According to a survey conducted by #1. Foster a Customer-Centric Culture Every business exists to achieve a certain vision that fulfills the needs and the demands of its customers. Consequently, the customer is at the core of every business, allowing the organization to earn its revenue and beat the competition. Make Customer-Centric Decisions: Everyone in the organization must be encouraged to keep the customer at the center of all the strategic decisions, enhancing customer retention and satisfaction. Make customer satisfaction a part of your core organizational values and build strategies that put your internal (employees) and external (clients and vendors) customers first. Link Customer Satisfaction to Employee KPI: Put customer satisfaction ahead of everything else by including it as a part of your employees’ performance appraisal. Linking customer satisfaction to the key performance indicator (KPI) of your employees will encourage them to focus on making customers happy. Employ Mystery Shoppers: Mystery shoppers can help you gain honest feedback regarding your product and the quality of customer service offered by the staff. Keep your employees in the loop and hire a mystery shopping agency to check compliance with the firm’s customer service benchmarks and help you gain crucial market insights. Make Customer Satisfaction Everyone’s Business: Involve the other departments, namely finance, research and development, and human resource teams when interacting with the customers, enabling them to understand customer needs. This will ensure that all your employees are aligned with the core value of the firm that is customer-centricity. #2. Offer Proactive and Personalized Customer Service Research shows that 91 percent of unhappy customers will not communicate about their discontent and will cease to do business with an organization. A proactive customer-engagement strategy will enable you to anticipate and plan for the “what, when, where, and how for your customers”, allowing you to improve your organization’s operational efficiency. Employ Self-Service Strategy: Customers expect personalized solutions to their problems. Offering them a self-service strategy will empower your customers to resolve their issues while keeping a special focus on their needs. FAQ (frequently asked questions) and chatbot options will help you gain customer insights using analytics and mitigate their concerns proactively. Use Speech Analytics: Employing speech analytics will enable your customer relationship managers to efficiently resolve customer queries, enhancing customer satisfaction. Contact analytics are also used for mining intelligence from the interaction, enabling firms to modify their strategies as per the customer insights. Anticipate Customer Needs: Focus on solving your customers’ problems rather than merely selling your product or service. The customer will not always express his/her needs but may offer you cues through his/her buying behavior. Pay attention to these trends and use them to anticipate customer needs. Develop an All-Inclusive Customer Service Model Implement a business model that includes strategies to gain customer feedback and resolve their issues. Determine who will manage customer grievances and train these employees to assist customers, enhancing your company’s reputation and brand image. Develop a customer service model that focuses on enhancing client satisfaction and reducing grievances. Focus on Employee Motivation: Your employees are your internal customers who play a crucial role in influencing customer behavior. Satisfied and passionate employees will earn you happy customers. Encourage open door policy and survey employees to find out if they are satisfied with their job. Offer benefits such as discount coupons, freebies, or gifts to keep them charged up. Train Employees to Focus on Customer Experience: Empower your employees to make on-the-spot decisions in favor of your customers and in line with the company policies. This will soothe discontented customers and encourage your staff to initiate insightful conversations with customers. Offer Comprehensive Service: Extend customer service beyond the selling process. For instance, if you market heavy equipment such as forklifts or excavators, merely sharing promotional brochures or pamphlets may not be sufficient. Offering a post-sale maintenance plan that includes inspection and servicing of the machinery to prevent damage will set you apart from the competition. #4. Use Multiple Customer Touchpoints Customer touchpoints are the occasions when your brand comes in contact with the customer, before and after the purchase. Customers can be satisfied or dissatisfied with your product or service at any point of the customer lifecycle (purchasing, using, maintaining loyalty to the brand). Identify your customer touchpoints and strive to keep your customers satisfied throughout the lifecycle. Put Yourself in the Customers’ Shoes: Identifying all your customer touchpoint can be a daunting task initially. Put yourself in the customer’s role and ask yourself – Do you have a problem that needs to be solved? What issues do you face when using a product? How do you make your purchase decision? After a purchase what services do you expect? These questions will help you make a list of the places and occasions the customer can come in contact with your product. A few customer touchpoints are mentioned below. Before Purchasing During a Purchase After Sales Advertising, offers, social media, ratings, reviews, and testimonials Store, website, advertising emails and promotions, company staff, phone representative, catalogs Transactional emails, billing, help desk or customer service team, thank you emails and cards Paying attention to multiple customer touchpoints will help you get a full view of your customers’ experience, enabling you to devise strategies that enhance customer satisfaction. Map Customer Feedback: Improving customer experience at each of the above-mentioned touchpoints will help you enhance customer satisfaction. Run assessments at these touchpoints and encourage customers to participate by keeping the surveys short and relevant to them. You can also offer incentives to your customers or pay a target audience to complete a customer feedback survey. #5. Take Customer Reviews Seriously The increased internet connectivity is making it tough for business owners to maintain their brand image. Customers can instantly go online and share their reviews and comments on a particular brand. This review will in turn influence several other prospective customers. Consequently, it is crucial to monitor and manage online reviews of your business. Websites such as Google Places, TripAdvisor, and Yelp use publicly-available data to generate a page for your business and send you a notification each time your products or services are reviewed. Once you create your business page, you are expected to monitor the reviews and respond to them instantly. Decide Who Will Respond to the Reviews: Make sure the quality of responses and the tone of language used are not offending your customers. Assign the duty to an employee who exhibits a strong customer-centric attitude, has a friendly writing style, and the authority to resolve grievances. Welcome Positive and Negative Reviews: Regardless of whether the customer has shared a positive or negative experience, thank him/her for sparing time to review your product or service. Manage negative reviews by understanding the customer’s problem and offering to research and resolve them. Avoid Posting Fake Reviews: Posting fake reviews about your own business is illegal in most countries. Moreover, fake reviews can mar your credibility and brand image. Customer satisfaction is the leading indicator for measuring customer loyalty and boosting your organization’s revenue. Use the above-mentioned strategies to enhance your customer satisfaction, giving you a competitive edge in the current business environment.