So the customer satisfaction survey results are in and Management come back with the standard, “Customer Satisfaction is slipping. YOU need to get it up!” How often have you been told that you need to lift the customer satisfaction rating for your area, team, or business? Then shook your head and wondered just how to make it happen. There’s no magic wand or crystal ball for this one. It’s totally out of your control if they’re happy with you because you’re doing everything you can; special offers, follow up, personalised service. You’ve pulled out all the stops for the customer. You’re giving it all you’ve got!
Traditionally, improving customer satisfaction takes on the form of “What else can we give them?” or “What else do they need?”
What if I was to tell you that there were 2 more effective ways of improving customer satisfaction than throwing more money and things at the customer. (metaphorically speaking)
What if instead of concentrating on just improving the product or service we focus on improving the people involved? I know it’s a bit odd, but hear me out.
The customer’s role in improving customer satisfaction
Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to go back and ask them exactly what they want because we all know that if you asked 100 people you would get 100 different answers. So rather than asking them what they, let’s look at what draws a customer to a brand and keeps them there. This is the aim of customer satisfaction – customer retention. We know it’s cheaper to keep a customer than find a new one.
So what draws a customer to a brand and keeps them there, or better still, turns them into a raving fan?
There are 3 parts:
- Appealing to their self image
The beauty of these three things is that even exclusivity and incentive require no financial outlay. We often believe that exclusivity and incentive mean giving more or offering discounts.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines exclusivity as:
1. the quality or state of being exclusive
2. exclusive rights or services
And incentive as:
- something that incites or has a tendency to incite to determination or action
Neither of these definitions imply the need to offer a discount or bonuses. In fact, research shows that the best incentive is to tell people the action you want them to take.
I’ve developed a simple checklist and you can download it here.
Staff’s role in customer satisfaction
Now this one digs deep into psychology, so I’m going to ask for a little patience as I take you on a journey backwards in time. If you think it’s all about the staff making sure that the customer is always right & giving them what they want, I have a surprise! It’s not! Let’s get started!
Research shows that happy staff means happy clients. Seems logical right? So what makes happy staff? I promise you it’s not pay-rises, free food, basketball courts, or beanbags. Sorry staffers!
Happy staff comes down to staff seeing a clear relationship between what motivates them and what motivates the business and what it achieves.
So if it’s not money and perks that motivate staff, what is it? Well I’m sorry to say that it is different for each person. We are all unique! But through time & experience, I’ve brought it back to a set of five key motivators. Understand these for your staff & align them to your business and you will not only have happy staff but you will also improve customer satisfaction.
So what are the five motivators?
Yes we are all driven by these 5 things, yes they differ between people, yes they matter to us. Yes it seems stupidly simple but research is research and when you think about it, it makes sense.
So how do you work these out? Well you do have to have conversations with your staff and you do have to have a very clear idea of the motivators of your business – so it takes work. But here’s another thing to consider…
Happy staff are more productive. Happy staff have less time off. Happy staff become raving fans. Happy staff stay with your company saving your on churn and labour hire costs.
So there’s an added benefit to increasing customer satisfaction. Not only will the want to buy more, and will buy more. (Oh didn’t I mention that research?) Your staff will be happier and you’ll save money & make more money.
If you’d like to know more about these motivators and how I used it to improve staff happiness, productivity, & customer satisfaction; I have a short instructional set available on my website.
If you would like to speak to me more on this and how I can make it work in your business, you can book a FREE consultation here. Additionally, I am available to speak on this topic to your team or at your conference.