Why it makes sense to track customer satisfaction
We may all want to believe that we’re delivering the high standard of product or service and the professional quality of customer service that our markets demand. But how do we really know whether that’s the case of not? It’s all about customer satisfaction. By measuring it in concrete, usable terms, we can see not only the pain points we’re not hitting but also the pain points we may be exacerbating or even creating. Here’s why measuring customer service is so important, and some ways that you can do it.
Why it matters
Metrics are the means by which we measure the success or failure of the business. However, customer satisfaction is one of the keys to success that’s harder to measure because there is no single direct metric that helps you determine it. If customers are satisfied or are actively displeased by their dealings with your business, they will simply not buy from you again. If you can’t retain your customers, it’s all the more likely to stagnate and suffer. The more satisfied they are, the more likely they are not only to come back, but to encourage others to come back by spreading word-of-mouth, by engaging with the brand more publicly (such as on social media), and by leaving good reviews. With that in mind, what do you use to measure it?
It’s an old-school method, but it works. Surveys that ask how satisfied customers are can be implemented in a range of ways. They can come with or without follow-up questions, or an optional field that allows them to extrapolate on their feelings. In-service surveys can help you see how customers are finding the process of the purchase, whether it’s smooth and easy or hard-to-navigate but should be treated with caution as they interrupt the customer’s journey. Post-service surveys are more common, allowing the customer to complete that journey and have more time to leave their feedback.
Email or phone call follow-up surveys allow even more time, meaning the customer has the opportunity to truly engage with the product or survey and see how it has impacted and served them, so they have even more informed feedback. In-chat surveys can be combined with live chat customer support features. Some customers are more likely to be willing to provide feedback directly after having interacted with a member of the support team, whether it’s through simple ranking or a series of quick questions.
CSAT, standing for Customer Satisfaction, is another commonly used metric. On the face of it, the system does not provide much in the way of nuance. You allow customers to rate aspects of the business, whether it’s the product or service, the customer service, the website, or something else. Most companies offer a scale of 1-to-3, 1-to-5, or 1-to-10, and you can turn those numbers into terms such as “Not Satisfied At All” and “Completely Satisfied”. Your CSAT is the average of the customer responses, and the ability to quickly gauge their temperature on multiple aspects of interacting with the business means you can get data specific to which parts are letting you down. Adding the optional ability to leave written feedback also gives you reading material to see exactly what you can fix. The biggest negative to this system is that it’s highly subjective and mood dependent. A customer having a bad day can potentially throw your CSAT off.
NPS, also known as Net Promoter Score, is a metric that highlights how likely your customers are to refer you to other potential customers. It measures not just satisfaction, but loyalty, and is often graded just like CSATs, from “Not Likely At All” to “Extremely Likely”, for instance. Whether or not they refer doesn’t only reflect on their own feelings of satisfaction, but can cause them to think about whether your product or service is good enough to put their own reputation behind it. Unlike the CSAT, you don’t determine NPS by finding the average, but solely by finding the percentage of those likely to refer your product against the percentage of those who aren’t.
CES, also known as Customer Effort Score, is all about how you deliver your product or service or, more particularly, how much effort the customer had to put in to get the outcome they desired. Graded like CSAT and NPS, from a scale of “Very Little Effort” to “Very High Effort”, your average score can help you identify whether the customer experience is convenient enough. That convenience, and the obstacles that can get in the way of it, play a significant role in customer satisfaction. What’s more, CES focuses directly on their pain points. Customers are more likely to complain about something bad than to praise something good, simply because it stands out to them more.
With tools like Google Analytics, it’s easier to see less direct metrics that can reflect on customer satisfaction, as well. For instance, seeing a poor bounce rate on your products page may not just indicate that customers aren’t interested, but that you don’t provide enough information to guide them into the next step in the consumer lifecycle. Time spent on the website (or newsletters you send out) and clicks that take them closer to converting, on the other hand, show not just an interest but that customers aren’t being dissuaded from engaging with the business due to bad user experience.
If you want to see your business’s relationship with its customers, your social media could be a goldmine to see not just the customer’s satisfaction, but its impact on public perception. Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Yelp and more can make it a lot easier to see what customers are saying, with many offering the ability to track mentions or your brand.
If you want to improve customer retention, to improve word-of-mouth, or to create fans, not just customers, you can’t neglect the idea of customer satisfaction. Taking feedback on your products and services, ensuring you have the time and focus to provide good support, and showing genuine care for your customers can help you make the improvements you need, for a start. Once you start measuring it, you need to investigate what’s lacking and create a customer satisfaction plan as the solution.