customer satisfaction strategies

4 Simple Strategies to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Businesses improve customer satisfaction by seeking customer feedback. They have to know what they’re customers think to better meet the needs of customers. It’s not enough to guess. And, in fact, businesses that do guess tend to miss the mark.

So, businesses need to have a strategy to if they want to know how to improve customer satisfaction — a means of seeking customer feedback.

What are some simple strategies? Well, that’s exactly what we’ve set out to uncover in this article.

1. Seek Feedback

seek customer feedback

Probably the easiest and most straightforward means of seeking customer feedback is simply to ask them! If you’re not already communicating with customers, now’s the time to start.

Doing so will whittle away at the 89% of customers who say they have switched businesses in the last year.

This includes traditional surveys and questionnaires that ask customers about their experience. Questions that get to the root of what you want to know.

But, of course, these days seeking feedback expands well beyond the realm of pen and paper.

Your company website, email listings social media, and third-party websites all serve as forums where business can engage customers. Ask questions and seek criticisms.

Discover what you’re doing wrong — and what you’re doing right.

Asking Questions the Right Way

As with anything, there is a worse and better way of asking questions.

Questions should:

  • Call to mind readily available answers; that means narrow questions.
  • Be short and to the point: don’t ask more than five questions on a survey.
  • Offer minimal disruption to the customer’s day, taking no more than three minutes of their time.

Questions need to guide customers to the answers they want to give. In this way they form an action plan for customer satisfaction.

And make sure to use customer’s feedback. Tucking away feedback in an office drawer won’t help improve customer satisfaction, nor will it show your customers that you care and listen.

Give Customers Anonymity

In the words of Oscar Wilde, “Give a man a mask and he will show his true face”.

Customers are apt to be honest with a business if they can remain anonymous. They don’t want to risk being prejudiced against if they continue shopping with you—or anyone else—for expressing themselves.

So, give customers the opportunity to remain anonymous when giving feedback.

An anonymous hotline is a fine way to do so: allow customers to call in and vocalize themselves. This also presents an opportunity for skilled customer service representatives to ask questions and show that customers are being heard.

2. Analyze Online Comments

analyze customer comments

People talk. They talk about their day, about their ideas, and about their experiences. And shopping at your store fits into those conversations.

Something important to know is that negative interactions trend a lot further than positive ones, and tend to end up on a comment board somewhere on the internet.

You want to know the content of these comments. They can offer deep insights into ways you can improve customer satisfaction. The more honest, the better, and honesty reigns supreme online.

Monitor not just your own social media channels, but third-party sites such as Yelp. And search for your business’ tags on services such as Twitter, e.g. #Qminder.

(Also, encourage the use of hashtags — how can you not take advantage of social media?)

Doing so will show you what recent customers are saying about your business, and teach you how to achieve customer satisfaction.

Approaching Online Feedback

Just remember that people who comment online tend to fall into two noticeable camps. Customers who are extremely excited about your business, and those who are extremely disappointed.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be as radical with your approach, though.

No single disgruntled critique signifies a need for radical upheaval in your business, nor does one glowing approval mean you’re doing everything right. The truth tends to exist somewhere in the middle.

So, use online feedback as a guiding torch to move forward without being swept in one direction or the other.

3. Use Focus Groups

use focus groups

Gather together potential purchasers and questioning them directly is a great way to gather feedback. This is what’s generally known as a focus group.

In a focus group, an interviewer — a representative of the business — guides people with select questions, to seek constructive criticism.

Focus groups offer a chance for honest responses. In writing, people tend to second-guess themselves and refine their answers, but in speech they blurt out whatever’s on their mind — and tell businesses how to ensure customer satisfaction.

And this is reinforced by being in a group setting: in groups we’re given the tacit approval to vocalize ourselves because everyone else is doing it.

But it’s not just what they say that counts.

Observing the group can reveal insights into body language. Whereas a diverse group of people offer varying perspectives that, when combined, give businesses a better idea of their larger perception.

4. Seek out Competitors

analyze business competitors

Do you know what you’re competitors are doing? Have you looked? Are you sure?

No matter what sector you’re business exists within, there are bound to be rivals — businesses competing for the same clientele. To know how to ensure customer satisfaction, it’s paramount that you study both what your competitors are doing right and doing wrong.

Go be a customer at your competitor’s stores! Be a scientist about it: collect samples, analyze how they do whatever it is that they do, and learn.

No matter what, you will learn something by engaging competitor’s products and services.

Visiting the Competition’s Site

This reconnaissance extends to your competitors’ online presence.

Remember: you’re a spy on the mission. See how they conduct their own search for feedback as well. A few questions to ask while you’re deep undercover:

  • Do they use a mailing list to contact customers?
  • Do they have a strong social media presence?
  • Do they respond to comments on online review sites?

It’s also worth studying customer criticisms of the competition. (But hey, be cool — don’t gloat when you read them. Glass house and all that.)

Anytime you read a criticism ask yourself, “Does this apply to my business as well?” Experience doesn’t have to be first-hand for you to learn from it.

Customer satisfaction is paramount for businesses to be successful. Happy customers become spokesperson for your company — they tell their friends and family about their satisfaction, turning into exponential growth.

Businesses can further increase their customer’s satisfaction by adopting a queue management system like Qminder. You can find out for yourself by for free—for two weeks. No credit card required!

Start Improving Customer Satisfaction


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