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Why is customer satisfaction so important?

An unhappy customer is unlikely to be a customer for long. Every business should not only be striving for a high level of customer satisfaction, it should be actively pursuing it. After all, customer retention is far more important for a business’s growth than customer acquisition, and the only way to keep your customers is to keep them happy.

Customer satisfaction definition

There’s not really one universal customer satisfaction definition, but it’s essentially exactly what it sounds like – the level of satisfaction your customers have with your service. What you might not realise, however, is that customer satisfaction is actually a measurable quality, and in order to truly understand how satisfied a customer base is, businesses should absolutely treat it as such. Businesses can and should take a data-driven approach to guide their customer satisfaction strategy.

The importance of customer satisfaction

As mentioned, customer retention is massively important for pretty much every business. Acquiring new customers costs a lot of resources, money, and time. A business might assume that once they’ve made a sale, their relationship with the customer becomes irrelevant – but it’s easier and cheaper to aim for more sales from an existing customer than it is aiming for brand new customers altogether. You should still aim for new customers, but that should never mean neglecting the customers you do have. Keeping your existing customers happy should always be a priority.

Customer satisfaction is important because it hugely increases the chances of a customer returning to do more business. Customer loyalty won’t come easy if you’re not focused on pleasing your base.

But the importance of customer satisfaction stretches beyond retention, it’s also about improving more generally as a business. Understanding how your customers feel about their interactions with your brand is the best way to identify weaknesses and areas for improvement. The feedback of your customers is extremely valuable, and if satisfaction levels are low, you know you need to take action.

Monitoring satisfaction by engaging with your customers and gathering genuine, specific feedback, will help you figure out exactly what you can do to turn things around.

On the other hand, positive customer satisfaction helps you identify your strengths, which you can then home in on to facilitate further growth.

How to measure customer satisfaction

When it comes to actually measuring customer satisfaction, there are plenty of options, but one of the most popular is through a customer satisfaction score, or CSAT. A customer satisfaction score is determined through a survey provided to customers. The language of the questions might vary depending on the nature of the business, but customer satisfaction surveys always ask the customer to rate their experience with the business.

Typically, customers will be able to rate their experience by choosing very unsatisfactory, unsatisfactory, neutral, satisfactory, or very satisfactory.

The question will vary because businesses often request their customers complete a CSAT survey immediately after a specific transaction or interaction.

For instance, you might have been asked to complete a customer satisfaction survey after speaking with a customer service representative on the phone – in which case the question may be “how would you rate your experience with our customer service team?”. You may be asked to complete a survey upon making an online purchase, in which the question might be along the lines of, “how would you rate your experience shopping with us?”.

CSAT surveys are generally optional – as forcing them upon your customers is a likely good way to ensure the results come back negative.

The customer satisfaction score will be measured based on how positive the responses to the survey are, but of course, these scores will only represent how customers felt about a specific aspect of the customer journey, rather than painting a wider picture.

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is another way of measuring customer satisfaction. You’ve likely also seen this question before: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend?”. You can send an NPS survey to your existing customers via email marketing.

Through these kinds of surveys, you can request specific feedback, as well as through online reviews, and use your findings to devise actionable solutions.

How to improve customer satisfaction

To improve customer satisfaction, you need to know precisely why they’re dissatisfied. This will come from the surveys you undertake and the data you gather. Connecting with your customers and gaining genuine insight directly from the source is the only way you’ll be able to make significant improvements.

It certainly helps to begin forging a strong relationship with your customers from the get-go. Essentially, improving satisfaction comes down to truly making an effort to understand and connect with your community of customers and ensuring the goals of your business align with the needs of your audience.

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GoCardless Ltd., Sutton Yard, 65 Goswell Road, London, EC1V 7EN, United Kingdom

GoCardless (company registration number 07495895) is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017, registration number 597190, for the provision of payment services. GoCardless SAS (23-25 Avenue Mac-Mahon, Paris, 75017, France), an affiliate of GoCardless Ltd (company registration number 834 422 180, R.C.S. PARIS), is authorised by the ACPR (French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority), Bank Code (CIB) 17118, for the provision of payment services.