When you love a brand, you shop from them. You are happy to hear news from them. You are willing to try out new products and will even subscribe to them. A great brand is one that you have a genuine relationship with, and are happy to continue to shop from. As that relationship develops into legacy status, it isn’t just about what that company means to you now; it’s what it meant to you in the past. If you grow up with a brand, you are more likely to continue to use it not just out of familiarity but due to nostalgia.
This kind of relationship is very hard to develop, especially in today’s world as a new business. There is a lot of competition out there, and customers are always on the lookout to improve the businesses that they work with. Constantly evaluating your approach and working to adapt and improve your business for the future can help, but to convince customers to stick around to enjoy your evolution, you need to first work to improve your customer service, and in turn, customer satisfaction.
These top 8 methods can help you get started:
1. Create a Brand Persona
The first step to improving customer satisfaction is to workshop your brand persona. This persona is the identity that you and all of your employees use when engaging with the customer. It’s easier to offer a uniform experience when it feels, to the customer, that they are engaging with the same person no matter where or when they are getting in touch with your brand.
A brand persona is also very important to keep your tone of voice and overall “feel” similar on your website, social media channels, and wherever else customers can find you. The persona is made up of tone, a basic personality, and a set of adaptable symbols and colors.
2. Train Your Employees for a Uniform Customer Experience
A brand persona can make it easier for your support employees to help your customers. It puts a bit of an emotional buffer that is essential when dealing with a particularly rude or irate customer, and it also ensures a uniform experience. By training your employees, you improve the experience for both parties. Things to train include what key phrases to use, when to get a manager, and of course how to handle their own emotional response. Not all customers are going to be understanding, and being there to support your employees is also a key part of improving customer satisfaction.
3. Improve Your Customer Service Tools
You should be able to create profiles for customers so that you can help them better with their problems. If a customer opened up a complaint or issue in the past and it was resolved, only to come back later with the same problem, you need to be able to see that and address it accordingly so that the third time isn’t the charm. What data you can keep will depend entirely on what your customers allow you to have in some countries, so always follow data laws.
4. Add a Live Chat Feature on Your Site
You need a business website, email, and phone number. What you don’t need, but should certainly have, is a live chat feature. Live chat tools can make it simple and also work to improve support speed for your customers. It is a simple matter to ask a question through a chatbox, and with the associated tools on your end, you can solve matters in seconds. In fact, it takes an average of 23 seconds for a support agent to respond to a customer, and just 42 seconds to solve the issue. These turnover times are huge, and not only that but your customer can multi-task while they wait, making it far more enjoyable for them than, for example, being on hold during a phone call.
5. Use Personalization
Personalization can easily be offered. You should already be collecting information on your customers to help improve your customer support services. Use that, along with things like:
6. Offer Value to Your Customers
Value will come in a lot of different forms.
- With subscriptions, it can be a small discount for customers who have been with you for a certain period of time. This rewards their loyalty.
- You can offer a highly informative, fun, or otherwise entertaining blog
- You can offer training tools and helpful guides, and suggestions on how to get more out of your customers’ purchases.
- You can have special sales or other members-only rewards
The value you offer should encourage your customers to return to your website or to continually engage with your social media. This is how you can best retarget your customers so that they stay up to date with you and are happier to try out new products or services from you.
7. Encourage Customers to Refer You
If a customer refers you to a friend or family member, chances are you are going to get a new customer in that referral. Not every happy customer will do this naturally, however, but there are many easy ways to encourage your customer base to refer you. A good way to do this is by offering special deals. If they refer a friend and they use your code, for example, they both get a product free.
8. Build a Positive Community
A positive community takes time to build, but it is very important in today’s world to curate and improve customer satisfaction. If you can get a customer to follow you on social media and actively engage with you on an ongoing basis, then you have their attention and their approval. They can vet you for new, potential customers online and overall are part of a community that newcomers most certainly will want to join.
You can do this by offering user generated content, guides, suggestions, and even just a “mood” that conveys your brand and engages with your existing customers.