If your customers feel taken care of, you’ll earn repeat business—and new business. According to Microsoft’s Global Customer Service survey, 95% of respondents believe customer service is important to their loyalty to and choice of a brand (1). As CSAT scores rise, you retain more customers, lower your customer acquisition costs and benefit from positive word-of-mouth (estimated to drive $6 trillion in consumer spending a year) (2).
But what actually impacts your brand’s CSAT? We mined the research and found four main factors. Focus on these aspects to see your CSAT scores climb.
1. Deeply knowing your customer
It’s time to turn your customer intel up a notch. 72% of customers expect representatives to know their purchase and issue history (1). From the moment someone discovers your brand, learn about their behavior at each touchpoint to help you anticipate their needs and wants.
- Pull their history: If Richard contacts customer service, the rep should refer to him by name. The agent should know if he’s reached out before and what product or service he bought. When customers feel known, they also feel valued.
- Provide a personalized experience: From acknowledging a customer’s needs to showing genuine care, a personal touch can make or break brand loyalty. Studies show that 33% of customers abandon a business because personalization was lacking. And the number one reason customers leave a business is that they feel the company doesn’t care (3).
- Offer the opportunity for feedback: 90% of customers view brands more favorably if they have a voice (1). If you don’t have feedback loops in place, be sure to build them.
Bottom line: You need to know your customers better than your competitors. If your customers feel personally connected to your brand, they’ll be happier and more loyal.
2. Offering an Multichannel experience
Millennials are more likely to buy from brands with a mobile customer support portal (4). The majority of those aged 18-34 see social media as a proper customer service channel, while those over 55 don't consider it effective (1). The point? Multi-channel servicing is a must. Every customer expects their preferred platform for getting in touch (4).
- Provide customer interaction across many channels: Offer the option to send an email, chat live with a rep or get in touch on social media. Cover your bases and make it seamless for every customer to connect with you. PWC found that companies investing in omnichannel experience leapt from 20 to 80% in the last 10 years (5). Make sure you're on board.
- Ensure experiences are consistent: Your level of attentiveness should be mirrored across all platforms (4). Customers need to feel like it's the same company whether they're on social media or conversing with your automated A.I. support.
- Hone in on mobile experience: As millennials and Gen Z make up more of your customers, mobile customer service is predicted to soar (4). If your website or portal isn’t mobile-friendly, 50% of customers stop visiting (6). And according to Stat Counter, 52% of internet traffic comes from mobile (7).
Bottom line: Providing various platforms, specifically mobile, boosts customer satisfaction—no matter the customer’s age. If it feels difficult to contact you, customers become frustrated and leave your company behind.
3. Delivering prompt and in-the-know responses
When asked what the most important aspect of customer service is, the top answer was that the issue gets resolved in a single go (1). Second on the list? Interacting with a knowledgeable customer service representative (1).
- Consider a proactive approach: 70% of customers view brands more favorably if they offer proactive customer service notifications (1). That's right: customers want companies who are one step ahead (8). Rather than being reactive, stand out from the competition. Know what your customers expect and act on it. Keep customers updated on shipping, delivery, and anything else pertaining to their order.
- Provide your customers with control: Every consumer has their customer service method preference, and not every customer problem is suited to a particular channel of service. Giving customers the ability to select the type of service they want, whether it be self-service or direct support, can shape their experience. It is crucial that both means of customer service are available with speed and expertise, so that customers can quickly find the answers they need.
- Fast escalation: Customers reported the most frustrating aspect of customer service is reaching a representative that lacks the ability to resolve their issue (1). Give your customers a way to reach a knowledgeable rep at any time of the day.
Bottom line: When customers feel taken care of by someone who knows what they’re doing, they’re highly satisfied. In today's fast-paced world, having competent customer service interactions becomes a relief instead of frustrating.
4. Sharpening your processes
Your policies and processes have a huge impact on your CSAT. Often, a policy change is the biggest driver of an increase in CSAT because it gets to the core of a common problem (or prevents one altogether). When you smooth a hiccup or avoid a delay, customers feel it.
- Optimize business processes: Your processes and technologies should offer a seamless experience across all platforms (4). Use data and A/B testing to fine-tune your responses to common issues like exchanges, returns, and shipping issues.
- Audit and evaluate regularly: Set up quarterly reviews of your key policies and procedures. Where are there cracks in the system? How can you tweak for significant improvement? Consider data from a 360-degree perspective. Your processes should work well for your ops department—and your customers.
- Design custom workflows: Integrate what you know about your customers with your processes, so customers feel seen and appreciated. Target pain points and keep your services intuitive (8).
Bottom line: Beyond looking to add new features, dissect your processes. Continually evaluate them to ensure the smoothest experience for your customers.
No matter your CSAT score, investing in these four components will help your brand leap to new heights. You’ll have happy customers who keep coming back for more.