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Six Proven Steps to Improve Customer Satisfaction...

Updated on September 26, 2011

Six Proven Steps to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Why is Customer Satisfaction Important?

In today’s competitive world, a company’s reputation for satisfying clients is one of the key factors in whether or not someone will buy from them. Bad reputation means no repeat business and negative word of mouth. 

Why is Customer Satisfaction Important?

In today’s competitive world, a company’s reputation for satisfying clients is one of the key factors in whether or not someone will buy from them. Bad reputation means no repeat business and negative word of mouth. 

For commercial organizations  customer satisfaction is all about improving revenue, reducing costs and increasing profit. For non profit organizations, sustaining and growing the list of donors and increasing the donations per subscriber are all affected by the satisfaction with the  organization or mission and the proof that the money and efforts being provided to the cause are having a positive effect.

With today’s internet technologies,  negative word of mouth is  much more visible than in the past, using social media sites, complaint sites, blogging and micro-blogging sites and Google’s new feature called Sidewiki. It has never been more important for any organization to focus on customer satisfaction strategy and techniques than in today’s environment.

What is Customer Satisfaction?

Customer Satisfaction is the balance between what customers expect and what the organization delivers ie Company Performance.  When there is a mismatch between expectations and delivery (also called performance or execution) customers become dissatisfied.

How to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Step 1: Listen to Customer Feedback

Processes need to be set up in any organization to listen to customer feedback and ensure senior management is aware of the key messages customers are trying to send to it. Most companies use the customer service organization as a measure of customer satisfaction. Some organizations may also use customer surveys. A more recent trend is to use Social media to measure customer feedback.

Step 2: Fix the individual Customer problem

If any of the feedback from a customer is an indication that the customer has a problem, then the first order of any organization is to ensure the problem is addressed. Fix the customer's problem or explain to the customer why the problem cannot be fixed in the way that is being requested. But the first order of business must be to address any outstanding customer issues.

Step 3: Analyze the Data

Using the data gathered for analysis is one of the most important activities for any organization.  Determining the Key Drivers  of customer satisfaction is a high value activity. What are the key issues customers  are satisfied with (things to continue doing) and what are things customers are dissatisfied with? Prioritize the list.

Step 4: Take action to resolve or prevent customer issues

Once the analysis is completed and the real root causes of problems are uncovered, actions need to be taken to prevent the problem from recurring.

Step 5: Management Systems

There are several management systems that need to be put in place to ensure Customer Satisfaction is properly monitored and acted up.

a. Customer Satisfaction Metrics: Create and measure key indicators.

b. Targets: Once metrics have been established. setting targets is often useful to ensure the focus is on improving the customer experience.

c. Management Review processes: Once metrics have been established and targets set, then the next requirement is to have a regular management review process.

Senior Management must support the drive for outstanding customer satisfaction for the organization to be successful at its customer satisfaction efforts

Step 6: Feedback to Customers on improvements

This process is often forgotten. While individual customer problems may be resolved, a best practice in Customer Satisfaction includes feedback to customers that their issues have been heard, and that the new, improved, product, service or process should be something they can 'notice'.

Senior Executive Engagement
Senior Executive Engagement

What to do Next?

Senior Executive Engagement:

The single most important action that needs to be taken in any organization is the one at the senior executive level. The decision that customer satisfaction is a key business requirement and needs executive attention is the single more important decision that needs to be made.

Trying to implement these 6 steps without that commitment is an act of futility. While good employees working hard, may make some inroads, without senior management commitment, the results will be minimal.

This article is a summary of the comprehensive free report - The Six Proven Steps to Improve Customer Satisfaction . To download the complete report, visit my blog Customer Satisfaction and Reputation Management and sign up to receive the full report.

Video: Customer Satisfaction and Social Media - Just when you thought you had your strategy all set up

About the only thing that is constant in life is change. Customer Satisfaction strategy has been impacted by the new wave of Social Media. Here's a video that describes the 3 major factors that have changed Customer Satisfaction strategy and what to do about them.

Customer Satisfaction Books - Amazon - Vote on which you like best

I like the book the Best Service is No Service. I did a review of it on my blog . It focuses on trying to avoid unnecessary calls to the service organization. What are your favorite Customer Satisfaction Books?

I want to hear from you. What did you like or dislike on this lens? What would you like to see covered on this lens? Do you have a story to share?

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      waqastariq 5 years ago

      Nice lens!

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      MichaelGallinger 6 years ago

      One of the most important thing to look out for when trying to improve customer satisfaction is to look for decreasing the overall wait times and looking in the ability to route call efficiently. One of the best ways to do this is to use process simulation tools to find areas that are most creating the problems or taking much time and trying to fix them.

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      takingyouforwardinc 6 years ago

      Truly, customer satisfaction is very essential in a business. It's a fact.

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      virtualassistantorg 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this great lens. In order to improve customer's satisfaction, a company should provide quality and best services to the best that they can be. They should know their customer's intentions and loyalty.

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      emilysantos 7 years ago

      What an eye catchy article! I am very impressed with this article I have just read. Thanks for the tips! Certainly with repeat business and referrals being the bread and butter for many businesses â and undoubtedly essential to anyone in business â being able to satisfy clients becomes ever more important. Naturally, the more satisfied a client is, the more loyal that person will feel for years to come. It doesnât take expensive gifts to make a client happy either.


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