Open a new web browser and type the term “customer satisfaction” in your Google search bar. When you press enter, you get 701 million results served up in a matter of seconds. All those results are thought up by companies or people trying to educate and sell you on customer satisfaction.
There’s so much information to absorb about the topic. From how to measure your customers’ satisfaction to the real impacts it has on your business outcomes, the importance of customer satisfaction is clear. But it can be hard to digest it all.
We’ve created a customer satisfaction analysis to break down the facts you need to know about customer satisfaction. And we’re dishing it out in a quick, five-minute read.
Understanding customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction, or CSAT, is how happy or unhappy your customers are with your company. It’s their perceptions and feelings about individual interactions with your company. Over the past 25 years+, for most companies, those perceptions and feelings haven’t been all that great. In fact, ACSI data gives us an easy analysis proving that customer satisfaction scores have stalled out in the mid-70th percentile since 1994 – when ACSI first started measuring and reporting on the scores.
Those scores tell us that, no matter the industry, a majority of customers aren’t happy with their customer experience. They’re only fine with it. And, with serious business impacts and low CSAT threatening the longevity of your customer relationships, fixing customer satisfaction has to be a priority.
Industry-wide, customer service professionals need to change the way we approach customer satisfaction. We need to listen to the pain points of our customers – many of which stem from poor service experiences driven by disgruntled or untrained agents. For starters, to fix customer satisfaction, we need to understand the agent-customer connection.
Read more on that and why measuring customer satisfaction is so important, over here.
The business impacts.
It’s obvious that keeping customers happy is crucial to business success. But how exactly does your customers’ satisfaction impact different aspects of your business?
Among the lengthy list of business benefits, here are five key impacts: A greater connection to your customers, more repeat purchases from current customers, higher agent retention rates, more new customers, and a more profitable business.
Let’s look at the facts.
Some 81% of companies consider customer experience a competitive differentiator. Meaning, they compete on the level of service they deliver to their customers. And to outshine the competition, they build strong customer relationships driven by an intense focus on customer needs.
Not to mention, when you do an analysis of the competition, it’s clear that companies with high customer satisfaction see improved brand loyalty. They have customers who are 8x more likely to buy new products from them, 7x more likely to repeat purchases and 15x more likely to recommend the company to their networks.
Plus, 90% of consumers use customer service to gauge if they’ll do business with a company. While a single, positive customer service experience makes 86% of customers willing to buy again, putting those positive service experiences on repeat throughout the entire customer journey raises revenue by 4 to 8%.
Finally, your average agent handles 10 hostile customer calls every day. When your customers are satisfied, that hostility decreases. It signals a healthy agent work environment and agent experience. And when your agent experience is rock solid, agents stay in their seats, saving you from the sky-high costs of agent turnover.
While plenty of positives exist when you have satisfied customers, the inverse is true, too. There are tons of business costs that come with low customer satisfaction.
How to measure it.
Customer satisfaction surveys are a key component to measuring customer satisfaction. But never look at a single metric in a vacuum. Send satisfaction surveys to collect data and sentiment straight from your customers. Then, pair those results with other important metrics, too.
See which metrics impact your CSAT scores, like First Call Resolution, Employee Engagement, and Average Speed of Answer. In a side-by-side view, analyze your data to get a better look at your customers’ satisfaction. You need the qualitative information from surveys and the hard numbers from other contact center metrics to get a 360º view of your customers’ happiness. Then, use that data to learn what’s really bothering your customers and coach your agents to fix it.
The questions to ask on your CSAT survey.
Keep your CSAT survey questions short and sweet and don’t ask leading questions. Choose questions with a variety of different formats, like scale-based, multiple choice, and open-ended questions. Pick a short survey and stick to the same set of questions for each customer. This way you get a good benchmark and have a control factor as you collect data.
Here are five of our favorite questions. Use these as templates for your questions, but tailor them to fit your company and your customers. As you collect responses, analyze your results. Then, regularly re-evaluate the format of your survey to make sure you’re still asking the right questions as your business shifts.
- How would you rate the quality of your most recent service interaction?
- What was most memorable about this interaction?
- Tell us what you love, or what we can do better.
- How likely are you to do business with us again?
- How did this experience live up to your expectations?
Your action plan.
Use the data you collect about your customers’ satisfaction to cut pain from your customer journey. Replicate and scale the positive experiences you identify and fix the negative ones.
Address feedback with your agents. And start conversations around how you can work together to make your customers happier. Use specific examples of feedback to coach your agents and improve their agent-customer interactions. Then see if any metrics you measured need help, like FCR or ASA, and adjust accordingly. Better data and better coaching are your gateways to happier customers.
But remember this along the way: your team of agents, and you as their manager, are the key drivers of your customers’ satisfaction. Their level of satisfaction is largely defined by the service you deliver. If your agents struggle, so will your customers. Understand the agent-customer connection. Then, work as a team to finally level-up customer satisfaction.
Want to run your own customer satisfaction analysis and get a 90-day plan to boost CSAT scores, along with a host of other projects to help you improve your customer experience?
We originally published this post on Febraury 27, 2019, and we updated it for fresh insight on June 25, 2020.