Customer Experience News & Trends

Want to boost customer satisfaction? Focus on this

If there’s one thing customers want from you more than ever, this is it …


Consistency throughout the customer journey is an important and proven predictor of overall customer satisfaction, according to research from McKinsey & Company. What’s more, a consistent sense of satisfaction is more likely to lead to a deeper sense of customer loyalty, researchers found.

It gets better for customer experience professionals, especially those most concerned about the profitability of any investment in the customer experience: By improving consistency throughout the journey — from the point of customers discovering an organization, to continual efforts to maintain loyalty — a company can lift revenue by as much as 15% and lower the cost of serving customers by 20%, McKinsey found.

Here are the three areas of consistency most important to customer satisfaction — and how to improve on them:

1. Customer-journey consistency

This offers the greatest opportunity for companies to achieve high customer satisfaction because it includes so many touchpoints. At the same time, it takes the greatest effort because so many people and so much technology is involved in the entire journey.

The key: Keep the promises that you make.

From transaction promises — “We’ll deliver that this week” — to brand promises — “We’re the leading provider in the industry” — customers trust that what they’re told will hold true. So promises made must be promises kept. A follow-up plan for touchpoints helps the best-in-class organizations stay on top of promises.

2. Emotional consistency

Customers want to feel secure throughout their relationships with organizations. That emotion starts and ends with trust. They will continue to trust an organization and its people as long as their experiences are positive.

Unfortunately, one negative experience has a four to five times greater impact on customer satisfaction than one positive experience, McKinsey researchers found. So their emotional connection is greatly damaged by just one experience.

To minimize the negative effects of one poor experience, it’s important that front-line employees are aware of dissatisfaction. Most customers don’t say outright that they’re dissatisfied. So train employees to notice — and follow up on — the more subtle signs of dissatisfaction, such as the responses, “fine,” “I guess” and “It was OK” when asked what they thought of a transaction.

3. Communication consistency

Delivering a consistent message to customers has become increasingly difficult because there are so many touchpoints and communication channels these days. But it doesn’t change the fact that customers expect to hear the same answer to the same question or issue across multiple channels and via multiple people.

While some flexibility is a powerful tool for employees to have when working with customers, a consistent message and philosophy on serving customers is also a powerful tool when it comes to increasing customer satisfaction.

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