Customer satisfaction affects your company’s revenue significantly. Conversely, low levels of customer satisfaction mean your customer retention rates are also low. Research by Esteban Kolsky found that only one out of 26 unhappy consumers complained. The rest abandon a business. That means that businesses shouldn’t view the absence of customer feedback as a sign of customer satisfaction.
With that in mind, can your company afford to lose 96% of unhappy customers? If not, learn the reasons for unhappy customers in the next section and find out how to prevent and solve issues that lower your customer satisfaction rates.
Threat 1: Lack of Real-Time Engagement
Often, customers need instant help, and sometimes, live chat isn’t enough. Instead, there’s a need to have face-to-face interactions or view the problem to provide the right solution.
23% of customers want face-to-face interaction for complex customer support issues, such as troubleshooting. Thus, it’s wise to engage your clients in real-time by leveraging customer engagement tools to improve the first contact resolution and deliver a great customer experience.
To provide real-time engagement:
- Use voice chat and video. Visual communication with video chat is more effective than audio communication. Face-to-face live videos can help your customers to identify the root cause of the problem in an instant. Also, you can provide the right solution at the first touchpoint and improve customer trust via personalized chat. For instance, you can use Zight (formerly CloudApp) to create GIFs of anything on your computer screen. Using Zight (formerly CloudApp)’s GIF creator, your sales and customer support teams can easily and quickly explain how your product works, increasing sales conversions and reducing customer support response times. G2 Crowd sales team, for instance, has made over $7 million in sales by leveraging Zight (formerly CloudApp) to create tailored videos for customers. Zight (formerly CloudApp) has helped the G2 Crowd’s sales team boost their engagement rates while saving time by reaching out to customers using videos instead of long emails.
- Collaborate with co-browsing. You can help your customers in real-time by controlling their screens, helping them through complicated processes or applications. Offering real-time help improves customer satisfaction and delivers an exceptional in-person client experience.
Threat 2: Lack of Communication
Communication is a vital aspect of every business. Through effective communication, you can share information with your customers and develop stronger relationships.
Also, effective communication plays a significant role in the success of a business’ culture and customer satisfaction. However, while the concept of communication is quite simple, the actual practice is daunting when time constraints or angry customers are in the mix.
Communication is a cycle, with a sender, a receiver, and the confirmation of the message. For example, you can tell your team member about a conversation you had with a customer, and then they respond to confirm they’ve received the message. It’s often simple conversations that can make or break a company. But what happens when there’s a lack of communication in a company?
When there’s a lack of communication in an organization between the management and employees or customer support team and customers, you’ll experience many issues, such as:
- Unmet expectations;
- Low morale;
- Dissatisfied customers;
- And high churn rates.
Poor communication is often the underlying cause of many problems in companies.
Threat 3: Transferring Customer Calls
“Your call is important to us. Please hold while we connect you to one of our customer support agents,” is one of the most frustrating responses a customer can hear.
Consumers hate automated responses. However, sometimes phone calls need to be transferred to get better responses. The sales and marketing department may also lack sufficient information about pending charges and bills.
Often, customers are kept in the dark why their customer support calls are being transferred. So instead, it’s crucial to explain the situation clearly.
“Sarah, your phone call is being transferred to the ABC department so that you can get an appropriate response to your question.”
Without adequate information, customers might be fearful of a poor customer experience ahead. Handling call transfers efficiently is crucial to customer satisfaction. Your customers will feel more comfortable knowing they’re being redirected appropriately. And a correct response might be a conversation away.
Solutions to Customer Satisfaction
1. Listening skills
“When it comes to challenging customer conversations… don’t go to solution mode until you have demonstrated that you are truly hearing their concerns,” – Chad Horenfeldt.
Listening to customers can improve customer satisfaction. Excellent listening skills can help you collect important information related to your company. Gathering customer feedback is one of the best ways to understand how customers truly feel about your company and the products and services you offer.
To improve your listening skills:
- Actively show that you’re listening by using affirmative statements such as “I get it” or “I see.” Following your customer’s queries with affirmative statements assures them you understand what they’re saying.
- Never interrupt customers. Don’t interrupt a customer when they’re talking unless you’re just acknowledging what they’re saying with an affirmative statement. But never interrupt or cut them off when they’re voicing their concerns or complaints.
- Show concern. Empathy is one of the top qualities customers want when interacting with customer support or service agents. Being a great listener also means you should be empathetic of their problems.
- Eliminate distractions. In today’s digital world, it’s pretty easy to get distracted. However, when trying to resolve customer issues or concerns, avoid distractions at all costs.
- Repeat or paraphrase what the customer is saying. Show customers you hear them by actively listening to them by repeating and paraphrasing their statements, so they recognize you understand their issues.
- Ask follow-up questions. Being an active listener involves asking questions to get to the root of the problem and identify how to resolve the issue.
- Don’t argue or get defensive. Angry customers will typically try to blame you. So you must listen to their problems and avoid arguing or being defensive.
- Build rapport and trust with customers. As you converse with customers, use an empathetic and friendly tone. It lets them know you’re doing everything you can to help them. Also, it enables them to know you’re there to help them, not an obstacle in their way.
- Be personable. Trying to relate to what customers are going through shows them you’re actively listening and will do everything it takes to make their experience better.
- Use positive language. When handling customer queries and concerns, avoid using negative language. For instance, instead of saying, “don’t click the red button,” you can say, “tap the green button.” Positive language takes away the stress that comes with customer support calls.
The above listening skills can help you deliver a better customer experience, ultimately improving your customer satisfaction rates.
2. Know Your Customer
Understanding your customers should be the focal point of your company because meeting customer expectations and needs can help you deliver an exceptional customer experience. In addition, companies can quickly generate better results when they operate under a cyclical process of anticipating, spotting, and meeting customer needs.
Knowing your customers’ interests and preferences can help you connect with them better via personalized conversations that strengthen your relationships. For example, 48% of consumers expect special treatment for being loyal customers. When customers are satisfied with your products or services, they become loyal brand advocates sharing their experiences and success stories with their family, friends, and colleagues, ultimately improving sales conversions.
Knowing your customers can improve customer satisfaction because:
- Customers feel you value, listen, and care about their success, and they feel you’ll continue paying attention to their needs even in the future.
- Understanding customer emotions and behaviors help companies provide better intuitive customer support.
- Having extensive knowledge about your customers can help you offer products and services that match their interests and needs.
3. Provide Omnichannel Customer Support
Omnichannel support refers to where the customers are. This type of support helps companies streamline all the communications across all mediums, such as social media, email, text, and instant messaging, and engage their customers seamlessly through their preferred channels.
Omnichannel communication allows companies to serve their customers’ consistent support across all touchpoints while delivering a unified brand experience that boosts their brand credibility.
By delivering omnichannel support, you can improve customer satisfaction by:
- Streamlining all your conversations with customers and managing them under a single channel.
- Connecting with customers in real-time and reducing your average response time.
- Helping you gain visible insights about your customer profiles and analyzing their journey with your company.
- Building customer trust and improving your company’s credibility by offering consistent customer experiences across all platforms.
As customer expectations and needs grow, the need to improve customer satisfaction also continues to increase. Leveraging customer satisfaction strategies, such as the omnichannel approach, improving your listening skills, knowing your customers, and delivering value, can boost your ability to provide personalized customer experiences.
Essentially, delivering a better customer experience improves customer satisfaction, ultimately helping you keep the customers you already have coming back. Building a customer base of loyal customers is worth the investment. That’s because higher customer satisfaction rates are directly linked to improved revenues for companies.