What Drives Customer Satisfaction? Hint: It’s Not Just Customer Service

What Drives Customer Satisfaction? Hint: It's Not Just Customer Service

Happy customers are repeat customers, and repeat customers are moneymakers for every business. Research shows satisfied customers contribute 14 times more revenue to your business than a dissatisfied customer.

Considering the value of a satisfied customer, it’s important to make efforts to keep your customers smiling.

What makes a customer happy? If you answered, “great customer service,” you’re right. Customer service plays a big role in customer satisfaction. Shoppers want helpful staff, fast checkouts and assistance when something goes wrong.

However, customer service isn’t the only thing that affects customer satisfaction. Here’s a list of five things businesses should do to keep customers happy.

1. Offer fair prices

How do your prices compare to your competitors? It’s important to explore your prices and those of your competitors. Why? That’s what your customers are doing to assess whether or not your product or service is fairly priced.

Research suggests that up to 38 percent of a customer’s satisfaction is tied to price fairness, according to the Journal of Finance and Economics.

That doesn’t mean your product has to be within a few pennies of your competitor’s price, but if your product is more expensive you’ll need to educate your customers on the price difference. Explain why they’re paying a little more, and what they’re getting for it.

2. Send more deals

In addition to fair pricing, customers want to save money. Research shows 28% of customers want more deals in their inbox, and 29% want more personalized deals, according to MarketingSherpa.

Of course, email isn’t the only way to send promotions. You can send promotions via text message, or advertise sales on social media.

The key is to send deals that are targeted. For instance, send deals to customers based on their past purchases, like this jewelry store does with this email.

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You can also send deals to specific groups of customers like your VIP shoppers or lost customers.

If you need help creating promotions for your business, here are a few articles to check out:

3. Communicate with customers

Customers want to hear from you. Really, it’s true. And promotional deals aren’t the only thing they want to hear about. A recent survey shows customers want to receive helpful advice and business updates.

Consider emailing your customers a monthly article that offers advice or tips regarding a specific product or service that you offer. For instance, a company that sells snow blowers could send customers an article like, “5 Tips to Keep Your Driveway Ice-Free This Winter.” Write the article, post it on your website or blog and then send customers a link to it via email and/or post it on your social channels as well.

For business updates, you can send customers a regular newsletter. Think of the newsletter as a mini-newspaper that covers the important topics relevant to your business. If you haven’t collected email address, you can print a newsletter and give it to customers as they checkout. 

4. Offer ways to provide feedback

If you could make changes to keep customers happy, would you do it? Of course you would, if it’s within reason. But most customers aren’t going to walk up to the manager and say, “Your checkout process is really cumbersome. If I could checkout faster, I would stop in more.”

Just because customers aren’t voicing their concerns to management doesn’t mean they aren’t vocal about their experiences. On average, unhappy customers tell 9-15 people about their bad experience.

To curb bad word of mouth, set up several feedback options. For instance, email a survey to customers or give shoppers a post-card-sized survey at the checkout and offer them $5 off to fill it out.

5. Keep a tidy store with professional-looking employees

Looks matter. Customers judge your business on the cleanliness of your retail space, and the employees in it.

Cluttered shelves, piles of unfolded clothes and stray items strung across your checkout aren’t appealing. Neither are messy employees, so make sure you have a dress code that requires staff to look professional. Give the dress code to your employees when they’re hired so there’s no question about what’s appropriate and what’s not.

Wrap up

It’s important to keep your customers happy, but improving customer service shouldn’t be your only stop on the road to customer satisfaction. Customers evaluate their shopping experience as a whole, which is why you should take a look at how your business interacts with customers. By implementing the five strategies above, owners will have a more holistic approach to improving customer satisfaction.

Lisa Furgison
About the Author
Lisa Furgison

Lisa is a writer at FiveStars, a freelance journalist, and co-owner of a media company, McEwen's Media.

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