In a world of high standards and expectations of 1-minute response times, it can be tough to compete for customer satisfaction. Your company may not be able to sustainably slash prices to new lows to poach new users, or give away branded swag with a seemingly constant merry-go-round of promotions and deals on products and shipping. The good news is that customer satisfaction can be increased with more attention paid to the basics: delivering great value and experience.
Delivering exceptional customer support
One negative experience with a customer service representative has the power to sour the entire perception of a company. With plentiful options available at a click of a mouse, there’s no guarantee that customers will stick around to give your company a second chance. Because each customer’s interaction with customer support could be their last, it should be treated as such.
So what is exceptional customer support? It is acting with the realization that acting in the interests of the long-term value of satisfied customer versus optimizing for short term potential gains.
Offer multi-channel support
It’s standard to offer email support, and even better to have a public support forum and a frequently asked questions page. Nowadays, people have also come to expect immediate replies through online chat and social media. Offering customer service through Facebook is typically done through private messages, although supporters should be monitoring public posts for comments and questions as well. It can be a good idea to have a separate Twitter account for customer service as you may not want your official company Twitter to be dominated by support conversation. Giving people more than one way to reach you increases customer satisfaction as people can submit their issues in their preferred method.
Focus on user experience
If your product is a software or online product, focus on the first set of interactions with the user. Is the website easy to navigate? Can visitors find the necessary information and how fast? How understandable is your pricing structure? How fast is the ramp-up time to learn how to use your product? The key is to focus on delivering a frustration-free, seamless experience. One easy way to facilitate clear online communication is through forms.
For example, your support ticketing process should be as efficient as possible, and minimize the hassle of excessive back-and-forth communication between your company and the customer. If your company needs specific information prior to answering a user’s question, make sure the first point of contact asks for it. You can ask for a customer’s username or account information. If you have segmented customer support teams, then you can add a drop-down that asks customers to select what type of help they need, speeding up the time when they can expect an answer or for their problem to be solved.
Payment processes can also be streamlined by a simplified checkout form. Perhaps you can save their information for future transactions so they don’t have to repeatedly enter the same information. Or it can provide images so customers can be assured that their order is exactly right before they finalize the purchase. If you’re a nonprofit and would like to increase overall donations, you can add a recurring donation option. There are many possibilities for effective online forms, but the overarching idea is to make them straightforward and painless.
Listen to your customers
Improve customer satisfaction by finding out what your customers have to say. Discover their grievances and the pain points within their experiences, as well as your company’s positive areas. You can extract this information by monitoring discussion about your brand online, including social media channels, analyzing support requests, and soliciting feedback by way of customer satisfaction surveys.
We all dread the lengthy, boring customer satisfaction survey that stretches beyond its welcome. Make it short and to the point - get to the meat of the issue. You can do this with a few top priority questions, and remember to always offer a text box to gain qualitative information. Your online form can make use of conditional logic, which allows you to configure your form to show or hide fields based on user responses. This allows your company to easily control what questions each customer is asked, giving the customer a more personalized and relevant experience, and better data for you.
Once you have gained feedback directly from your customers, you’ll know how to move forward.
How does your company seek to increase customer satisfaction?