Customer satisfaction is a vague marketing term. It often provokes broad, yet hazy discussions or makes businesses focus too much on the details and overlook the big picture. What does it really mean? Are ‘satisfied’ customers enough to satisfy the business? The questions can go on and on. One thing we should all agree on is that improving customer satisfaction requires a smooth and efficient business strategy. That’s what we will focus on today.
Customer satisfaction measures how customers feel about a brand and its products. To understand your customer satisfaction rates, you have to look into the overall condition of your business. Improving customer satisfaction means improving the company at a branding level. The goal is to attract the right audience that has reasonable expectations. Colorful charts or rankings that come to mind when thinking of customer satisfaction happen at the very end of this process. Customer satisfaction is more than the surveys customers fill in at some point in their journey.
These 10 steps will create the right environment for your business concept to thrive and attract relevant customers. For some businesses, these will be steps backward. By reviewing your business idea from A to Z, you will discover any weak points that influence your customer satisfaction rates.
1. Understand the market
Adding conveniences and quick fixes here and there will only improve customer experience to a certain point. To rank high in customer satisfaction, you have to do your homework. Look at the market and make sure you have a clear idea about the competition and the customers. What can you offer that people need but no one has covered yet?
2. Come up with a relevant value
As soon as you have a clear idea of the market you’re targetting, come up with a relevant and well-thought-out value to offer. Be it a lower price, a different style, or extra features, cover the actual needs of customers, whether they’re aware of them or not. Invest in research, and choose the competitive value that can attract your targeted audience.
3. Find the right audience for your product
When planning your product or service, don’t try to cover the entire market. Choose a specific audience you can focus on and understand well. Targeting a selected group of people will help you to discover and focus on their priorities, rather than wander from one idea to another. The better you understand your customers, the better and more efficient your communication will be.
4. Create a consistent marketing strategy
After you’ve defined your audience, you can focus on your marketing strategy. Thanks to the deep insight you gained when researching your customers, you can now design appropriate brand communication. Whatever approach to marketing you use, make sure it’s consistent and repetitive. Simple branding will be better than even the most creative, yet messy and inconsistent, communication.
5. Be clear about the value you offer
When working on your marketing strategy, don’t forget about one of the most critical parts - the value you offer. Clearly state your promise and create a unified, consistent brand idea in your customers’ minds. This will allow you to influence the expectations they have towards your company. The more precise those expectations are, and the better you understand them, the easier it will be to respond accordingly and improve customer satisfaction.
6. Make sure you can deliver on your promise
Whatever your USP (Unique Selling Point) is, or the promise you made to customers, it has to be your business’s priority to deliver it. You’ve made a deal, and customer satisfaction depends on holding up your end of the bargain. You have to deliver the experience you promised through carefully crafted brand communication. Companies are under a lot of pressure these days and are constantly trying to improve customer experience. Set clear priorities to avoid confusion. Make sure your operational model and customers’ expectations are aligned.
7. Measure the performance of your communication
You now understand how important it is to stick to the USP and create consistent communication surrounding it. However, marketers and content people can sometimes get lost in their creativity. A beautiful website and engaging commercials should first aim to help customers understand your brand. Measure the performance of your communication through research and conversations with your audience. Make sure their idea of your brand is consistent with your communication and marketing goals.
8. Observe your customers and their behavior
There are various ways to measure customer satisfaction. Be it the American Customer Service Index (ACSI) or the Net Promoter Score, the choices are endless. However, methods that include surveys or simple conversations cannot be fully trusted. People are complicated. Their responses are affected by many factors and can be irrelevant. Observe your customers and measure their actual behavior. Focus on their choices and reactions at certain points of the customer journey. Align your actions to what they do, rather than what they say.
9. Implement improvements where necessary
Recognize the touchpoints on the customer journey that need to be improved. Remember to prioritize the primary value you offer, and make sure the improvements you make are consistent with your branding. If you’re an eco brand, you don’t want to change your packaging to unrecyclable plastic, even if some of the customers demand it. Instead, think of what made them interested in your brand in the first place. Alter your communication to make sure your values are evident at every stage of the customer journey.
10. Review your strategy regularly
If your customers’ impressions vary a lot, and you get lots of mixed feedback, it may indicate your communication isn’t clear. For some reason, you are attracting significantly different types of customers. Some of them are interacting with your brand expecting something different than they get.
Keep analyzing your strategy through these 10 points to find the area where your strategy isn’t working. Did you analyze the market correctly? Do you understand your customers well? Is your marketing strategy and communication relevant to the value you offer? Sometimes, you need to take a few steps back to eventually move forward.
What is your favorite way to achieve high customer satisfaction?