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A long time ago, entrepreneurs were struggling to provide buyers with high-quality products and reasonable prices. While these elements of the business are still very relevant, they are gradually losing the race against customer satisfaction. Namely, recent surveys revealed that consumer experience will become the most important brand differentiator by 2020.
This suggests that all brands have to invest a lot of time and efforts into customer relations and measure their satisfaction on a regular basis. Doing so, you can drastically increase sales and the number of loyal buyers. That’s why in this article, we are going to explain how to measure customer satisfaction.
9 ways to evaluate customer experience
According to Business Dictionary, customer satisfaction is a degree of satisfaction provided by the goods or services of a company as measured by the number of repeat customers. However, it is practically impossible to cover all aspects of this phenomenon in one sentence alone.
Since our goal here is to describe how to measure consumer experience, we will focus on practical methods of evaluation. These methods calculate a set of concrete KPIs:
General Customer Satisfaction: If you experience a steady sales increase over a longer period of time, it means that your purchasers are happy with the way to nurture mutual relations. But if you see a lot of ups and downs in customer satisfaction surveys, it is time to ask yourself what’s wrong with the business.
Net Promoter Score: This indicator shows you the percentage of buyers who are willing to recommend your products to their acquaintances in real life or online. Bearing in mind the power of word of mouth marketing, most companies consider NPS to be the most important indicator of consumer satisfaction.
Competitor Analysis: It’s great to see that 87% of users would recommend your services online but it’s not really that good if an average competitor receives 93% of positive reviews. If you want to find out your market position, you need to analyze all relevant stakeholders.
Some would say that the customer satisfaction formula is rather simple - all you need is The Three C’s (consistency, consistency, consistency!). However, it really takes a little more than consistency to create a perfect consumer experience. First of all, you need to measure it in order to understand it, so let’s see how to do that.
Post-purchase surveys represent a simple way to gain customer feedback. Using online tools such as Survey Monkey, it is easy to design and conduct a consumer experience research. For instance, company Telstra made a well-designed survey which helped them to precisely detect both the advantages and the shortcomings of their customer relations. In this model, it is important not to go too wide and stay focused on one or two subjects of interest in the questionnaire.
- Real-time customer feedback
You can get a real-time customer feedback through your website support service or in-house call centers. This is the most efficient method because you can receive a lot of valuable information in a very limited amount of time. However, it is important to know what you want and to keep the number of questions to the minimum. An average consumer is not willing to spend 15 minutes talking to the stranger, so cut the long story short and be straightforward.
- Live Chat
More than 90% of buyers are satisfied when they have the opportunity to use the live chat service. This feature is available 24/7 and it allows companies to explore consumer experience quickly. With so many user insights available online, you can even create a chat rating report to measure customer satisfaction. Buyers can give support agents thumbs up or thumbs down after a chat, allowing you to compare them by efficiency.
- Face-to-face feedback
If you are running a physical store, the easiest thing to do is to address the buyer and ask him or her to describe their experiences with your sales agents. Don’t be pushy and keep it friendly. Explain that you are asking those questions in order to improve the overall customer experience in the store.
- Unsolicited feedback
Entrepreneurs would love to see 100% of their clients completely satisfied but it’s simply impossible. Every now and then you are going to face a poor online review but you need to make use of it, learn the lesson, and improve your services.
Mark Weber, a customer service manager at UK Essayontime, recently noted: “Unsolicited feedback helped our company to detect a few major problems in client relationships. We focused on review websites at first but it turned out to be even more effective and quicker once we paid attention to our social media accounts, too.”
- Focus groups
Focus groups enable you to get an in-depth insight into consumer journeys. When you gather a group of regular clients, you can inspire a good discussion about their experiences with your brand. Act as a moderator and let them talk: you will draw valuable conclusions out of it each time.
- Client advisory boards
A client advisory board is a meeting of the most important clients and stakeholders who discuss the latest product developments and brand strategies. Their aim is to make the plan how to attract new purchasers but also to keep the loyal ones. The latter is even more important since it is seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
- External agencies
If you don’t have enough time or don’t know how to measure customer satisfaction, you can leave it to external agencies. Their experts will do it for you, according to your instructions and input.
- Existing survey data
There could probably be enough reports and surveys about customer relations in related to yours niche in the market. These stats must contain some sufficient data on buyer retention and loyalty, which are two of the most important indicators of client satisfaction.
If you have a solid base of loyal consumers, you are probably doing well in terms of customer satisfaction. But if you notice that the sales and retention rates are decreasing, it is time to react and improve your customer satisfaction by utilizing the methods mentioned above as well as using all available data.
The meaning of customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction plays a crucial role in business nowadays. If you want to maintain positive sales figures, you have to provide consumers with great purchasing experiences in the long run.
Additionally, it is extremely important to measure customer satisfaction using 9 methods that we described above. Make sure to use our suggestions and let us know in comments if you need more suggestions about these evaluation models.