Do you know any of your neighbors?
If you do, you’re doing better than about a third of all Americans. Yep, you read that correctly. About 1 in 3 people in the U.S. know next to nothing about the human beings who live right next to them.
But those who do? Well, they tend to report higher rates of health and well-being, which makes sense. After all, having good relationships with people around you is hardly ever a bad thing.
There’s a similar phenomenon that occurs between brands and their customers. Some brands don’t know much about their customers–who they are, what they want, or how they behave. These brands usually just throw things out there without a plan and see what works.
But the brands who know their customers well are able to respond to feedback, adjust their offerings, and optimize the customer experience. Over time, this leads to a better relationship between the brand and its customers, and ultimately, higher customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction is a crucial indicator of how happy your customers are with the products and customer service you provide. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers and recommend you to others. Dissatisfied customers, however, are more likely to switch to another brand and share about their poor experiences.
To put this into perspective, 36 percent of consumers share their experiences, whether they’re good or bad, but 72 percent of consumers share positive experiences. And 94 percent of customers in the U.S. share their experience if they rate a company’s service as “very good.” However, 67 percent of customers say that a poor experience was the reason they switched to a different business.
It’s clear that understanding the importance of customer satisfaction is vital to your brand’s success. In this article, we’ll explore ways to track, measure, and improve customer satisfaction metrics.
Tracking customer satisfaction
Before you get to work on improving your customer satisfaction metrics, you need to know how satisfied your customers already are. Individual reviews and general feedback can help you in your customer satisfaction research, but they may not focus on the things you’re trying to learn. Using trackable metrics helps you see how your actions impact the way people view your brand.
To track customer satisfaction, you can use a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)—oftentimes companies use a customer satisfaction software tool to do this. You receive a CSAT by surveying customers and asking them to rate how satisfied they are using a linear scale. Common scales include 1–3, 1–5, 1–7, and 1–10, but you can pick whatever scale you feel will work best. The important thing is to be consistent with the scale you choose so you can track changes over time. Your CSAT is the average score from all respondents on a given survey.
You can also choose from a few different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track more specific aspects of customer satisfaction. For example, in addition to asking customers about their overall satisfaction level, you might ask:
- How likely are they to make additional purchases from your brand?
- How likely are they to recommend your brand to others?
- What level of quality do they attribute to your products?
- What level of customer service do they feel they receive from your brand?
3 ways to improve customer satisfaction
Whether negative reviews are flooding your product pages or your customers love you, there’s always room to increase customer satisfaction. With a system in place for measuring and tracking customer satisfaction, you can start making improvements. Here are a few ways to improve customer satisfaction.
Be proactive about customer feedback
If you’re sending out surveys to measure customer satisfaction metrics, then you’re already taking one proactive measure to receive customer feedback. Be sure your surveys also include open-ended questions where customers can explain why they gave the ratings they did and make further suggestions for improvement.
You’ll also want to make it easy for customers to reach you via multiple channels: phone, email, live chat, etc. And pay attention to comments on social media directed to or referencing your brand.
In ecommerce, one of the most important places for you to be proactive is on your product pages. Reviews and customer questions give you a chance to provide excellent service, make product information more accessible, and publicly address negative feedback. Existing customers and potential customers will both appreciate your responsiveness.
When customers give you feedback on problems they’re having, do everything you can to better meet their needs and preferences. Find and implement solutions, and respond whenever you can to make your customers feel heard, understood, and valued.
Understand the customer journey
To maximize customer satisfaction, you have to pay attention to the entire customer journey, from the moment they first become aware of your product to the point at which they make a purchase decision.
At each stage of the journey, you have the chance to thrill customers with a seamless process or frustrate them with unnecessary hurdles.
Consumers can take many different paths to purchase. When someone gets to your website, they may already know exactly what they want, or they might need to do more research. Maybe they prefer to compare reviews from major retailers. Or they want to find the best deal. Or locate a store near them. Many people have retailer-specific accounts and perks they prefer. If you try to force everyone to have the same experience and take the same actions (like buying from your D2C store), it can be pretty frustrating.
But by providing all the information they need in one place and serving people at multiple stages of the customer journey, you make it easy for customers to continue along the customer journey all the way to making a purchase.
PriceSpider’s Where to Buy tool enables you to do this with a customizable widget that can include customer reviews, price comparisons, stock availability, and links directly to your product at retail partners of your choosing. Your customers avoid the hassle of shopping around at different websites, and you keep them on the path to purchase your product without becoming distracted by competitors.
Additionally, Where to Buy offers valuable data into the customer journey, including which retailer they click and exactly what they buy. All of that is data you can use to further enhance the shopping experience and improve customer satisfaction.
Provide an omnichannel experience
Ecommerce is thriving, but brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going anywhere either. Some brands and retailers treat the two as separate entities, but an omnichannel approach understands that ecommerce and in-person shopping are two parts of a greater whole.
By using the two parts strategically, you can make life easier for your customers and improve customer satisfaction. Here are a few examples:
- Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS): The customer browses online and makes their purchase via a web store, but to save on shipping expenses and time, they pick up their order from a brick-and-mortar store, usually the same day.
- Buy Online, Ship to Store (BOSS): Similar to BOPIS, the customer places their order online. But when an item is not in stock at a local store, it can still be shipped there, usually affording free shipping for the customer, even if they don’t get same-day pickup. Both BOPIS and BOSS additionally help prevent customers from experiencing the frustration of lost or stolen packages.
- Buy Online, Return In Store (BORIS): The customer completes their purchase entirely online and has the order shipped to the address of their choosing. However, should they need to return their order, they can avoid the hassle of packing and shipping the item themselves, simply dropping it off at a partnering store instead.
- Showrooming: The customer goes to a brick-and-mortar store in order to physically examine, sample, or demo a product, but they ultimately order the product online.
- Webrooming: An inverse of showrooming, the customer researches a product online, but they ultimately go to a brick-and-mortar store to make their purchase.
Where to Buy is an easy way to enhance the omnichannel experience for your customers. In addition to linking to your product at online retailers, we provide a local store finder. Searching by ZIP Code, city, or current location, customers can easily see which local retailers carry your product, as well as whether it’s currently in stock. They’ll also get important details like store hours, contact info, and directions. And you get additional insights into where your customers are shopping.
Keep your customers satisfied
The importance of customer satisfaction can’t be overstated when it comes to optimizing your brand’s shopping experience. To recap, here’s what you need to do to keep your customers satisfied:
- Determine a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track.
- Survey your customers periodically to stay on top of how your brand is doing.
- Seek out and respond to customer feedback.
- Pay attention to the full customer journey.
- Give them a seamless omnichannel experience.
PriceSpider’s Where to Buy is an invaluable tool to help keep your customers satisfied. We put all the information they’ll need in a single convenient widget, saving them hassle, and making a seamless transition to purchase—whether they do so online or in-store. And in turn, you get crucial data into your customers’ shopping behavior, enabling you to improve customer satisfaction even further.
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