30 Ways To Improve Customer Satisfaction With Decizone

Improve Customer Satisfaction like a lighthouse.
30 Ways To Improve Customer Satisfaction With Decizone

"The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways." - Richard Branson

Improving customer satisfaction is arguably the best way to get competitive advantage. Every product, service or solution has problems from time to time - your customers know that. In spite of that they choose to do business with you and buy your product. Improving customer satisfaction is primarily the job of your customer support organization. If improving customer satisfaction is what you want, read along because these strategies will help your business get a competitive advantage and loyal customer base.

There is no better way for the customer to express vote of confidence in your business than to repeatedly buy your product or even recommend that product to others. Your customer support team must enable the customer's journey from the marketing-claims of your product to its realized-value. For a customer to recommend your product means they are putting their own credibility behind that recommendation. They ‘expect’ your product to be as beneficial for the new customers as it was for them. So understanding the expectations of your customer is critical for you.

"Improving customer satisfaction is arguably the best way to get competitive advantage." - DeciZone

To improve customer satisfaction, first understand customer expectations

It-Works

There are some basic expectations by the customer from your solution as well as from their relation with you. That your solution must work as described and the customer must realize the value for their money. That if they need help you are available.

Satisfied

You have onboarded the customer effectively to the point that they effortlessly apply your solution every time they encounter that problem. Every time they get more value out of your product and they can count on you for reliable support. You have delivered more value than the customer paid for. This when the customer is likely to give a positive review of your product. What leads to customer satisfaction? That is the single most important question you need to be able to answer about your business.

Delightful

Your product empowers the customer to solve many more problems than what the customer initially bought your product for. Your product enables the customer to become a hero in their domain. This is when the customer is motivated to go out of their way and recommend your product. Your goal should be to delight your customer.

"Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel." - Unknown

Obviously you want to delight the customer who pays for your product to solve a problem. To achieve customer satisfaction your product must solve that specific problem completely and satisfactorily for the customer. But there are practical challenges in entertaining every expectation your customer has from your product. The famous quality-cost-speed golden triangle shows the mutual compromises necessary in prioritizing either of the quality, cost or speed. If you try to deliver all three, you might end up compromising all three.

Image of Good-Fast-Cheap compromise triangle

You will need to deeply understand these customer expectations and design your support processes and objectives to compensate for the difference between the marketing claims as well as the realizable value of your product/solution. Customer satisfaction examples range from loyal Amazon shoppers to the line of customers waiting for their daily coffee fix at Starbucks.

Depending on your industry vertical, the customer profile as well as the positioning of your product, your customer will have implicit as well as explicit expectations from your product which in turn influences how you can improve customer satisfaction. You need to understand who your real customer is. What is your customer's profile? What problem is your product solving for them? After you know the answers to those questions, follow the below tips and strategies to improve your customer satisfaction ratings.

30 Ways To Improve Customer Satisfaction & Manage Expectations

Image of a satisfied customer jumping with happiness.

1. Give them benefit of doubt

Assume that the customer is contacting you because they cannot resolve the issue themselves even after trying their best. Don’t doubt/insult their intelligence. Facilitate the resolution of the problem in the first interaction with the customer.

2. Listen carefully

Note down the language and terminology the customer uses to explain their problem. Make a note of all the specifics and facts for the customer’s problem. Then explain their problem back to them in your words and confirm you understood their problem correctly. Set clear expectations for what you will do during this interaction. Try not to throw technical jargon, acronyms, names of hidden product components or unrelated facts into the conversation. Use spoken language with simple words and short sentences. Show empathy and avoid any sarcasm, personal opinions on unrelated sensitive topics or unprofessional language. This is arguably the most important and the easiest way to understand your customer's expectations as well as to improve your customer's satisfaction and loyalty.

Image of customer support agent listening carefully to the customer.

3. Let them hear you smile

Make them aware that you are capable, willing and happy to help them resolve their problem. You definitely don’t want to keep the customer guessing whether you are upset or under stress. Observe basic manners and decency ( “Thank you”, “Please”, “Welcome”...) both verbally or in writing. It may not be a big deal usually, but customers notice it when you forget them occasionally. Say their name with a ‘Thank you’ at the end.

4. Own the problem

You may not be the account leader for that customer, but become the CEO of that problem for that customer. Who is the customer? Why do they value your solution? If it is a new problem with your product, dig in and fully understand the circumstances around the problem, document it diligently and work with the rest of your team to find a solution. You rest when the problem is appropriately resolved and the customer understands your recommendation.

5. Communicate with a purpose

It is essential that your communications are all honest, consistent, clear, unambiguous and for the purpose at hand. When the answer is a ‘No’, say so with confidence, empathy as well as documented explanation. Also, when you know that your product is not the right fit for customer’s needs, educate the customer and advise accordingly. While optimism is an important part of a positive customer experience, your team must also remain realistic about solutions. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver.

A satisfied customer smiling.

6. Organize it for the customer

People take the path of least resistance, generally speaking. Be deliberate about presenting your product or guidance in a way that requires the least amount of effort from the customers to follow. Interactive decision trees and navigable flowcharts are great examples of structured guidance because each time the customer makes a choice 50% of the irrelevant information is eliminated, making it near effortless for the customer to reach your recommendations. Remove any friction for your customers and that in turn will improve your customer satisfaction ratings.

7. Be strategic

Train your team to provide strategic guidance to your customer. Customers don’t contact you so that you can read manual pages to them. Peel the strategic layers of the onion for them and narrow down into a customized recommendation. Interactive decision trees not only save time but also help streamline support strategies across large teams. These decision trees allow your team to be human while talking to your customers and the same time stay consistent with your overall support strategy.

8. Don’t waste customer’s time

If you can’t help right now, take the responsibility to resolve the problem, and tell them you will get back to them in a reasonable time so they can get on with their other work.

"Your customer support team must enable the customer's journey from the marketing-claims of your product to its realized-value." - DeciZone

9. Don't ask the customer to repeat

It is your responsibility to study the past interaction notes with this customer and be fully aware of the customer’s problem description. Do your homework - customers hate explaining the same problem again to another person from your support team.

10. Deliver coherent messaging

Regardless of the channel your customer chooses to engage with your support function (knowledgebase, interactive decision trees, navigable flowcharts, email, chat, phone or in-person), the same guidance must be delivered without any discrepancies.

11. Earn their trust

Follow through on what you or your product has committed to the customer. Appologize if you drop the ball - its better to acknowledge your mistake than to ignore your customer’s problem. Always follow up to confirm their problem was properly resolved. Send them a detailed summary of ‘their description of the problem’ and then your explanation of the solutions with clear recommendations. Empathy and trust is how to ensure customer satisfaction.

"Own the problem - you may not be the account lead for that customer, but become the CEO of that problem for that customer." - DeciZone

12. Don't tolerate misbehaving customers

Your team is your biggest asset and they need to be treated as professionals. When customers are stressed out, rude, unprofessional or angry, explain clearly to the customer that you don’t tolerate unprofessional behavior and politely end the conversation telling them that you will call them back later. Make a sincere attempt to continue the conversation later as promised. This will go a long way in improving your team's morale. Remember, happy employees get you happy customers.

13. Show the promise land

Check if the product is being used by the customer for its full potential. At times that might mean going out of your way to help the customer realize the benefits and new features of your solution.

14. Give expert recommendations

Educate your customer with opinionated recommendations on how to best deploy your product/solution. Share examples and best practices.

An awesome customer support agent.

15. Retain experience

Update your knowledgebase with easy to follow guidance for common challenges your customers face. Interactive flowcharts are the most effortless way to guide a customer towards a customized recommendation. Go out of your way to retain your customer service skills as well as attract people with great customer service experience.

16. Check stats

Leverage analytics dashboards to identify opportunities of improvements. Optimize processes using these analytical insights and observe how customer behavior changes.

17. Memorialize important decisions

Help your support team easily identify when a unique set of criteria is met and they need to fall back on the specific company policies. Instrumenting this criteria in interactive decision trees is an effective approach at driving streamlined decision making.

"Interactive decision trees from DeciZone not only save time but also help streamline support strategies across large teams." - DeciZone

18. Show empathy

Don’t hide behind automated messaging. Customers know they received a templated response when they see one. They also know that the message was automatically generated even through it addresses them in a personalized manner. Instead, communicate your response specifically to their question or challenge using the terminology they used to explain their problem so they know you are making a real effort in resolving their specific problem.

19. Look out for changing requirements

This is how your support team becomes the sensor for new features your customers might need in the future. Nurture a habit of observing new customer behavior or when they are trying to use your product in new ways. Incorporate these insights in new feature development function to ensure that your product remains competitive in future.

20. Seek competing alternatives

Understand what your product is replacing for the customer. Before the customer bought your product, they dealt with the same problem using some other solution. That other solution often is your competition and dictates the competitiveness of your product. Understand how much better your product is compared to previous work around.

"Do your homework - customers hate explaining the same problem again to another person from your support team." - DeciZone

21. Make them wish

Ask what else they wish the product could do. Often customers are happy with what your product does but there are gaps between your product delivers and the practical needs of the customer. Find opportunities to fill those gaps to get a bigger share of their budget.

22. Reward favors

Reward the customers for helping improve your product. Its best when the customer gives their feedback without expecting anything in return. Surprise the customer by offering a reward for their favor.

23. Know your neighbors

Observe what other products does the customer use with your product. There may be opportunities to integrate or interface with those other products if it happens often enough.

"Remember, happy employees get you happy customers." - DeciZone

24. Step in their shoes

The customer is often using your product to do their work. Understand what is at stake for the customer when your solution does not work. If your product fails they fail. You need to make them the hero of their organization. Educate the customer how to leverage your product features to be successful in their work.

25. Be patient

Don’t up/cross sell anything before the customer is satisfied with the current product.

Improve customer satisfaction by helping the customer where they need most help.

26. Know important dates

Directly or indirectly try to sense the important events and dates when the customer will be heavily dependent on your product/solution to work. Reach out to the customer proactively before those events to help them make sure everything is like it is supposed to be. They will appreciate and thank you for that. Wishing customers for their birthdays and other personal favors are not really expected by the customers, but it might depend on your business.

27. Be an expert

Have each support team member become an expert in different aspects of your product. That way, when the customer has a difficult problem, you know who to go to and solve the problem in the first interaction. This can alternatively be addressed using interactive flowcharts and decision trees that are accessible anytime and anywhere. Each team member expert can take ownership and maintain their interactive decision trees as part of a modular guidance system.

A well trained and trustworthy customer support professional.

28. Prioritize what hurts

How to retain your customers? How to achieve customer satisfaction? Start with the low hanging problems. Automate identification of customers contacting frequently with problems. Reach out to these customers to understand the root cause and perceived experience. Where appropriate, compensate the customer for inconvenience and make necessary proactive improvements for other customers.

29. Fortify your brand

In every conversation with the customer, emphasize your brand and your overall vision. Done effectively this will associate your brand with the product category in your customer’s minds. That customer is more likely to buy into your other products and be a satisfied customer in their journey with you.

30. Help them Save

When you realize that the customer could spend less on your product and still get their problem solved, educate them. This is being professional and will help them build trust in your organization and brand.

"Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They DO expect you to fix things when they go wrong." - Donald Porter

Your customer support function often demonstrates the culture of your organization to your customers. In Improve Your Culture, we take a dive deep into cultivating your organization’s culture.

Your customer is intelligent, they have friends they talk to, they live on the same social networks as you and they can take their business away if you don’t go beyond their expectations. Continued great customer support is even more critical when it comes to repeat customers who are loyal to your business or recommend your business to others.

At DeciZone.com we enable confident decisions for your customer support teams by leveraging interactive decision trees. These decision trees can be maintained by different experts in your team to encourage ownership of different topics. You can keep these decision trees internal only for your team or you could even publish for your customers to access 24x7 globally online. Your customer gets a effortless streamlined experience - they just click a few response-buttons to make simple choices, and get to your customized recommendations. You can get a detailed transcript for each interaction for your records if you like or it can be saved in your favorite CRM, ERP, database or any other system of record. DeciZone interactive decision trees enable automated customer engagement along with maximizing their lifetime value.

30 Ways to Improve Customer Satisfaction using DeciZone.com.

Imagine automating customer support on all the known issues for your product using interactive decision trees, so your customers can get your customized recommendations within 30 seconds, 24x7 from any where and from any device browser. Your support team can be proactive and do a better job of actually delighting the customers. Try for free at DeciZone.com.

FAQ on Improving Customer Satisfaction

What is Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and how to measure it?

Whether it is retail, manufacturing, call center or any other vertical, Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is a key performance indicator you should focus on. Customer satisfaction is defined as - the number of customers, or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a business, its products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals. To calculate CSAT, you need to regularly carry out a customer satisfaction survey which asks on a five or seven-point scale how a customer feels about experiencing your product or service, with answers indexed between Highly-Unsatisfied and Highly-Satisfied to choose from. The CSAT score helps you identify customers that are Delighted as well as customers that are Unhappy with their experience with your product or service. A high CSAT score is a leading indicator of long term customer loyalty and retention. Some common terms similar in meaning to CSAT you will hear being used in the industry are Net promoter score survey (NPS), Voice of the customer (VOC), Customer Experience Survey, Overall Satisfaction Survey (OSAT), Client Engagement Survey as well as Likelihood To Recommend, depending on your industry vertical.

"CSAT definition: The number of customers, or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a business, its products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals." - Wikipedia

Why is it important to measure Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)?

Think about all the products and services you buy on a regular basis, and not even think about any of the competing products. You buy a product or service because your overall experience with that product or service has be delightful, it satisfied all your expectations and it delivered more value that what you paid for it. Now imagine that you bought the same product and this time your experience was much worse than you had expected. If you are like most customers, you will probably stop buying that product or service. It is therefore very important for a business to keep a pulse on how their customers are experiencing their product or service. As explained above, you can measure CSAT score by asking a simple question to your customer. Any decrease in the CSAT metric can mean that your customers are less happy with your product or service than they were before. Encourage these customers to share their feedback with you so you can improve your products and services. Without this feedback you will have no idea why customers are leaving. Always try to improvise on how to improve customer satisfaction scores. Measuring and analyzing CSAT can help you with your customer retention metrics as well as long term customer loyalty.

How can you use CSAT to reduce customer churn? How does customer satisfaction drive revenue?

Customers churn when they are dissatisfied with your products or service. Basically the perceived value of your product or service is lower than what the customer thinks she pays for. Every customer that is using your product will tell you the ways in which they would like your product to improve. You should thank the customers for this feedback and improve your product as soon as possible. When customers see that their feedback resulted in a tangible improvement in their experience with their product, they become more loyal to your product. Customer satisfaction measurement along with receiving customer feedback on an ongoing basis helps you retain customers and delight them with a continuously improving product. It helps you deliver more value to the customer on an ongoing basis. It is usually more expensive to replace a churned customer than to spend on retaining a customer. A higher CSAT means your customer is unlikely to churn and recommend you to their friends. So by improving customer satisfaction, you will likely see more sales revenue at higher profit margin.

How do I quickly streamline my support operations to improve our CSAT ratings?

The sign of a mature organization is optimized processes. DeciZone interactive decision trees allow your teams to streamline operational processes in a very short time. You do not need any programming or coding skills, all you need is to create a simple decision tree representing your process. You can even share these decision trees with your internal teams as well as your customers to allow them to self help on any device browser, globally and 24x7. DeciZone plays well with poular CRM and ERP products but you really don't need them if you have DeciZone. Get in touch with the support team at DeciZone and ask for a FREE 30 Days Trial.

Should I maximize or optimize customer satisfaction?

Maximizing versus optimizing customer satisfaction is an important distinction you need to draw for your business. Maximizing customer satisfaction literally means you try your best to satisfy each and every customer as best as you can. For example if you are a real estate agent, you may want to maximize customer satisfaction because each customer is worth more and you want your customer to highly recommend your services to their friends. Optimizing CSAT on the other hand tries to somehow improve your Return-On-Customer, what ever that return means to you. For many businesses, there is a limited customer life time value for an average customer. This means spending more than the life time value of a customer on a particular customer means you are loosing money on that customer. How far do you extend beyond that for a customer depends on the type of your business as well as the type of your customers - you need to do a cost-benefit-analysis on what CSAT level is right for your business. Often it is advisable to optimize your customer satisfaction so that you are focusing on the right kind of customers. Having said that, it is important to understand that improving customer satisfaction does not always increase costs - in fact if done correctly it should decrease overall cost. Also, if your customer has many alternatives to your solution, you might have to raise the customer satisfaction bar to retain each customer.

"Improving customer satisfaction does not always increase costs - in fact if done correctly it should decrease overall cost." - DeciZone

Do your best to improving customer satisfaction.

We would love your feedback about this and other blog articles. Thank you for being a DeciZone customer.


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