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What is Customer Satisfaction?

Allan MacGowan By Allan MacGowan
June 1, 2015

Every producer, vendor, manufacturer, or service provider is looking for the best answer to: What is Customer Satisfaction?

The standard answer from a marketing perspective is that customer satisfaction measures how well a company's products or services meet or exceed customer expectations. This metric provides valuable insight for businesses constantly looking for ways to become increasingly competitive in the marketplace.

Without delivering a beneficial customer experience on a consistent basis, businesses may have a short lifespan. Most of us are clear about what a satisfied customer looks like, but understanding how to get customers to that satisfaction plateau and keep them is less obvious. Clearly, a satisfied customer is a natural promoter of a company's product, a repeat customer, and an unmatchable marketing force.

Let's focus on a specific contributing factor to customer satisfaction – digital engagement – primarily within business websites and mobile applications. Mobile and web engagement are increasingly popular with customers, so enhancing interactions within these channels can translate directly to higher customer satisfaction.

Some characteristics of elevated digital engagement include:

  • Multiple communication options – let the customer choose how s/he wants to connect with your business, whether by phone, chat, web, email, video chat, co-browse or other method. Each channel has varying degrees of personalization; web chat is highly impersonal and therefore best suited for quick, generic questions, whereas video chat is more personal and usually relevant for high-touch conversations that involve more explanation.
  • Omnichannel not multi-channel – rather than simply offering up more channels, implement an Omnichannel approach that blends the above channels together to provide a seamless experience throughout the customer journey.
  • Effective, efficient, and pre-emptive responses – with the rise of analytics, customer-facing representatives can be far better informed about customer intent than ever before. Contextual data about the customer, such as profile, online activity, geo-location and other information can be correlated with an incoming call to help with efficient routing to the right specialist, who receives a screen pop of both historical and real-time information just before taking the call. The expert can take pre-emptive measures to resolve issues more quickly and anticipate cross-sell or upsell opportunities.
  • Measure, evaluate, and improve – employ customer experience metrics to understand what is working and what is not. Post-contact surveys, Net Promoter Scoring, and customer comment solicitations, can all provide constructive feedback; review feedback, make improvements, measure satisfaction and repeat.

There may be no silver bullet to delivering high customer satisfaction, but focusing on contextual collaboration that personalizes experiences within customers' preferred modes of engagement can help companies differentiate themselves in the marketplace.