A happy customer is a loyal customer. They are also your best publicity officer and can be your worst if they are unhappy with your service! To encourage loyalty you need to know if your customers are happy and satisfied with every aspect of your business, its products and services. So how do you find out? The following tips will give you a few ideas to help you understand the mind-set of your customers and clients.

Ask Them!

It sounds simple, but do we remember to do it? We often hear about the problems, but do we ask our customers what they think of our products and services when they don’t appear to have any issues? It is as important to hear about what you are doing right, as finding out what you are getting wrong. So whether you can have a conversation with them face to face or have a chat at the end of the phone, your customer will certainly appreciate the fact that their opinion counts. Be sure to listen and note down what they say and of course act on what you’ve discussed. Letting them know they’ve made a difference will certainly go a long way to retaining their loyalty in the future.

Listen Online as well as Offline

So you can speak face to face and over the phone but what about online? The advent of social media means that bad news, as well as good news, travels fast! Social media is the perfect way to keep your finger on the pulse of your customer base, so you know exactly what they are thinking at any moment in time. You need to listen to what your customers are saying online 24/7 if necessary and take extra care to respond to any queries, swiftly, this is what they will expect. Going online is the first thing customers will do if they are not satisfied with your service, so it’s best to deal with any issues immediately to protect your company’s reputation. Listen and respond is the key message.

Track Referrals and Complaints

When a new customer or client comes on board do you have systems in place to find out how they learned about your business and its services? Ensuring you can track new customers allows you to measure your marketing efforts, what worked and what didn’t. Essential information when planning your next campaign but don’t forget, keeping track of referrals also helps you to monitor if the referral came from another customer. This is the prefect compliment from your current customers, so make sure you thank them and offer some kind of incentive or reward to ensure they keep doing the same.

Measuring complaints will also give you a measure of customer satisfaction. Recording the complaint and how it was handled and resolved is essential. This allows you to review the systems and policies that you have in place to ensure the best service to your customers.

Customer Surveys

A more formal way of measuring customer satisfaction are customer surveys. They are the perfect tool for this. The line of questioning is within your control and can be shaped to match your organisation’s strategy, so if you want to find out what makes your customers tick then monitoring their views is a cost effective way to find out. Using a customer satisfaction survey software, such as KeyPoint, which combines data collection, analysis and reporting is a simple process. By using an integrated approach, you will gather the opinions of your customer base giving you essential insight to certain areas within your business. Be sure to thank those who made the effort to participate in your survey and offer an incentive or reward for doing so. This will help encourage them to take part once again at a later date.

Mystery Shoppers

If your business is within the service industry, then measuring the level of customer service of your staff will give you a strong indication on the levels of satisfaction within your customer base. Mystery shoppers can be hired to assess and evaluate your current service and to make recommendations for improvement where necessary. This can involve a thorough evaluation of your services and the bespoke line of action or questioning will be tailored to meet the requirements of your business. It’s essential however, that the results are reviewed and acted upon. If areas of your service have shown room for improvement then addressing the issues swiftly will ensure your levels of customer service are maintained before there is a detrimental effect on your bottom line.