There are (in my opinion) pillars to customer service and then there are KPI's. I think much of customer service is hard to put an exact KPI to as it depends on so many variables: how do they feel today, what is going on in their world, how big of an issue is it, how much pressure are they getting about it, are there outside factors (budget, etc) that impact it.
It's also important to remember all key performance indicators (KPIs) are not created equal. They have different purposes, and I take this complexity seriously. Understanding and interpreting KPIs is part of inbound marketing’s circle of life, and it fuels data-driven efforts.
62 percent of global consumers have stopped doing business with a brand or organization due to a poor customer service experience.
97 percent of global consumers claim customer service is either very or somewhat important in their choice of and loyalty to a brand.
60 percent of consumers have higher customer service expectations than they did one year ago.
The lesson here is how buyers are treated after making a purchase has a huge potential to affect your business. Learn how to craft your Buyer Persona in our free Marketing Toolkit. Especially when considering the effect word-of-mouth advertising has on a business. Nearly 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. The takeaway is clear: keep your customers happy and they will promote your products or services among their networks.
Loyal customers make great promoters. As Shep Hyken, a leading customer service expert, puts it:
"There is a big difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal customer. Never settle for satisfied."
So, with that said - we're still left with one question: How do I measure customer satisfaction?
To improve customer satisfaction and reap the benefits of delighted buyers you’ll need to assess your current standing. Analyzing the five following marketing KPIs will provide a foundation to delight your customers.
1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS measures whether current or former customers will recommend your products or services to others. Having customers promote your brand among their networks is the best marketing that money cannot buy. Statistically, people trust the opinions and recommendations of others in their network above any other source. If your NPS is lower than you want it to be, focus on the customer satisfaction KPIs below and watch your NPS rise.
This graphic from Medallia portrays this concept nicely:
As you can see, Promoters are those who respond with a nine or ten. Passives score seven or eight, and everyone else is a detractor. One simple question is all it takes to know how satisfied your customers are with the products or services received.
2. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
Consider how your customers feel when they reflect back upon their experience with your brand. Forget goals of perfection here. Instead, establish a system for gauging customer satisfaction. The mark of success here is in the increase. Regardless of where overall satisfaction currently is, make sure it’s higher next time you check. Consistently repeating customer satisfaction surveys will provide the data necessary to analyze progress and improve.
Former CEO of Ritz Carlton, Horst Schulze, said it best,
"Unless you have 100 percent customer satisfaction...you must improve."
3. Brand Attributes
Do your customers view your brand the way you want them to? In other words, does your ideal customer’s perception of your brand match the image you present? Asking this will clue you in to how you are or are not meeting customer expectations with your current efforts. If you’re aware here, it’ll be easier to adjust, bringing customer perception and branding efforts in line with each other.
4. Customer Retention
Customers making repeat purchases indicate quality performance. With current market saturation, it’s easy to move on to a competitor when confronted with poor customer service. This is especially vital in industries where repeat purchasing regularly occurs. If customers prefer to seek products or services elsewhere, you may need to put more effort into nurturing.
When looking at retention, I pay attention to patterns in those that are unhappy or chose a different provider. A common retention issue is that the process wasn't convenient enough. Loyal customers are created through ease of interaction. The Customer Effort Score (CES) may be a good way to gain insight into if this is the pattern occurring. After analyzing the CES over time, you will know if you have made working with you more convenient, creating a boost in customer satisfaction.
If your ideal customers purchase from a competitor, it could indicate they meet consumer needs more effectively through customer service, product quality, and/or branding. Once you know this, you will be able to implement changes that allow you to better serve your customers. If once you implement these changes, you start attracting customers that used to work with competitors, you know that your changes are proving successful.
Where Do I Collect KPI Data?
Collecting data and analyzing marketing performance indicators provides you with the tools to maximize customer satisfaction. So, where does this data come from?
Along with popular review websites: Amazon, Google, and Facebook set up profiles on review sites specific to your business. Online reviews will feature your most satisfied and least satisfied customers, but even polarizing feedback has value. You can combat their polarity by taking a few extra steps.
Online reviews and research is also a great way to gain insight into competitors. Watching your top competitors' online content and engagement will allow you to better understand your ideal customer's interest and online behavior, and which of your competitors' processes are attracting them. What are people saying about your competitors? How does it compare to your reviews?
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
The best, clearest way to understand customer satisfaction is to go straight for the source and ask your customers. Conducting a satisfaction survey provides specific information – information you request. The true power of a survey lies in its construction. SurveyMonkey.com has a wealth of tips, guidelines, and templates available. Remember that customer satisfaction is all about making it easy for them, even down to the surveys. Nobody wants to take a 12-page survey.
Reviewing online metrics provides insight into how satisfied your customers are with your product or service and with your brand as a whole. Analyzing social media trends – which direction your Facebook "likes" move in, whether trends steady or sporadic, are great places to start. Marketing automation software provides deeper analysis into the number of conversions, the number of repeat website visits, time spent interacting with your website, and the number of brand interactions.
Where To Go From Here
When it comes to listing business goals, you can tell a lot about an organization by where they rank customer satisfaction. Using customer feedback as a marketing tool can maintain customer loyalty, increase word-of-mouth marketing, and positively impact your profit margins. Whereas some companies only nurture leads up until the point of purchase, delighting customers post-purchase is at the core of the inbound marketing methodology. Keep your customers in the delight stage by knowing which marketing KPIs bring you closer to your customer service goals.
Give a little. Get a lot.
We regularly share insights on how we approach marketing. Get on the list.