What would happen if you came to work one fine morning only to realize most of your customers left you for your competition? I bet "painful" doesn't even begin to describe it. More like "Heart wrecking or gut-wrenching" would be the best description.
When you add revenue drops, acquisition costs, high churn rate and other KPIs going downhill to the mix, you'll quickly understand why 70 percent of consumers spend more with companies that offer fluid, personalized, and seamless customer experiences.
According to Zendesk's Customer Experience Trends Report 2022, 61 percent of consumers would switch to a competitor after just one bad customer experience. This tells you that whether you run a bakery shop or a millinery, or you're the CEO of giant companies like Amazon or Airbnb — customer satisfaction is crucial! It's the lifeblood of any organization!
Perhaps, the most important lesson for all organizations is that customers have multiple options at their disposal. However, it's on you to ensure that customers stay loyal to your business every time — by prioritizing customer satisfaction.
In this article, we'll explore what customer satisfaction is and why it is important, discuss how to track customer satisfaction and explore customer satisfaction challenges and how to solve them.
What is customer satisfaction?
Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is a measurement that helps companies understand how happy and satisfied customers are with their products, services and other functionalities. Simply put, it determines how well a business's offering meets its customers' expectations.
While the definition above looks pretty simple; in reality, it isn't easy to define what "customer satisfaction" truly means for your business.
For example, you might think making more money and recording a steady number of purchasing customers means your customers are truly satisfied with your business. However, you could be recording consistent sales because they're yet to find a competitor with a better customer service experience, forgot to cancel their subscriptions or are procrastinating switching to your competitors (because they're busy).
Alternatively, it could be because they're too shy to lodge any complaints or just don't have the energy to complain — and would rather bide their time before they leave. There's research to back this up: While 80 percent of companies think their customer service is “superior,” only eight percent of consumers feel that way about those same companies.
So, you see, none of the scenarios above translate to customer satisfaction. It's always important to ask your customers what they truly perceive about your business and not just jump to conclusions.
This is why specific customer satisfaction metrics, like CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score), help you determine what exactly influences the satisfaction—or the lack thereof—among your customers.
Why is customer satisfaction important?
Six in 10 customers are actually willing to pay more for a better customer experience. Customer satisfaction isn't just a buzzword. It's real. It's what determines whether your customers stay loyal to your brand or drop you at the bat of an eyelid. Here's how monitoring and improving customer satisfaction can help your business:
1. Reduces customer churn
According to these customer retention statistics, 66 percent of B2B customers stopped buying after a bad customer service experience while 52 percent of B2C customers followed suit.
Customer acquisition is expensive — Studies have shown that acquiring new clients is five times more expensive than keeping an existing customer. That's not all: the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent and only 5-20 percent when selling to a new prospect. Existing customers are 50 percent more likely to try new products and spend 31 percent more compared to new customers.
Competitors are springing up daily to snatch your customers. This is why ensuring your customer service team goes above and beyond the competition to keep your business's CSAT scores up is vital for reducing customer churn. Train and empower your team to do everything in their power to help your customers.
2. Encourages brand advocacy
Whether you like it or not, customers will share their experiences with your company with other people. It's why it isn't surprising that 72 percent of satisfied customers share their positive experiences with others and 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. Conversely, unhappy customers tell 15 people on average about their bad experience with a brand. Multiply that by your number of customers and you'd realize that you've not only got bad press on your hands but a lot of "damage control" to deal with.
Offering excellent customer service equals increased customer satisfaction scores — your happy customers will gladly talk about their good experiences with their friends and family, ultimately leading to more referrals and sales for your company.
3. Helps you stand out from the competition
In this fiercely competitive market, customer experience is the new battlefield. It's why 88 percent of companies now prioritize customer experience in their contact centers. Your company needs every tool you can leverage to stay ahead of your competition. That’s why great CSAT scores are important to stay competitive.
For starters, be accessible. Where other companies are difficult to reach, you can stand out by offering an omnichannel customer service experience — such as resolving customer complaints via Twitter, offering live chat options, and/or a human to answer the phones amicably.
You can also create automated customer service email templates to improve your CSAT. For example, customers who open a help ticket would appreciate receiving an automated email confirmation that lets them know how soon they can expect to hear back. These might be little things, but they all add up to create an overall positive customer experience and customer satisfaction.
4. Increases customer loyalty & recurring revenue
When customers are satisfied with your offerings and you provide great customer service, it's easier for them to stay and spend more. Happy customers will repeatedly make purchases or renew their subscriptions — ultimately boosting your revenue.
This is why increasing customer loyalty and retention by only 5 percent can grow profits from 25-95 percent and ultimately reduce customer acquisition costs (CAC).
5. Identifies areas of weaknesses & improvement
Asking your customers for feedback via surveys helps you identify areas where you aren't doing so well and immediately take action by making adjustments to show customers that you respect them.
Additionally, monitoring for negative customer reviews or word-of-mouth messages to friends, family and close circle can quickly help you identify your customers' pain points and needs and how to address them.
How to track customer satisfaction & recommended measurements
Imagine driving a speedboat ⛵ and it suddenly stops running while on the water. Your first thought would be to understand why the engine isn't working. The same principle applies to customer satisfaction.
Tracking what your buyers are (and aren’t) satisfied with helps you to identify their pain points and solve any issues. Additionally, not only does measuring and improving customer satisfaction identify, attract, and empower your loyal customers, but it also makes them care about you.
Taking a data-centric approach to customer satisfaction helps your business:
- Discover its customer pain points/needs and learn how to improve your product, service, and/or overall customer experience.
- Prevent an unhappy customer from leaving your business for the competition.
- Build customer trust by showing and reiterating that their feedback is treated with the utmost importance.
- Maintain repeat purchases by ensuring customer happiness.
- Monitor and improve brand reputation by identifying how likely customers would recommend your company to a friend or family.
7 Key metrics for measuring customer satisfaction
Measuring customer satisfaction helps you gauge your customers’ loyalty and happiness with your company. Below are metrics to help you.
1. CSAT surveys
CSAT surveys are usually one- to two-question surveys sent after concluding a business transaction. A typical CSAT survey question is: “How satisfied are you with the product?” with answers ranging from “very satisfied” to “very unsatisfied.”
2. Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey
NPS helps you determine the level of a customer's willingness to advocate for your brand. While it's not a direct indicator of customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score shouldn't be underestimated— as it's a healthy signal of customer trust and the value they place on your products or services.
3. In-app surveys
In-app surveys are similar to CSAT surveys. The only difference is that in-app surveys are sent to customers to gauge their satisfaction while they're using your application or on your website.
4. Customer service data
You can collect customer service data for specific features on your site, and gain insights into resolution times and support requests.
For example, if you notice an increase in help tickets regarding a particular task or feature, it's an indicator of a problem that needs fixing. Also, you can also deduce customer satisfaction from your average issue-handling time and call resolution rates.
5. Churn surveys
They help you understand why your customers discontinued using your products or services. After a customer churns, send them a churn survey to identify if their satisfaction experience was a huge determinant in leaving your brand.
6. Customer sentiment analysis
Use AI to "dig beneath the surface" of your customers’ statements on social media, via emails, or live chat to give you a comprehensive analysis that most CSAT surveys wouldn't.
7. Customer Effort Score (CES) survey
Using CES would give your business in-depth insights into how hard it is for your customers to use your product or certain features or to get an answer from your customer support team.
Top 5 customer satisfaction best practices
Customer satisfaction is the key to your company's success. Be persistent, always strive to go above and beyond for your customers, and know when to ask other departments for help with boosting your customer experience.
Creating an environment where your customers and customer support team are empowered and happy is achievable if you follow these rules:
1. Be obsessed with customer feedback
Bill Gates couldn't have said it any better when he said, "We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
Forget being a business for a minute and think about the importance of feedback. Students need feedback to get better and excel in their studies. Employees need feedback to identify their strengths, discover their weaknesses and gain insights into their areas of improvement. Even our partners, spouses, children, family and loved ones need feedback to be better people for themselves, in their relationship with us and the outside world.
This same principle applies to brands. Without feedback, the chances of knowing what your customers truly want and need — and successfully growing your business is zero to none.
Additionally, one major mistake many brands make is to simply collect feedback and not take action. In the words of Tim Fargo, "Mistakes should be examined, learned from, and discarded; not dwelled upon and stored.”
After gathering customer feedback, focus on identifying and understanding your customers' pain points (what makes them tick🤔), and then build an action plan that not only solves their challenges but makes you stand out from the competition.
Scribe top tip: You don't need to change everything your customers complain about. However, it's important to help them feel heard and validated.
2. Always be available
Imagine you had a raging headache in the middle of the night that just wouldn't subside. Now, imagine leaving your home and seeing that the drugstore in your street is open. Chances are you'll be relieved, right? You bet!
Your customers want the same from your brand — they want to enjoy flexibility and all-around availability. Sure, not every business can afford 24/7 phone support—but solutions like live chats or chatbots should be installed to enable availability for your customers at all times.
Here are some tips to achieve this:
- It's okay to be a brick-and-mortar store. However, having a digital presence makes it easier for clients to buy from you irrespective of their locations and times of purchase — without having to physically visit your store.
- Meet your customers where they are by offering support via messaging apps such as Instagram DMs, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook. It gives your business that sense of 24-hour availability.
3. Train your support team (especially with delivering fast responses)
Zendesk's 2022 Customer Experience Trends Report discovered that 60 percent of buyers now have higher customer service standards now than ever before. This means that your customers won't want to wait a day—or even more than a few hours—for a response.
If your business can't provide this, you're most likely going to lose a huge percentage of your customers. Interestingly, about 67 percent of customer churn can be avoided if businesses diligently resolve customer inquiries and issues the first time they occur.
This is why it's important to train your customer support team to understand the importance of first-response resolution ALWAYS!
Below are some ways to provide faster responses:
- Use AI-powered bots to intercept potential tickets when agents are offline.
- AI bots can also collate customer information before a customer service agent steps in.
- Use messaging channels to empower agents to help multiple customers at once via asynchronous communication. Research shows that support teams with the fastest resolution times are 42 percent more likely to be messaging their customers.
- Have excellently written and saved replies your agents can share to avoid constantly repeating themselves.
Speaking of written and saved responses…
4. Document your processes and leverage automation
Seventy percent of customers prefer using your website to get answers when compared to other customer support types. Sadly, more than half of customers are frustrated with their inability to resolve their issues independently — and consequently have to reach out to support teams — because of the little to total unavailability of resources on companies' sites to help them.
This is where process documentation and automation comes in.
Not only does process documentation aid positive customer onboarding, but it also ensures that your customers enjoy an amazing experience from the beginning. Here's how to document your processes:
- Create different options for onboarding to ensure that all needs are met, irrespective of the types of customers.
- Build different types of documentation. Some of your customers might like texts with visually appealing elements, while others might favor how-to videos or lists of steps to take.
Whether you want to create SOPs or build training materials for your customer-facing teams, Scribe's got you covered.
Scribe automates process documentation & SOPs by:
- Instantly turning any process into a step-by-step guide.
- Reducing the time it takes to create a process doc or SOP.
- Improving process consistency across your organization.
- Quickly answering “how do I…?” for your customers.
- Boosting customer onboarding and adoption.
- Replacing or supporting live trainings with on-demand training content.
See some of what our customers are saying😁:
Want to learn more about how Scribe can help your support team? Check out how Crexi’s CSM team used Scribe to reduce the time they spend answering ad hoc client questions by 70 percent — giving them time to provide exceptional service to their clients.
5. Personalize the customer experience
Sixty-one percent of people expect brands to tailor experiences based on their preferences. Additionally, according to research, personalization often results in a 10 to 15 percent increase in revenue (with company-specific lift spanning 5 to 25 percent, driven by sector and ability to execute). The better a company's ability to use data to increase customer knowledge and intimacy, the higher the returns.
Customers want experiences tailored specifically to them — therefore, empower your agents to anticipate customer needs and deliver more tailored support. It's no surprise that organizations that use advanced personalization see a return on investment of $20 for every $1 invested.
Scribe top tip: Pair your repeat customers with a dedicated support agent to help them every time they reach out. This will strengthen their connection to your brand.
Top 3 customer satisfaction challenges & solutions
Customer satisfaction challenges can occur thanks to:
- A lack of understanding regarding your customers' intent with your product or service.
- Poor communication with your customers.
- Poor product experience (PX) repeatedly frustrating your customers.
Let’s explore the top three challenges of customer satisfaction and how to overcome them.
1. Understanding customer needs
Every customer is different and has different expectations regarding your products and services. Their desires, expectations, and must-haves are absolutely different from one another. So, how do you know what your customers are thinking and feeling, and how to implement those insights?
- Conduct market research to achieve better product positioning and highlight your business's USP.
- Ask your customers what they like or dislike or how you could improve their product experience.
- Develop your ideal customer profile (ICP) by analyzing key user insights. Look for trends in customer behavior, characteristics, pain points, etc.
- Segment customers into the appropriate ICP persona to ensure you’re delivering on each customer type’s specific needs.
2. Choosing the right channels and tools
With customer expectations changing and increasing daily, coupled with the ever-increasing customer touchpoints, channels, tools, and emerging insights — it can be hard to know if you’re using the right tools and technologies to effectively reach and satisfy your customers.
- Invest in omnichannel communication and unify the customer journey across all communication channels and touchpoints: third-party apps, mobile devices, text, chatbots, email, social media platforms, and company websites.
- Talk to your customers throughout the customer journey to identify what's lacking in their product experience or what improvements they’d like to see.
- Use tools that scale customer training, facilitate customer engagement and boost customer onboarding & adoption. Scribe instantly reduces the amount of time spent training customers by sending step-by-step guides that can be accessed whenever; eliminates the hours spent answering customer questions with Scribe’s automatic guide creation and library; and helps even your least tech-savvy customers master your products with Scribe’s easy-to-follow format of screenshots and text.
3. Consistently communicating with customers
Customer satisfaction is hugely dependent on your ability to build rapport with your customers and create new communication channels.
So, how can you communicate regularly and effectively with your customers without feeling overwhelmed?
Here are some tips to get started:
- Personalize content to reach different customer profiles at different stages of their customer journey. Plus, it helps to keep your brand at the top of their minds and enables two-way communication channels.
- Post regularly on social media. Spice it up by responding to comments directly, using polls and reposting user-generated content to build and maintain community engagement.
- Empower your customer support team with the right tools, training, and resources to foresee and identify potential problems, proactively find solutions, provide tips to relieve customers' frustrations and empathize with them.
5 Customer satisfaction tools you should use
Selecting the right customer satisfaction tool for your business depends on your buyers' user journey and USP. Note that each tool would function differently based on what you intend to use it for, amongst other factors.
The following tools are great for checking how you are faring in relation to satisfying your customers.
And yes, Scribe is included in this list, because we are 💯 confident that our software can satisfy your needs. Don’t take our word for it; try Scribe for free today!
Scribe is a customer satisfaction tool that helps customer support teams to onboard, train and support clients 93 percent faster with auto-generated step-by-step guides.
With Scribe, say goodbye to constantly drowning in customer questions and instantly scale your customer trainings by turning your processes into step-by-step guides.
Not only does Scribe...
- Boosts customer onboarding and adoption by helping even your least tech-savvy clients master your products with its easy-to-follow format of screenshots and text; but it also
- Increases the effectiveness of customer trainings by reducing the amount of time spent training customers by sending step-by-step guides that can be accessed whenever; and
- Reduces ad hoc customer questions by putting an end to the hours spent answering customer questions with Scribe’s automatic guide creation and library.
Scribe helps to improve customer satisfaction by:
- Allowing you to document and share any process.
- Aiding automatic step-by-step guide creation.
- Customizing text, adding reminders and annotating screenshots.
- Sharing with your customers and customer support teams — via URL link, exported as PDF documents, embedded in existing tools and wikis, exported to Confluence or copied into a document with HTML or Markdown.
- Redacting any sensitive customer information.
- Integrating with 100s of tools you and your customers already use, such as knowledge bases, wikis, LMS platforms and more.
Zendesk is a customer satisfaction tool that gives you a clear overview of your users and their pain points; thus, helping you increase customer satisfaction scores by giving your customers a quick response to their queries via various platforms.
Zendesk helps to improve customer satisfaction by tracking:
- Backlog of unsolved tickets.
- Customer satisfaction rating.
- New tickets, to give you insights into the number of customers that contacted your support team over a period of time.
- Solved tickets to ascertain if your support team is in control of customer issues.
- First-time replies show you the average amount of time it takes an agent to reply to a ticket.
CustomerGauge specializes in NPS, eNPS, CSAT, and CES surveys that can be delivered across multiple channels. It also offers an Employee Experience solution and Professional Services to help companies improve their employee experience and get the most out of the platform.
CustomerGauge coined the term “Account Experience” to refer to a combination of customer feedback management, revenue data, and account-based methodologies within the B2B business model.
CustomerGauge helps to improve customer satisfaction by:
- Providing reports with customer data and sentiment analysis.
- Offering the opportunity to evaluate how well you close the feedback loop.
- Its Account Vitals tool identifies churn risk and helps you to re-establish relationships at the right times by providing a visual makeup of all of the various account signals that may occur.
- Predicting what your revenue would look like if you took certain actions to increase your promoter pool and proactively avoid churn.
Survicate offers users over 125 ready-to-send templates optimized for the best response rates and it's easy to customize. These templates are set up with intelligent skip logic, custom actions, and redirects. — all of which can be personalized for specific use cases.
Survicate helps to improve customer satisfaction by:
- Sending your CSAT and CES surveys by email or via a shareable link, in-app, or through the Intercom messenger.
- Setting these surveys to pop up automatically whenever a ticket is resolved, or a particular touchpoint in the customer journey takes place.
- Creating accurate marketing personas to satisfy your audiences' exact needs.
- Identifying your brand advocates with NPS & CSAT to gain social proof.
- Enriching surveys automatically with user attributes to avoid repetition.
- Targeting web surveys to show in context so more people answer the survey.
Like its tagline says, Hotjar’s Observe, Ask and Engage tools provide "insights into everything you ever wanted to know about your website, but your analytics never told you." This simply means that Hotjar explains the "why(how users behave on your site, what they need, and how they feel)" behind your customer satisfaction levels, so you can identify your weaknesses and map out areas of improvement.
Hotjar helps to improve customer satisfaction by:
- Its Heatmaps give you an at-a-glance overview of how people interact with a page. You can see how far they scroll, what buttons they click, and what content gets ignored.
- Its Heatmaps feature also lets you experience your website through the eyes of your site visitors. Gain insights into their mouse movements, which pages they visit, and where they struggle.
- Adding feedback widgets to key pages to learn exactly how people feel about them. If anything’s confusing or off-putting, you’ll also find out fast.
- Automating the recruitment, scheduling, and hosting of moderated user interviews, and focusing on what matters the most - connecting with your users.
- Its surveys allow you to ask customers about their experiences with your product or service at key moments in their customer journey. The survey feature also helps you measure your CSAT score and understand it.
Customer satisfaction is a lifeline for any business looking to succeed. The equation is simple: If you don’t care about your customers, they won't care about you. And if you care about them, they'll go to the ends of the earth 🌐 for you.
This is why it's important to focus on continuously improving customer satisfaction.
High customer satisfaction levels help your business:
- Achieve positive brand awareness.
- Drive customer loyalty.
- Encourage repeat purchases.
- Increase customer lifetime value.
- Help you stand out from the competition.
- Increase referrals — satisfied customers are your brand's biggest ambassadors and promoters.
With customer satisfaction software like Scribe, your support team will be able to focus on doing other important tasks — instead of being constantly overwhelmed with customer requests.
Irrespective of whatever guides you want to create for your customers, there’s a Scribe for almost every process or platform out there.