28 Sep 4 ways to drive customer satisfaction
by James Davis
The value of customer satisfaction, especially in the oversaturated state of most industries today, cannot be overstated. It is now easier than ever for customers to jump ship at the first whiff of poor service, and he or she can often find a replacement service in no time.
This is where the importance of your customer satisfaction, or CSAT score, comes into play. Your CSAT score is essentially the aggregate number that defines your customer’s experience with the company and its brand. However, while 94% of companies understand the valuable benefits of developing those positive client relationships, only 40% are taking a data-driven initiative to interpret those relationships.
At Simplus, we have taken our CSAT score understanding to the next level. Sitting at a customer satisfaction score of 9.61/10, we pride ourselves on being in the winning margin of companies that take their customer satisfaction seriously. Here are just a few of the ways that my colleagues and I think about how we can provide the best possible service to our clients.
Provide a midpoint checkup
In any role of project management, consultancy, or implementation partnership, it’s a good idea to be hands-on with your client–or at least be willing to be hands-on. Some clients might prefer a more hands-off project management, but one study has found this methodology is not the most practical approach.
Regardless of your level of involvement, you should always be willing to do midpoint checks with your client. This allows you to see what you are doing right and, more importantly, what you could be doing better. When you know what’s going well and what’s not, a course correction is easier because you can make changes in the early phases rather than towards project completion. We have seen a high rate of project success with a midpoint check. And more often than not, your clients will appreciate that you are considering their feedback and will have a greater overall experience with your management.
Understand the importance of a success manager
There tends to be a stigma shrouding the concept of a third party or success manager. This typically revolves around the notion that someone outside the project can’t possibly fully understand the system and processes that are in place. These worries are often ill-founded, however. You can typically work through transparency troubles by using a discovery phase with a consultant. And an agnostic success manager can actually bring another benefit to the project that an implementation partner might miss.
Even with the passion a consultant or project manager may have for his or her project, there are still going to be some internal biases that may keep the project from reaching its full potential. A success manager is an impartial party—you are more likely to get honest answers from a person who just wants to understand how the project is going. And again, most importantly, his or her interest lies in what can be done better to achieve the best possible outcome.
Give the client your dedicated resources
No matter how adept your clients are in their field, they won’t have mastered every aspect of their business processes. That’s where you as the customer-centric consultant come in.
As aforementioned, most consultants put out the perception that they care about customer success, but very few actually put in the time or resources to satisfy their clients’ needs in the long term. This leaves growing businesses scrambling to make sense of their customer loyalty; instead, they resort to stop-gap tactics rather than thinking progressively about long-term solutions for customers. If you give your customers dedicated resources, then they will be happier and more likely to retun in the next project implementation.
Convey the value of stewardship
Stewardship in business often denotes a company’s ability and willingness to provide services for their communities in lieu of opportunities to make a profit. This is a valuable asset to any organization–in fact, it is one of Simplus’s three organizational values. You can also think of stewardship on a smaller scale with your clients.
Some consultants are all about getting the job done. There is little attention paid to the longevity of the project and the data that proves its value to the organization. Our team takes the time to stop and evaluate every unique project and develop a holistic approach to its continued success. We subscribe to the philosophy that the services we provide go above and beyond the initial implementation—we want to nurture our customers to promote continued growth upon that first project.
As a customer-conscious consultant, you are working with your client because you care about both their immediate and continued success. You want to convey to them how invested you are in the project by paying close attention to team collaboration and displaying an authentic interest in their success.
Your CSAT is the first reference for the quality of work that you provide in your consultancy. Thus, it is in your best interest to pay attention to that number. Simplus is living proof of CSAT success found by taking these steps. If you perform midpoint checkups, embrace your power as a third-party manager, provide dedicated resources, and are a steward to the client’s needs, you are sure to see improved customer success and loyalty.