Never say no to customers. Treat customers like your boss. Always make customers the focus of your decisions.
These are all familiar tips for improving your customer satisfaction. While this advice is helpful, is it enough?
The retail industry expects to compete solely on customer experience soon. This makes customer satisfaction more important than ever. See how you can improve your customer satisfaction rates.
Retail Customer Satisfaction on the Rise
Customer satisfaction measures how well your company’s products or services meet or surpass a customer’s expectations. It can be measured across an entire industry or just your business.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of product and services available to household consumers in the U.S. In their latest Retail report, the ACSI shows that the Retail Trade sector overall gained 5% to a score of 78.3. This score is an all-time high after two years of dwindling customer satisfaction for retailers.
How do you stack up against the industry? Do you know how satisfied (or unsatisfied) your customers are?
As other retailers focus on improving their customer satisfaction, you should too! Otherwise you risking losing out to competition who provides a better product and customer experience than you.
The Best Way to Improve Customer Satisfaction
One of the best ways to improve customer satisfaction is to measure it. And to measure it routinely!
If you want to know how satisfied customers are, just ask them. Customer satisfaction surveys allow you to do just that.
Why You Should Measure Customer Satisfaction
You don’t need someone to tell you to never say no to customers. You already know. These tips though don’t provide actual insight into what areas of your business that your customers love or hate.
Your customers are the best source to tell you what areas to improve. Knowing their level of satisfaction helps you reduce customer churn, avoid negative reviews, and improve their experience. You can also identify happy customers who make repeat purchases and potential brand advocates.
Overall, customer satisfaction is a metric that you can use every day to manage and improve your business.
How to Measure Customer Satisfaction
Analysts measure customer satisfaction on a 1 to 10 scale. They ask customers to rate their overall satisfaction with a product or service from 1-totally unsatisfied to 10-totally satisfied.
You consider customers who score a 7 or higher as satisfied, while those who score lower as unsatisfied. If customers score a 9-10, they are potential brand evangelists who will promote your brand to others.
Asking for overall satisfaction of your business is a great first step for merchants. However, it doesn’t provide too much help into what specific areas you need to improve.
Merchants should also ask customers to rate their satisfaction on other areas such as staff’s knowledge, store layout, and the checkout process.
For example, the ACSI measures retail satisfaction using the following areas:
- Convenience of store location and hours
- Layout and cleanliness of store
- Courtesy and helpfulness of staff
- Variety and selection of merchandise
- Website satisfaction
- Frequency of sales and promotions
- Ability to provide brand names
- Availability of merchandise
- Call center satisfaction
- Speed of checkout process.
Low scores in any areas such as these gives your business direct insight into what improvements you need to make. Scores also indicate areas where you stand out and differentiate yourselves from competitors.
Customer satisfaction scores provide benchmarks for your company to measure against again and again. When you make changes, you can see the effect of the change on overall scores.
Merchants may need to address fundamental issues that require long-term planning. Scores can also unveil small issues that can be taken care of quickly.
Free tools such as SurveyMonkey are easy ways to create and distribute customer satisfaction surveys to your customers. There’s no excuse for you not to measure customer satisfaction in some way.
Customer Satisfaction is a Long-Term Strategy
Measuring and acting on customer satisfaction rates is a long-term strategy for retailers. All merchants should strive to make customer satisfaction the focus of their business.
Today’s customers are in complete control. Customer satisfaction surveys provide insight into your customers’ needs. Don’t miss the chance to learn how well you’re meeting customer expectations and make the necessary improvements over time.