Happy customers are the main difference between a successful business and one that fails miserably. Yes, it’s true that you also have to have efficient operations and processes, but all the efficiency in the world will not make your business successful if your customer base is unhappy.
Customer happiness leads to:
- Better customer retention and lower churn
- Larger revenues per customer
- Word-of-mouth marketing—the most effective, impactful marketing around
- Stronger brand advocacy
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Customer happiness is the satisfaction a customer feels when they interact with your business. This can be from buying a product or service to interacting with customer support. Customer happiness is determined by a number of factors, many of which are completely within your control as a business owner.
It’s important to know what makes a customer happy so that you can mitigate any possible issues that could contribute to customer dissatisfaction before a customer becomes unhappy.
It’s not always easy to figure out what it takes to make a specific customer happy, but there are some general guidelines that apply to almost all customers. If you want to increase customer happiness, try these things:
- Make them feel valued and appreciated
- Be transparent in your business practices
- Provide excellent customer service
- Continually innovate and offer new products or services to engage customers
- Make all customer interactions seamless
Let’s dive into these in more detail.
Show some love
Don’t be shy, lavish your customer with love. Thank them for their purchase, provide a discount code for their next purchase, send them emails or texts to celebrate their special days, and more.
When customers feel appreciated, they’re more likely to be happy with their purchase, return in the future, and bring friends along with them when they come. Word of mouth is free advertising for you. All it costs is a little extra attention.
Be like glass
Be transparent. Nobody likes to be blindsided. Be upfront and honest with customers about what to expect and when to expect it. Got a delay in your supply chain? Let your customers know. You may be surprised by how patient a loyal customer can be.
Avoid hidden fees or charges. When you’re clear about the real price of your product or service from the beginning of a transaction, customers are much less likely to abandon their cart before completing the purchase.
Being open and honest builds trust with customers and provides them with assurance that your business is ethical and socially responsible. Customers who feel comfortable with the brands they deal with are happier and more likely to remain loyal.
Live to serve
Your entire company, from the back office to the customer-facing frontline employees, should be living and breathing to provide excellent customer service. When you provide helpful and friendly customer service, you truly stand out from a crowd of competitors who put more emphasis on the bottom line than the customer in front of them.
When possible, ensure that you:
- Provide quick responses to customer emails (Superoffice research revealed that 46% of customers expect a response in less than 4 hours and 12% expect a response within 15 minutes)
- Take it up a notch with real-time support via chat or live agents
- Be consistent across all communications channels
- Provide options for self-service outside of regular business hours
- Be an active listener
Don’t forget that you’re not just providing great customer service to the person in front of you. By being responsive and attentive to your customer right now, you’re setting your business up for future success with that customer and with other customers who may be observing your interactions.
This is especially true today, when your business reputation can rise or fall depending on what customers say about you on social media platforms. Try to avoid any negative social media attention by providing excellent customer service at all times, but when you do run into the occasional thorny situation with a customer that spills over into social media, respond with kindness, sincerity, and tact. Even if you don’t win back a disgruntled customer, displaying professionalism and empathy will win over other customers who take notice of your demeanor.
What have you done for them lately?
Sure, you won over your customers long enough to make a sale, but what have you done for them lately? Customers love it when businesses are innovative. This could mean introducing new products or services, redesigning old products or services, or coming up with new ways to reach and engage customers. Being innovative shows that you’re not content with the status quo and are always looking for ways to improve.
Customers are more likely to be happy when they feel like they’re getting something new, even if it’s just a slight change. Continuing to innovate also reassures them that you’re invested in their satisfaction and are working to improve their experience.
Make it easy to love you
Given a choice, everybody prefers easy over difficult, right? When you make it easy for your customers to do business with you, you make them happy. To prevent relationship drama with your customers, try this:
- Provide an easy-to-navigate website
- Offer clear instructions about next steps during every customer interaction
- Make it simple for them to reach customer support when needed via their communication channels of choice
- State your policies clearly, and avoid any confusing language or hard-to-manage payment processes
Making things simple for customers is a great way to show that you’re invested in their satisfaction. When it’s easy for them to interact with your business, they’re more likely to be happy with their experience.
There are plenty of benefits to keeping your customers happy. They include:
- Better brand reputation
- Customer loyalty and retention
- Higher customer lifetime value
Let’s explore each of these in more detail.
Better brand reputation
When your customers are happy, they’re likely to share positive experiences about your business with their friends and family. This is free advertising for you and helps to build trust in your brand. Happy customers will recommend your business to others, providing you with word-of-mouth marketing that attracts new customers. That’s incredibly valuable because 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family, and 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a critical influencer in their purchasing decision.
Customer loyalty and retention
Churn is the term used for customers who leave your business. Reducing churn is important because it helps maintain your customer base and keeps your business healthy. For every customer you lose, you have to work nearly twice as hard to get a new one. If your churn is too high, your business will be struggling to maintain the status quo rather than working to grow.
Happy customers are more likely to be loyal to your business and are more likely to return in the future. They’re also less likely to churn.
Higher customer lifetime value
Because happy customers stay loyal to your brand for longer, they’re more apt to buy additional products or services from you over time. That increases the lifetime value of your customer, while decreasing the costs associated with attracting brand new customers.
This Qualtrics blog said it best:
“Customer lifetime value is all about forming a lasting positive connection with your customers.”
There’s really no quantitative way to measure customer happiness, but since customer happiness is closely related to customer satisfaction, you can glean a lot from looking at some common customer satisfaction metrics using:
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Net promoter scores (NPS)
- Social media sentiment analysis
Let’s take a closer look at each of these methods.
One way to measure customer satisfaction is to send out customer surveys. This gives you a way to collect feedback directly from your customers and see how they feel about their experience with your business. Some great times to send out surveys are:
- Directly after your first sale to the customer
- Following resolution of a customer service ticket
- At regular intervals as part of a nurture campaign
Net promoter score (NPS)
The net promoter score is a metric that measures customer loyalty. It asks customers how likely they are to recommend your business to others, usually on a scale of 1 to 10. This provides you with a metric to track customer satisfaction over time.
Social media sentiment analysis
Another way to measure customer satisfaction is by analyzing social media data. This can give you a sense of how people are talking about your business online. You can use this information to see which aspects of your business are making customers happy and which ones need improvement.
Knowing what makes customers happy is only the first step. You have to know how to achieve it, or you’re not going to get very far. Here are a few tips:
- Respond quickly to inquiries
- Make it easy for customers to contact you
- Address customer complaints promptly and courteously
- Provide clear instructions and product information
- Offer customer support that is easy to reach and understand
- Keep your website and products up-to-date
- Be innovative and always look for ways to improve
- Thank customers for their business
For customer happiness, little things mean a lot. By following these tips, you can make sure that your customers are satisfied with their experience and will continue to do business with you.
Be quick to respond
By responding quickly when customers ask a question or have an issue, you’re letting them know that you value their time and are willing to help. It shows them they’re your top priority.
As an added bonus, when you respond quickly in a public online place like Facebook or Twitter, other potential customers will see your timeliness and be more likely to shop with you rather than with another business that isn’t as attentive to their needs.
Establish clear timelines for how quickly you expect your employees to respond to customer inquiries and during which times it may be acceptable for them to take a bit longer, like after business hours.
Make it easy for customers to contact you
Providing several ways for customers to contact you makes it easy for them to get in touch with you when they have a need. This could be through a chatbot or contact form on your website, a phone number, email address, or social media platforms.
When customers know that they can easily reach you, it gives them peace of mind and makes them more likely to buy from you. It also shows that you’re invested in their satisfaction and are willing to help them out in whatever way you can.
If applicable, put a live chat button on your website, open avenues of communication through social media, and make sure your email correspondence is clear and easy to read. If you have a business phone, make sure the recording is clear about how to reach you if you’re not in the office.
Address customer complaints courteously
Customer complaints are a fact of life. By addressing them courteously, you can turn a negative experience into a positive one.
No one is perfect, and sometimes customers will have a complaint about your business. Address these complaints to show that you value their satisfaction. Ignoring them or responding impolitely will only make the situation worse.
When you address complaints in a public forum like social media or your website, it shows other potential customers that you’re willing to deal with complaints head-on and that you’re willing to work to resolve the situation.
Establish clear rules for the kind of language you want your customer-facing employees to use when addressing these concerns. This presents a united front to all customers and keeps your communication in line with your branding.
Provide clear instructions and product information
When customers are buying a product, they want to know exactly what they’re getting. By providing clear instructions and product information, you’re helping them to make an informed decision.
If there are any terms or conditions associated with the purchase, make sure to list them as well. This will help to avoid any surprises down the road.
Providing clear instructions on how to use your products helps customers to get the most out of them. This will make them happy and more likely to come back for more.
Make sure your website is easy to navigate
A website that’s easy to navigate makes shopping a breeze for customers. By providing clear categories and well-organized product information, you’re making it easy for them to find what they’re looking for.
Make sure that the purchase process is easy to follow. This could include having a shopping cart that’s easy to use, providing clear payment options, and ensuring that the checkout process is smooth.
When customers have an easy time finding what they’re looking for and making a purchase, they’re happy. Spend some time analyzing metrics on your website frequently and updating it when needed to ensure a seamless experience for everyone.
Offer a rewards program
A rewards program is a great way to show customers that you appreciate their business. By offering points or discounts for each purchase, you’re giving them an incentive to come back and shop with you again.
Offer exclusive perks to members of your rewards program. This could include early access to sales, special discounts, and exclusive products. When customers feel appreciated, they’re happy. A rewards program is a great way to show them how much you appreciate their business.
Make returns and exchanges easy
We know that returns and exchanges aren’t easy for your business, but you should still make the return and exchange process easy for your customers. When customers know that they can easily return or exchange a product if it’s not right for them, they’re more likely to take the plunge and make a purchase. By providing a seamless process, you’re minimizing the chances of them having a negative experience.
One way to make returns easy is to allow customers to start returns online. This saves them time and hassle in the store because all they have to do is drop off the item for return or exchange.
Thank customers for their business
One of the best things you can do to make customers happy is to thank them for their business. A simple “thank you” goes a long way, and it’s a great way to show your appreciation.
Send them a follow-up email after their purchase or send them a coupon for their next purchase. This will show them that you value their business and that you’re happy to have them as a customer.
Make sure that no matter how your customers have contacted you, they hear the words “thank you” during every interaction. This could mean concluding a phone call with the acknowledgment that they could have chosen to do their business elsewhere, and you appreciate that they chose you instead. It could also mean you establish greeters at every exit to your retail business.
No matter how you choose to thank your customers, make sure they hear it often. It’s one of the simplest ways to make them happy.
One of the great things about RingCentral is that it can help businesses to achieve customer happiness in a variety of ways. RingCentral’s cloud-based communications solution can:
- Enable businesses to easily communicate with customers via their communication channels of choice, whether it’s through voice, text, video, chat, or social media.
- Give businesses the ability to track customer interactions, which helps them to better understand what their customers want and need.
- Provide a great employee and customer experience through its easy-to-use tools and features.
- Help businesses stay organized and efficient, which minimizes the chances of making mistakes that could lead to unhappy customers.
RingCentral is the perfect solution for businesses that want to achieve customer happiness. With its variety of features and tools, RingCentral empowers businesses to connect with customers and provide an excellent experience every time. Request a demo to explore how RingCentral can help your business achieve customer happiness.
Thank you for your interest in RingCentral.
Originally published Apr 06, 2022