Marketers are often caught up with tracking minor aspects of our product and marketing strategies that they lose out on the big picture. A/B testing webpages for the color of the ‘sign up’ button or the stock image being used are great; but are important only if you are a business with a turnover of several hundred thousand dollars. For a business that operates at this scale, even a small 0.5% increase in signups or conversions is massive.
For small and medium businesses however, such strategies do not contribute a great deal to the bottomline. Marketers for such businesses should instead look at macro-strategies that could lead to dramatic improvement in revenues and sales. The same is applicable for customer satisfaction as well. In this article, we will list out a few such macro-strategies that can bring about an increase in customer satisfaction.
Revamp Support Infrastructure
An ‘omni-channel’ presence is good, but is merely the starting point when it comes to building a great customer support infrastructure. The first and foremost step when it comes to improving customer satisfaction is training your employees, not merely those taking on customer calls. Zappos is one company that has mastered the art of training employees to impart great customer service. Every new employee to the organization is made to undergo an intensive four week training program that trains them to uphold the benchmarks that Zappos has set for themselves. This includes an elaborate two week call center training program for each of their employees.
The idea here is make employees as customer-friendly as possible by the end of the program. Even if your organization cannot afford to train your customers as intensely as Zappos does, you must still establish three key benchmarks as part of your support infrastructure revamp – product and process knowledge, freedom to take decisions, and communication. Every employee, at least the support executives to begin with, must be extensively trained on the products that you own and the process that is followed. Secondly, they must be provided with complete freedom to take decisions by themselves instead of rerouting the call to superiors. Finally, your support executives need sensitivity and communication training to deliver their message in the most customer-friendly way.
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Logistics play a critical part in a customer’s decision to shop from any particular store. The convenience with getting products delivered to your home is one of the main drivers behind the growth of eCommerce businesses. Business owners hence need to look at strategies to increase their reach and be more available to the customers. The most obvious strategy here is to open an online shopping channel for customers to purchase from. But it can also be in the form of opening new outlets close to where your primary customers come from.
The benefits from this strategy is two-fold. Firstly, it brings your store closer to your customers and thus improves their logistical experience. More importantly, increasing your reach and making your business available to a larger section of people opens up economies of scale and gives your business a lot more leverage when discussing terms with your suppliers. This further contributes towards higher customer satisfaction. Of course, opening up a new outlet is easier said than done and might require your business to take on new debt, but you can more than expect to make it up with greater loyalty from your customers.
There are several other macro-strategies that a business could look into to improve customer satisfaction. For instance, a business could look at reducing paperwork or increase counters to reduce billing time. While these are not as major as opening new stores or revamping the support infrastructure, they are also important macro-level strategies that contribute towards improving the satisfaction level of your customers.