2021 is a unique year in consumer behavior and customer service needs and will likely have lasting impacts. Here are some amazing tips for improving customer satisfaction this year.
Treat Your Employees Well
The crux of great customer service is ensuring every touchpoint is a positive experience. As employees are the frontline workers who interact with customers, treating them well has a ripple effect.
Create a positive company culture that offers opportunities for growth and self-care within the organization. Taking the time to listen to employees and empowering them to make decisions and providing feedback will pay dividends. A happy employee will be more productive and engaged when interacting with customers. This experience will help customers get the outcome they desired while having a positive interaction, leaving them satisfied.
Value Their Time
One of the best things your business can do to improve customer satisfaction is to value the customers’ time. Use tools that streamline the communication process, such as a callback request or an autodialer that has resources outlining how to use these tools efficiently.
Use data analytics regarding call times and wait times to determine where there’s room for improvement. This information could indicate whether the issues your business faces are a result of improper staffing or something deeper.
Many companies are taking an omnichannel approach to customer service so that customers can reach them in the manner they prefer. However, improving your accessibility means more than having text, social media, and email options— it means being responsive and timely.
Consider how your company can be more accessible and what resources you need to make it happen. Hiring a virtual assistant to manage your social media can help improve customer communications on that channel. Putting call center software in place can create a centralized, streamlined, omnichannel data bank.
When in doubt about how to communicate with customers, ask them what they prefer.
Use Clear Messaging
Much of customer satisfaction comes down to managing expectations. Businesses can do this by using clear messaging. If your Facebook page is unmonitored, add a pinned post that tells concerned customers how to reach you. You can use an automated response for your DMs as well.
The point is to direct customers through the proper channels so that they don’t feel ignored or valued. The clearer and more concise your messaging, the less chance of miscommunication.
Reach out to your customers regularly to collect valuable feedback about their experience. Include a brief survey after customer service calls, order deliveries, and other key touchpoints. The feedback collection process is a fantastic way to determine what your company is doing well and where improvements should be directed.
Don’t hesitate to ask leads and unconverted customers why they aren’t purchasing your products or services. Doing so may present an opportunity to evaluate new payment plans or identify friction in the transaction processing process.
Another friction point that limits the potential for customer satisfaction is the experience of being passed around from one agent to another. Companies should put processes in place to avoid escalations so that customers can get the help they need from one person.
While there are a few ways to limit escalations, one powerful strategy is to empower employees to handle a problem themselves. Put a checklist in place to ensure the employee has tried everything in their power before passing a customer along to someone else— preferably while reducing time spent on hold. Callback options are a complementary strategy for reducing escalations.
Manage Online Reviews
Online reviews play a powerful role in modern consumer behavior. In fact, some studies show that 92% of online shoppers take online reviews into consideration before completing a transaction. These reviews act as a form of social proof in a world dominated by fly-by-night operations that leave customers battling with PayPal for a refund.
Take a strategic approach to managing your online reviews. Respond to all reviews— both positive and negative. Responding to negative reviews is an effective way to fix the error and have the review removed or to correct issues within the business. Either way, this exercise improves customer satisfaction.
Companies should also take a proactive approach to collect customer reviews by creating a streamlined follow-up process.
Managing customer reviews isn’t the only opportunity for being proactive. Companies should strive to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to customer service.
Create a proactive outreach program that encourages customer service representatives to reach out to customers after they’ve made a purchase. The outreach efforts can include free training or support calls to help mitigate a learning curve or give the customer a voice to highlight any struggles they’re experiencing. By being proactive, companies can solve a problem before a customer gets upset about it.
People want to feel special in our technology-driven modern world. The simple act of using a customer’s name can spark a connection that improves customer satisfaction. Create robust customer profiles that outline their likes, birthday, loyalty anniversary, cart abandonment objects, etc. to create curated experiences that cater to their wants and needs.
Now more than ever, customer loyalty is of the utmost importance. 75% of consumers have changed brands during the pandemic, opting for better value during trying times. The businesses that survived this shift are those that prioritized customer loyalty and giving back to their engaged community during the height of the pandemic.
Now is the time to shift your business’s marketing focus to customer retention and reactivating churned customers. Offer rewards and incentives to showcase what value you bring your customers, keeping in mind that many are experiencing financial hardship. Showing your customers that they matter will improve satisfaction and keep them around for the long haul.
Use Social Listening
Social listening is a powerful way to see what your customers are saying about you online, even when they don’t use a review. You can practice social listening using tools like Hootsuite and Google alerts to notify you when someone mentions your brand, product, CEO, etc.
Social listening is often more reliable than reviews when trying to understand brand perceptions and what consumers want. Using these insights to shape a path forward can help improve customer satisfaction over time.
Turn Analytics Into Action
Many companies look at analytics to get a better understanding of what’s happening in their business. The challenge is executing change based on those findings.
Set your business apart by turning your analytics into action. If you see that a significant percentage of your website traffic bounces on a certain page, make updating that page priority one. If your call center analytics indicate that problems aren’t getting solved during the first call, target that area for improvement. Collecting data is one thing; using it effectively is another.
With these strategies, you can improve your customer satisfaction and the continuity of your business.
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Renuka Shahane is a Sr. Content Writer at Scalefusion. An engineering graduate, an Apple junkie and an avid reader, she has a 5+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for technology and web based startups.
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