Here’s the good news: It’s just as easy to make customers happy as it is to tick them off.
The tough part is doing the right things more often.
MarketingSherpa researchers recently asked customers what made them most satisfied when they did business with a company. At the top of their positive list was:
- convenience (57%)
- quality (56%)
- reliability (56%)
- value (56%) and,
- service (53%).
On the other end of the spectrum, researchers asked customers what left them dissatisfied most often. The study found that at the top of customers’ negative list was:
- service (44%)
- inconsistent experiences (35%), and
- poor problem resolution (30%).
Ramifications run deep
While it’s important to meet and exceed the expectations that leave customers satisfied when doing business with your company, it’s just as important to avoid the issues that tick them off.
The ramifications for leaving them dissatisfied run deep. Researchers shared these exact quotes from customers on what, in particular, left them dissatisfied with an experience:
- “They lied …”
- “Their arrogant attitude is a problem.”
- “When you talk to someone, their inadequate solution is always, ‘I can’t do that under company policy’.”
- “It feels like they’ve lied to their customers and hidden fraudulent activity.”
When mistakes are made, customers who are generally dissatisfied — like those above — aren’t forgiving: Just 32% of them are likely to buy again. That’s in comparison to generally satisfied customers who experience a mistake: 82% will likely buy again, assuming you’ll do a better job.
Avoid the turn-offs
While the focus of your customer experience should be (and probably already is) convenience, quality, reliability and a certain level of personalization, you want to make efforts to avoid the issues customers distaste most.
These tips can help:
- Stay focused. Customers recognize and remember good service based more on how they feel after the experience than on what was actually done. They key: Employees who work directly with customers need to stay focused exclusively on the customer at hand, whether that’s in-person, on the phone or in social media. That laser-like focus increases rapport, attention to detail and the potential for genuine interactions, while reducing errors and miscommunication.
- Train across the board. Companies with consistently high satisfaction scores train all employees on customer service. That prepares everyone — not just the people who are expected to help (i.e., customer service reps) — to interact with customers. Everyone doesn’t need to have all the answers. But they all should be trained on being professional, showing concern and carefully handing off customers to the people who can best help to maintain consistent experiences.
- Cut the red tape. Most customer problems are fixable. But processes, policies and irrelevant rules get in the way of fast solutions. Regularly ask front-line employees what gets in their way most often when trying to solve customer problems on the spot. Then take steps to eliminate the red tape.