As a smart business owner, you have realized there is a correlation between customer satisfaction and customer retention. This correlation is simple – satisfied customers stick around.

While this correlation may seem obvious and direct, the concept is multi-layered and more complex. Put simply, customer satisfaction refers to the attitude your customers have toward your brand, services, and products. Customer retention refers to your customer’s behavior toward you and how ready they are to make a purchase from you again and again and at a higher price.

To make things simple, customer satisfaction is how your customers feel while customer retention is how they act. Now you are faced with the task of figuring out how to improve customer satisfaction and customer retention. Learn more about what you can do below.

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Be a Good Listener

Listening to your customers isn’t just hearing what problems they have. It is not just about picking up the phone or addressing customers at the customer service desk. When you listen to your customers you are getting to know them. You must pay close attention to what their needs are and understand what you can do to help them achieve their goals.

The very best service reps are going to be great listeners. They will be able to recall an array of relevant details mentioned earlier during conversations and will always be in-tune with the customer’s emotions. This is going to help keep your customers from having to hear the same information again and again. If this happens, it can add friction to the entire service experience.

It doesn’t matter how you reach out to your customers or how your customers reach out to you. By listening, you’re improving your customer satisfaction and customer retention. If you are contacting your customers with the industry’s leading predictive dialer software, make sure to pay attention to what they are saying – especially during your first interaction. This is going to show you care and prove to the customer you care about what they think, need, and say.

Get to Know Your Customers

The more you know and learn about your customers, the more effective your sales and marketing efforts are going to be. There are several types of communication including social media, email, in-person, phone, and more. By getting to know about your customers online and tactics to grow customer relationships, you can increase satisfaction and retention.

One way to find out more about your customers is by asking them. Find out their age, gender, occupation, marital status, and other relevant information. If you are a B2B company, find out the type and size of business they run. For example, are they a large, multinational company or a smaller private business?

There are a few other things to consider, as well. For example, what and when do your customers buy? How much money do your customers have? What do they expect from the businesses they buy from? What is the general view of your business or brand? What do they think of your competition?

When you take the time to find the answers to these questions, you can feel confident that you know your customers, which is going to help you improve the levels of satisfaction. As stated above, satisfied customers stick around.

Offer a “Human Touch”?

According to a recent study, the top reasons customers dread having to call a business or company for support is the growing possibility they will get a bot, rather than a human when they are finally connected. If customers are calling a customer support network, they want to speak to another person who has the ability and knowledge to help solve the issue they are dealing with.

Humans have a desire to feel understood and valued. This is why active listening and empathic communication play such important roles in your customer service agent’s ability to connect with the customer and see the problem from their viewpoint.

When you have live agents available to respond to customer questions and inquiries, they will be able to put themselves in the customer’s shoes and understand the issue they are dealing with from their perspective – both emotionally and technically. When they have this perspective, the agent can begin to solve the problem and build more personal and longer-term relationships with customers.

This type of relationship development will help to increase overall customer satisfaction by letting the agent align the recommendations they provide strategically with what their customers put the highest level of value on.

Also, approximately 65% of customers are looking for a more personalized experience when they contact customer support. They want to interact with an agent who knows who they are, what they do, and the concerns they have. They want to avoid having to repeat the issue again and again, as their call is passed along.

By utilizing customer data, a live agent is able to look at past interactions and come to conclusions about what type of support is needed based on the customer’s questions or concerns. Even though this may seem simple, the benefit offered by live customer support is very impactful itself. It’s estimated that 84% of all customers will continue using a business if they are treated as a human, instead of a ticket or number.

Even though the technology behind customer data collection will help store and maintain a customer’s information, having a personal conversation with a customer service agent will help ensure that this information is used in a manner that enhances the services precisely and that they remind the customer how valuable they are to the company.

Provide Support and Offer Help

Customers are calling a business for a reason. Not everyone is mad or just calling to complain. Also, those who are just wanting to know that they are heard and understood. When something does not work properly or breaks, it can lead to frustrating customer experiences and knowing that the business “gets it” can help to quell the fire that may have been started.

When your customer service agents work with customers, make sure they know to offer real solutions and help. They should never just listen to the customer with no intention of offering some type of resolution to the issue they are facing. This is a waste of your time and your customer’s time.

If you have a customer service agent who does not know what to do or how to provide help, they should know who to transfer the call to. This will help ensure the customer gets the assistance that they need and that they are fully satisfied with the exchange they have with the business.

Improve Your Response Time

You need to address all customer correspondence professionally, directly, and quickly. In some cases, communications can begin to build up. So, even if you do not have a dedicated staff member responding to customer inquiries, make sure you check often.

A good way to handle this, even with a smaller team, is by dedicating around 30 minutes per day to check your inboxes and respond. This will ensure timely and regular responses. It may even be helpful to block this amount of time on your calendar as a reminder.

Keep in mind, Facebook business pages are going to monitor your average response time and will report this to customers once you have achieved a specific threshold. This is going to let your customers know how quickly they can expect to hear back from your business, help you keep track of how you are doing, and give you a source of motivation to do better.

If you discover you get the same customers feedback or questions, you should consider using a chatbot. In the past, chatbots were only used for bigger companies that were able to pay to have them developed. However, today, Facebook along with an array of web building platforms provides you with the ability to create a chatbot for your page.

Offer Flexible and Simple Payment Options

Thanks to technology, it is now easy to collect payments. With many people splitting bills with P2P networks, you may want to consider alternative payment options. If you are willing to expand the options that you provide your customers for paying, they will be more willing to continue shopping with you. After all, if things are easy, why wouldn’t they come back and keep shopping with you.

Are You Ready to Improve Customer Satisfaction and Retention?

As you can see, there are several things you can do and steps you can take to improve customer satisfaction and customer retention rates for your business. Keep the information here in mind to see what steps you can take or things that you can change in your current operations to ensure your customers are fully satisfied and that they will come back time and time again. Being informed and knowing what to do will help ensure you get the results desired and that your business continues to grow and thrive.