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How happy your customers are with you and your business matters. You’ll be more likely to find greater success when you can obtain loyal clients and ensure they continue to choose you over your competitors in the future.

You may be doing some aspects right in this area but also realize that there’s room to do an even better job. If you’re ready to make a positive change in the right direction then review powerful ways to improve customer satisfaction at your business so you can increase sales and achieve more overall.

1. Make Your Customers a Priority

It all starts with you making your customers a priority at your business. Customer satisfaction must be a top initiative and you should have a plan in place for how you can go about ensuring that you have happy customers now and in the future.

Make sure that your entire company is on board and understands the importance of better serving your clients and solving problems quickly and efficiently. When client satisfaction becomes a focus of your business then you’re more likely to achieve greater results in this area.

2. Enhance the Purchasing Process

Ultimately, your goal is to have consumers make purchases from your company and buy your products or services. In this case, you should make certain that the purchasing process and user experience are flawless and seamless from start to finish.

Improve customer satisfaction at your business by enhancing the purchasing process by updating your website, properly staffing your brick-and-mortar stores, and investing in mobile credit card readers to speed up lines or allow customers to make purchases on the go.

These days it’s important that you’re set up to ensure fast and easy payments and that you can accept payments anywhere and at any time.  

3. Ask for Feedback

Another powerful way to improve client satisfaction at your business is to proactively reach out and ask for feedback.

Make collecting input from your current, past, and present customers a company process and goal, and listen to what they have to say. Be prepared to make changes based on these comments and use them to your advantage to implement better processes and policies and an improved customer experience overall.

The more information and data you can collect on this matter, the better off you’ll be and less of a chance there is for errors. Guessing or assuming how your customers feel and what they’re thinking may cause you even more issues as it relates to customer service.

4. Offer Multi-Channel Support

Improve customer satisfaction at your business by offering multi-channel support. Your customers are everywhere these days and you need to be in these places too.

Make it easy and painless to get in touch with your company and ask questions. Be available across many channels including social media, live chat, phone support, and email support.

Staff all of these channels so that your customers can pick and choose how they want to get in touch with you since every person has a preferred method of communication.

5. Train Your Staff

One powerful way to improve client satisfaction is to train your staff. Make sure that all your employees understand your policies and procedures and can respond to questions and inquiries in an appropriate manner.

You want to avoid customers getting in touch with your company and your employees not having the answers they need or creating more confusion. The better trained and prepared your staff is to respond to a variety of questions and concerns, the more satisfied they’ll be and the fewer complaints and issues you’ll have to deal with.

Remind your staff that if they don’t have the answer right away that they should always let the customer know they’ll look into it and follow up in a timely manner.

6. Keep Score

It’s also wise to measure customer satisfaction regularly to know how you’re doing. Improve client satisfaction at your business by keeping score and understanding your overall performance in this area.

This way you can discover what’s going well and working and gather valuable insights as to what you need to modify or do differently going forward.

You must find out more about how likely customers are to refer and recommend your business and be able to predict repurchases and repeat clients. You can use this information to ensure that you begin putting more effort into particular aspects of your overall customer service approach.

While it can be hard to hear the negative feedback initially, remind yourself that it’s what you need to take your company to the next level and make certain your customers are happy.

To run a truly successful business, when a customer walks into your premises, your biggest concern shouldn’t “how can I make this sale.”

Truly successful businesses develop long term relationships with customers by providing a total experience that has customers want to come back and do business with you!

The name of the game is customer satisfaction, and the question is, how do I increase customer satisfaction among my clientele?

Below, we look at 4 elements of customer satisfaction, and suggestions on how you can control these elements to improve repeat business: 

The Expectancy Disconfirmation Theory of Satisfaction

Understanding some theories of customer satisfaction is a good place to start. Perhaps the most accepted explanation of customer satisfaction is the expectancy disconfirmation theory of customer satisfaction.

The general idea behind the expectancy-disconfirmation theory of customer satisfaction, is that customers have pre-conceived notions and expectations about the services you are offering, or the products you are selling. And that they are satisfied when the service/product meets or exceeds their expectations, but they are dissatisfied if it falls short or if it differs significantly from what they expected.

The interesting thing about this theory is that customer satisfaction has less to do with the quality of the product/service and more to do with the customers’ expectation and perceptions.

Based on this theory, you may be able to improve customer satisfaction by properly managing customers’ expectations.

Managing expectations matters especially when it comes to the way you market your product/service.

For example, you may market your restaurant by claiming that your food is “the best in the city”, but what happens when customers come in and find that your food is just okay?

Even if your food is quite nice, customers may still be dissatisfied because you overpromised.

Read also: What Is Customer Experience: 7 Tips for Making Customers Happy

The big takeaway from this theory of customer satisfaction is to highlight your best features in adverts, but don’t promise what you can’t deliver, as it can work against you.

The Material Product and the Perceived Value Theory of Customer Satisfaction

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There is no getting around it — if you want your customers to be satisfied, then offering high-quality products/services is a great place to start, especially if you take head of the perceived value theory of customer satisfaction.

According to this theory, if a customer believes that the value, they receive from you or your product surpasses the money they have paid, then they will be satisfied. 

At a bare minimum, if you want a happy customer, you must make sure that your product can do what you claim it does.

It should also be durable. According to this theory, it will be great if it offers something extra (e.g. additional features or a bonus). Anything that exceeds the expectation.

You can improve customer satisfaction by improving the quality of your product, or by offering something that makes your product stand out when compared to your competitors’ products.

The Behaviour and Attitude of Employees

The way customers are treated by employees at your establishment is very crucial in determining their levels of satisfaction, so you must train your employees to treat a customer’s well.

The first thing you need to drill in your employees is the idea that everyone who walks in the door should get VIP treatment.

Make sure your employees are attentive, bright and happy, that they greet customers warmly and never ignore customers.

Your employees should make a genuine effort to help customers, and they should offer to assist them however they can.

If your business prints electronic receipts, simple things like adding a “thank you” message at the bottom of all customer receipts may help. You can incentivise your employees to be nicer to customers by factoring it into the way they are paid or rewarding an employee every month with a prize for service and attitude.

The integrity of your employees is also important when it comes to customer satisfaction.

It might be their job to try to upsell the customer, but their sales tactics shouldn’t be pushy.

If an employee lies to the customer about the quality of a product in order to make a sale, you might win the sale but lose their return business. And that’s not a recipe for longevity in business.

The Environment

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Customer satisfaction is greatly affected by the quality of the environment inside and around your place of business.

Even if you have a great product, or you offer high-quality service, the aesthetic appeal of your business is still going to have a major impact on how the customers feel. 

According to Nicholas Pastras, the CEO of Smart Commercial Cleaning, “numerous independent academic studies have shown that one of the most important things about your business to your customers is how clean it is, so an investment in keeping areas visible to customers cleaned, professionally, daily, or even several times a day if your business experiences high foot traffic, is justified. 

A dirty environment is off-putting to customers in pretty much every type of business, but especially in businesses within the food service industry”. said Pastras.

The ambiance is another aspect of the environment of your business that affects customer satisfaction. Try and ensure that your business atmosphere is welcoming and pleasant to be in.

When coming up with an ambient design for your business, work with the senses, the sights, the sounds, and the smells in your business can evoke positive feelings in your customers and can influence customers to stay a little bit longer. 

Buying is as much an emotional decision as a head decision. Positive feelings always mean people are more inclined to come back and with regard to return business, can even be as important as price.

Stock Photo from 4 PM production @ Shutterstock