No business can survive if it is not satisfying its clients and customers. It is essential that you find out if your product or service is being well-received by your clients and you need to get this information quickly. Two aspects of customer service data are crucial. It must be timely (so you need to get it quickly) and it must be accurate.
Once you have the data you can refine your product or service to ensure that you are meeting the needs of your customers. However, it’s not just insights into your product that can be useful. You can find out how people react to your branding, your logo, your reputation and even your website or physical store layout. Then you can be confident that they will return and may even recommend you to their friends.
Here are some of the most popular ways for collecting customer satisfaction data.
These are one of the most comprehensive ways of measuring customer service quality. You can quickly identify the gaps between what your company delivers and what your customers expect. Armed with this accurate information, you can initiate changes that will help your business to improve client retention. Customer surveys that are built on the principles established in psychological studies can be relied upon to give you a true insight into how your customers perceive your services.
Live chat support and feedback
Customers now expect to be provided with live chat support when they reach your website and it is a great way of getting immediate feedback about your service. Live chat is an effective way for you to get close to your customers and potential customers and to gain a deep understanding their needs. It is also an effective way to identify patterns and spot recurring issues. Then you can work on finding long-term solutions for those problems.
Start by installing an online service that has a facility for live chats on your website. This is only going to work if you address your customer’s questions promptly and with helpful information. Proactive online chats are the most efficient. You can set the live chat window to appear when a customer has been on a particular page for a set period of time.
You can use the online chat to obtain direct feedback after the conversation has ended. This feedback could be in the form of basic questions about whether the customer found the experience helpful and if their issues were resolved. You can ask them to rate the effectiveness of the chat-support on a numeric scale.
Dedicated feedback form embedded in a website
At the very least, you should set up a dedicated feedback email. Then, your customers have a clear channel through which they can express their complaints and grievances. This method is highly valued by consumers.
You can develop this further by embedding a dedicated feedback form in a prominent place on your website. It needs to have all relevant questions but must not be too long. Multiple options are the preferred format.
Measure customer service performance
Learn from the complaints that you receive and how you respond as a business to those complaints. This is easy to do if you send out an email survey after every complaint ticket is closed. Here, you are aiming to find out if you were able to resolve the issue in the way that the customer expected.
This is only go work if there are a small number of well-worded questions. One of the best approaches is to ask your clients to rate their experience on a scale of 1 to 5. This numerical data can be used to track your progress over a period of weeks and months to reveal trends.
A simple alternative is to have a few yes or no response questions. A ‘no’ could lead to further questions that give further details on what has gone wrong. You are not wasting the time of satisfied customers with questions that are not relevant to them!
Make a call to your customers
This is the single most personalized way to obtain the customer feedback that you need. The method is both proactive, and generates the highest quality data.
There are several advantages to collecting data in this way. You will be getting first hand feedback directly from your customer. Also, because you are hearing your customer’s actual voice and tone, you are able to interpret their emotions in a way that is not possible in a questionnaire or live chat. Some clients are far better at expressing themselves verbally than they are in writing.
However, this is only going to work if you have trained personnel to conduct the calls. It is essential that the caller comes across as genuine and that they seem to have a desire to help. It is important that the call is seen as for the customer’s benefit and not to benefit the business. Otherwise, what would be their motivation for spending their precious time talking to you!
At no point should this conversation feel like a mere formality or a sales call. That will simply annoy the client. If it is done well, it can provide a valuable insight into what your customers think about your business. It also improves your relationship with your customers and makes them feel valued.
The disadvantage is that to get the most out of this method, you need to contact customers at appropriate times. This may mean calling them between 8am and 9am and between 4pm and 5pm. This is effort-intensive, and so it is best reserved for high-potential customers.
One of the major problems with all the methods of obtaining data on customer satisfaction is the low response rates. You are only going to get feedback from a very small proportion of your entire customer base. To make your results more representative, you may want to consider offering an incentive such as entry into a prize draw.