In business, you are only as good as your reputation. In fact, if you are in the process of starting up your venture, having good feedback from customers can make or break you during such a delicate time. But what actually is customer satisfaction, and how can you harness this to ensure you have the happiest customers out there? Read on to find out more.
The goal of customer satisfaction
So what actually is customer satisfaction and what is the point of it? Well, the concept behind it is that as well as proving the products that you client requires, you also make the way that they deal with you run as smooth as possible.
Why is this necessary? Well, you may well have the best products on offer in the marketplace, but time is money, and if it takes too long to get the item they need, where they need it, your customer may decide that it’s not worth the trade off.
The same goes if they have to make an extra special effort to purchase the product or receive their delivery properly. Basically, you want to make the process on the customer’s side as easy as possible and provide a way of resolving this quickly if something does go wrong.
This is important because no matter how good your company is, in every department mistake do happen, so it would be naive to assume that they won’t. That means you have to have a system in place to deal with them quickly and efficiently when they do.
User-friendly website and systems
One of the most important aspects of customer satisfaction, especially in a start-up firm is using technology to enable them to have the easiest experience possible when dealing with you.
This may be in the form of a customized business phone system, that has clear options directing a user with a particular issue to the correct person the first time. Why risk frustrating already annoyed customers by passing them from pillar to post to get an issue resolved that is your mistake as the provider, in the first place?
Of course, along with an effective phone system, you will also need internal organization and communication that supports this. So everyone knows exactly who deals with what issues so they can direct the calls to the right person the first time.
Remember if someone is calling about an issue that they have they are probably already quite fired up, and annoyed, and you do not want to compound the situation by further incompetence in handling their call.
Another aspect to consider could be to do with the usability of your website. As many startups use their website as the first port of call, this is particularly important to get right. Luckily, all you need to do is take off your startup CEO hat and put on your customer one for a bit.
Then go through the steps on your website that you would if you were an actual customer.
For example, try searching for the product you need by keyword, is it bringing the right things up? Then try navigating to the product pages. Are they clear? Do they contain the right information, is it easy to see what product you can buy in what sizes?
If not, change these things because the lack of usability can easily cause the customer to become frustrated and this can lose you the sale.
Remember, folks don’t want to have to wade through a mass of issues to get to what they want. They want it to be clear, accessible, and easy to order, so make sure that your site reflects this.
Essentially a sale agreement is a promise that your company will supply certain items for a set price. Keeping this promise is an essential aspect of providing good customer satisfaction. No one wants to find out halfway through the deal that the prices are increasing. Or the wait time is longer than expected.
That means it’s not only pivotal to keep the promises you make to your customers, but also that you manage their expectations throughout the whole process. To ensure that you are constantly meeting or exceeding them.
To do this, you may need to be conservative in production or delivery times. Or on the discount that you can negotiate for a bulk purchase. But remember, instead of promising high and delivering low, the other way around is much more likely to achieve a good level of customer satisfaction.
The next aspect of customer satisfaction that you need to ensure is working is keeping to the deliveries that you have to agree to.
For example, if you say that you can deliver a product the next day, it’s not much good if it gets delayed. As then you have broken a promise to your customer.
It may not even be anything to do with your company. As it could be the delivery provider that you use being unable to fulfill the time specified. But that all reflects back on your company, and the customer will associate the failure with you.
That is why you must choose the shipping provider carefully, and base your choice not just on price, but also on their service record.
Allowing for complaint resolution
Obviously, it would be nice if everything went well all of the time. But that’s not real life. That means you will need to make provision for customers making complaints and a way to deal with them effectively.
In fact, a complaint situation can be a vital opportunity to turn a negative perception of your company round if its use in the right manner.