10 ways to improve customer satisfaction

Finding tips on how to improve customer satisfaction can be a minefield.

Dodge all the jargon and metaphor bombs for hours, and you’ll still be left none the wiser. You just want to keep your customers happy, so when you’re served up suggestions about the ‘customer corridor of delight’ – we get why you’re frustrated. Because we feel exactly the same way.

Here’s some straightforward advice with a ‘no silly terminology’ guarantee.

1. Speak plainly

When talking (or writing) to customers, use straightforward language and avoid industry chat. Just because Linda from Marketing says things like ‘touch base’ and ‘sending in the S.W.A.T Team’, that doesn’t mean your customers will thank you for it. There’s a fine line between being on trend and being annoying. outré creative solemnly swears to never tell you that we’ll be “onboarding for optimum bouncebackability” (or any other nonsense). We’ll just say we’re going to “have a workshop with your staff to re-familiarise them with the brand”.

2. Don’t use boring customer survey reports

Customers love it when you make things easy for them. A well-designed, concise survey with a couple of clever questions will deliver far more accurate results than survey that drones on longer than Les Mis.

For example, think about using a number scale from 1 to 5 to gauge reactions. Not some lengthy bore asking if they’re extremely satisfied, very satisfied, somewhat… sorry, I zoned out there.

3. Repetition isn’t sexy

Repetition isn’t sexy. Repetition isn’t sexy. Do you see what I mean?

No one likes a nag. You can enforce your message without regurgitating it. Say it once, say it clearly, and position it properly.

4. Improve customer satisfaction with personalization

There’s nothing worse than a generic email, but unless you have a team of scribes in head office they’re pretty much inevitable. To make them seem less robotic, use a personalized format. Greet your customers by their first name. Use their car model or house name, depending on what’s relevant to your business.

5. Find an easy way to explain complicated things

If a customer doesn’t understand what you’re doing or how you calculate things, they won’t trust you. They’ll resort to calling to demand answers and this will clog up your customer service center, which doesn’t help anybody. At outré creative we spend a lot of time decoding complex text into easily understood messages.

For example:
“We will be conducting assessments and repairs in your area. The work will take an indeterminate amount of time and we will suspend electricity for a limited period during the process.”

Let’s rephrase it:
“We need to check that everything is working correctly in your area. So there’ll be a short power cut. We’re not sure how long the work will take, but we’ll work as quickly as possible.”

Which one didn’t you have to read twice?

6. Help people: Tell them what they need to do

The easiest way to improve customer satisfaction is to give customers clear call-to-actions. If visitors to your website can’t immediately see how to use it, and what you’re selling — they won’t stick around to find out. So your website must be clean and clear.

And don’t forget about responsive design. You need a website that adjusts to the screen it’s being viewed on, so that it looks sleek on a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

7. Streamline your contact forms

If you require customers to provide too much information, they won’t bother. Increasing the number of fields will decrease conversion. And, if you need data in a certain format, use a responsive form. For example, if you’re asking customers to fill in their date of birth, have the form validate their entry.

This can help you detect errors and stop them from choosing the date in an incorrect or error-based format. Which means a more accurate database.

8. Don’t be afraid of social media

It can be an awesome way to show your personality and engage with your customers on a real level. Of course, you need to make sure you’re staying true to your audience with an appropriate tone and style. If you’re speaking to a more mature audience, it wouldn’t be appropriate for you to discuss selfies. Or tweet about #tbt. Because the wrong tone can alienate or even anger customers.

9. Embrace multimedia

Not all customers learn best through reading. Some people just like looking at the pictures. Images, videos, or interactive guides can help them better understand what you’re trying to say. And bear in mind that customers are looking at your comms in their downtime. So keep things light, fun, and less taxing where possible.

10. Pick tools that work for you and your customers

massive 59% of us say that emails influence our choices. To make sure the choice is clear, your emails need to be clean and effective.

Ever opened an email with cramped text and a random image smack bang in the middle? I bet it got deleted it as fast as that text from your persistent ex. Take a good look at the emails you send out and ask yourself some questions.

  • Would I read this?
  • Do they look appealing?
  • Would I read this?

Answered ‘no’ to any of these? Time for some fresh thought.

Improve customer satisfaction in stages

The obvious truth is, you can never implement everything at once.

The path to happy customers comes step by step, so you always need to be thinking of what comes next. And make sure you’re testing after every stage so you can see what’s working best.

And if you can’t think up the next step right away? Have a quick look through some of our recent work for inspiration.