As a business, knowing how customers feel about your service is essential to your growth. With modern trends on growth drifting towards a new buzzword every other week, it's important to prioritize what matters the most to success—customer satisfaction.
This secret recipe is often mentioned in passing but never really understood. To put this in practical terms, the best way to know a customer's needs is by getting direct feedback from them.
Suppose you've already implemented a system that collects feedback on a customer's experience. In that case, it's time to stop treating that feature like a checklist and elevate it to become a top priority.
What is CSAT?
A Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is the primary metric used to learn how your target audience feels about the service/product you provide.
Every type of business can benefit from having this feature implemented, but a SaaS business thrives on customer satisfaction knowledge. A lot of seemingly confusing occurrences can be understood once you have a solid grasp of how customer satisfaction can become the ultimate key to customer retention.
Why do specific strategies seem to work for a competitor but fail when your business attempts them?
How to measure CSAT
Confused about how to measure customer satisfaction? We don't blame you: the measurement strategies are varied and extensive. It is perfectly normal to feel somewhat overwhelmed by the superficially endless ways to say the same question, i.e., "What was your overall satisfaction with our service just now?"
What seems simple at first glance often means that you have to pick between multiple choices, like/dislike buttons, ratings, open-ended questions, and many more to get an accurate picture of what your customers are feeling.
CSAT measurement tools are a lot to take in at once, so let's break the ideation processes down to a few steps that can help create a super informative feedback loop that creates customer retention.
- Set a clear goal with your CSAT score. Start by asking yourself why you're measuring it and why you've chosen that specific point in the experience to ask the question.
- Create a plan to help achieve this goal. This should be actions such as implementing it on your website, ensuring that it is streamlined, creating a knowledge base to view all the data etc.
- Choose the best way to visualize based on your goal, business and convenience for the users.
These are not the definitive steps to take, but they can be extremely helpful if you feel lost when figuring out how to actually start gathering data based on customer satisfaction.
Why CSAT is important
Creating an elevated customer experience is not rocket science. Once you've got the customer satisfaction scores, you can use them to inform how you create superior customer experiences. Why? Simply because you've heard directly from the customers themselves.
Jeff Bezos, when asked about a key aspect of Amazon's philosophy, said it best: "We are not competitor-obsessed, we are customer-obsessed. We start from the customer, and we work backwards."
If there are any words your business should live by, these will do quite nicely.
Fun fact: acquiring new customers is a much more expensive endeavor than retaining existing ones. Trying to convince someone to try something new is just fundamentally harder that convincing someone who has already expressed an interest to stick around. An existing customer doesn't have that mental barrier to diving into the unknown. Best of all, they are familiar with your service. And that's not all: existing users, if you treat them well, can even be an invaluable source of referral traffic.
What this means is that increasing customer retention and improving your CSAT scores will get you to a level of mastery where your clients do some of the hard work for you. Rather than investing extensively in advertising campaigns, word of mouth from your customers will work as a potent way to invite new users and create strong conversions.
Top CSAT benefits
Here are some solid reasons you should note when assessing the benefits of increased customer satisfaction to your brand:
- It opens up communication with your users so you can make informed decisions about product improvements.
- It increases customer loyalty by helping you stand out amongst your competitors.
- It increases customer retention because good customer support reduces friction and pain points.
- It decreases customer churn by making sure your product's value proposition stays relevant to your users or is changed accordingly.
- It helps improve brand awareness because satisfied customers are more likely to refer you to friends and family.
How to improve CSAT scores
If you want to improve customer satisfaction, the first direction you should be looking towards is improving the quality of your service.
Create a customer-centric environment
One of the best and most underrated ways to increase customer satisfaction is ensuring that your agents put the customer first at every point in their interactions. Every aspect of your business model should be deliberately designed to focus on the needs of your customers. Your company's core value should reflect the attribute of "putting the customer first".
With the customer at the heart of everything you do, the quality of your service will naturally receive better feedback. To improve your CSAT scores, the company should analyze the customer's journey and consider what strategies invoke certain emotions from customers.
When the whole team works together to figure out how to meet the needs and expectations of customers, the customer satisfaction score will naturally increase, along with sales and other benefits for your organization.
Introduce faster support channels
If your company only uses call support or email for customer care or contact, it's best to introduce more modern digital channels. Electing to invest in newer and faster channels will be extremely rewarding in the long run.
Communication channels for customers have changed a lot over the years. Avenues like email, phone contacts, live chat, contact forms, cobrowsing and social media will prove helpful in making you more accessible to your customers. Taking advantage of any of these is a good idea, but state of-the-art customer support technology, like in-app calls and cobrowsing, is especially beneficial. It also helps you stand apart from your competitors since so few companies leverage it.
When you can provide complete attention to these modern communication channels, it will be easier for your customer service agents to provide faster and more consistent customer feedback. Consistent service is the critical factor responsible for influencing your CSAT score.
Create a personalized experience with conversations
Each customer has their own personal preferences and queries. As a business, you should have the ability to engage multiple customers in their preferred method of communication. Some people view text messaging as a comfortable, safe and enjoyable form of communication. Others prefer the real-time support that cobrowsing and video calling provides.
Therefore, companies have the opportunity to significantly improve customer satisfaction scores when implementing a solid, comprehensive customer support flow that gives every customer what they want. With special attention placed on this, customer retention is more achievable.
Cobrowsing and in-app calls are especially significant because they can be personalized to fit in with the type of business you're operating. Not only that, but by providing immediate support, they avoid the most dreaded problem in SaaS: frustrated, demotivated users. Attaching features that enable your agents to provide easy and actionable solutions to problems is much more achievable when you're solving problems in real-time with your users.
With features that allow customers to speak to agents instantly and cobrowse within the app they're working in, your agents will be better equipped to provide a solution for even the most unique problems faced by customers.
Create a blueprint for your customer service
Using a blueprint is something that should walk the tightrope between streamlining the process without becoming a generic support bot.
Avoiding the decent into the latter is possible when your business can improve every customer-facing aspect of the support experience. This doesn't just apply to the support agents but also the tools, systems and processes running in the background to facilitate customer service.
If you fail to address the background elements, then any improvements made to your customer satisfaction score will be purely cosmetic and sure to wear off after a while. Customer Service blueprints should fully outline every little detail in the support experience.
Using a blueprint also allows you to iron out any internal issues that might cause friction with the proper delivery of your company's services. It also means empowering your team to create a fully streamlined customer satisfaction process. The team might require additional training to identify and take advantage of any possible opportunities that may arise to enhance customer service. This also includes measuring the feedback received and the total resolved queries.
Collect and act on customer feedback
The customer satisfaction score is highly dependent on the feedback received from customers, but that doesn't mean that it ends once you receive the feedback. On the contrary, this is the point where your business should begin to look closely at what was done right and wrong.
Feedbacks are essential because they help your business identify gaps between you and the customer. Customer retention is only attainable when the customers feel like their voices are heard. Customers feel their contribution is valued when they see that their feedback has resulted in some actions. This could include adding accessibility features for certain types of customers struggling with the default navigation systems.
Additionally, you'll be rewarded with loyal existing customers that will increase their lifetime value as they continue to use your service. Your CSAT is a valuable tool that can elevate the status of your business, and measuring it will be essential to creating a great feedback loop. The customers that witness a positive experience will always be the best possible advocates for your business in the long term.
Customer support software to improve your CSAT
As a SaaS company that lives, breathes and dreams in customer support experiences, we know that great customer support is essential to the success of every company in every industry, but especially in SaaS. But providing excellent customer support can be expensive and time-consuming. You need to staff up with extra customer service reps, and then you have to train them and manage their work. There's also the ever-present danger of creating silos and hurdles between customer-facing and product teams, which means that all the valuable feedback that you've worked hard to collect never results in measurable improvements to your product.
CSAT is more than just a number. Improving your score is small piece of the puzzle in a well-crafted CX strategy. It doesn't stop with talking to your users or asking them which of five emoticons best describes their experience on any given day. It's so much more than that:
- It's about collecting all that data with surveys, cobrowsing and calls
- It's about merging it with a look under the hood with session replays and console logs
- And then it's about bringing both customer-facing and product teams onto the same page so they are delivering outstanding customer experiences.
Customer support can make or break your product, so it's worth it to invest in it early and scale as you go.