Customers know what they like, and with near-endless choices, it usually doesn't take much for shoppers to look elsewhere.
In their latest Future of CX Report, consulting company PwC found that 33% of shoppers will leave a brand they love after a single bad experience, and a staggering 92% would completely abandon that company after 2-3 poor experiences. Talk about a lot of pressure.
So what can you do? Nobody sets out to deliver a poor customer experience, but wishing alone isn’t enough to turn things around. Making an actual change starts with a plan, and below we’ll share 5 tips to help boost customer satisfaction (without breaking the bank).
1. Get to know your customers (and give them what they want)
Nobody knows your product(s) quite like your customer base, but how well do you know them? Even the best-laid plans can fall short if you’re not appealing to their needs and what matters most to them.
There are several ways to understand customer needs better, but here are 5 common approaches to try:
- Conduct surveys: Want to know more about your customers? Just ask! Surveys effectively collect feedback, identify pain points, and gain insights into what's important.
- Review customer data: If you’re of the mindset “actions speak louder than words,” then you’ll want to look at your customer data. From demographics (such as age, sex, and location) to purchase history and browsing behavior, this is a great way to spot key trends.
- Monitor social media: Platforms like X (aka Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram are great (free) tools to understand what customers think about your brand.
- Leverage A/B testing: Looking for feedback in real time? A/B tests can help you see what resonates with customers. From small changes, like trying a different call-to-action (CTA), to bigger page redesigns (what happens when you put reviews on your product page?) — all of this is valuable information.
- Study the competition: Your competitors are going after the same market you are, so why not use them for inspiration? What does the buyer journey look like? What type of customer support do they provide? And how are they dealing with the issues you’re facing? Use them to identify both strengths and weaknesses in your strategy.
With this information, you can now create detailed customer personas (or buyer personas) and start catering to specific customer needs.
2. Personalize Your communication (and create memorable experiences)
Nobody wants to be thought of as just another sale. Every person visiting your site is looking for an experience that feels unique. And we’re not just talking about greeting them by their name.
According to Salesforce’s 2022 State of the Connected Customer, 56% of customers expect personalized offers.
So, how do you deliver experiences that meet customer expectations? Here are three ways to build connections:
- Offer dynamic content: What if you could change your virtual storefront to meet each customer's unique needs? It may sound futuristic, but the technology exists. With today's leading customer support software, you can offer custom product carousels that leverage customer data to show products based on browsing history or even complimentary items to what they've already bought (and love). Another (lower-tech) option: custom landing pages for your ads or CTAs.
- Send targeted emails: Emails are a great way to restart a conversation, but a generic message will likely land you an “unsubscribe.” Instead, leverage data to make these stick! For example, did a user abandon a full cart? Use this as your conversation starter to bring them back to the site. Want to go a step further? You can try a custom coupon or free shipping code to seal the deal.
- Connect shoppers with product experts: It’s important to offer shoppers the relevant information they’re looking for. Doing so is often the difference between making a sale or having a user wandering off. Make it easy to instantly connect shoppers with your experts to answer those last-second product questions. With Zowie Grow, you can even automate this entire exchange.
Want to learn about more ways to create an excellent customer experience? Read more here: How to Deliver an Excellent Customer Experience.
3. Collect customer feedback (and turn it into an action plan)
If you want to know how to improve, it’s best to go directly to the source: your customers.
Most people are not shy to share feedback, especially after a negative experience. And If one person feels this way, likely, others do too. By welcoming this feedback, you can quickly identify common (and not-so-common) problems and offer a solution that can regain customer loyalty.
Is a confusing policy frustrating people? Was an entire shipment damaged? Or is an inaccurate product description leading to a mass return? Customer feedback can help you identify these issues (and more), allowing you to turn angry shoppers into satisfied customers.
4. Offer omnichannel support (and reach customers where they are)
When you have a question at work, how do you get your answer? Depending on the question, you might write an email, hop on a messaging app (like Slack or Microsoft Teams), or even head to the individual’s office. A lot of this depends on the person you’re asking, what’s most convenient for you, and what channel you believe you’ll get the fastest response. For customers, the principle is the same.
Offering an omnichannel support solution allows your shoppers to contact you where they are — whether that’s email, social media, or your website. By meeting customer expectations and letting them connect using their preferred channel, you can deliver a positive experience on their terms.
However, if you're offering a support channel, you must be able to manage it effectively. There's no faster way to an angry customer than if they feel their message was ignored. This is another reason why automation capabilities are in high demand. They allow businesses to keep up with ticket spikes while shrinking response times, regardless of how shoppers reach out.
Need a crash course on offering omnichannel support that can improve customer relationships? We've covered everything you need to know on how to add omnichannel support to your business.
5. Reply quickly (and offer accurate answers)
Customers don’t want to wait when they have an issue (honestly, who does?). According to a recent SuperOffice study, 90% of customers say an “instant response” is highly important when they have a problem. What’s instant? Most note they want a response within 10 minutes.
Need to shrink your response times to meet customer expectations? Here are a few things you can do to speed up replies.
- Add a chatbot: Chatbots are the most effective way to deliver instant, 24/7 responses (in any language). With leading chatbots able to fully automate 95% of customer questions, you're not just shrinking response times but eliminating tickets altogether.
- Create scripts or “canned” responses: Offering your agents a script or rough outline can help them resolve cases faster. Rather than starting new each time, they can copy and paste replies or read responses from a script.
- Leverage AI language tools: The AI revolution has introduced several effective language tools, from free solutions like ChatGPT to paid alternatives. Another option is to add live translation capabilities to your customer support platform. At Zowie, you can instantly translate incoming and outgoing messages into more than 175 languages — making every agent a multilingual expert.
- Create an internal knowledge base: Make it easy for agents to quickly find key product and company information. Having a central knowledge base prevents them from having to search for this information. In addition, consider including what agents can and can not do for common questions. This will make it easier for them to know when to escalate a situation.
- Track performance: You can’t improve if you don’t know what your starting metrics are. By tracking items such as first response times (FRT) and time to resolution, you can identify areas for improvement and develop an action plan to get there.
Measuring success: Creating customer satisfaction goals
Improving customer satisfaction doesn't just impact customer support; it can boost your bottom line. Satisfied customers are repeat ones; increasing customer retention by just 5% raises profits by over 25%, with some companies seeing as much as a 95% increase — according to Bain and Company.
Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are two great ways to monitor overall satisfaction, foster relationships, and deliver a more customer-centric approach. How? We’re glad you asked.
Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT)
CSAT scores measure how satisfied customers are with your product or service. CSAT surveys are sent out after a purchase and typically ask shoppers to rate various questions on a scale from 1-5 (with 1 representing “very dissatisfied” and 5 representing “very satisfied”).
Ready to learn more about CSAT scores, including what questions to ask? Check out our dedicated blog all about CSAT.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
An NPS explores how likely customers are to recommend your product or service to their friends. Unlike CSAT, NPS surveys are measured on a scale from 1-10 (with 1 being “not likely” and 10 being “very likely”). Using this feedback, you add your results together to discover your NPS.