By Deb Eastman, Chief Customer Officer at Satmetrix

Here are five top tips to help ensure you’re keeping your customers happy.

Clear communication solves problems

Communication with customers throughout their entire journey with a business must be clear, seamless, effective and honest. This way, if a problem does arise there will be no hesitation in it being reported and resolved, and customers are more likely to be understanding of any delays. Also, if customers need to exchange goods or services, make sure they know the status of their order throughout the process. A simple update after a customer makes the effort to communicate with a business will make them feel heard and know that you are working to resolve the issue. Try to make communications as personal as possible, using first names and referencing details such as purchasing history. It also helps to communicate via the customers’ preferred channels – be it social media, email or phone.

Understand your processes from the customers prospective

If there are changes to your customer’s account – tell them! It’s better to double check with them whenyou have their attention rather than waiting for a problem to occur. Likewise, if something on their account looks suspicious, flag it for them. Not receiving a product or order because of a misspelt address is frustrating for customers, especially if they’re expecting something by a specific date. Try and make every interaction with your company as simple as possible – eliminating any unnecessary data capture or platform-switching processes.

Make your feedback process about the customer, not market research

Create a survey and feedback collection process that shows customers you genuinely care about their opinion – it’s not just a market research exercise with the goal of selling them more. Let them know the business wants to improve customer experience and ask them how this can be done. If a customer has had an issue then they will want to feel like their complaint has been heard and is being acted upon, so share stories about changes being made to fit customers’ needs. Making feedback conversational and personal helps assure customers they are more than just a pixel in a management report.

Having the right tools

To help their employees to deliver exceptional customer experience, businesses must give them access to three things: effective software, actionable data and the expertise needed to make sense of it all. Sometimes the customer cycle is fragmented and lengthy, so it takes a technology solution to help employees manage the customer service process and understand which insights are the most valuable. Analysing and visualising customer data helps advisors to be pragmatic, proactive and responsive when it comes to customer service. Technology and training in combination empowers employees to make better business decisions and ultimately deliver a high calibre of customer service that will positively impact the business.

Recognising the signs

Understanding customers’ sentiments is pivotal to improving the customer experience and providing relevant, helpful advice. Helping employees to recognise reoccurring themes or spot particular language used by customers in survey responses or on social media so they can react and intervene before issues arise or start snowballing is much easier with text analytics functionality that is now included in many CEM solutions. Analysing customer comments online and searching for key words to create a frequently asked questions document will help advisors anticipate what a customer needs or wants. Equipping employees with this type of information can help them understand the sentiment of the customer comments, as well as teach them to recognise certain customer patterns from language used.

Managing the customer experience as a journey with insight into all the touch points that can affect satisfaction and loyalty is not rocket science, but it does take commitment. By committing to a customer centric culture and following the tips I’ve provided above, you will begin to see happier customers, and happier customers will lead to increased growth and profits.