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Improving Customer Satisfaction

By Dennis Sommer

Copyright 2006 Dennis Sommer

Keeping your customer satisfied is key to your success and it doesn't matter if you are selling products or services to external or internal customers. Customer satisfaction is one area that will either kill or excel your business. Unsatisfied customers will go out of their way to tell others why they should not use your products or services. They will do this through blogs, websites, the press and verbally whenever possible. Therefore, your primary focus should be to focus on keeping your customer’s happy and exceeding their expectations.

If you are looking to improve customer satisfaction, review how you and your company perform compared to the following ten activities.

1. Understanding - Make sure there is a thorough understanding of what your customers really want. Use that information to follow up with actions and solutions.

2. Access - People want an ease of doing business. Offer multiple communication methods (phone, web, or call center). Make sure the experience is speedy, efficient, and pleasant.

3. Respect - Customers want someone who understands and can respond to their needs. Acknowledge customers and treat them with respect to earn their trust and their business.

4. Personalize - People like to feel special. Sending specific, personalized messages will help eliminate some customer's feeling of insignificance, help connect with those people, and help form a bond with them.

5. Streamline - Offer processes that are streamlined and automated, but also have available guidance or confirmation at the end of the automated process to ensure that the customers issues, orders, etc., have been resolved or fulfilled. Always have an option to escalate issues to a customer service agent.

6. Track Information - Create a knowledge base so customers do not have to repeatedly give their contact, product, or problem details.

7. Target - Use data to be proactive, but also use it for a targeted purpose. Do not try to sell the same widget or service to your entire customer base. Approach only those customers who are most likely to be interested.

8. Empower - Empower customer service agents to resolve problems on the spot, including offering discounts or special services to retain customers who might otherwise head to a competitor.

9. Easy Doing Business - Find ways to make it so easy for customers to do business with you that switching to a competitor would be work for the customer.

10. Interpret Need - Note the difference between what customers say and do (customers say they want free shipping, but willingly pay for it with no complaints), and find ways to use that information so that everyone benefits.

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About the Author
Dennis Sommer is a widely respected and world renowned authority on sales, business development and leadership performance improvement. He is a leading adviser, author, and speaker providing clients with practical strategies that improve personal and organization performance. He has held numerous consulting, sales, and leadership level positions with Accenture, Jo-Ann Stores, and CA, Inc.

Please contact Dennis at: or

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