5 Customer Satisfaction Metrics for Keeping Customers
We all know how challenging it is to earn new business, which is why it’s vital to retain our existing customer base at all costs. Before the internet, consumers were much more likely to be creatures of habit. If they found a product or a retailer that they liked, they typically became lifetime customers.
But the advent of big box retail and the internet have changed the game drastically. These days, customers are just as likely to make their choices based on prices than the quality of the product or service. Another problem that we face is that we no longer have a personal relationship with most of our customers.
A couple of generations ago, there were a lot more “mom and pop shops” in operation. They could collect useful customer feedback in real time. If a customer had a concern, she could go right to the top and give the owner a piece of her mind. It wasn’t nearly as efficient of a system, but it’s the way business was done for generations.
Consumers claim to still want the experience of “shopping small,” but their buying patterns often tell a very different story.
The most successful businesses find ways to automate routine processes so they can better focus on activities that have more direct impact on their bottom line. This includes collecting customer satisfaction data.
Most companies now automatically collect a general customer satisfaction score after every transaction, but it doesn’t always yield actionable data. That’s why it’s important to also track detailed customer metrics, and make sure that the information flows to decision makers in real time.
It’s equally important that the customer isn’t bombarded with long surveys at the end of a short transaction. Your collection instrument should be attractive, easy to use, and include no more than 3-5 questions.
Here are a few detailed customer satisfaction metrics that can greatly facilitate informed long term planning:
Customer Churn Rate
Your churn rate should serve as your baseline score at all times. Knowing the percentage of customers that you lost over a specified time period will give you a starting benchmark to improve. In some businesses, this will be a difficult number to collect.
For example, if you run an auto repair shop, demand will fluctuate. Be sure also to give new sales promotions the chance to work or to fail, instead of making knee-jerk decisions the instant that the numbers aren’t moving in the desired direction.
Customer Effort Score
Most people take a new product out of the box and set the manual aside. That’s why your product should be intuitive and easy to use.
The same is true of your customer service; the right IVR makes service easier. The wrong makes it harder!
If there is a problem, you want to know about it immediately. If there is a problem, customers will often suffer in silence and then switch to a competitor. You can never assume that your customers are satisfied if you don’t hear any complaints.
Most people don’t want to be difficult, or want to take the trouble of telling you what doesn’t work.
Customer Service Satisfaction
Service after the sale is crucial in every business, and the relationship should never end with the sale; you always want to be known for standing behind your brand and your products.
An exit survey will often only be filled out by satisfied customers. But you really want to learn why your customers are taking their business elsewhere. Even if they don’t call with questions or concerns, outbound call centers making courtesy phone calls can identify opportunities for improvement.
Just be sure to set realistic expectations about your response rate, and be prepared to hear some brutally honest responses.
customer Health Score
This is a measure that attempts to measure loyalty or predict churn. Customers who are about to leave will often behave in predictable ways. You can monitor the length of time that they spend on your website, how many times they call customer service, and how much money that they spend.
This information will mean different things to different businesses, but can really inform long term decision making if used effectively
Net Promoter Score
There are some businesses that no longer advertise because they don’t have to. If you’re fortunate enough to generate word-of-mouth advertising, you should treat it like gold. Research consistently shows that satisfied customers tell a few friends about their experience, and disgruntled customers tell the world. If there was a consistent way to generate word-of-mouth advertising, everyone would be doing it.
But if you can win the hearts and minds of your customers, they’ll be more effective than any salesperson you could ever hire.
Once you have this data… put it to use! Far too many businesses keep things like NPS buried in their call center CRM instead of putting it to use in call routing and personalization.
In addition to quantitative Customer Satisfaction Metrics, your customers should also be able to submit reviews through an open response section. The response rate to an optional prompt might not be high or as easy to track through a spreadsheet, but if they write something, you’re definitely going to want to see it.
Resist the temptation to make it a forced choice question in the interest of being able to “crunch numbers.” If you do want to be able to chart data from an open response section, you can code it yourself after it has been collected based on trends in the responses.
babelforce is a global cloud communications platform focused on No-Code integration and automation. It allows non-technical people to build even the most complex integrated processes for customer-facing teams, particularly in the call center.