As an owner of one of the more than 32 million businesses in the US, you will understand better than most that it isn’t the employees that make a business, but the customers. Between word-of-mouth testimonials and brand loyalty, customer experience and activity define the success of a given brand, product, idea, or even business.
An instrumental part of customer opinion and activity is customer satisfaction. Customer needs are simple enough to understand and provide – but ensuring a robust and effective approach to customer satisfaction can be a complicated thing in and of itself. What are some ways in which you can directly address the customer experience, improving your customers’ overall satisfaction as a result?
The Customer Journey
One particularly helpful way in which you can begin to engage with your customer’s overall experience is by envisioning their journey: what is the route they take from discovering your business to investing in it? In what ways might this journey impact their satisfaction? And how can you make positive changes to your customer’s journey to improve their overall opinion?
The start of this journey lies with marketing and brand outreach. The consumer learns of your product or service somewhere; where is it? How easy were you to find? Your product is something of an answer to a problem they have, so did they have to look particularly far to find you?
Next, to potentially invest with you they need to engage with some form of customer service – whether a physical premise or digital portal. What makes a positive experience in either environment? How can these be re-tooled for customer satisfaction?
Lastly, there is the mode of delivery itself. How does your customer receive their product or service? If delivery, how efficient and effective was the delivery service? If over the counter, what protocols do you have for teller customer service?
But the customer journey doesn’t end with the sale; rather, they embark on another leg in using your product or service. Post-purchase care and service is arguably the most important part of the equation, as your approach here could be the difference between a lifelong customer and a high rate of customer churn.
The simplest route to ensuring post-purchase customer satisfaction is ensuring multiple channels of support are open to consumers. This way, no one is excluded from the opportunity to communicate – and you can directly speak to existing customers about their experience.
Criticism and Feedback
Speaking of which, nothing is more valuable to your experience than direct customer testimony and feedback. Difficult as it can be to receive tough words in online reviews, these can be crucial to understanding some of the key bottlenecks to you providing the perfect customer experience.
Not only should public reviews be collected and reviewed, but feedback should also be directly solicited from existing customers. With the data you collect, you can create a customer-forward approach to improving services and processes alike.