Pursuing the hearts and minds of customers can be vexing. What is it they want exactly? Keeping your customers satisfied with your product or service is non-negotiable.
Happy customers are the driving wheels of revenue for any business. There is no better marketing than referrals and word of mouth.
Acquiring a new customer costs 5x as much to attract a new customer as to keep an existing one. It is never too late to start nurturing your customer base better. Because customer happiness is a more powerful tool than any marketing advertisement.
The secret to keeping your customers happy, therefore, is simple: remain caring and supportive towards their needs and emotions in every step of their journey.
What is customer happiness?
Customer happiness is defined as the level of loyalty and satisfaction that your customers experience after engaging with your product, services, or team. It is the feeling that comes from your customers having their needs met regularly, at the right time, in the right way.
Happy customers are the ones who are loyal to your business for a long time to come. Also, customer happiness and loyalty go hand in hand. When customers find businesses they trust, they advocate your brand among friends and colleagues.
Customer Happiness Index
Measuring customer happiness is crucial to understand their satisfaction levels. The customer happiness index (CHI) is a metric used to quantify the degree to which a customer is satisfied with a product, service, or experience.
Here is how the metric helps to evaluate customer happiness.
- The customer happiness index reflects on how a customer feels about the engagement with your company.
- It updates its score with every customer interaction. It allows your customers to rate your product or service and hence gives you accurate feedback.
- Furthermore, it also gives you an indication of whether they will stick with you forever and recommend you or not.
Why is it crucial to keep your customers happy?
Many businesses focus more on reaching out to new customers. While it is essential, the most crucial component for long-term success is keeping customers happy. Doing so, however, requires focusing on many aspects of the business and honing them as much as possible.
Here are the key reasons why keeping customers happy is so important.
- Happy customers retain longer: When brands go the extra mile to meet customer expectations they boost customer satisfaction. Happy customers tend to retain with the brand for a longer time.
- Delighted customers spend more: Studies have consistently shown that pleased customers will purchase more products or services. By hiring the best sales reps and train them, businesses can ensure maximizing their profits through customers
- Satisfied customers are your secret marketing weapon – Usually, happy customers turn out to be the best brand ambassadors. They share their experiences with friends with positive word of mouth.
- Provide genuine feedback: When customers are happy with the products or services you offer, they give honest feedback about their overall brand experience.
10 Innovative ways to increase customer happiness
Pleasing your customers is a pursuit that goes back as far as competition within commerce. It’s something that has to be figured out again and again, because what people want changes depending on circumstance and the product or service in question.
We have narrowed down some of the best ways you increase the number of happy customers.
- Respond to customer concerns faster
- Help your customers in real time
- Deliver a consistent experience across all channels
- Help your customers 24×7, even though it’s automated
- Value your customer feedback
- Reward your customers
- Create a customer community
- Make every customer interaction hyper-personalized
- Follow the right communication etiquette
- Show your customers you care
Let us discuss the tips and best practices to delight customers.
#1. Respond to customer concerns faster
Delay in response time is one of the key reasons for customer’s frustration and creates a negative service experience. Unhappy customers are more likely to share their experience with bad word of mouth.
Businesses should focus on addressing customers’ concerns faster and going beyond their expectations to make them happy. 82% of customers say the number one factor to great customer service is having their issues resolved quickly.
A faster response is a key attribute of a great customer experience.
Here are the key tools to improve response time and increase customer happiness index.
- Personalized triggers: Support agents can figure out that customers might have some queries and assist them before they make support requests with personalized triggers.
- Route chats automatically: Route chat requests to the right agent or department for an expert solution that reduces the wait time.
- Initiate a proactive conversation: Live chat allows agents to start a proactive chat to help customers throughout the journey.
- 24×7 support: Engage your customers round the clock with instant answers to their simple queries and increase customer satisfaction.
- Easy scalability: Bots can be easily scaled to handle customer queries effectively during peak business hours or when your support team is busy with no extra costs.
- Build trust in customers: Bots have the ability to aggregate preferences from past customer service encounters and apply them to current interactions.
#2. Help your customers in real time
One of the great ways to boost customer happiness is to provide instant assistance. By implementing visual engagement tools, you to connect with customers instantly without letting your customers wait for a long time.
Co-browsing solution helps to collaborate with customers and provide real time help in complex form fill-ups. Video chat allows to identify the issue faster and deliver effective solutions, which reduces the number of touchpoints and increases customer satisfaction.
Combining live chat with co-browsing and video chat helps resolution of the query in a meaningful manner.
Here are the key ways how real time helps improve customer happiness.
- Offers faster resolution: Live customer engagement tools help to identify the issue faster by collecting the information and providing faster solutions.
- Improves first contact resolution (FCR): Agents can diagnose the problems in the first contact by direct chat and collaborating with the customer browser. It improves FCR and reduces multiple touchpoints.
- Personalized communication: Video chat enables friendly personalized conversations that build trust and credibility in customers.
- Better experience across the customer journey: Guide your customers across all stages starting from awareness, acquisition, engagement, and retention. It enables customers to make quick decisions.
#3. Deliver a consistent experience across all channels
9 out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods.
Customers expect excellent consistent experiences across multiple channels as they use them to reach out to brands. And when the experience is not consistent they get frustrated and switch to another brand.
What it means in simple terms is “be where your customers are”. Being omni channel helps you to streamline all the conversations across all channels like websites, Facebook Messenger, Mobile apps, Whatsapp, Viber.
You can seamlessly engage customers over their preferred channels breaking all the silos and deliver an omnichannel customer experience.
Bank of America is one of the biggest known brands following consistent omni-channel service to its customers. The bank allows depositing checks to scheduling appointments to be handled by the company’s mobile and desktop apps.
How can businesses delight customers by going omnichannel?
- Identify the most preferred channels and be 24×7 active across those channels to reduce average response time.
- Streamline all the customer conversations under one platform and provide a cohesive experience.
- Engage your customers in real time and reduce the average response time.
- Improve customer satisfaction with a high first contact resolution (FCR) rate.
- Make use of tools like live chat, chatbots, visual tools, self service options to gain faster details of the issue and deliver first contact resolution.
#4. Help your customers 24×7, even though it’s automated
One of the key reasons why chatbots are becoming incredibly popular is to deliver instant responses to sales and support FAQs asked by customers.
Deploying chatbots helps to automate simple queries and pre-qualify leads by asking relevant questions. Bots can be leveraged across all customer channels like Facebook messenger, websites for better interaction with users.
American Well, a telemedicine company, is a good example of how websites can use chatbots and live chat intelligently to determine user intent quickly and enhance customer experience.
The bot promptly answers queries and boosts customer satisfaction. But there might be instances when the bot is not able to identify the user intent in the request and make a human handover.
How can bots handle conversations to make customers satisfied?
- Live chat agents can handle complex queries that require comprehensive discussion without leaving the customers unanswered.
- The smooth transition between chatbot to live chat provides real-time response to the customers, giving them the best hybrid experience.
- The integration of live chat and chatbot together can help brands engage with customers intelligently and all day, every day.
Balance your support with both live chat and chatbot to deliver a better conversational experience. With bots as the primary contact, you can answer simple queries and transfer the complex chats to the support agents for effective handling.
#5. Value your customer feedback
Businesses that are customer-obsessed to delight them or value their feedback and opinions, make them loyal to your brand.
Feedbacks help to identify the gaps between customers and businesses. Customers appreciate when their voices are heard. The simple acknowledgment that the brand values the feedback can act as a catalyst for repeat business.
Encourage feedback at all stages so that you can discover what your customer is really thinking about their experience with you.
Measuring CSAT helps you to know the current position and the areas you need to improve. Asking customers’ feedback and acting on it is the best way to increase customer happiness and satisfaction scores.
Here are some tips to level up customer happiness.
- Customers feel their contribution has been valued when they see feedback leads to actions.
- Acting on customer feedback helps to instill loyalty in existing customers, which increases their lifetime value.
- Customers that have a positive experience with your brand can become your best advocate.
#6. Reward your customers
Rewarding loyal customers should be an integral part of your loyalty programs as it impacts customer happiness directly.
The happy customers are usually the frequent buyers and certainly, they deserve some reward from you. Some ideas for rewards are early access, sending invites for special events, and surprising customers with unadvertised discounts.
How loyalty programs can increase customer happiness?
- Encourage emotional bond: 59.5% of consumers would like to join a customer loyalty program of a brand to which they are already loyal. They want to become deeply involved with the brand, not just get discounts.
- Ask feedback from happy customers: Loyal and satisfied customers look for both respect and personalized services. When they get what they want, they provide valuable feedback.
- Encourage delighted customers to be brand advocates via referrals: Identify customers who promote you via social listening tools. You can include points for referrals as one of the key incentives in your loyalty program.
#7. Create a customer community
Happy customers love to be part of a community or group.
Communities are 13% more likely to have an impact on customer experience.
Building communities benefit customers to create a positive feeling and improve your brand image. It can act as a resource for sharing useful information related to products and services.
Southwest Airlines has invested in an online community as a place for customers to share stories, exchange knowledge, and find inspiration from other members. The discussion forum’s taxonomy is aligned to common support inquiries, including boarding, check-in, international travel, rewards program, etc.
When businesses foster a special place for customers to interact with one another, it adds extra value to the customer experience both before and after the purchase. Generally, customers trust other customers, when they intend to purchase.
So, the sponsored community forum can be used to help to guide their buying decisions.
#8. Make every customer interaction hyper-personalized
A personalized customer engagement strategy is sure to meet the customer happiness index.
Customers expect business interactions to be customized to their needs and preferences. Hence, businesses need to understand customer behavior and tailor messaging accordingly.
80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences.
With the use of the right tools, you can collect customer data, draw actionable insights to personalize your customer interactions, and provide unique messaging to every client regardless of their preference of channels.
Here are some ways to personalize interactions to boost customer happiness.
- Use a tone that matches the customer’s personality. Some prefer short and direct communications and some like longer conversations and sharing opinions.
- Understand your customers’ background by having relevant conversations to personalize every relationship.
- Make kind gestures by sending follow-up messages to customers after each purchase or service interaction to thank them and offer further assistance if required.
- Recommend products or services based on purchase history. Personalized cart recommendations influence 92% of shoppers online.
#9. Follow the right communication etiquette
62% of consumers globally mentioned they have stopped doing business with a brand after a poor customer service experience.
Every business should set ground rules for how to communicate with their customers. It helps to accelerate customer happiness and satisfaction.
In order to increase your customer happiness index, you need to train and educate your employees on how to interact & communicate with customers to deliver superior service.
Here are some customer service tips to keep happy customers.
- Use positive words & phrases: Choosing words while interacting with customers determines the impression it creates. By using the right words you can win the customers. You can use words like my apologies, you’re welcome, etc.
- Practice active listening: Try to listen actively to your customers without undivided attention. It helps to identify what exactly your customers want, their opinions, feedback, etc.
- Offer gratitude: A sincere thank you goes a long way. Train your customer support team to offer gratitude at the end of the conversation as a part of customer service etiquette.
- Maintain transparency: You should always impart authentic information about your product or services to avoid future confusion. Make sure that you don’t make fake commitments and set customer expectations that will break their trust and loyalty.
#10. Show your customers you care
Making your customers feel important is one good way to increase customer happiness. It shows that you care for and value them.
Best practices for delight customers.
- Take notes about their special days such as birthdays, anniversaries.
- Talk about their children, hobbies, and interests. It creates a far deeper level of communication and shows that you are interested in them as individuals.
- Call your customers by name. Ask about their families, vacation plans, additions to the family. Acknowledge their accomplishments.
How to measure customer happiness?
Measuring customer happiness is vital for all kinds of businesses. It provides valuable insights into what works and provides opportunities for optimization. It helps you to understand what your customers are complaining about and work on them. Keeping your customers happy with your products or services will reduce customer churn.
The key metrics to measure customer happiness and satisfaction are as follows:
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): It is a survey metric that asks a basic question to customers i.e. “How would you rate your satisfaction with our product or service?” across different channels such as live chat, email, etc.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): NPS measures the overall customer experience with the help of the key question i.e. “How likely would you refer the brand to others?”. It has an index on a scale from 1 to 10.
- Customer Effort Score (CES): The CES metric, you can ask customers to evaluate their experience with their products and services.
Customer happiness is non-negotiable
Customers are the greatest asset to any business, and it is important that your service encourages them to be promoters instead of passives and detractors. By outlining a solid strategy to engage customers with the help of digital tools and processes will help to meet customer expectations.
Businesses need to pull up their socks and consider happy customers as a key ingredient to brand success. Aligning your brand messaging with customer desires will help not only to gain more happy customers but also to retain them for a lifetime!