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 personalisation
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 personalised 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 processes
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 centre, which doesn’t help anybody. At outré creative we spend a lot of time decoding complex text into easily understood messages.
“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 which will mean a short power cut. We’re not sure how long it 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 don’t immediately know how to use it, and realise what you’re selling – they won’t stick around to find out. Which means 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 form fields will decease conversion. Utilise responsive forms to eliminate mistakes and create a far more pleasant user experience. For example, if you’re asking customers to fill in their date of birth, a responsive form will detect errors and disallow them from entering the date in any way other that your backend system understands it. This 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. outré creative has seen far too many times how 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 help them understand what you’re trying to say. Bear in mind that customers are looking through your comms in their downtime, so keep things light and fun where possible.
10. Pick tools that work for you and your customers
Email still wins the race for the most effective communication tool with 59% of the vote. Invest in your email layout and style, in the same way that your website must be clean, your emails should follow the same cues. 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 what you’re sending out and ask yourself; Do they look appealing? Would I read this? If the answer is no, it’s time to redesign.
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.