Customer Satisfaction

20 Strategies to Increase Customer Satisfaction for Your Business

June 22, 2023
9:45 am

Improving customer satisfaction is a primary focus for many companies. And with good reason. It can have a litany of positive effects for your business: everything from reduced customer churn and better customer loyalty, to increased word-of-mouth marketing.

On the flip side, unhappy customers lead to high churn rates, no repeat business, terrible brand reputation, and more. 

As a result, measuring and increasing customer satisfaction is an integral part of ensuring future growth and success in the business world. Here are 20 actionable strategies to start using today. 

1. Actively seek feedback across the entire customer journey 

According to data from Salesforce, 92 percent of consumers are likely to make another purchase after a great customer service experience. But unless you’re actively collecting feedback from your customers, you won’t know whether their experience is positive or negative — until it’s too late. 

That’s why it’s critical to listen to the Voice of the Customer, asking questions like:

  • How do they perceive your brand?
  • How was their experience with customer service/support?
  • Did they encounter any obstacles to making a purchase? 
  • Where can you improve your products and services? 

In particular, you can use customer satisfaction surveys to measure satisfaction levels directly. 

Email and SMS are solid choices for distribution (talking with customers is the gold standard), while real-time tools such as live chat help gather opinions immediately after an interaction takes place, while it’s still fresh in their minds. Even the act of gathering feedback itself is an important way to boost satisfaction by showing customers you care.

2. Measure KPIs

“A business is nothing without its customers. And customers not tracked accurately leave nothing but an unsuccessful business.” — Jeff Walker, Founder and CEO, Best VPN Canada

Measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) gives you a yardstick against which to gauge your business performance. Setting targets and striving to reach or even exceed them is central to improving your customer experience. And that’s going to have a direct bearing on customer customer satisfaction. The real key here is to agree on your targets internally and then act on what these KPIs tell you. That way, you can make decisions based on real insights rather than instinct or intuition.

Some key KPIs to consider include: 

3. Test first, change later

When you review customer feedback and KPI data, it will be tempting to try and address all the issues it reveals at once. Resist. This can end up doing more harm than good.

For starters, when you try to change everything simultaneously, it may have unintended consequences, and rather than increasing customer satisfaction, it may actually harm it. Taking a strategic approach is the way to go. That’s why A/B testing is an important first step when deciding to make any major changes. 

Even then, some data suggests that only one in ten A/B tests end up driving significant change. So just imagine the damage it could cause if those 90 percent of decisions had already been made based on assumptions. A/B testing first makes sure that any changes you do make will actually move things in the right direction when fully implemented.

4. Question your traditions

If there’s one sentence you should remove from your vocabulary, it’s: “this is the way we’ve always done it.” 

Here’s why: 

This paints a clear picture: change is about the only thing you can depend on. Companies that don’t understand this and stick to the old way of doing things will very quickly find themselves obsolete. Encouraging ideas from people all over the company (and beyond) to get a more diverse spread of opinions is one way to make sure you do things differently when needed. 

5. Increase customer satisfaction with better response times

The modern customer expects quicker replies than ever before. For example, 42 percent of social media users expect a response within an hour of their post or message, 32 percent expect a response within 30 minutes, and 11 percent expect a response immediately.

The message is: faster responses equal an increase in customer satisfaction.

Improving response times is often as simple as beefing up your customer service team staffing levels and putting SLAs in place to lay out response time targets. But technology can also play an important role. Employing tools such as live chat to create a real-time conversational approach is a good way to make sure your customers get attended to as quickly as possible.    

Want to hear more about delivering high-quality customer support? Check out our ultimate guide:

6. Enhance the customer experience with chatbots and other automation

The global chatbot market size was estimated at $430.9 million in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.9 percent from 2021 to 2028. This points to the broader trend of automation playing an increasingly important role in enhancing the customer experience.

Chatbots enable you to provide personalized, real-time customer engagement in much the same way as live chat, except without the need to expand your team. For companies looking to scale rapidly, it’s a highly cost-effective option.  

Want to know why some of the biggest brand are investing in chatbot automation? Check out our guide:

7. Provide omnichannel customer support

Customer retention rates are 90 percent higher for omnichannel vs. single-channel interactions, indicating that omnichannel is a key ingredient in customer satisfaction strategy. These customer expectations are especially obvious in the recent “buy online, pick up in-store” and “show-rooming” trends. 

If you want to “wow” your customers, be prepared to provide a consistent experience, regardless of their preferred channel. The best approach to achieve this is by bringing all of your customer service channels together in one centralized platform. That way, customer interactions flow together into one continuous customer conversation, regardless of how or where they are accessing from. 

Related- Omnichannel Remote Customer Service:

8. Reduce checkout friction

Seventy-four percent of customers are likely to switch brands if the purchasing process is too difficult. Eliminating unnecessary steps and unexpected hidden costs (shipping for example) is one way of doing this. Using technology is another. Live chat, for example, can keep you accessible to customers throughout the conversion process. So, any questions they have are cleared up right away. 

And if there are any complications in understanding documentation or setting up payment, you can even guide them through the process using visual tools such as co-browsing. All these steps will really help mitigate drop-off so you can keep customers focused on what’s most important — your amazing product or service!

Related: Ecommerce Shopping Cart Optimization

9. Create a customer loyalty program

“Some customers might not be your highest revenue source but giving special treatment through benefits, extensions, or free credits during difficult times will surely give them a reason to stick around longer.” — Shihab Mohammed, Founder and CEO, SurveySparrow

According to data from Accenture, 48 percent of customers expect specialized treatment for being a loyal customer. And that’s exactly what loyalty programs do. They’re a way of saying “thank you” for your customers’ continued business. 

A customer loyalty program could be as simple as a punch card, discount codes, or specially tailored packages. Whatever model works best for your business, having some incentive to keep customers engaged can really help increase customer satisfaction and retain business. 

Related: How to Cultivate Customer Loyalty that Lasts

10. Offer self-help options

Many customers would rather complete a purchase or file a ticket without having to speak to another human. In fact, 67 percent of consumers prefer self-service over speaking to a representative, and 91 percent would use a knowledge base if made available. 

Building out these options can help you retain people who you may otherwise lose. Of course, it’s important to make sure those options are up to scratch too. If you’re using a knowledge base, think carefully as you create it, breaking down categories and adding relevant titles and labels for ease of navigation. Also, consider using different mediums. Explaining something through writing could be really difficult but it could be easily demonstrated through video in only a few seconds.  

Related: 7 Super Simple Steps to Create a Knowledge Base

11. Experiment with discounts

Online shoppers who use coupon codes spend 24 percent more than those who don’t, and if you offer a discount, 29 percent will add another purchase even if they didn’t intentionally intend to. 

While some companies may be loath to cut into their profits, a well-timed discount code or promotion can give you a significant sales boost and reengage current customers. Reach out with discounts via email so customers know it’s happening without having to come to you. And when users do hit your site, make sure you display any information about discounts prominently. 

12. Make cancellation and refunds simple

“Always ensure that the refund process is easiest of all.” — Will Cannon, Founder, Uplead

Nothing speaks more highly of your brand than how you treat customers who are canceling a purchase. A stress-free refund can still leave a positive taste in their mouth; they may even come back to buy from you in the future. But make it a hassle, and they’ll almost certainly never come back. 

Sometimes, this is simple as looking at the internal processes in place so refunds and cancellations don’t get endlessly bounced around multiple people and departments. It also helps to be as clear as possible on your site or in any relevant communication as to how they can go about leaving or claiming. 

13. Build a community with customer satisfaction strategy

One of the things that sets great brands apart from good ones is that their customers feel like they’re more than a customer: they feel like they’re part of a community. In fact, 88 percent of online branded communities say that the community has helped improve customer experience.

Find a way to go the extra mile in engaging your customers not just with your team, but with each other. Facebook and LinkedIn Groups, Twitter Chats, customer forums and events, and other approaches can keep everyone connected and centered on you and your brand. 

Social media also provides a perfect opportunity to get your customers involved through user-generated content. Get them to send in images of them using a product, or run fun competitions to get people talking. 

Related: How Companies Use Social Media for Customer Service

14. Use marketing to set expectations

We’ve all had the bad experience of falling for clever marketing jargon, only to find that the product fell short of the promise. You don’t want to be that company. 

One of the most powerful things your marketing campaigns can do is set expectations for not only the product but what the customer experience will look like. That way, they know exactly what they’re getting themselves into, and are satisfied with the result. Top-notch product information and content available pre-purchase or sign-up is a good way of ensuring this. As are case studies and product usage demonstrations.

Related: Why Customer Service is the New Marketing

15. Be human and personalized

“The well-designed, personalized customer onboarding process is key to customer success... during the personalized onboarding process, recognize clients' needs and individual goals. Work to offer a customized approach and therefore a more satisfying customer service experience.” — Olek Potrykus, Head of Customer Success, Tidio

If there’s one major theme, it’s personalization helps increase customer satisfaction. Here are some data that point to that trend: 

Personalization involves more than automatically inserting the customer’s name, company, and hometown into your messaging. It involves having a deep understanding of your various customer profiles/personas and crafting messaging that speaks to those needs. The more value you offer, the more engaged and loyal they’ll be. 

Related: Personalize vs Customize - How are they Different?

16. Add value in your communications

A lot of businesses use their communications — whether via email, social media, or their website — to try and close an immediate sale. These direct tactics have a time and place, but if you want prospects and customers to love your brand, you need to give as much as you ask (or more). To do that, look to produce content that helps customers use products they already have better, broadens their understanding of certain topics, or gives them ways to make their lives easier and more convenient.  

17. Train your teams to be excellent

Customer satisfaction doesn’t happen by accident. In fact, 83 percent of high-performing service agents say they get the training they need to do their job well, according to Hubspot. Investing in your team’s competence is a key part of building a customer service approach that can satisfy your customers. Role play is always a good option when it comes to dealing with frontline customer interaction. And if your team is using technology, it’s crucial they understand how to get the most out of the tools and get to know them intimately so they can create the smoothest experience possible.

Related: 7 Best Customer Service Training Ideas

18. Use scripts (but only to a point)

Scripts are a great way to keep your CS and sales teams on the same page. But the moment they remove the human element from customer interactions, that’s when they start to go awry. So, use them as training material for new team members, but the end goal should be getting your team to perform without the need for a script while remaining true to the spirit of it. That gives the leeway to make sure the customer gets a personalized experience, while simultaneously staying on brand.  

19. Invest in your employee experience

Happy and engaged employees make satisfied customers. So, it’s important to connect your team with the meaning of what they are doing: making other people’s lives better. Imbuing staff with this kind of purpose can make a real difference. 

And remember. When it comes to increasing customer satisfaction, it’s not just customer feedback that’s valuable. Be sure to remain open and honest with your employees as well so they know they are valued and they feel heard. Check in regularly, especially with those on the “front lines”, to make sure you’re supporting them in their work. And if you’ve got people who are performing above and beyond, be sure to reward that! 

20. Remember that increasing customer satisfaction is a team sport

Without your customers, you wouldn’t have a business. So, customer satisfaction really does impact everyone in your company. Nobody is exempt. 

Everyone should have a clear understanding of who you’re helping, how you help them, and why your customers remain loyal to you. While certain teams will need to know this information more intimately, it should be a part of the entire organization’s culture. Create a mission statement that enshrines this approach and pepper it throughout internal documentation, materials, and meetings to make sure it always stays top of mind.

Don't wait to take action! Start implementing these strategies today and book a demo with our team to start seeing positive effects on your business. Remember, happy customers lead to reduced churn, better loyalty, increased word-of-mouth marketing, and more.