Most businesses collect data on customer satisfaction. It's crucial to use customer feedback to make improvements to your business. Otherwise, why collect feedback in the first place? Here are three strategies for using customer satisfaction (or lack thereof) to improve your business.
Identifying areas to improve
Customer satisfaction data is crucial for identifying the areas of your business where you need to make improvements. Many businesses fall into the trap of assuming that they know what their customers want. This often leads to making changes which nobody really wants, while ignoring the changes they really do want! Luckily, this doesn't have to be you. The most valuable resource for figuring out what your customers want is... your customers!
Surveying your customers at different stages of their customer lifecycle, and at different touchpoints, will give you an idea of what they think of different aspects of your business or product. This is why it's important to not only ask your customers for general feedback, but also for specific feedback on individual products or attributes. Doing so will allow you to compare customer satisfaction across different aspects of your business, and make changes accordingly. If you're getting a CSAT score of 6 for your customer support and 9s for everything else, you know instantly what you need to work on!
Plan, do, check, act
The Plan-Do-Check-Act method, also known as the Deming cycle, is a process for continuously making improvements.
- Plan what you will do next. Assess the current situation and figure out how it can be improved.
- Do what you just planned.
- Check and evaluate the results. Compare the data from the "do" phase to previous data, and figure out whether the new strategy is in fact an improvement. Also be sure to check whether any significant changes have been made between the "plan" phase and the "do" phase.
- Act upon your findings. If the "check" phase revealed that the new strategy is an improvement, implement it going forward.
This method is not intended to be used in a one-off fashion, but rather as a cyclical method for continuously making improvements. When used in conjunction with customer satisfaction data, it can be a powerful system to help implement improvements which arise from your customers' feedback.
Action customer feedback
It's a really great idea to include open-ended questions in your customer satisfaction surveys. Not only does this give your customers the opportunity to talk directly to you about what you can improve, it also gives them a space to suggest ideas. Few people are better placed to suggest innovations than your customers. Asking your customers for suggestions can direct you to new improvements that you might never have thought of. If you see one suggestion cropping up from multiple customers, give it some thought!
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