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How To Increase Customer Satisfaction

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Man in store carrying shopping bags
Daly and Newton/ Stone/ Getty Images

Customer satisfaction is essential to any business. If your customers are satisfied they are more likely to purchase more from you or from you more often. Here are eight key steps to help you increase customer satisfaction.

Learn How To Measure Customer Satisfaction:
Unless you measure something you don't know if it is getting better or worse. You can't manage for improvement if you don't measure to see what is getting better and what isn't. Here is what you need to know about what to measure and how.

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Create A Customer Satisfaction Survey:
When you conduct a customer satisfaction survey, what you ask the customers is important. How, when, and how often you ask these questions are also important. However, the most important thing about conducting a customer satisfaction survey is what you do with their answers.

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How Key Drivers Help You Increase Customer Satisfaction:
Many factors have an impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. You don't have enough resources to attack all the problem areas. A Key Driver Analysis tells you what is most important to your customers and where to spend your money for the greatest increase in customer satisfaction.

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Stay Focused On The Goal Not The Counting:
Many business have metrics that they use to track their performance against company goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Just keeping score isn't enough. You still have to manage the underlying activities that contribute to the numbers.

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Understand Key Performance Indicators:
Once an organization has analyzed its mission, identified all its stakeholders, and defined its goals, it needs a way to measure progress toward those goals. Key Performance Indicators are those measurements.

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Benchmark Customer Satisfaction:
Benchmarking is the process of determining who is the very best, who sets the standard, and what that standard is. In business we benchmark many things, like who is the best sales organization, who has the most responsive customer service department, etc.. If you don't know what the standard is you cannot compare yourself against it.

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Make Sure Your Entire Team Is Managing Customer Satisfaction:
The next step is to get everyone on your team to understand that they are in the customer service "department" regardless of where in the company they work. You may want to print out and post this list of Customer Management Tips for them.

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Listen To What Customers Are Not Saying:
A manager has to develop the ability to listen to what employees are not saying and dig through that to get to the truth. Otherwise you will not be an effective leader. The same is true with customers. If you only listen to what they say, and don't listen for what they are not saying, you will have the false perception that you are doing fine - right up to the minute they take their business elsewhere.

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