5 ways to improve customer satisfaction » SMEInsider

5 ways to improve customer satisfaction

As a small business owner, keeping your customers happy should be your top priority. No doubt you will come across a particularly difficult client down the road, so here are five ways to improve your customer satisfaction skills.


Have a customer service plan in place

As an SME owner, you should already have a plan in place for any difficult situation, including dealing with problematic clientele.

By implementing a customer service plan that tells you and your employees what to do in heated situations, you have a much better of chance of not only calming the customer down, but retaining their business.

For example, your plan should tell you what to do if one of your buyers comes in with a faulty product that you accidentally sold them.

The plan should have an immediate solution for you; in this case to take back the faulty item, and replace the product while giving the customer five per cent of the cost back as an apology. This way you have calmed the situation down, while increasing your chances of seeing the customer again.


Anticipate your customer’s problems

This will require you to fully assess your business to determine what its weaknesses are. You will be able to identify the common problems that your customers could come to you with, which gives you time to anticipate the problem before it has even begun.

For example, if you’re a local food retailer and you get complaints about shortages in a certain type of food, either up the order to accommodate greater demand, or find another supplier that can help you meet your client’s needs.


Train your staff thoroughly

Service with a smile is a sure-fire way to ensure your customer’s satisfaction. Your staff should treat your regulars like a family member. Establishing trust and a friendly relationship with your clients will keep them coming back.

Your staff should know your customer service plan inside-out, and should be trained in basic customer service skills.


Make visible changes

If a customer comes to you with a complaint or a helpful idea, take it into consideration. Show your shoppers that they and their point of view are important to you by addressing some need or preference they’ve identified.

Have a suggestion box somewhere within your shop front, or if you operate online, encourage customer feedback via social media.


Follow up with customers

Make customers feel appreciated by following up with them a few days after they’ve made a complaint or left unsatisfied.

By making a simple phone call or writing a note to say ‘thank you’ or ‘how can we make our service better for you?’ will really make your buyers feel happy and important.

  • dan Macdonald

    I have no idea why this article relates to pet sitting. The people in the industry are service oriented for animals. We are not selling food nor are we are retailers. Social media is good but can also ruin a pet sitting service in that the customer may have higher expectations than what the service has to provide, such as price per visit, discounts for 2 to three visits, etc. Some have kept contracts after I meet with them and when I ask them to return the paperwork if they don’t use the service, for the most part, they don’t, even though my binder has over 200 letters of thanks, plus 21 letters from Angie’s list rating me a straight A.

  • Jonathan Nwosu

    Some interesting points and fair points, but another way to increase customer satisfaction in a way that is cheap, quick and efficient is to use Sentview.

    At http://www.sentview.com it is possible to find out what customers like and dislike about your product. The feedback obtained from multiple social media platforms can be used by companies to improve customer experience which is arguably the best way to increase customer retention rate and satisfaction.