the user profile. A win-win situation for Nike and their loyal customers, willing to spend a few minutes on answering customer experience questions.
Survio provides us with a case of website feedback surveys using the most recent of tools — a web widget. When visiting their website blog, a small bright blue bookmark appears on the side of the website. It attracts attention and wants you to click on it. In it, Survio team ask about how useful and interesting was the article.
On the users' side, it allows them to share feedback on the article piece quickly, with no registration or additional data required. On the company side, article rating would aid in creating a successful content plan.
A tech developer Apple usually sends out detailed questionnaires. They take around 10 to 20 minutes to complete. Apple surveys ask about the general customer satisfaction, the recent iPhone or IOS features, as well as their comparison to those of Android OS.
What can we learn from it? Releasing questionnaires some time after an update is always a good idea, especially if you have a large audience. Additionally, you might just try asking the users about your direct competitors. A risky move, yet potentially very enriching.
With the increasing relevance of data collection, there has been a surge of programs for creating surveys. Survey Monkey or Google Forms could be useful for small businesses, while larger companies may choose to develop their own web pages, tools, or software. In the end, it’s about what businesses do with the data, not a program satisfaction survey creators use.
Following the best survey practices, for longer questionnaires, it’s best to ask demographic and psychographic questions first, then ask customers about product usage and satisfaction. Open-text questions are usually reserved for the end.
If basic information is already available, it’s best to opt-in for simple few-question surveys or a Likert scale. In this case, organizing the questions logically or providing a survey in an appropriate interaction should be just enough.
For a simpler solution, try using a free customer satisfaction survey template. You can personalize such questionnaires to your liking, analyze the results, and improve customer experience in the long run.
Customer satisfaction is a complex topic to tackle. There are many strategies to reach the same aim, and their effectiveness depends on factors such as industry, type of products, and the types of customers.
Even though there are a few axioms, improving customer satisfaction takes experimentation with tactics and research into what your customers want. However, the hard work that a company puts into it is very rewarding. An increase in retention rate, higher net promoter scores, and scale in profits are among the best reasons to invest in customer satisfaction today.