14 Ways to Maintain and Improve Customer Satisfaction

14 Ways to Maintain and Improve Customer Satisfaction

Hello, I am your customer: would you like to know how to successfully do business with me? I will be honest with you: I will give you my 14 most pressing demands on a tray (shush, it's a secret, don't tell your competitors). Discover my expectations and needs carefully: it is all about your customer relationship, and therefore your turnover.

Does your company know how to make a customer happy? If you ask me, nothing beats proven and quality customer support: personally I can't do without it. Of course, appvizer advises you on dedicated tools, but also 14 concrete tips to help set up in order to meet a customer's expectations.

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14 Customer Expectations

What is a satisfied customer? A satisfied customer is when they feel that their experience with your company is positive: your product or service is what they expect, and the relationship they have with the business, the salesperson, a customer service agent or an online sales site, leaves them with a lasting impression. They then leave happy and excited to come back again.

Customer satisfaction through 14 requirements:

Customer Requirement #1: To Benefit From Attentive Listening

Regardless of the channel, they want to establish contact immediately: through social networks, in physical sales points with your customer service, on your website, and by email or telephone, they will use any means they have available.

The first thing they want to hear is: what can I do to help you?

Customer Requirement #2: That All Customer Needs and Expectations Be Identified

They should not have to repeat themselves. Sometimes they know exactly what they want, but other times they can be undecided or hesitant. They may even be contradictory and not consciously admit the intent of their purchase.

It is up to you to clarify their intentions, advise them and guide them: what are their needs, their budget? They may like the design of a coupe, but is it really the recommended car model for them?

Customer Requirement #3: A Reliable Service or Product Offer

They may hate being promised the moon. They would much rather know what to expect. They operate quite well through word of mouth and avoid companies that have a bad reputation on the Internet.

They monitor the brand image and the reputation of a company before they turn to a brand. To choose a restaurant or buy an item on an e-commerce site for example, they may first look at the reviews and comments.

Customer Requirement #4: Transparency

Never lie to them or hide any details about a contract, a guarantee or the limits of a service's functionalities: keep in mind the fact that there is competition only a few clicks away, as well as the opportunity to give a negative review on social media or any other site.

They value clear information and helpful tips, in other words, a business solution tailored to their needs and expectations.

Customer Requirement #5: A Close Relationship

Technology saves time, but it imposes relationships that are lacking in personal warmth and emotion: they would rather talk to a person than a machine (as there may be more to say to each other). Sometimes technology remains "blocked" when faced with silly questions, because they are purely human in nature.

People are indeed essential for establishing a certain level of a personal connection, trust or expressing emotions: personal interactions, a voice, a tone, a laugh, a joke and exchanges on common points that bring people together (written, geographical, sound, visual, etc.).

Successful communication is an experience of personal relationships: most salespeople are committed to it, which is the key to their performance.

Customer Requirement #6: Empathy

The person who can put themselves in the customer's shoes understands their situation better. By understanding the customer, the seller is already halfway to the sale.

When the company is familiar with the customer’s needs, it helps to serve them better: this is known as customer knowledge.

Customer Requirement #7: Quality Service

It all starts with a warm welcome and a hello. Politeness and respect lead to reciprocity. Many companies offering similar quality products are distinguished by a quality of service that strives for excellence.

The standard in reliable call centers, for example, is to not hang up before the caller.

Another example: Someone has lunch in the restaurant of an unpretentious brasserie near their home. The food and service are very good. However, they were pleasantly surprised by a detail that literally changed their perception of the establishment. It is a very basic detail: they were served a piece of hot apple pie, which is much better and gives a feeling of being close to home.

Simple little touches are factors of differentiation and add an extra element to firmly embed it in the customer's mind.

Customer Requirement #8: Responsive Handling of Complaints

Who enjoys waiting a while for customer service to answer you? No one. A reasonable waiting time should not exceed 2 minutes.

As customer’s like to avoid repeating themselves, they would like to be able to contact the appropriate individual to satisfy their request and solve their problem. In other words, they want to process their complaint as quickly as possible.

Customer Requirement #9: Customized and Personalized Support

How to satisfy a customer in a bank? When someone joins a bank, the first thing they want to know about is their financial resources, not about mobile phone offers or mutual insurance. The additional sale may be attractive, but it must remain in context.

Real estate brokers are known for making tailor-made and realistic offers to their clients: the personalization of their offers and the good advice they give to their clients nowadays provide them with a very high level of trust and deserved capital.

The level of advice provided to a client reflects their level of expertise, whether by phone, chat, email or in person.

Customer Requirement #10: A Credible Speech

People like to act as if they don't know what's going on, simply to test the integrity of the person they are talking to.

If the arguments seem credible to them and the person they speak with advises them step by step, in a factual and personalized way, without any intention of doing it "backwards", then they know that they can trust them and go further in the purchasing cycle.

Customer Requirement #11: Fair Treatment

Unfair treatment: There are times when you may come across an employee that does not follow these standards for certain persons as a result of who you are. They may give the best customer service to one client, but may provide another client with the worst conditions of service, for example, charging you more or making you wait longer.

Of course, this is sometimes not "negotiable" despite any objections made. This behavior is completely unethical and borders on discrimination.

Customer Requirement #12: Acknowledgements

The words "thank you for your trust" are the exact words of a sweet melody that should resonate through your head with every purchase. For it is (still) about that: the trust and confidence in every interaction with the company.

Client trust should not be abused. Disappointment can quickly lead to a change in brand preference. Building trust over time will lead you to win loyal customers.

Their loyalty to your brand therefore depends on your ability to earn the trust they place in you.

That is why you thank them at every opportunity.

Client Requirement #13: Rewarding Customer Loyalty

What is the value of a customer? Seven times more than a prospect!

Converting a prospect costs seven times more than maintaining the loyalty of an existing customer.

Source: Reichheld F.F., The Loyalty Effect, The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits and Lasting Value, Harvard Business School Press, and White House Office of Consumer Affairs.

As the customer places their trust in you and have been loyal to your brand for some time, they should be entitled to receive some benefits from you: a gift, an exclusive promotion, an invitation…

These new small details strengthen the positive perception they have on your brand and also boosts their confidence in you.

Customer Requirement #14: Assess Customer Satisfaction

A company must measure customer satisfaction in order to identify strengths and areas for improvement: are delivery deadlines met? Are new customers welcomed? Have they been properly oriented? Did the service satisfy them?

Whether positive or negative, customer experiences must be taken into consideration.

Objectives: Improve the customer journey and its experience with your brand, maintain customer confidence and build loyalty. In other words, be the best company on your market to satisfy the expectations of your customers.

The Essential Tools to Provide Quality Customer Service

Customer satisfaction has become the only element of differentiation (or almost) to drive preference... and loyalty! Excellent customer service is the key objective to meet your customers' requirements.

appvizer provides you with insightful arguments, and recommends two solutions to achieve this goal.

Lithium

Lithium Social Media Management assists brands to engage with their clients, build outstanding customer experiences and efficiently evaluate their success. Combining the use of intelligent design with marketing, customer service and other parts of the organization, team members are able to run well-designed campaigns as well as to develop data-supported solutions for social media monitoring and social media reporting. The final outcome will be a more intelligent system to support the development of genuine customer relationships.

Community management, marketing, customer support and sales services may carry out marketing initiatives using information from social surveillance and customer engagement to develop and implement strategies that are guided by the findings and available information.

The ultimate goal is a smart and effective framework that enables us to foster an honest as well as efficient customer experience.

Key features:

  • Omnichannel campaign calendar
  • Intelligent customer relocation
  • Discover trending content
  • Live analytics
  • Full customer profiling

RingCentral Engage (formerly known as Dimelo)

RingCentral Engage, formerly known as Dimelo, is most suitable for organizations of 100 or more employees.

Dimelo, a RingCentral company, helps companies transform digitally through development and omni-digital customer relationship management.

All customer interfaces are gathered in one place (via social media, live chat, mobile, email, messaging) and are redirected to the right place based on availability, client characteristics or inquiry types for more efficient and effective processing.

This provides organizations with a complete log and accurate reporting on every engagement to help them improve their business analysis and management while enhancing their customers' experience.

Key features:

  • Unifies several social platforms as one central feature- includes a complete historical record on all engagement between the various platforms.
  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence- comprehends the demands made by customers through 72 different languages.
  • Easily meet customers on any social platform- allows you to reach them wherever they are.

Salesforce Service Cloud

Salesforce has the ability to adapt to all company sizes allowing you to customize the modules that make up this powerful customer service software whose scale is multiplied by ten once the tool is paired with the CRM.

Begin with the customer’s question, and then use all of the responsive and intelligent tools to turn this contact into a business opportunity.

Communication tools and channels are combined and centralized: telephone, email, social networks, video chat.

Tickets are automatically created as soon as a customer makes their request and is then assigned to the appropriate agents.

Advisors can access the contact form instantly and have an informed view of the client and their history. They can also use predefined answers to provide the best answer as quickly as possible.

Salesforce Service Cloud offers the opportunity to synchronize customer satisfaction and sales: up selling, activity reporting, success indicators, peak activity prediction, etc., all which are grouped on a dashboard to better manage customer support.

Key features:

  • Artificial intelligence anticipates the surge ahead and warns you: the Einstein module observes and uses your data to warn you of upcoming peaks in activity and fluctuations.
  • Accessibility of the solution: the ergonomics and customization of the software allow international or multi-site companies, as well as startups, perfect their customer service activity.
  • Specific responses to help the client: knowledge base, forums, mutual aid communities and educational or useful articles are all quality answers to the questions your clients ask you, and ultimately, reactive assistance in the form of ready answers for your advisors.

5 Reasons to Choose a Solution Dedicated to Customer Relations:

  • Reason #1: Satisfying a customer helps to prevent volatility
  • Reason #2: A satisfied customer is a loyal customer
  • Reason #3: A happy customer buys more or less regularly
  • Reason #4: Satisfaction and building loyalty allows the company to develop its notoriety
  • Reason #5: Satisfied customers generate a positive brand image and reputation

Customer Service Infographic

Source of the above infographic: “1000 Consumers Tell You What They Love and Hate About Brands”, an article outlining customer service requirements, based on the results of the The 2017 SAP Hybris Consumer Insights Report.

15 Actions to Meet a Customer's Needs

How to meet customer needs on a call, by chat or by other means? appvizer shows you how to meet a customer's requirements by taking 15 actions. In view of their requirements as well as the figures, the customer may be too demanding. However, that's all the better: the more you know, the better prepared you are, provided you have a powerful tool, of course.

Action 1: Know your customer

Good knowledge of your customer allows you to adapt your speech, your arguments and your sales offer. Who are they? What are their needs, expectations and budget? What is the problem? What can you do to solve the problem?

It all starts with listening. Customer data is therefore valuable to your customer service department, as it informs support agents and allows them to plan for contact, and even to anticipate requests.

Action 2: Centralize information and communication channels

Support and customer service software allows you to centralize information, tools and means of communication.

Benefits:

  • Teams can record, update and centralize all information pertaining to customers, purchases, contact channels through which they arrive and the history of requests
  • Data is cross-referenced to provide the best service and to take advantage of business opportunities
  • Avoid mistakes and increase responsiveness

Action 3: Engage and uphold high values

Make a commitment! Politeness, integrity, respect, authenticity and fairness are, for example, essential values to win the hearts of your prospects.

Here is a matrix on the 8 rules of engagement, created by the Uzful digital marketing agency:
8 Rules of Engagement

 

Action 4: Train personnel

This seems obvious to the most knowledgeable leaders, much less so to those who lack perspective. Vendors, sales representatives, customer support agents, in short: everyone in contact with customers must speak "with one voice", know how to behave when faced with a request.

To do this, there is nothing better than to define:

  • Objectives in terms of satisfaction
  • Internal guidelines for quality
  • A level of service commitment

It is then sensible to train your employees so that they are able to meet customer needs by providing the quality you want to achieve.

As previously mentioned, software enables collaborative work, working on the same data, resulting in increased productivity and skyrocketing customer satisfaction.

Action 5: Demonstrate commitment

It is easy to say something, however, demonstrating it on a daily basis makes all the difference: it is about proving your commitment and is the first step towards customer satisfaction.

The key element is to offer all the information and expertise necessary to support the client in his or her choices.

Customer service software allows you to help, inform and guide the customer with:

  • A knowledge base or foundation for learning
  • A forum with topics arranged by theme
  • Communities (depending on usage, for example)

Action 6: Coordinate physical points of sale and remote customer support

The customer must hear the same arguments and feel the same quality of service on your e-commerce site, at the physical point of sale, and by phone or written message with your customer support.

Do not hesitate to "create" interactions between real and virtual life. Objective: the customer always has the information that helps them grow in their purchasing decision.

Thus, "on site" teams and "virtual" teams must have the same level of information in order to inform prospects and customers based on the context and the contact established.

Action 7: Segmenting your customers

The most effective business rule is to offer the right product, to the right person, at the right time (at the right price of course): it is in this situation that the customer is the most satisfied.

Customer support tools allow you to monitor the profile and interactions with a customer very accurately: identity, age, family situation, tastes, purchase history, etc.

Action #8: Focus on the customer experience

A customer with a problem may be in a bad or even stressful situation: he has a problem to manage, a problem to solve. He deserves your full attention: give him the time he needs to resolve it. Your customer must leave with the solution in hand, happy and stress free.

Smile on the phone, in video calls: you can hear it, you can see it. Put yourself in a positive state before calling or answering.

Don't do two things at once: you have to be totally attentive to your customer, avoid scrolling through Facebook while you are talking to a customer.

If the situation is delicate, call your client directly by phone: human contact can help to solve situations.

E-mails are too cold, too distant. If you call your client, you approach them with consideration.

Share successful experiences among employees: develop a customer culture!

Action 9: Take care of the team members

Internal wellness is reflected on the outside! If your employees feel good and fulfilled at work, they pass it on naturally to your customers!

It's very simple: treat and consider your employees as your customers.

Action 10: Personalize and humanize the relationship

For management reasons, many services such as mutuals, for example, assign a member or subscription number to a person.

If it is essential to identify the right person who corresponds to this number to process a request, it is essential to name them by their first and last name: "Hello Mrs. Jane Smith, how can I help you?”.

Similarly, an email should always start in this way so that the recipient identifies that the message is addressed to them, and to no one else.

A "thank you", an "excellent day", an "at your service" are all small words that can be used with minimal effort and that generate positive feedback.

Action 11: Be responsive

Keep your promises: if you say you will take action within a specific time frame, keep your word.

Otherwise, it will be disappointing. The client may be patient, but only to a certain extent.

On the other hand, if you are proactive, they may feel special and your popularity rating skyrockets: we can even talk about esteem if your customer service is particularly excellent!

Anticipate the needs!

Action 12: Effective customer care

The integration of your customer support solution with a CRM is required to control all data in real time and to better monitor your customers.

This encourages collaborative work and avoids scattering data: your employees all have access to the same information about your customers and know all the actions taken with them.

The Pareto law encourages you to treat your customers well. Ask them, for example, if they have received their order, if the service is working well, if they are satisfied with their purchases, if you can help them, if they need additional information or products, etc.

Action 13: Automate tasks that can be automated

As human contact is always preferable, this action should be taken with caution and applicable in some cases.

The software allows you to create response scenarios based on requests: ready-to-use messages and answers, links to a complete online resource, simple answers, etc. These tips are designed to simplify the work of your agents. They can simply press a button to provide the best answer as quickly as possible.

Action 14: Question your customers

See what customers are saying about you on the Internet: Google, social networks, reviews, ratings and comments on third-party sites. Take note of your e-reputation.

Evaluate customer satisfaction by launching a satisfaction survey: for example, ask to rate the product, price, experience, and quality of service received.

A simple online satisfaction questionnaire allows you to collect answers and measure results. Feedback from customer service and your sales force is also a valuable measure.

You can thus evaluate a large number of indicators such as purchasing behavior, and compare in particular the quality provided versus the quality received.

It is also necessary to know how to collect feelings of dissatisfaction in order to be able to correct them later.

Provide a suggestion box to ask your customers' opinions. You can easily take advantage of it: the idea of the century may be hidden in the head of one of your customers!

Action 15: Reward loyal customers

A customer's commitment, loyalty to a brand, and constant trust can never be taken for granted: it is essential to support the relationship, maintain ties and demonstrate a constant interest.

Think also of all the little details that will make them happy, you too have commitments to keep up with their loyalty.

Here are some ideas to put in place to reward and retain your customers:

  • A gracious and generous act, like a little welcome gift
  • A small personalized touch, a birthday gift
  • A loyalty program that offers discounts
  • Gifts, small bonuses offered during a purchase
  • A sponsorship action with benefits for the sponsor and the sponsored person
  • An exclusive promotion with a special code
  • 2 months free for the renewal of your subscription
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