My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Improving Customer Satisfaction: 5 Things That Today’s Customers Want

Today’s customers are more demanding than ever and they choose their brands carefully when it comes to purchase decisions. With the internet making it extremely easy to switch to competitors, businesses can’t afford to be complacent when it comes to attracting, converting and retaining customers. It’s therefore important for businesses to focus on improving customer loyalty.

Why go the extra mile to satisfy customers?

Brands that work hard to understand and satisfy their customers’ needs, wants and desires can help to grow their brand reputation, gain more customers and retain their customer base. They tend to enjoy more referral marketing, better feedback, and sustainable growth over time. Conversely, brands that fail to please their customers (bearing in mind that customer ‘delight’ is now the focus for forward-thinking brands, rather than simple ‘satisfaction’) will find that their profitable customers look for alternatives – and take their friends and family with them.

So what is it that customers really value? Certain factors depend on the market segment that you are trying to attract, but most apply across the board, such as these vital values below:

  1. Excellent customer support

Today’s customers want to be able to access customer support readily, easily and in the format that they want. Call centre numbers with long hold times will simply turn customers off and towards a competitor who is easier to reach. Customers want to have online help, email addresses and live chat – they may also want to engage and chat on social media.

No matter which line of help your business uses, it’s important to also understand what goes into helping provide exceptional customer service. Good timeliness in answering questions, having a professional manner, and actively listening are all skills which can help companies deliver better support for their customers.

Brands can invest in chatbots for immediate servicing of basic queries, self-service functions using AI, and 24/7 customer service support. This attention to detail and service will help towards improving customer satisfaction and have them coming back for more. One company that does this particularly well is Apple. 

  1. Clear and customer-friendly returns

Businesses should also offer clear and favourable returns processes, including free returns where appropriate and 28-day return periods for a completely hassle-free experience. Customers value this flexibility and will be more inclined to shop again when they have trust in their ability to make an easy return.

  1. Improving customer satisfaction with varied delivery options

Every customer will have their preference when it comes to delivery speeds vs cost. But a great way for improving customer satisfaction is to offer a range of delivery options to suit everyone, from free standard delivery over a threshold spend, to next or named-day delivery for a premium price. Many are being smart with their marketing and offering unlimited next-day delivery for an annual subscription, recognising that this ‘tie-in’ will instantly boost loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.

Examples of this are Amazon.com with its Prime service and ASOS with its premier annual delivery service. As well as flexible delivery options, businesses should also use carriers and couriers with a strong and trusted reputation that can help efficiently deliver customer goods.

  1. Using quality processes, technology and equipment

Customers also want to access the products and services that they need in a quick and efficient way. They expect to buy quality items, trust what they purchase and feel satisfied with their experience. Businesses that invest in their operational efficiency; from the latest software to quality management processes, can engineer their offering to delight the customer throughout their entire experience.

This will translate into strong sales and a powerful reputation, and of course help towards improving customer satisfaction and retention.

The same is also true in B2B sectors and markets focused on commercial customers, where brands involved in everything from logistics and IT services, through to manufacturing and chemical storage use the latest processes to improve efficiency, exceed customer expectations and move ahead of the competition.

  1. Values and a sustainable business

Increasingly, today’s customers also want to shop with brands that have a strong and clear set of values, including sustainable business practices, ethical supply chains and a strong commitment to environmental credentials. From corporate volunteering and fundraising to recycling schemes, smart businesses are showing that their values mean something in order to attract conscious consumers.