Customer satisfaction and quality
The key factors of customer satisfaction include the quality and price of a product and good customer service. Follow customer satisfaction regularly. Make use of different measurement approaches, spontaneous feedback and numbers of recommendations. Following customer satisfaction allows you to find out what your customers think your company has done well and where there is room for improvement.
Customer satisfaction is always the personal, individual experience of a customer. It emerges as your customers compare their expectations with your company’s promises and the actual situation.
Customer satisfaction is part of your company’s intellectual capital. Issues that affect it include
- the quality of your product
- competitive pricing
- a pleasant service experience
- quick, friendly and competent customer service
- exemplary management of possible problem situations
- openness and honesty of activities
- factors related to the customer.
Keep your customers satisfied whenever they use your services. Make sure that the customer’s expectations are at the correct level from the start. This makes it easier for your company to fulfil them. Show your customers that your company understands their actual needs. React to customer feedback appropriately.
If your company's product is not what you have promised, you must first and foremost correct the error. If this is not possible, you must replace the customer’s faulty product with a flawless product. If you are unable to fix or replace the product, you must make up for the fault with a price reduction or suggest cancelling the transaction. More information and instructions are available from the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority, for example.
You should also handle negative customer feedback with a professional attitude. Listen to the customer, admit the error, apologize and demonstrate that you are willing to fix the matter straight away. Make every effort to compensate for the harm suffered by the customer in a way that satisfies them or even exceeds their expectations. Check later that the customer is satisfied with the final result.
Also react immediately to the target of the complaint. Launch necessary changes and fixes within your company as soon as possible. It is important to fix defects, particularly if more customers have complained about the same issue.
Remember that sorting out trade-related problems and processing customers’ complaints is a responsibility of the seller.
Listen to the customer’s criticism carefully. Aim to understand what they really mean by it. Examine whether the product that the complaint is concerning meets your company’s promises. Also find out,
- if the product’s warranty period is valid
- if the customer has used the product appropriately
- if the customer has serviced the product appropriately
- if the product has been subject to some accident, such as damage caused by a thunderstorm.
In case of a dispute, you can familiarise yourself with the solutions made by the Consumer Disputes Board and the decisions by the Consumer Ombudsman. These indicative examples may allow you to evaluate whether or not the product contains a fault that your company is responsible for.
Measuring customer satisfaction allows you to find out what your customers think your company has done well and where there is room for improvement. Measuring helps you target your company’s development and improve its business performance.
Measurement results help you retain loyal customers. Retaining current customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new customers. Loyal and satisfied customers are also likely to recommend your company to others.
You can also use measurement results in planning marketing aimed at different customer groups.
Keep following customer satisfaction constantly so you learn to know how it develops. This allows you to create new products and service approaches in time. If something does not work, you will notice this immediately and will be able to react at once without losing any customers. At the same time, you will learn what your customers really want and intend to do. For example, you will find out whether they intend to repurchase your products or services.
You should measure customer satisfaction constantly, systematically and on many different levels. For example, you can measure overall customer satisfaction or customer satisfaction by area. Prepare the measurements so that the customers compare their experiences with their expectations, not your company’s competitors. Plan the questions carefully.
Different tools, such as NPS and CSAT, have been developed for measuring customer satisfaction. Select the tools that best suit your company. To ensure the comparability of results, it is important that you regularly repeat the survey using the same indicators.
You should also encourage your customers to give spontaneous feedback. Make it as easy as possible to give feedback, for example by creating new feedback channels. Spontaneous feedback usually requires interpretation. It is important that you will be able to pick all significant contents and signals from the feedback.
You can also follow customer feedback based on the number of recommendations. However, it may be difficult to measure in practice how many have selected your company as a result of a recommendation.