One of the more culturally challenging business processes is checking for customer satisfaction. It is all too easy to look for answers that we want, and ignore the undesired ones. Furthermore, if you haven’t set a customer service standard within the entire company, it will be difficult to assess customer satisfaction.
Imagine everyone in your company asserting they’re doing a great job in terms of customer service, yet have different standards for “best practice” and what “customer satisfaction” means. You could even find inconsistencies in monthly reports, and have trouble in getting repeat business.
Sound familiar? Keep reading. Here’s how you can effectively check for customer satisfaction.
1. Establish a Customer Service Standard Within Your Entire Company.
Customer service doesn’t only concern front liners. This is an ethos to which all must adhere, so that assessment standards will remain consistent and any feedback can be treated equally. Any customer interaction, whether on the store floor, at the register, and at the receiving end of the “Contact Us” section on your website must adhere to the same standards of customer service.
It’s difficult enough that each customer has different expectations and levels of experience in dealing with your company. Let’s not compound the issue by having different standards for delivering customer satisfaction.
2. Use Listening Tools Wisely.
You may think that appearing on top of search results is a sure good thing, but you might be wrong. Social media and online message boards may mention your company name, but not for the reasons you want. Running a digital scan and quantifying the online perception of your brand is a good first step in assessing customer satisfaction.
If you’re savvy, you can address the issue short-term by contacting disgruntled customers online, and asking them to participate in a survey with the aim of addressing their concerns and with the long-term goal of improving your company’s offering.
3. Know What They Want.
How do you know what your customers want? You can close that knowledge gap with a survey that asks them to rank satisfaction levels with the service, the store itself, the product experience, and whether they would come to your store again or repurchase your product.
Making the survey easy to fill out means using a weighted scale, ranking opinion and experience from 1-5. Putting specifics like what they bought at your store and their satisfaction with the specific items can clarify their opinion. It can also open the possibility of an isolated complaint amidst a generally good regard for your service as a whole.
Have space on your survey for personal and voluntary comments, and you can crack the case of what your customers want from you.
4. Be Honest with Yourself.
Getting the truth requires an open mind that can see its own creation objectively and acknowledge where disappointment occurs. The places it can possibly reside are: in the product—is it not worth the value they paid? The employees or sales force—are they overselling or overpromising your company’s services? Customer service—could they be inadvertently rude, dismissive, or ignorant of how to reassure irate or dissatisfied customers?
Knowing your company’s weaknesses and strengths makes it easy to plug holes in your brand reputation, and actively mending your customers’ broken perception will make a big impact.
5. Survey the Competition.
Finally, knowing how your competition works gives you an edge in improving your products or services. Ask your customers to come in and describe their experience with other merchants. Ask them to compare and contrast your offering with theirs. You may be surprised with the results, and with that knowledge, you can maximize that knowledge to your advantage. In the worst case, you will be one step closer to delivering ultimate satisfaction with your customers, who will see the lengths you go to to maintain your relationship with them.