In today's super social world, where customers will let you and everyone else know if they are not happy with your product or service, it is more important than ever to keep customers happy. While making sure customers receive the product or service they ordered on time and as promised is an excellent start, savvy businesses know they often need to go above and beyond on-time shipping if they want to keep customers coming back for more.
So what steps can you take to keep your best customers happy? And how can you tell if customers are truly satisfied? Business owners and managers as well as customer experience experts share their top six tips for tracking, measuring and ensuring customer satisfaction .
1. Thank them — with a coupon/discount or a gift. "To keep our customers happy we send a postcard after their first order," says Tanner Agar, CEO, The Chef Shelf, an online retailer of specialty foods and chef/restaurant branded products. "It's a thank you, hand signed by the CEO, and has a $5 coupon."
Another way to say 'thank you' to a particularly good or loyal customer? "Send personalized gifts," says Bryce Maddock, cofounder and CEO, TaskUs, which provides customer care and back office support to companies. "Lots of companies send their customers gifts, but [generic thank-you] cards and standard gift baskets are [often] forgotten." Instead, he says, "customize gifts around your clients' personal interests, which you can get by asking them or even doing a little social media stalking."
2. Visit them. "With the technology to video conference, email or automate the entire customer life cycle, few people take the time to go and see their customers [anymore]," says Maddock. "A couple hours face-to-face is better than months worth of standing phone calls. Customers are more honest and open, and appreciate the effort taken to go and see them."
3. Survey them — via email or after a customer service call. "Measure customer satisfaction by creating a short, three to four question survey," says Jennifer Martin, a business coach at Zest Business Consulting.
"Decide what results you are looking for and create the scale for what the answers might be, indicating what a 1 is (i.e., service is nothing special) and [what] a 10 might be (i.e., I LOVE working with you [or You met my every] need)," Martin says. Just remember that people are pressed for time, so "only ask the most pertinent questions. And if you don't know what they really want, ask them 'What would you say is the most important thing we can provide you?' as a fill-in-the blank."
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