5 Key Benefits of Customer Satisfaction (and 3 Companies That Get It Right)
Customer satisfaction is the lifeline of any business. Improving customer service leads to more loyal customers, reduces churn, and increases sales. If you care about your customers (and your business!), you need to be making sure they’re satisfied with your offerings.
Customer satisfaction is defined as how well your business meets, falls short of, or exceeds the expectations of your customers. It changes over time and it’s worth measuring regularly to make sure your business is performing well.
It’s important to understand how customer service is related to customer satisfaction – the better the customer experience, the higher the satisfaction. Customers won’t be satisfied with your brand if you don’t offer an astounding experience and go the extra mile to meet their needs. According to research, 93% of customers1 are likely to make repeat purchases with brands that offer excellent customer service.
While it might seem obvious that satisfied customers are good for business, there are a number of benefits that come with happy customers.
How do you track customer satisfaction?
First things first. How do we track customer satisfaction?
There are a number of ways that businesses capture this metric, but here are our favorites:
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) – this is the main way that you measure customer satisfaction. CSAT uses a survey to assess customer satisfaction around a particular interaction with your business. It’s based on a question like “How satisfied were you with your experience?”
- Net promoter score (NPS) – this survey asks your customers how likely they are to recommend your business to someone else. Highly satisfied customers will be more likely to refer you to their network. To measure NPS, ask a question like “How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?”
- Customer effort score (CES) – this survey measures how easy your customer found it to complete a certain action, such as a support request or making a purchase. You ask a question like “How easy was it to solve your problem with [brand] today?”
- Customer feedback surveys – open-ended or close-ended surveys that ask for general feedback from your customers, such as “How well did we handle your problem today?” or “Please rate our product on a scale from 1-10.”
- Feedback from social listening – social listening refers to monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand and products.
What are the 5 main benefits of customer satisfaction?
#1 Identifies problems in your offerings
Customers are your greatest source of learning.
Surveying your customers is a chance to gain valuable insights into where your brand can do better. Satisfied customers can tell you about problems in your service.
Customers leave clues on where your product may need improvement. This also serves as a chance to go back to the customer for course correction and go the extra mile to delight them.
Consider this customer comment: “I’m very happy with the overall service but I think feature X could be made better by…” This provides you with valuable insight into how you can improve your product and increase customer satisfaction further.
#2 Increases customer retention
Satisfied customers are less likely to look for alternatives and remain loyal to your brand. They are more likely to return and spend more money with your business – in fact, loyal customers spend 67% more2 than new customers.
Keeping customer satisfaction as the focal point of customer interactions helps ensure that you care for your customers even if they show their frustrations. Some customers need that additional bit of engagement and assurance to feel satisfied with the outcome. Meet their needs without rushing towards closure.
Sometimes, the most satisfied customers never have any interaction with your customer support team. You quietly retain these customers in the long haul who keep returning to your products. So make sure you survey also those customers who never otherwise would have a reason to contact you.
#3 Creates positive brand perception
Your business’s reputation hinges on what customers are saying about you out in the real world.
Customers become your brand advocates when you offer them the experience they expect. A great experience elicits positive comments and recommendations on social media that your business can leverage to attract more leads.
Satisfied customers also leave positive reviews which can attract new customers to your business – 88% of customers are influenced by online customer service reviews when making a purchase, as per Doopoll’s customer satisfaction fact sheet. Satisfied customers become your most vocal advocates who sing your praises in public, which is publicity that money can’t buy.
Bonus: Grow your business in tandem with your B2B customers
Be proactive in how you gather customer feedback to gain more resources for your brand’s promotional activities. Don’t wait for customers to come to you.
Reach out to customers who have benefited from your product and service for testimonials, case studies, and combined campaigns. Use them as marketing collateral in a way that they bring eyeballs to both your business and your customer’s business.
#4 Gain a competitive edge with CX
Research from Gartner shows that 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, instead of price and product.
Customer experience goes hand in hand with customer satisfaction. And CX as we know is a huge competitive differentiator that helps acquire and retain customers.
CSAT surveys combined with marketplace research can help identify common pain points in the customer journey and their expectations. Leverage your findings to offer a seamless digital experience for your customers with the right tools and technology.
#5 Forecast sales based on customer satisfaction
Satisfied customers buy more from your business in the long term. According to the insights aggregated by Doopoll, 40% of business revenue in the US comes from repeat customers; so it’s worth hanging on to your customers. People will pay more to shop with companies that have great customer service.
If a bunch of customers are satisfied with a product or service, they are more likely to buy it again. Therefore, you can predict what will be in demand in the next several months and even in the longer term. Comparatively, unsatisfied customers are more likely to churn. If you’re seeing high numbers of unsatisfied users, you may expect fewer customers to stick around.
Three brands that have truly harnessed the benefits of customer satisfaction
The hotel chain Ritz-Carlton is world-famous for its customer experience, and there is no shortage of stories out there describing just how far its employees will go to ensure customer satisfaction. They take their service to the next level by addressing unspoken customer needs and going the extra mile to ensure their needs are met.
Part of their success comes from their service values: “I am empowered to create unique, memorable and personal experiences for our guests.” Every employee in the company can spend up to $2,000 per day to resolve a problem for each guest without having to ask permission from a manager.
For example, a family who had been staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali had brought particular eggs and milk for their son who had a number of different food allergies. When they got there, they realized the eggs were cracked and the milk had soured. Even though the hotel’s staff searched the local town, they couldn’t find replacements.
The executive chef at the hotel remembered a particular store in Singapore that sold the items, so he contacted his mother-in-law asking her to buy them and fly to Bali to deliver them. The guests were delighted with the level of service from Ritz-Carlton.
Buffer is a social media scheduling company that prides itself on outstanding customer service. They make it easy to contact customer support, which they call the Happiness Team. They pay their support reps well above market rates and offer numerous benefits such as a Macbook Air, Kindle, flexible vacation policy, and company stock offerings. Buffer requires that new employees be familiar with the product and already be an established customer.
“We view every interaction that comes our way—every email, tweet, question, review, mention, and more—as a true privilege.” – Buffer
They are famous for their conversational, personable tone in every customer interaction. Even when a customer emails in with a problem, their Happiness experts are stationed around the world to reply within 30 minutes. They actively encourage customers to contact them through email so they can have “conversations” and learn something new.
There’s a reason that Chick-Fil-A was named America’s favorite restaurant chain for the sixth year in a row3 – its outstanding customer service. They empower their employees to go beyond what’s expected to service their customers, propelled by the strong values of the company’s founders.
For example, a 96-year-old WWII veteran was visiting a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Maryland. He was visibly shaken since he had been driving to the restaurant and gotten a flat tire. After telling Chick-Fil-A employees what had happened, the restaurant manager quickly started working on the veteran’s car to fix the tire. After 15 minutes the tire was changed, the veteran was relieved, and Chick-Fil-A had another example of going the extra mile for customers.
President and COO Dan Cathy has defined Chick-Fil-A’s corporate statement as: “to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Improve customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction has many benefits for your business – from identifying problems in your offerings all the way through to helping you forecast sales. Don’t forget to measure customer satisfaction regularly using the key metrics we suggested, and reward your most satisfied customers for their loyalty.
It can be hard to provide satisfaction to your customers, but technology can help. You can use a helpdesk solution like Freshdesk to improve customer satisfaction and we’ve got an example of a company that did just that. ShipTime is a full-service shipping solution that provides customers with the tools to find the best courier companies for their shipments at the most competitive prices. ShipTime achieved 96% CSAT with omnichannel customer service powered by Freshdesk, making the switch from shared inbox to helpdesk.
Before using a helpdesk, they were organizing files and emails into folders and struggling to see which reps were working on what. They were averaging about 60 tickets a day, which was challenging for them to handle. Moving to Freshdesk helped ShipTime’s customer service team stay organized and track support tickets better.
If you’re interested in improving your CSAT score, consider trying out Freshdesk.