Your customer satisfaction score, or CSAT score, is a direct indicator of how satisfied a customer is with your products and services or with interaction with your brand. Usually expressed as a percentage, the CSAT score is one of the top metrics used to determine customer loyalty.
In a CMSWire survey that asked CX professionals how their organizations measure digital CX improvement, CSAT scores were the second most popular answer, cited by 39% of respondents.
While the CSAT score reflects a consumer’s overall perception of your company, it’s typically measured at crucial moments like the point of purchase or during a support interaction. Since these are milestone moments in the customer journey, it’s highly likely that they’ll define a customer’s opinion of your brand.
Why work to increase CSAT scores?
High CSAT scores mean happy customers, and happy customers are loyal ones.
Loyal customers that retain your services over many years or purchase from you, again and again, have a much higher customer lifetime value (CLTV) than one-time purchasers, and a consistently high CLTV ensures long-term growth.
Additionally, happy customers breed more happy customers. More importantly, the reverse is true–most unhappy customers will tell anyone who will listen about their negative experience, which results in a compounded negative image.
Thus, it pays to invest in initiatives that will increase customer satisfaction and CSAT scores.
Reduce wait times
A number of studies have confirmed that the amount of time a customer has to wait for service is inversely related to their satisfaction with the service; the longer they wait, the less pleased they are. What’s more, their perception of how long they’ve been waiting (which usually seems longer than their actual wait time) factors into the equation.
Companies can make a big impact on CSAT scores by reducing the number of times customers spend in the queue. Ensuring adequate staffing, adding virtual agents, and offering multi-channel options can all contribute to lower wait times.
An interesting study published in the Journal of Operations Management found that customers were more likely to be satisfied with a service–even if they had to wait for it–if their presence was acknowledged swiftly at the start of the interaction. Acknowledging that the call has been received, providing an estimated wait time, and offering self-service alternatives before directing customers into the wait queue can all weigh positively on a customer’s overall satisfaction.
Personalization has a significant impact on both customer satisfaction and loyalty, with 80% of consumers saying they want personalized interactions from the brands they shop with.
Research firm McKinsey offers a great analogy in describing personalization as a “hygiene factor”–customers have come to take it for granted, but if a brand neglects to personalize their experience or gets personalization wrong, it can be highly damaging to the customer’s perception of the brand.
Customer-centric interactions come with another upside. Not only can they cement a customer’s satisfaction, but they’re difficult for competitors to imitate. This makes personalization an important tool in setting yourself apart in the market.
A unified CRM, dynamic scripting, and intelligent speech analytics are a few customer service tools that can facilitate advanced personalization.
Improve agent satisfaction
Satisfied agents have a sense of pride in their work and are more pleasant to deal with. It should come as no surprise, then, that improving your agent satisfaction is a surefire way to increase your CSAT scores.
Higher salaries and fancy perks are one way to make employees happy, but they’re far from the only things agents want from their jobs. Some of the top factors that drive agent satisfaction are having uncomplicated workflows and doing meaningful work. An integrated dashboard makes agent tasks seamless and convenient, while virtual agents and chatbots allow live agents to offload their more tedious tasks, clearing their plate for more engaging work.
Offer omnichannel support
Like personalization, omnichannel support is an offering that customers have come to expect. Get it wrong and you’ll pay the price in terms of unhappy customers, but get it right and you’ll see a meaningful impact on your bottom line.
According to research by Aberdeen Group, companies with well-defined omnichannel CX management programs saw a 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention and a 3.4% increase in CLTV. Companies without such a program, on the other hand, saw CLTV decrease year over year.
It’s not enough for omnichannel support options to simply exist, however. The key is offering consistently high-quality service across all available channels. To do this requires an omnichannel support platform that unifies all communications and incorporates customer preferences into each and every conversation.
To sum it up, CSAT scores are more than just a feel-good metric. They’re directly tied to CLTV, which contributes to strong revenue and ongoing brand growth. Increasing CSAT scores is an important objective, so prioritizing technology that supports a customer-centric approach is one of the best investments you can make in your business.