Blogue > Customer Experience > 7 Factors Impacting Customer Satisfaction

7 Factors Impacting Customer Satisfaction

29 minutes

Stagiaire en Marketing | Rédactrice et graphiste. La création, c'est ma passion !

Article link copy to clipboard

Over the next few years, having the satisfaction of your customers at heart will certainly benefit your business. Your clients are the backbone of all organizations : it is for them that you create your products and services that will meet their needs. However, do you have a good understanding of the issues surrounding customer satisfaction?

Download now : -> FREE FRENCH EBOOK All About Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score

Beyond your service offering, there are many factors that can affect your customer satisfaction. It is important to clearly identify these customer satisfaction factors in order to avoid any customer dissatisfaction and improve the customer experience within your company. This is how your customers will connect with your brand!

Have trouble measuring customer satisfaction? Want to improve your customer retention rate? To help you, here are seven customer satisfaction factors, as well as possible solutions to help you optimize your customer experience.

The importance of customer satisfaction

The customer is the heart of organizations’ success and your reason to excel, adapt and stand out. It is thanks to them that your offer of service is answered; and in return, your company can flourish. But how do you ensure your customer loyalty so that they return to your brand while attracting new potential customers?

In fact, the answer is simple : you must satisfy your customers by providing them with the service they deserve. Take Microsoft as an example: their study shows that 96% of customers say that customer service is important in their choice of brand loyalty. Similarly, Retail Customer Experience says that 83% of companies that believe in the importance of customer satisfaction have seen an increase in their annual revenue. These statistics prove that customer satisfaction plays a crucial role in customer loyalty and retention!

In addition, customer satisfaction is important for the acquisition of new customers. A satisfied customer can promote your brand : their recommendations are likely to attract potential customers to your business. On the contrary, a dissatisfied customer may engage in negative word-of-mouth practices that may harm your reputation. You will lose future prospects since they will have a bad image of you even before doing business with your company. That’s why it’s so important to track your customer satisfaction!

The importance of customer satisfaction factors

The more years go by and companies go above and beyond on the web, the more critical customers are about the shopping experience they are offered. After all, they have a multitude of experiences to compare themselves with! The immediacy of access to information and the customization of the purchase path contribute to the high expectations of customers. As a result, improving customer satisfaction to optimize your company’s customer experience can be a real challenge!

Of course, it is of considerable importance to measure customer satisfaction by sending surveys on a regular basis. However, in order to tailor your customer experience to your customer’s expectations, you must first know the factors that influence their satisfaction.

What are customer satisfaction factors? How can you optimize your customer experience to increase your customer retention rate? To help you better understand your customers’ expectations of your business, here are seven customer satisfaction factors to observe within your business.

 

Free French EBook - All about customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score

1. The employees

One of the main customer satisfaction factors is your staff. It is well known that your employees reflect your company. In this sense, it is desirable to build a professional and motivated team that conveys to your customers the values of your company.

How can you improve your customer loyalty rate through your employees? To help you, here are three ways in which customer service can impact customer satisfaction and how to fix it.

The reception

The reception of your business is one of the main customer satisfaction factors. To start, provide a warm welcome to your customers when they arrive at your store. Whether it’s a friendly face-to-face smile, or an automated message via your web platform, it’s important to let your customer know that you’re available if needed. A customer who is left on their own will feel neglected and forgotten: therefore, they are not likely to return to your branch. On the contrary, if a new customer is greeted by an employee upon arrival, they will feel pampered and appreciated. This will encourage them to serve with you again, as they will know they are at the center of your priorities!

Customizing the customer experience

Following the welcome, it is now time for your customer to proceed with their purchase journey. However, this is not the end of the employee’s role in supporting your clients. There are many ways you can improve your customer satisfaction factors, beginning with the customization of the customer experience. Each customer has their own buying habits. Why not show them how important it is to you by customizing your services to their needs? According to the Deloitte study, 80% of customers prefer brands that offer personalized service. In this vein, encourage your staff to get to know your customers better. In-store, take a few minutes to ask your customers about their current preferences and needs. On your web platform, ask your customers at various stages of their purchase journey, depending on where they are on your site. This is a winning formula for tracking customer satisfaction while adapting to the needs of your customers, and also good management of your customer satisfaction factors!

 

The well-being of your staff

You must ensure that your staff can meet the expectations of your clients. But how do you optimize your team’s performance so it can provide your customers with the experience they deserve?

The answer is simple: you must ensure the well-being of your employees. According to Smarp’s observations, a committed team would result in an 18% increase in customer retention. In this sense, you must contribute to the happiness of your team, since it is a part of your customer satisfaction factors!

While this may seem trivial, you need to put in place strategies that contribute to the esteem and well-being of your staff. Distribute your employees’ positions according to their field of expertise to optimize the management of your business. This will enhance your talents, who will finally be able to put their knowledge to use! And why not offer free training and informative evenings to your team? These activities will allow them to acquire new skills that will contribute to your company’s customer experience!

It is also important to ask your staff about their level of satisfaction within your company. In addition, the InputKit Employee Assessment Solution can help you motivate your employees by providing feedback based on real reactions from your customers. This will positively contribute to their motivation, as they will feel important and advised!

2. The delays

Delays are one of the main customer satisfaction factors. Given the instantaneity of services generated by the use of web platforms, it can be difficult to meet your customers’ expectations from a temporal point of view. However, by better understanding the different types of delays, you can remedy the situation to improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately, your customer loyalty rate.

To better identify wait-related issues, there are three main types of delays :

  • The delay in obtaining a service (for example, a queue, access to a vendor to ask a specific question.) ;
  • The time before delivery of an ordered product (for example, online delivery) ;
  • The delay in getting a customer service response after the purchase, if there is a question or problem.

While there are many factors that impact deadlines that are beyond your control, it is important to apply good practices to avoid losing the trust of your customers. To help you manage your customer satisfaction factors, here are a few examples to follow during an unexpected delay :

  • When there is a wait before an appointment, for example in a dental clinic, contact the client to inform them of the delay. This will save him several minutes of waiting in your establishment ;
  • Also, during a store queue, notify customers of the wait time upon arrival. Thus, they will have the opportunity to come back later if they have a tight schedule ;
  • If a delivery delay occurs, send a message to the customer to apologize and notify them of the current location of the package. You can even offer a discount to apologize for this additional delay ;
  • In case of a very long delay or the loss of a parcel, rectify the situation by offering a free replacement or a purchase refund to your customer ;
  • When a customer is waiting for information or assistance, take the time to apologize. Explain the reason for the delay, and be empathetic to avoid customer dissatisfaction.

 

Free french ebook - all about customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score

 

Regardless of the situation, it is critically important to be transparent about wait times. Prevent dissatisfaction by contacting your customers as soon as a delay occurs and by avoiding promising delivery dates that you cannot meet.

Explain the reason for the wait time to your clients, offer them solutions, and empathize with their frustration. This will help reduce the irritants caused by delays while measuring customer satisfaction. Keep this in mind when you manage customer satisfaction factors!

3. The simplicity of your processes

Of course, when you’re learning about customer satisfaction factors, you understand that some of your customers can be dissatisfied with their journey within your business. How to optimize your customer experience to minimize irritants? The solution lies in the simplicity of your processes!

Whether it’s a customer journey in-store or via your web platform, it’s crucial to analyze your methods in order to innovate based on your customer feedback. Optimizing your processes will allow you to better adapt to the current needs of your consumers, in addition to improving the quality of your services / products. You can even implement new technologies to provide a better journey for your customers!

regular review of your processes will allow you to find several flaws in the customer experience. For example, on your website, some pages may lead to broken links; others, to a product that is no longer available. In-store, this can result in conflicting training, a chaotic customer journey, or even an outdated electronic system. This is one of the ways that customer satisfaction factors can have a negative impact on your customer experience.

Each of these problems leads to delays and inconsistencies that can quickly turn into irritants. A periodic analysis of your methods will allow you to keep your methods up to date, while avoiding many dissatisfied customers. You would be surprised at the impact a small update can have on your customer satisfaction!

Here are some good practices to simplify your processes :

  • On your web platform: Make sure your site has a clear and clean design. Overloaded design may affect the visibility of the information as well as the loading of the page. Prioritize loading speed and accessibility to information, your customers will appreciate it. Keep this in mind when learning about how customer satisfaction factors can impact your website experience!
  • In-store: Install signs to indicate the location of the various product categories in your stores to avoid several minutes of searching your customers. Make sure your technologies are up-to-date (for example, payment methods) to maximize the efficiency of your services.
  • Measure the simplicity of your processes with the CES: It’s important to assess the effort your customers must make to access your services. This is why you should evaluate your customer’s Customer Effort Score. A Customer Experience Improvement solution like InputKit lets you send questions based on a scale of five response levels to calculate your CES to simplify the customer journey your business offers!

Both online and on-site, it’s important to have clear processes in place for your customers. Make sure your customers are aware of the return, refund and exchange conditions prior to their purchase. Update your employee training and adjust your processes to meet the current needs of your customers. This will allow you to improve your customer satisfaction, as well as optimize your business processes. This is how to optimize your customer satisfaction factors!

4. Available technologies

Following the technological advances of recent years, the modernization of companies is one of the major issues to watch. The introduction of new technologies may seem unusual ; however, it is a crucial method to simplify your processes while making your experience more enjoyable.

For example, implementing artificial intelligence (AI) on your website can help you simplify access to customer service. In the current labor shortage environment, this will allow you to employ Chatbots to respond to customers while your staff focuses on higher priority tasks. Using targeted questions, clients will be redirected to the right expert and will have quick access to the information. This is a winning formula to simplify your customer service, for your customers as well as for your employees. It is good management of your customer satisfaction factors!

 

To this end, a customer experience solution is important and efficient for automating your processes. It will allow you to send surveys to your customers in an automated manner at the right time, saving you several hours of management time. In addition, the responses collected will help you better adapt to the needs of your customers. This will have a positive impact on your customer satisfaction rate!

However, it’s not just automation and web platforms that new technologies can help you. They can also help simplify your in-store processes!

Take for example the use of tablets in a restaurant. Orders are placed on these platforms and then sent directly to the kitchen to be prepared. This way, customers wait less time to order, and servers do not have to fear an error when ordering. In some contexts, it can be a good strategy to improve your customer satisfaction!

A second good practice to follow in your outlets is to use technology to allow your customers to try your products before buying. This will allow them to try out your devices to select the one that best suits their needs! For example, if you sell winter sports equipment, you could take inspiration from what Sports Experts has done by installing a refrigerated room to recreate the climatic conditions of Quebec winters. This way, your customers can choose the perfect equipment before they have even bought it. This will increase your customer satisfaction while limiting the number of returns and refunds after purchasing a product. Remember these tips when you learn about customer satisfaction.

 

5. Your point of sale

Regardless of the industry, no one likes to be faced with a point of sale whose products clutter the passage, or a floor that has not been washed for several days. It’s important to keep your store looking and hygienic since it’s one of the major customer satisfaction factors!

To help your customers wait, why not offer them a waiting room with warm colors and equipped with modern amenities? Create an enveloping environment with calm music to reduce tensions caused by potential delays. You could even offer them coffee or snacks to make the wait easier!

tidy space will have a positive impact on customer satisfaction. By keeping your station clean, you are showing your customers that you care about their well-being.

Finally, make sure you manage the space at your places of sale. If your parking lot is still full, expanding it will allow you to welcome more customers! Make sure you have a ramp and parking spaces for people with disabilities. They will be grateful to you for making your services more accessible!

6. The quality of your products / services

One of the main customer satisfaction factors is when your customers consume a product / service offered by your company: however, does it correspond to the expected expectations?

To reduce customer dissatisfaction with the expected results, be sure to inform your customers before the purchase. For example, fill your website with shop windows with descriptions of your products and services. In-store, take the time to describe the use of certain products, or the process of your services to your customers before they are purchased. This will avoid many misunderstandings : your customers will be grateful to be treated in an honest and transparent manner during their purchasing process!

Following the purchase, by sending a customer satisfaction survey, you will be able to better understand your customers’ expectations of your products / services, which will allow you to adapt accordingly. Afterwards, you will be able to carry out a quality control to ensure the durability and design of your products to avoid to your customers certain inconveniences after their purchase. This way, you can set yourself apart from your competitors by offering your customers unique products and services of impeccable quality that meet the needs of your customers. This is how you can put your customer satisfaction factors to good use!

7. Access to a technical support when needed

Customers are now used to fast and personalized service: as specified by HubSpot79% of them expect a response in less than 24 hours. In this sense, how can we compete with artificial intelligence with instant responses?

If you want to optimize your customer satisfaction factors’ impact, the secret lies in the human touch of your services. If AIs offer automated solutions, their support may be faulty and repetitive. By offering  human contact to your customers, you will be able to respond to them accurately and adequately, which will increase your customer satisfaction rate!

To help you, here are five tips to follow when providing technical support to a customer :

Be proactive: Make sure you have a dedicated customer service team in place. This way, your customers will have professional support available at all times to meet their needs!

Quickly answer customer questions: As mentioned, customers are used to automated services. Therefore, it is important to respond to customer requests as quickly as possible. This will show them that they are at the center of your priorities!

Show empathy: While it is difficult to deal with dissatisfied customers, it is important to be accommodating to them. Let your customers speak, and then apologize to them for the delay. A patient and understanding employee is an essential asset to disarm certain tensions between customers and the company concerned. After all, it is also necessary to talk with your client to have a better understanding of your customer satisfaction factors!

Acknowledge your wrongs: If it is impossible for your services to be unanimous, your dissatisfied customers may be right about the quality of your processes. Learn about the source of their dissatisfaction: this may allow you to discover some flaws in your company’s customer journey. This way, you can learn to better manage your customer satisfaction factors!

Actively propose solutions: Once you have properly identified the customer’s demands, offer your customer a solution that meets their needs. For example, if a product is broken, offer it a free replacement. If this is an error that occurs while visiting the website, provide the information they are looking for. This proactive behavior will allow you to improve customer satisfaction!

Customer satisfaction factors may seem difficult to manage for some companies. By following our advice, you will be better equipped to face these challenges!

Make sure you warmly welcome each of your customers and then offer them personalized services. Track your employees’ satisfaction and ensure you provide them with concrete feedback to improve their performance. A motivated team will allow you to provide your customers with quality service that will set you apart from your competitors.

When a delay occurs, remember to be transparent with your customers. If a product does not satisfy them, or if an additional delay occurs, offer them quick support and show empathy towards them. This will show them that you care about their well-being and perhaps allow you to regain their trust.

Finally, take care of the customer journey in your points of sale as well as your web platforms. Use new technologies to simplify your processes, like a Chatbot on your website or tablet in your branch. Automating your processes will help you improve your customer experience, while optimizing your business management. These are all good ways to manage your customer satisfaction factors!

Finally, be aware that if you want to maximize customer satisfaction within your company, the design of efficient and automated surveys offered by InputKit is a considerable asset! Plan your free demo with our team of customer experience experts!

FREE FRENCH EBOOK
Why and how to monitor customer satisfaction? All about customer satisfaction and the Net Promoter Score!

InputKit InputKit

Receive our best articles and tips by email

Be the first to know about our new articles.