It’s easy to say you know what customer satisfaction means. The truth is, it’s not. We can make assumptions, but unless we put that to the test, we may never honestly tell if the customer experience was worth it to them. On the surface, customer satisfaction reflects how a customer feels about your brand, company or business.
However, several determining factors can influence this. For example, your prices made them satisfied, or how your staff treated them made them feel appreciated, or getting the product earlier than stipulated to them made them very satisfied. As you can see, these are different aspects of your business.
It may satisfy a customer that you delivered the product in excellent time, yet they still feel disappointed by the quality of the said product. Does this then mean they were pleased as a whole or not? How do you gauge this reliably?
Customer satisfaction rate determines how happy your customer is across all touchpoints with your product, service and capability.
Why should you measure customer satisfaction?
1. You have to make your products or services accountable, to fulfil the customer’s expectations and needs.
2. There is value in keeping your customers happy. In this current climate, a customer will not shy away from giving negative feedback online and spreading it as far as they can. This will hurt the credibility of your brand, and nobody wants that.
3. Most importantly, keeping customers happy will make them come back for more. A high customer retention rate decreases customer churn and boosts the confidence within your team. This crucial metric brings forth increased profits and market share.
4. Customer satisfaction metric gives insight into your overall performance as a business and an understanding of what your customer wants. This is an opportunity for changing how they react to your business by meeting their needs. Ask the customer the right questions, keep track of the pain points and improve on customer experience.
5. A happy customer is the best brand advocate you would need for your business. According to Nielsen, 92% of prospects trust word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends over any other mode of advertisement. Cultivate long-term relationships with your customers.
6. A loyal customer is one whose expectations and needs have been met if not exceeded. Measuring customer satisfaction gives you a detailed understanding and a key component in increasing customer lifetime value.
7. Customers appreciate being listened to. Communicating with them effectively reduces support issues and is an acknowledgement that the business is receptive to any form of feedback. This is a good opportunity for repeat business.
Steps in Measuring Customer Satisfaction
You need to define what counts as customer satisfaction to your business and how to track it.
To build a customer-centric business;
- create goals centred around them that upgrade the quality of customer service and that of the products and services.
- always think about your customers when making a business decision
- seek customer feedback
A. Identify Customer Satisfaction Determinants
To determine the metrics for customer satisfaction, each of the 5Ps should act as a guide. Use them to gauge how a customer responds to them, for this will determine their success.
- Product: Create a product that customers want. It should cover their needs and provides the services they desire.
- Policies: Run policies that make your customers happy. This should include return policies, sufficient customer satisfaction, etc.
- People: Your employees should be mindful of customers and do whatever they can to assist the customers As long as its within the company’s policy.
- Processes: Implement new ideas and plans that will drive your customer satisfaction goals to success.
- Proactivity: Making the customer experience as smooth as possible. The process should be easy and fast for them to make a purchase or return the item if there’s an issue.
B. Detail your plan
This is the most critical step in measuring customer satisfaction. Identify your target audience based on behaviour, demographics or needs to understand a customer’s experience. Use the details to create a survey type of questions for the customers. It is crucial when to trigger these questions to get the right response.
Trigger points include;
- After a chat session, ask about overall chat experience
- After a successful checkout, trigger customers to rate their buying experience
- After a support ticket is resolved, ask the customer for feedback on how you handled the issue.
- After a product demo, ask the customer about product feedback.
When preparing the questionnaire, ask specific or direct questions to help figure out what works and what needs adjustments. The right open-ended questions tailored to the product or service provided will trigger honest and useful feedback.
Examples of Quantitative feedback questions (open-ended)
- How was your overall experience on our site?
- What is the main reason you want to buy this product?
Examples of Qualitative questions (rating format or multiple choice)
- How likely will you recommend our site to your family and friends?
- Would you shop with us again?
C. Select Channels for Measuring Customer Satisfaction
Depending on the business objectives, identify the channels that your target customers prefer to offer feedback. Make the feedback process simple.
These essential methods (surveys, reviews and statistics) will help find out how customers feel about your business and how your metrics perform. Surveys and reviews are directly from the customers’ mouth, while statistics are their actions that reflect their responses to your changes.
Surveys help express what a customer feels about your product and the sense of loyalty or lack thereof. You can use live chat surveys to measure the performance of the support agents, email surveys to collective quantitative feedback or website surveys to understand your site performance better.
Customer reviews gauge satisfaction. Take note of what they like or dislike and make improvements accordingly.
The website metrics display how customers feel. Have the sales increased? Do you have repeat customers? If such metrics improve, then it is a reflection of customer satisfaction.
iv) Monitoring Social Media
I cannot stress the power of social media in business enough. This channel allows for people to share knowledge, opinion, ideas and experiences about a brand. Leverage these conversations for better customer service and business decisions. To measure if the customers are truly satisfied, integrate social media monitoring tools to analyse user behaviour. E.g. Brand 24, Mention, etc.
D. Key Customer Satisfaction Metrics
i) Customer Satisfaction Score
CSAT is the most vital metric to measure overall customer satisfaction with your product or service. It aims at emotion. This survey asks questions through different communication channels (live chat, phone or email) in a rating format. It usually works immediately after contact when the experience is still fresh in a customer’s mind.
How do you rate your satisfaction with this service?
(Answers – Very Satisfied, Unsatisfied, Somewhat Satisfied, Not Satisfied)
Were you satisfied with our product? (Yes/No)
A higher CSAT score indicates better customer satisfaction while a lower score shows customer was not fully satisfied.
ii) Net Promoter Score
NPS aims at the intention and helps to measure customer loyalty. As mentioned, a satisfied customer will happily advocate for your brand and share their positive experience with others. Loyalty also leads to repeat purchases by the customer.
On a scale of 1 (not probable) to 10 (extremely probable), how likely are you to recommend our services to a friend?
The customer responses are divided into three;
- Promoters (9-10) – loyal customers who will continue to make repeat purchases and brand referrals. Hold on to them and encourage them.
- Passives (7-8) – neutral customers who are satisfied but vulnerable to competitive deals or offers. Win them over, with diligence.
- Detractors (0-6) – unsatisfied or unhappy customers who can spread negative reviews and damage the brand. Make a note of complaints.
iii) Customer Effort Score
CES is a good indicator of customer satisfaction. The difference between CES and CSAT is that you do not ask how satisfied the customer was. Instead, you trigger them to evaluate their experience with the product or service.
The aim here is to making an experience a low-effort one to reduce frustration and boost loyalty. The easier the process, the better the experience and a reflection of excellent customer service. Ask the customer immediately after a resolution on call or email.
On a scale of 1 (extremely easy) to 5 (extremely difficult), how hard did you have to work to get a query answered?
Work hard to ensure the score is the lowest on the scale of 1-10.
E. What to do with the findings
Thank your customers for their excellent feedback and assure them prompt action for areas that need improvement. Customers lose trust in brands that fail to commit. You can offer them incentives such as discounts coupons or reasonable offers. Hand over the data to professionals to generate valuable insights which will also inform your future planning.
Involve your employees since they hold a stake in customer service. The overall goal is to align services to a positive outcome by improving transparency and accountability. Identify the gaps that need filling and customer expectations.
Implement the feedback gathered; customers appreciate being heard and valued. Use the feedback to create better user experiences. All this will lead to growth of business and sales conversions.
When you come across an unhappy customer, take it as an opportunity to improve and turn them to a loyal customer. Identify the necessary improvements for your products or services to improve customer retention and experience and create happier customers.
Thus it is good practice to measure customer satisfaction if you want to stay at the top of your business. Do it regularly to yield the best results.