What is Customer Satisfaction?
First of all, let’s start with the definition of customer satisfaction. By its nature, satisfaction is a measurement we use to figure out how the company’s products or services meet customer expectations.
The customer surveys, customer journey analytics, and customer actions show the big picture for strong and weak sides to foster customer happiness and loyalty. As a result, focus on customer satisfaction to make customers spend more time and money and reduce customer churn. Let’s walk together.
Why is Customer Satisfaction Important?
1. It helps you to retain customers
Companies go to great lengths to attract new customers - launching advertising campaigns, offering discounts and loyalty programs, organizing promotional events, etc. All these efforts payback in the end: statistics say that loyal customers are 5 times more likely to buy again.
Moreover, they are 4 times more likely to recommend your business to their friends. And last but not least, customer retention is cheaper. According to Hubspot, it is 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire new customers than retain existing ones.
Furthermore, the existing customers spend 67% more than “new customers”.
However, all these impressive figures would have been impossible if companies hadn’t cared about the level of customer satisfaction. Unhappy customers won’t buy from you again. And, be sure, they won’t be your brand’s promoters.
2. Your revenue depends on it
The level of customer satisfaction affects your revenue as well. Customer's opinions and feelings about your brand can involve metrics such as the number of mentions, repeated transactions, customer lifetime value, and customer churn. Why should they look at your competitor’s offers if they are completely satisfied with your company? Quality of service matters more than many think: 96% of customers say customer service has paramount importance in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
Another research shows that customers intend to share negative experiences with other people more than those with positive experiences. The average number of sharing with the positive cases equals 9 people. While the negative experience is likely to be told by 16 people. Is there any need to say how it may affect your sales revenue?
3. It shows you room for improvement
By measuring the level of call center customer satisfaction and gathering customer feedback, you can see what to improve in your product or service. Seeing your customer service department from the customer’s perspective allows you to spot weaknesses as early as possible.
That’s why customer satisfaction surveys should become your daily habit. It will allow you to keep up with the pace of customer expectations.
Now when we’ve figured out how important customer satisfaction is to your business, let’s outline the next point. How do you manage customer satisfaction in contact centers?
How to Measure Customer Satisfaction
Hubspot recommends that you should divide this process into several simple steps. And only then you can more accurately set business performance metrics. For instance:
1. Define your goals
Stop and ask yourself: “Why are we doing this survey? What do we want to get out of it?”. Weigh the value of this data against the cost of the survey process. If you aren’t going to change anything after collecting the customer journey analytics data, you're better off not collecting it at all. A goal in mind will help you to get the most out of your customer data.
2. Outline your plan
Now it’s time to decide on what you’re going to do after collecting and analyzing customer feedback. Here are our examples of what may be done in your call center after a customer satisfaction survey:
- Implementing a more efficient call center solution
- Changing and testing the IVR menu
- Implementing and testing different call scripts
- Making changes to customer service representatives' training program
You can plan some activities based on highly satisfied customers as well. Methodologies like Net Promoter Score (NPS) that will be described below, allow you to define so-called promoters (those who are most satisfied with your brand) and encourage them to tell others about your products and services. These people are most likely to become your “external sales force” - in other words, your brand advocates.
3. Choose a type of survey
The next step is to choose the type of customer satisfaction survey you want to conduct. There are a few common options:
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). This method is the most commonly used one. You ask customers to evaluate their experience with your company on a linear scale. They may choose one of the statements you provide or grade your performance by using the range of numbers (for example, 1-3, 1-10, etc). There are different opinions on what scale is better. CSAT is used to evaluate an immediate customer’s specific experience - for example, the work of healthcare professionals in a laboratory.
Also, it’s an important metric to evaluate the performance of the support desk.
Figure 1. Customer Satisfaction Score. Source: Hubspot
Customer Effort Score (CES). This metric is very similar to the previous one but is actually a customer journey analytics metric that asks customers how easy it was to solve their problems.
The assumption is that an easier task means a better experience. By gauging customer effort, you can see if you need to make their experience low-effort, thus reducing their frustration and disloyalty.
Figure 2. The Customer Journey Analytics With Customer Effort Score. Source: Hubspot
Net Promoter Score (NPS). This metric measures not only customer satisfaction but also their loyalty. You are asking: how likely they recommend the company to friends and colleagues. For instance, on a scale of 0 to 10 or other.
NPS allows you to segment your customers’ answers into three categories: detractors (scores 0-6), passives (7-8), and promoters (9-10). Detractors are those who wouldn’t recommend you.
Passives are indifferent to your brand: they may become your promoters or switch to your competition. Promoters are loyal customers who would recommend you. Subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters, and you get the NPS.
Companies often use it as a general indicator of customer loyalty and brand devotion.
Figure 3. Net Promoter Score. Source: Hotjar
These three types of surveys aren’t the only options you can use. You can customize your customer satisfaction questionnaire to your goals and plans to get the most out of it.
4. Determine your survey's trigger
This step is all about the right time and place. Go back to your goals and decide when you are going to send the survey and to who you are going to send it. In other words, define the proper timing and target audience. Do not send customer satisfaction surveys too often: it can result in low response rates and annoy your customers.
5. Analyze your survey data
Once you’ve gathered your customer journey analytics with other relevant information together, don’t let it be unused. Make sure that all this customer insight will be analyzed. This process can be quite simple or require some expertise in statistics.
6. Make adjustments and repeat
Now it’s time to carry out the plan you’ve outlined. After collecting the customer satisfaction data and customer journey analytics, you can see what they feel about your brand and take all the necessary steps to increase their satisfaction.
How to Improve Customer Satisfaction in a Call Center
1. Focus on the customer experience
Customer service is all about providing a great experience to your customers. So the key is to understand what they consider a great experience. How can you do that?
Firstly, prioritize the channels that customers prefer to communicate with your company. If the majority of them contact you via live chat on your website, pay attention to that channel and enhance it.
Secondly, deliver more personalized service. That’s when efficient call center software comes in handy. For example, the Voiptime Cloud call center solution provides seamless two-way integration with your CRM and other business systems so you can show the consolidated client information to your customer service representatives.
2. Try to resolve your customer issue as quickly as possible
None of the customers appreciate countless transfers without a predictable end. A recent survey from Salesforce states that 82% of customers want to solve complex problems by talking to one person. Therefore, at customer journey touchpoints, pay attention to First Call (Contact) Resolution Rate (FCR). Provide your frontline staff with tools, information, and power to solve the customer issues at the first attempt.
Also, think about intelligent call routing when your customer is identified on the IVR and directed to the queue, processed by the agents with the required qualification.
3. Leverage technologies
Technology can also be one of the ways how to increase customer satisfaction in your call center. You can leverage it in two ways.
The first is offering self-service tools such as the IVR menu or chatbot in your web chat. IVR helps your customers to get their simple questions answered: account balance, purchase delivery status, etc. Or make some simple actions such as changing pricing plans, requesting a callback, etc. Chatbots can perform a similar function in your web chat module. Self-service tools give you two benefits at once: they free up your agents for more difficult tasks and save your customers’ time.
The second way is to use a call scripting feature in your call center solution. Voiptime Cloud allows you to quickly create different scripts and display them during calls. It saves your agents time as they don’t need to switch between different apps. Moreover, you can include question blocks into your call script and then export the customers’ answers to external tools as a .xlsx file. Thus you can get the information about your customers’ likes and dislikes that can be used in some marketing campaigns or other activities.
4. Do not forget about your agents’ satisfaction
Putting your customers first will reduce your customer churn, yet it doesn’t mean forgetting about your employees. They are the first who influence the level of customer satisfaction.
If your agents are satisfied with their job, it reflects in the way they provide customer service. Therefore, it’s necessary to deliver decent training, provide timely feedback and go to great lengths to attract and retain talents.
5. Test your and your competitor's performance
Before putting key performance indicators as a goal to measure customer satisfaction levels do this. One of the proven ways to dive into the understanding of a call center’s real performance is to examine it.
Just call your call center, and pretend you’re a customer who wishes to achieve goods or products, information about payment methods, customer support on the issue. Examine all the main issues, your customer support or sales agent can meet.
Do it both during the call or in chat. Notice the time your agents pick up the phone or answer on chat. Think about this experience. Does it create a positive or negative impact? Will your agents foster your call center to make more happy customers? Or maybe many of them will aggravate prospects and customers?
Make the same trick with your competitors by asking for everything you need. Notice the agent’s performance, tone of voice, professional attitude, etc.
Conducting these tests furnishes you with up-to-date and real-time insights about agents’ knowledge, professionalism, and customer response.
6. Turn your agents into the cutting-edge professional team
Remember what Peter Drucker, the author of the book “The effective executive”, and other management books have said? “The good is the enemy of the great”.
And the hard truth is that your agents are never good enough. Why? Because the moment you presume you’ve reached the edge of the knowledge and performance will be the moment, your agents will start to fail.
This is happening because once every human being achieves a decent level of knowledge or skills, they need improvements. A great indication of this process will be the image of shaping the blade towards perfection. Constant training, studying, and re-shaping communication of agents' skills have paramount importance for call or contact center agents.
7. Let your angry customers be you’re the most powerful advantage
The vast majority of agents and managers take complaints as a thrown stone in their direction. They shouldn’t think this way. On the contrary, why neglect wise advice from customers?
Sometimes, your prospect or customer hits the gist of the problem and does it more than any agent. When you hear something reasonable for customers that match your corporate policy and product/service terms and conditions and make a step forward to do as they say.
Additionally, these devices will serve you as proof you can rely in many cases on customers in questions related to the product and its usage. The impact is positive reviews, and more customers are glad to spend more time and money with you.
8. Deliver the promise to customers
Call center managers and agents must keep their promises to customers. In fact, keeping your promises is the most powerful weapon you can use in customer retention. You see, most customers quit from lasting relationships with companies because they feel they’ve been treated like bloody fools.
Of course, agents must have 100% knowledge about everything regarding the product and promises, terms, and conditions to build a lasting mood of trust during a customer interaction. Thus you’ll prevent accidental misleading or tricking.
When you handle “the hard customer”, sometimes you need to put an extra effort to compel them. And remember, that being firm, professional, and positive-oriented is the choice every agent or manager makes deliberately, each time they’re picking up the phone or chat conversation.
9. Agents are good enough to prevent escalations to the supervisors
Really, why should every “hard call” be transferred to the supervisors in the order to find the decision? The agent is the same person as a supervisor minus experience and knowledge in certain company’s practices.
So, encourage agents to take full responsibility for their calls, without any fear or loser-attitude from the beginning. If they’ve lacked the knowledge, force them to study materials regarding customer support cases. If they’ve lacked the resolving difficult issues (to a reasonable extent), push them towards finding the solution.
These are the necessary steps to make your agents professionals in the predictable future. The best attitude for agents is to become supervisors or managers in the future, which means more experience, knowledge, and desire to overcome the odds of the profession.
So, if you hired the right agents for the job, conduct these meetings to describe the main idea: "the future of the company depends on each one of you, and the best performers will be promoted to the supervisors, managers, and more".
10. Start to delegate
As a manager of the call center, start to delegate part of your responsibilities to the best performers and trustworthy employees. Think about it. Why should you waste too much time making the same routine as a manager, when you can devote some of your “chore” with newbies and agents to someone qualified?
By doing so, you’ll save yourself more time and move to the more important issues regarding your call center, such as equipment, working models, corporate policy, etc.
As you can see, customer satisfaction is one of the most important metrics and goals for your business. If your customers are happy with your services, they will be promoters of your brand. If they’re not, you’ll lose them and make your competitors happy. To avoid that, pay close attention to your call center performance as it is the face and voice of your company.
First published on 02/22/2021, updated and extended on 04/03/2022