Measuring Satisfaction, Handling Complaints, Achieving Customer Loyalty

Managing customers’ satisfaction efficiently is one the biggest challenge an organization face. The tools or methods to measure customer satisfaction needs to be defined sophisticatedly to fulfill the desired norms. There are following methods to measure customer satisfaction:

  1. Direct Methods: Directly contacting customers and getting their valuable feedback is very important. Following are some of the ways by which customers could be directly tabbed:
    1. Getting customer feedback through third party agencies.
    2. Direct marketing, in-house call centers, complaint handling department could be treated as first point of contact for getting customer feedback. These feedbacks are compiled to analyze customers’ perception.
    3. Getting customer feedback through face to face conversation or meeting.
    4. Feedback through complaint or appreciation letter.
    5. Direct customer feedback through surveys and questionnaires.

Organizations mostly employ external agencies to listen to their customers and provide dedicated feedback to them. These feedbacks needs to be sophisticated and in structured format so that conclusive results could be fetched out. Face to face meetings and complaint or appreciation letter engages immediate issues. The feedback received in this is not uniformed as different types of customers are addressed with different domains of questions. This hiders the analysis process to be performed accurately and consistently. Hence the best way is to implement a proper survey which consists of uniformed questionnaire to get customer feedback from well segmented customers. The design of the prepared questionnaire is an important aspect and should enclose all the essential factors of business. The questions asked should be in a way that the customer is encouraged to respond in a obvious way/. These feedback could received by the organizations can be treated as one of the best way to measure customer satisfaction.

Apart from the above methods there is another very popular direct method which is surprise market visit. By this, information regarding different segment of products and services provided to the customers could be obtained in an efficient manner. It becomes easy for the supplier to know the weak and strong aspects of products and services.

  1. Indirect MethodThe major drawback of direct methods is that it turns out to be very costly and requires a lot of pre compiled preparations to implement. For getting the valuable feedbacks the supplier totally depends on the customer due to which they looses options and chances to take corrective measure at correct time. Hence there are other following indirect methods of getting feedback regarding customer satisfaction:

(A) Customer Complaints: Customer’s complaints are the issues and problems reported by the customer to supplier with regards to any specific product or related service. These complaints can be classified under different segments according to the severity and department. If the complaints under a particular segment go high in a specific period of time then the performance of the organization is degrading in that specific area or segment. But if the complaints diminish in a specific period of time then that means the organization is performing well and customer satisfaction level is also higher.

(B) Customer Loyalty: It is necessarily required for an organization to interact and communicate with customers on a regular basis to increase customer loyalty. In these interactions and communications it is required to learn and determine all individual customer needs and respond accordingly. A customer is said to be loyal if he revisits supplier on regular basis for purchases. These loyal customers are the satisfied ones and hence they are bounded with a relationship with the supplier. Hence by obtaining the customer loyalty index, suppliers can indirectly measure customer satisfaction.

Achieving Customer Loyalty

Discover what’s important to your customers

Ask them what they value. Are they willing to pay more for the highest quality, or do they value a good deal? Do they have money but no time or vice versa? Determine what your customers value the most and put your emphasis there. If your product or service is often given as a gift, offer gift-wrapping or cards as a complimentary service.

Customize and personalize to create offerings that satisfy the unique needs of each customer. For example, baby boomers often prefer to speak with a live customer service representative, while millennials often prefer email.

2. Earn and keep their trust

Trust is the foundation of all relationships. The easiest way to build trust with your customers is by keeping your promises and making things easy to understand. Be clear and concise in your communications; it will help manage expectations. Keep a detailed summary of all customer communication, so your conversations evolve to become as personalized and accurate as possible.

3. Take pride in what you do

Do your job and do it well. Exceed expectations whenever possible. If a promise is not kept — such as delivery time or quality of service –acknowledge the mistake, apologize and offer a real solution. Whether it’s a discount on the next purchase or a refund of the original transaction, it’s critical to show your customers you care about them and value their business.

4. Offer incentives

It’s the human condition: People love perks. Frequent buyer discounts, special sales and complimentary gifts are the icing on your cake. Be creative with your offerings to form a memorable connection. It could be anything you imagine — offer tea tasting at a clothing boutique or a 15 percent discount for the local team’s winning season. Anything that creates a unique experience or fosters a sense of community will help you deepen relationships with your customers.

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