As business owners, our goal is to provide our customers with quality goods and services, but there’s more to a business relationship than meeting a client’s basic expectations. Successful businesses with loyal clients dig deeper into the customer experience and find ways to go above and beyond.
The entire customer journey is important in keeping your clients satisfied.
Measuring client satisfaction may sound like a nebulous concept: How do we know what our clients are feeling, and how does one measure those feelings? This article explains the importance of measuring customer satisfaction and provides an actionable, step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Why should you measure client satisfaction?
Having happy customers and high customer satisfaction levels is excellent, but why should we measure our customer satisfaction score? Research shows the multitude of benefits that businesses can derive from high customer satisfaction metrics, including:
- Referrals and recommendations: Satisfied clients double as excellent marketing channels. If our clients love our products or services, they’re likely to recommend our business to friends and family, who may, in turn, become new customers. Happy customers also won’t mind leaving positive feedback on social media or recommending us to their online communities.
- Better brand image: If a brand has many loyal customers, it’s often an indication to potential customers that our business is providing something of value. Happy clients also like to share their great experiences and often bring in new leads by word-of-mouth recommendation.
- Improved customer experience: If we think of customer satisfaction measurements as a form of customer feedback, we’d see how important collecting this data is to improve the service experience. There are several touchpoints for this — email surveys, online survey questions, post-purchase survey data, and questionnaires. These survey responses provide numerical data for calculating satisfaction metrics and more detailed information on improving our business to meet customer expectations.
- Customer retention: When clients aren’t satisfied, they leave. It’s called customer churn. Unsatisfied customers cost businesses a lot of money (compared with loyal customers who’ve stayed with the business for many years) because of the resources needed for marketing and promotion to get new customers. Instead of constantly spending on advertising to get new clients, businesses with great customer loyalty get to direct their funds elsewhere.
Properly measured client satisfaction scores lead to better decision-making, especially if we can link customer insights from our survey tools to trends in the metrics. With this data, we can steer clear of practices that drive our customer satisfaction levels down and justify these decisions based on numbers.
How to measure client satisfaction in 7 steps
Now that we understand how client satisfaction scores are powerful tools for business success, let’s go through a step-by-step guide on how to measure them:
1. Define goals
At the beginning of the process, define your business objectives and understand customer expectations. What do clients come to your business for? What kind of customer support or service do they expect? What’s the overall experience like? How’re you similar or dissimilar from competitors?
These are all questions to ask yourself. With the answers, begin to build customer-centric goals to work toward.
2. Make a plan
This step aims to tailor the methods of measuring customer satisfaction to your specific customer base. After understanding your target audience (based on factors like purchasing behavior and demographics), use customer insights to follow up with customers at the appropriate time. Here’re some examples of when to trigger customer satisfaction surveys:
- At the end of a chat session: Provide app surveys or ask for customer feedback about the overall experience.
- After a transaction: Ask about the sales experience.
- After a support ticket is resolved: Get feedback about the support team’s involvement in the overall customer experience.
- After a product or service demo: Gauge respondents’ impressions of the new offering.
3. Choose a method
The next step is to understand how customer satisfaction is measured. The three most common customer satisfaction metrics are: the customer satisfaction (CSAT) score, net promoter score (NPS), and customer effort score (CES). These all measure different elements of the customer experience, and it’s best to keep track of a combination of them as needed for the business.
- CSAT: The CSAT survey can be done through different channels, including email, phone, or chat, and primarily measures general customer sentiment about a product or service. A typical question to ask here is, “On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with our coaching service?” With this information, calculate the percentage of satisfied customers by dividing the number of satisfied customers by the total number of customers surveyed and multiplying that figure by 100.
- NPS: The NPS measures satisfaction and customer loyalty by dividing clients into three groups based on the feedback they give to the question, “How likely are you to refer this coach to someone?”
On a scale of 0-10, detractors (0-6) are unhappy customers who are likely to harm the brand’s reputation through word-of-mouth. Passive customers (7-8) are typically satisfied with their experience but unlikely to recommend it or may even be swayed by competitors. Promoters (9-10) are the superfans. These loyal customers will continue to purchase from your business and even recommend you to others.
To calculate this metric, use the formula:
NPS = % of promoters – % of detractors
- CES: The CES measures the ease of customer experience. Ask your customers to evaluate their experience with this question, “How easy was it to meet with your coach today?”
On a scale, you’re looking for answers that indicate it was extremely easy to complete the task. Low-effort interactions are one of the easiest ways to increase customer loyalty and decrease frustration.
4. Customize questions
In coaching, you want your clients to know you’re prioritizing them by giving them time and attention, so collecting feedback should be no different. Change up the questions based on what metric is important to you and what makes sense for your business.
Based on each client’s preferred platforms and touchpoints, send them different types of client satisfaction surveys at the appropriate times, send follow-up questions by email, or even ask for real-time feedback by asking open-ended questions (ones that don’t end with a “yes” or “no” answer) after the coaching session. Whichever method you choose, let the experience be enjoyable and hassle-free.
5. Define a sending schedule
Next, determine the best times to send out the surveys to maximize response rates. You could automate this step, especially if you’re consistently surveying customers, but please don’t spam them.
6. Select a medium
Pick one or a combination of survey tools to acquire customer feedback. Here are a few examples:
- Live chats: This helps measure customer success through a customer service team. CES and CSAT surveys work the best here.
- Email surveys: CES, CSAT, and NPS all work well with this platform. You could even include all three.
- Website surveys: This specifically gathers data about our customers’ website experience. All three types of metrics can be useful here.
- In-app surveys: This is a great way to measure app performance and improve user experience by leveraging the feedback received. All three metrics can be used here.
7. Analyze results
Finally, you have all this data you’ve put so much effort into collecting. Make the best use of this information by paying attention to customer feedback and taking appropriate action to improve customer satisfaction.
When your business aligns with customer expectations, you get happy and satisfied clients. It shows clients that you value them and take their feedback seriously.
How to achieve client satisfaction
When you’re aiming to do right by your clients and improve the customer experience, be open and honest, be flexible, and make yourself available for support.
As coaches, we want our clients to feel supported, and this extends to the customer service experience and interactions outside of coaching sessions as well.
Be transparent about the services on offer and the pricing plans. Make it easy for clients to get in touch for details or clarifications. Provide a variety of platforms on which to do so whenever possible.
Great coaches also make every effort to support new clients with networking events, communities of like-minded individuals, and extra educational content. Commit to consistently asking for and implementing feedback for your business to make the coaching experience the best one it can be for your clients.
Customer service plays a large role in elevating the client experience. Try Practice’s all-in-one client management system to boost your customer relationships today.