Knowing what influences customer satisfaction can help you improve your clients’ experience and increase retention rates. Here we’ll focus on five of the top factors which shape clients’ experience of your brand. We’ll cover a range of variables, spanning customer service performance to customer loyalty incentives. We’ll look at both how these elements impact satisfaction and how you can manage them to optimize the customer experience. In the process, we’ll highlight the role technology can play in tracking and influencing customer satisfaction scores.
1. How Easy Is It for Customers to Contact You?When customers need to contact you and they can’t get ahold of you, satisfaction plummets. While technology has made it easier to automate routine customer service inquiries, situations that require human support continue to play a major role in shaping customer experience and satisfaction. A Consumer Reports survey found that American consumers’ top customer service complaint was being unable to get a human agent on the phone. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey yielded similar results, indicating that 82% of U.S. consumers would still want to interact with real humans even as technology improves.
This does not mean that you shouldn’t use technology to automate customer interactions. On the contrary, efficient use of technology to handle routine inquiries and route those requiring human support can reduce your support workload so that it’s easier for you to handle customers who need individual attention. To make it easy for customers to contact you, Totango’s Spark platform uses automated workflows called SuccessPlays which allow you to strike a balance between routine handling of frequently encountered scenarios and one-on-one management of situations requiring human intervention. When the data indicates that a customer needs help, Spark either automatically emails the customer relevant information or notifies a human agent to reach out. Spark lets you proactively contact customers rather than waiting for them to contact you.
2. How Long Does It Take You to Respond to Customer Inquiries?
How long it takes you to contact customers also plays a role in their experience and satisfaction. Customers expect a response within minutes when contacting you by chat or phone, while they may be willing to wait a day for email support. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic increased customer wait times to record levels, as support centers struggled to keep up with surges of requests for phone support.
This is another place where more efficient use of technology can empower you to improve customer experience. By using automation to trigger automated responses reduce the workload on your support team
3. Do You Communicate Empathy in Your Customer Conversations?
When customers contact your brand, they want to know that your representatives care about their concerns. Research has found that two-thirds of customers prioritize an empathetic ear over the efficient resolution of their problem. Customers want representatives to listen to their concerns, understand their needs and value their time.
Training your employees in best practices can help nurture a more empathetic company culture. One key to the success of Apple Stores is that Apple’s employee training manual teaches an approach to customer service founded on approaching customers with a warm welcome and probing politely to understand customer needs.
To track the effectiveness of your efforts to communicate empathy, consider building questions into your customer satisfaction surveys which invite feedback in this area. For example, you might ask customers to rate how responsive their representative was to their needs on a scale of one to five. Totango’s Voice of the Customer tool includes built-in features you can use to track, measure and manage customer satisfaction in this and other areas.
4. Do You Express Customer Appreciation?
Customer service isn’t the only component that goes into satisfaction. Customers also feel more satisfied with your brand when they feel that you value their business. In contrast, customers who feel taken for granted are more likely to churn and take their business elsewhere. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey found that 59% of American consumers would walk away from a brand they liked after several bad experiences, and 17% would do so after just one negative interaction.
You can build appreciation into your clients’ experience by taking opportunities to thank customers throughout their customer journey. For example, your onboarding process can include an automated email thanking your new customer for their purchase.
5. Do You Reward Customer Loyalty?
One important way to express appreciation is by rewarding customers for their loyalty. You can do this in various ways, including discounts, exclusive offers, bonuses, access to special features and other incentives. You can also offer rewards for customers who promote your brand to others.
There are various ways you can track customer loyalty and manage it. These include monitoring metrics such as Net Promoter Score and taking steps to optimize them. Spark features modules such as the Nurture Customers SuccessBLOC which help you track NPS and other key metrics and leverage automated workflows to promote customer loyalty.
Harness the Power of Automation to Boost Your Customer Satisfaction Scores
What influences customer satisfaction revolves around how you treat customers in their interactions with you. This encompasses customer support interactions as well as engagements thanking customers for their business. This includes how easy you make it for customers to reach you, how long it takes you to respond when they reach out, how emphatic you come across, how you express appreciation, and how you reward loyalty. Automating best practices in these areas can help you raise customer satisfaction while tracking your results can help you manage and optimize satisfaction scores.
Totango’s Spark platform includes a full toolbox of features you can use to automate the delivery of satisfying experiences at every stage of your customer journey. Try it free to experience for yourself how customer success automation can help you deliver greater satisfaction to your clients.