Ensuring customer satisfaction is crucial in retaining your current customers as well as converting prospects into customers. Keeping customers satisfied is important because unhappy customers won’t remain customers for very long.
What is customer satisfaction, and why is it important?
Let’s take a closer look at why B2B customer satisfaction is so important by highlighting some of the key benefits of high customer satisfaction:
Satisfied customers develop relationships and stay loyal to brands they trust. Then, they tend to come back to do more business and, as a consequence, make up a large portion of the company’s revenue. Loyal customers also share their positive experiences, helping generate new leads.
The bottom line is that customer satisfaction helps create loyal customers, who in turn help generate revenue for your business.
In times of crisis, satisfied customers can be a great help because they want your company to succeed just as much as you do. If you’re there for them in their greatest time of need, they might just return the favor.
As we’ve mentioned before, brands that prioritize customer satisfaction tend to enjoy higher revenues due to repeat business. According to HubSpot, 93 percent of customers are likely to return to a brand that treats them well.
Good reputation and popularity
Customer satisfaction has a direct impact on a company’s reputation and popularity. If you gain a reputation for poor customer service, most people will steer clear of your products. However, the reverse is true as well. If you do right by your customers, the word will spread.
Lower marketing costs
Surveys suggest that a recommendation from someone a potential customer knows often has more influence over their decision than any marketing or personal research. Thus, by focusing your efforts on positive customer experiences, you can save money on expensive promotional campaigns.
B2B vs. B2C customer satisfaction
Even though many of the same basic principles apply, customer satisfaction between B2B and B2C businesses does not work the same way. B2C relies on making the individual happy, while B2B has to focus on satisfying an entire company.
When it comes to B2B, the stakes are much higher. Companies as customers are often much larger both in quantity and value of purchases and tend to prefer long-term and recurring transactions. However, that also means if you lose a B2B client, the revenue lost can deal a devastating blow to your company.
How to measure customer satisfaction
One of the most popular ways to measure customer satisfaction is the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). CSAT helps companies collect valuable feedback they can use to improve their customer satisfaction.
According to CloudTalk, CSAT is a quantitative loyalty metric that measures customers’ satisfaction with a business. It can be used to determine how user-friendly a product is or measure the level of customer support interactions. In other words, CSAT shows businesses how happy their customers are while using their services.
7 tips to improve customer satisfaction
1. Focus on customer needs and wants
Any B2B business looking to improve customer satisfaction should focus on being customer-centric. In other words, you need to appeal to your clients’ unique wants and needs. But to do that, you first need to understand who your customers are and what they expect from you.
It’s also important to remember that although you’re technically dealing with companies and other legal entities, there are still real people on the opposite side of the screen. As such, you need to cater not only to what the company wants but to its employees’ individual needs as well.
By focusing on customer needs, you can present your company as a reliable ally who wants to help them achieve their goals.
2. Improve customer service
Customer service is essential for B2B companies because they tend to have smaller customer bases than their B2C counterparts. Thus, they focus on customers who buy in larger quantities and spend more money.
According to Salesforce, 78 percent of customers continue to do business with a company even if it made a mistake, as long as it has great customer service. In other words, high-quality customer service can save you clients.
Losing a single customer at a B2B company can mean huge losses in revenue, which is why keeping B2B customers satisfied is so important. In addition, an increase of only 5% in customer retention rates can increase profits by up to 95 percent.
Customer service plays a key role in customer retention and customer satisfaction. By putting effort into improving your customer service strategies, you are simultaneously boosting customer satisfaction, sales revenue, and total profits.
3. Collect valuable customer feedback
Customer feedback is an important metric to collect because it allows your company to figure out exactly what parts of the customer experience work, and which ones need improvement.
Nowadays, gathering feedback is easier than ever, thanks to channels like email, SMS, and social media. And thankfully, customers tend to be more than happy to share their thoughts, especially when they’re unhappy with something.
4. Make data-driven decisions
In the previous section, we spoke about collecting customer feedback. However, there’s little point to that unless you put it to use. Your company can make massive leaps in customer satisfaction by letting customer feedback inform your actions and making data-driven decisions based on that.
5. Automate customer interaction
We humans aren’t the patient sort. And with attention spans growing shorter year by year, it’s clear why customers desire quick and efficient care. However, hiring a team of customer service representatives to cover all time zones and offer 24/7 support is far too expensive for most businesses.
Instead, more and more companies are choosing to employ chatbots to facilitate and automate customer interactions across their sites and mobile apps. Chatbots can instantly answer the most frequently asked questions anytime, anywhere, and make a great addition to your customer service strategy.
Another option is to use an email automation tool that can interact with customers without requiring a human to operate it. If a customer makes a purchase, an automated email can reach out to them, thanking them for buying your product and prompting them to leave feedback about their experience.
These types of automated customer interactions save your company time and money while keeping your customers happy at all hours of the day.
6. Provide omnichannel support
Can your customers get in touch with you easily? One of the most common complaints from B2B clients is that reaching a real customer support agent can be a real headache.
If you want to meet this need and satisfy the 64 percent of customers that expect to get real-time support every time, you should look into creating a strong omnichannel experience. Research suggests that it can increase your revenue by approximately 9.5 percent yearly.
7. Make your company accessible
The final tip for improving B2B customer satisfaction is to make your company accessible. Allow your customers to reach your company via phone, social media, email, and live chat. If you are for example living in the USA or Canada you can use the 888 area code phone number to make free calls to your clients.
Ensure they can easily find out how to contact you by providing “contact us” labels on all web pages and your mobile app. Your customer should never struggle to figure out how to get in contact with you.
To sum up
Customer satisfaction is incredibly important for any B2B business. It affects sales, customer service, marketing, and nearly all other teams as well. If you want your company to succeed, it’s vital you pay due attention to your customer satisfaction and service. However, if you follow the 7 tips outlined in this article, you should be on the right track already.