5 Key Steps To Increase Customer Satisfaction


Customer satisfaction is at the core of your ability to successfully grow your business. Unsatisfied customers don’t stick around for long, and losing customers has a detrimental impact on your bottom line. Reports show it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Moreover, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% will increase profits by anywhere from 25% to 95%, according to Bain & Company

Despite the importance of customer retention, most businesses focus more time and resources on generating new customers, and less on retaining existing ones. In fact, Corporate Visions finds that 80% of businesses spend more than 70% of their [marketing] budget on demand generation messaging and content, and less than 30% on customer retention programs. 

Sounds like a case of misplaced priorities, right? Customer satisfaction directly affects customer churn, which kills your bottom line. Retaining customers, on the other hand, will help you sustainably grow your company over the long term. To be sure, existing customers will spend 67% more on a given company than new ones, according to Business.com

How do you guarantee consistently high levels of customer satisfaction? It all revolves around the customer experience. According to Walker Info, by 2020, the customer experience will replace price and product as the key brand differentiator. Here are five steps you can take to elevate customer satisfaction around your brand: 

1. Listen To Your Customers 

It is critically important that customers feel their voices are heard. Like most highly successful companies, you should provide a variety of avenues for customers to voice concerns, suggestions, or opinions—then respond to them. This tells customers that you are listening to their needs, care about their feelings, take them seriously, and will act to address their concerns or requests. You can do this in a variety of ways, including: 

• Offering customer support surveys and acting to address the results 

• Allowing customers to provide feedback on your knowledge base content 

• Providing an avenue for customers to suggest new product or service enhancements 

• Engaging in social listening and monitoring, and responding quickly and professionally to any customer who mentions you on social media 

Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” He’s right. Listen to your customers, act on their feedback, and you’ll see increased customer satisfaction levels. 

2. Be Available When Customers Need You 

Do you have multiple communication channels through which your customers can reach you? Whether it’s a customer with a support case or someone interested in a free demo, they need to be able to easily contact you on their preferred communication channel. According to Accenture, 51% of U.S. consumers are loyal to brands that interact with them through their preferred channels of communication. 

With the right technology—such as all-in-one customer relationship management (CRM) systems that provide marketing automation, customer support features, etc.—you can easily provide those communication channels. These can include live chat on your website, email and telephone support, rapid response on social media, and even using online appointment scheduling to let your customers book time with you at their convenience. 

Making yourself more available reduces the customer’s need to reach out numerous times to contact you. It shows them you value their time, which boosts satisfaction considerably. According to Forrester Research, 77% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service. 

3. Maintain Constant Communication 

Do you check in with your customers periodically to see how things are going? Do you send newsletters or other updates with a consistent cadence? Small touchpoints like this go a long way toward assuring customers that you are thinking about them and what they need to be successful. 

Here are a few ways you can delight customers with minimal extra effort: 

• Individually call each new customer—a week or so after they become a customer—to simply check in, make sure they don’t have any questions, and let them know how to reach out if they do. 

• Send periodic email newsletters containing company and product updates, but also trends and industry insights they will find helpful. 

 Have someone reach out to each customer at least once a quarter to check in and see how things are going. That small personal touch will create loads of brand loyalty. 

4. Keep Your Employees Happy 

Your employees will deliver a subpar customer experience if they have low morale and are generally unhappy in the workplace. If they are stressed out and overworked, employees are more likely to be grumpy, abrupt, and short when they interact with customers. That will certainly leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. According to ThinkJar, 67% of consumers list bad customer experience as one of the primary reasons for leaving. 

Don’t let unhappy employees be the reason behind customer churn. Give them reasons to feel fulfilled in the workplace. Run employee engagement programs to give them a sense of belonging. Provide flexible working hours when possible. Ask for their feedback on their satisfaction with the job and implement changes based on that. There are many things you can do to maintain satisfied employees. If you’re not sure what those might be, ask them. 

5. Improve First Call Resolution Rates 

Back to basics, here. The longer it takes to resolve a customer support issue, the thinner your customer’s patience grows. If you can resolve an issue on the first try, your customer can get back to work without wasting time in an endless back and forth. So, ensure your support team is equipped with the right tools and learning to resolve customer issues on the first attempt. 

CRMs these days can route incoming tickets to reps specialized in the issue at hand, ensuring an advanced case doesn’t go to a junior rep, etc. It’s all automated, and so it shouldn’t be difficult to raise your first call resolution rate incrementally over time. 

Resolving issues on the first attempt will certainly increase customer satisfaction. Moreover, according to SQM Group, a 1% improvement in first call resolution is equal to $276,000 in annual operational savings for the average call center. How’s that for a bonus benefit? 

Key Takeaways 

Competition is fierce in almost every industry these days, largely due to the advent of affordable technology that allows small and growing businesses to compete with the big guys. You must do anything in your power to differentiate yourself from the competition. Increasing customer satisfaction is perhaps the best way to achieve that. 

Plus, in addition to those discussed above, customer satisfaction provides you with benefits, such as: 

• Word-of-mouth advertising in the form of brand advocacy 
• Increased brand loyalty 
• Revenue growth and greater longevity for your company 

As mentioned above, by 2020 the customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Now is the time to get ahead of the curve and start to think about how you can elevate customer satisfaction levels. Provide a great customer experience, and people will remain satisfied, stick around longer, spend more, and help solidify the future success of your company.


I hope you enjoyed this article about how to increase customer satisfaction and improve the overall customer experience.

Interested in more articles about improving customer experience?

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