Having satisfied customers is important. Everyone knows this. If your customers aren’t satisfied, they’ll part ways, they won’t return, and they definitely won’t leave a company review singing your praise. In fact, they may leave a bad review, which is even worse. 

Bottom line: When you don’t make an effort to keep your customers happy, then expect to lose their business. And if you’re losing their business, you’re also losing their money, which means your yearly revenue will undoubtedly take a hit. This can lead to even more significant problems, like employee lay-offs and cut-backs on perks and benefits to make up for the loss. It’s a domino effect disaster, one that shouldn’t rely on a solid lead generation strategy to save it. That’d be like trying to fill a bucket when it has a hole in it. 

You need to plug the client retention leak first.

So, before client retention becomes an issue you can’t control, take strides towards measuring and tracking your customer satisfaction rate. Here are some tactics to try: 

Ways to Measure Customer Satisfaction

1. Surveys

Customer surveys are a common, cost-effective way to measure customer experience or satisfaction. But before you start sending your customer surveys, you have to take into consideration their schedules and demands. They’re busy people, and you want to maintain a stable relationship with them, so don’t send them a lengthy, time-intensive questionnaire. Here’s a recommended survey flow that will ensure you’re considerate while still getting the answers you need:

  • Intro – Convey why participation in this survey is necessary. Make sure they understand that they play a significant role in helping your company improve, and without their candid responses, you won’t be able to offer them the best service and platform possible. 
  • Questions – Ask the right questions to get you the information you need. This is the most critical part of the survey, so make sure the language is simple, straight-forward, and the questions are easy to fill out. It’s best to provide multiple choice answers or have customers answer based on a scale rating (i.e., 1-5, 1 being the most negative option and five being the most positive option). 
  • Catch-alls – Provide an area for your customers to give any specific feedback they have that maybe they weren’t able to address in the questions section. This will make sure nothing gets overlooked. It also helps every customer feel heard. 
  • Design – A clean design with plenty of white space and readable font will help increase the number of survey takers. Nice touches – like a progress bar – can help keep users engaged throughout the survey. And, don’t forget to add your own branding.
  • Thank you – It never hurts to include a small incentive for survey takers to finish your survey. A five dollar gift card or branded t-shirt are small tokens of appreciation that can go along way toward improving customer retention.

To get started, you can use online survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Typeform, which both have free options.

2. Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score or NPS is another excellent way to track customer experience and overall satisfaction with your services. The way it works is to have your customers score you on a scale of 0-10 on your quality of service. Numbers 0-6 are “detractors,” 7-8 are “passives,” and 9-10 are “promoters.” You subtract the detractors percentage from the promoters percentage. Calculating your NPS score is simple, and all customers have to do is click a number. If you don’t want to complicate things with tons of data, polls, and questions, an NPS scoring system is a great way to take your company’s pulse on customer satisfaction. 

3. Referrals

Getting customer referrals are great for so many reasons. We’ve found that when a client was referred to us, they enter the sales process with a lot more knowledge on what we do and how we do it, so there are fewer questions, less convincing on our end, and the partnership is lengthier because they know exactly what to expect. Referrals are also a great way to identify satisfaction among your clients. Nothing says that you’re doing a solid job with your business than if your current customers want to share you with their friends and other industry contacts. After all, if people are referring you to others, that means they must be happy with your quality of work. Simply track the amount of referrals you receive a month and subtract lost clients from that number. It’s similar to calculating your NPS, and it will show you if your business is growing effectively

4. Intent to Repurchase

Knowing whether or not an expiring contract is going to be renewed helps a company financially plan for the upcoming month and quarter. It can help determine if specific goals are going to be met, or if you’ll, unfortunately, be in the red. That’s why the intent to repurchase method is a no-brainer. It can be looped in with whatever standard renewal process you currently have in place. Typically, about 30-45 days out from your customer’s contract renewal date, you should be ready to discuss renewing your services so you can retain their business and keep them as recurring revenue. Whatever your process looks like, be it a phone conversation, a lengthy presentation, or a quick email notification, ask the question, “Do you intend to repurchase from us within 30 days?” The more positive responses you get and the more customers that renew tells you that their experience with you is a positive one. 

5. Interactive Visual

If you have the capabilities, create an interactive image to send to your customers that can track their engagement in a quick, fun way. You’ve heard of companies having suggestion jars where employees can add a suggestion or request anonymously and put it in the jar for management to consider. Why not make an interactive version of that idea? For example, you could create three separate jar images, one representing a level of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction). You then send this visual to your customers in an email, and they can click on one of the jars to add their vote, indicating how they feel about your relationship and service. (Hatchbuck’s CRM is perfect for tracking this type of interaction via email).

Don’t let the fear of knowing what your customers think of you prevent you from tracking customer satisfaction index for continuous improvement. Putting it off could result in real damage to your brand and operations. Start by trying one of the methods above to see how you like it. Or, test out one method one quarter, and another the next, and so on. Being able to improve what you do so you can do right by your customers and not be blindsided by their feedback will ultimately improve the workings of your business and help you continue to grow year over year.