Achieving high customer satisfaction is crucial for business enterprises to achieve their repeat purchase and increase customer retention. While there are no rigid rules or strategies to keep customers satisfied, following certain best practices definitely help to achieve higher customer satisfaction in any kind of industry. Few of such tips can be discussed as follows.
Well trained customer service staff
Customer facing staff such as the front line customer service representatives must be effectively trained in soft skills, customer handling skills, including strong product/process knowledge to serve the visiting customers, either in case of online or offline business. Frontline staff forms the first impression on the customers and their behavior plays a dominant role in maintaining a high-level customer satisfaction.
Collect timely feedback and act upon it
Collecting feedback from the customers after a sale by making a courtesy call will make the customers feel valued. Seeking their feedback over telephone verbally or electronically through emails or live chat will help to understand their grievances and areas of dissatisfaction. Such areas can be acted upon and strategies must be formulated to provide permanent solutions to such customer problems.
Communicate clearly and listen actively
Customer queries, issues and complaints must be actively listened to and response must be given promptly. It is a poor practice to ask customers to repeat their concern again and again. This may irritate the customer and lead to customer dissatisfaction. Understanding their problems the very first time and giving them proper resolution through clear and open communication keeps customers satisfied. It is also essential to communicate the product & service offerings clearly to the customers before they make a purchase. This will help to avoid setting up wrong customer expectations and control customer dissatisfaction afterwards.
Maintain an effective CRM
In the current cut-throat competitive business environment, it is essential to maintain an effective customer relationship management system with well-trained staff personnel. The CRM team will be able to maintain an extensive customer database including their names, addresses, contact numbers, frequency of store visits, and nature of products purchased and/or services availed. This data will help in creating customer profiles and tailor the services according to their needs & expectations.
This will also help to identify the loyal customers making repeat visits to the store, either online or offline and create loyalty schemes to make them happy. Contemporary customers expect the company to remember them and reward them for offering their long-term loyalty. Hence, CRM will help to offer the customers with rewards, loyalty points, discounts etc and provide them a higher level of satisfied. The CRM team must also conduct customer satisfaction surveys to understand their queries, needs & expectations.
Adopt state of the art technology
Delivering excellent customer support helps to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction. In the technology-driven global business environment it is necessary to deliver customer services through state of the art/ most updated technology such as social media, mobile apps etc. Integrating customer relationship management system with social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, will help to interact with the customers, exchange feedback, share ideas and involve customers in business activities such as contests.
Nowadays, the use of smartphones has changed the shape of marketing and building customer networks. Remaining connected with the customers through mobile applications will help them to conduct transactions with the company at the comfort of their home and as per their convenience. This will provide customers with convenience of shopping, making payments, tracking merchandise, return merchandise, availing discounts, gaining loyalty points etc at their finger points. This will it will be easier to achieve high level of customer satisfaction.
Provide excellent after sale services
It is advisable to deliver excellent after sale services once the sales transaction is over. Making regular follow ups on customer complaints, product replacements, servicing on defective products, return merchandising etc are few examples where customers would expect efficiency, honesty and transparency. Although, after sale services do not fetch money but it is considerably important to keep customers satisfied and achieve their long term custom.
Aim to achieve customer delight
Instead of striving to achieve high customer satisfaction, a company must set goals to achieve customer delight by going an extra mile. Treating the customers as the most important stakeholders, offering customer-centric solution, delivering value through an appropriate combination of a marketing mix (fair combination of product, price, place, promotions) combined with excellent after sale services is essential to keep the customers delighted.
Satisfied customers not only provide their lifelong loyalty but also recommend others to choose the company. This helps in retaining existing customers along with acquiring new customers leading to increase in sales and profitability. Hence, it is of utmost importance for companies to implement effective strategies to keep customers satisfied and increase their business reputation.