There’s one concrete way to know if you’re doing a good job in your service-based business. It’s not necessarily related to revenue or sales. It’s related to measuring customer satisfaction and understanding if your clients are impressed or indifferent about the services you provide.
Getting clear feedback from your customers helps you know where you are exceeding, meeting or missing expectations — all of which is tied to being able to sustain and grow your business.
Why measuring customer satisfaction is so important
Measuring customer satisfaction is a process that takes work. So it’s good to know the high value of collecting feedback because it will help you stay motivated to follow through with your plans.
Feedback helps you improve your services
Measuring customer satisfaction helps you clearly see the value of the services you offer. You might think that you’re providing a top-notch service, but you can only really know if you get feedback from your customers about their experience. If you offer professional photography, for example, you may love the photos you take. But it’s not your option that matters — it’s your clients’.
So you need to survey them to see if your photos meet their expectations, not yours. When you collect feedback, you can assess your services and identify places to improve so you can provide better value as you’re measuring customer satisfaction.
Feedback helps you improve your processes
Just as measuring customer satisfaction helps you improve the deliverables that you provide to clients, it also helps you improve the way you get the output to your clients.
For instance, even if you provide exceptional advice in your consulting business, if your process for getting that information to the client is confusing, the client may not be satisfied.
Getting feedback about how you work — not just on what you provide — can help improve your processes to make working relationships better for both you and clients.
Feedback helps you identify needs and potential service offerings
Measuring customer satisfaction helps you improve current offerings and also identify new offerings.
For example, if you’re a web developer, you might find that your customers were satisfied with the creation of their new website. But they might be disappointed that there wasn’t any follow-up for website security and maintenance, you may decide that you should over ongoing service package for clients.
When you collect client feedback, it helps you see gaps in your services and identify new ways to offer additional offerings.
Happy customers lead to referrals and long-term customers
The key to a sustainable, successful service-based business is having a loyal and happy customer base. When you have extremely happy customers, they not only come back to your business again and again, but they also tell their friends, family and colleagues.
Measuring customer satisfaction and always working to improve it (even if it’s already high) helps you keep existing customers and get them to send new customers your way.
Tips for measuring customer satisfaction
Now that you know the value of measuring customer satisfaction, it will be easier to put the time and resources needed into collecting this information. Here are some tips for getting started.
Know your goals before you ask for feedback
There are a lot of benefits to measuring customer satisfaction. While you may get a little bit of each of those benefits when you go through this process, it helps to focus on one or two primary goals.
When you know if your goal is to get feedback to improve your services, improve your process, or something else, it will help drive your strategy for collecting customer opinions.
Decide how you want to measure customer satisfaction
There are a few popular customer service performance metrics that help you gauge customer satisfaction. Decide which rating system helps you get the most useful information from your customers.
- Customer Satisfaction Score — One of the simplest ways to rate customer satisfaction. This is a question that asks customers to rate their satisfaction on a scale of one to 10.
- Net Promoter Score — Measures how happy your customers are by looking at the likelihood that they would recommend you to family, friends and colleagues. The question provides a one to 10 scale and asks, “How likely would you be to recommend us?”
- Customer Effort Score — Helps you look at how well your processes work. The question asks the customer how easy their experience was and provides five possible answers: very difficult, difficult, neither, easy or very easy.
Ask follow-up questions, but keep it simple
Gaining insight on a one to 10 scale helps you get a quick overview of customer satisfaction. But to get a deeper look at customer perspectives, ask a few short follow-up questions that help you pinpoint exactly where there are pain points, opportunities to improve, and examples of where you are already providing a great experience.
Regularly survey your customers
The best way to gauge customer satisfaction is to simply come out and ask your clients what they think. Make it a part of your regular business processes to survey customers through quick online questionnaires you send at the end of a project or after you send a large deliverable. You can also use short questionnaires thought the client experience to get feedback on specific stages such as onboarding, consultations, follow-ups, etc.
Tap into social media listening
Measuring customer satisfaction doesn’t also have to happen through planned tactics. You can also see what clients think through social media listening. Social media listening is monitoring the mentions of your brand, products, or services on social media channels or blogs. This information helps you collect authentic, unsolicited feedback from customers.
Track customer satisfaction data over time
The best way to measure customer satisfaction is by tracking data early in your business and continuing to track it throughout the growth of your company. By continually tracking data, you can look back and see trends or fluctuations and identify what went right or wrong during those times. This data helps you learn about your business and customers and continue to iterate and improve.
Don’t just assume your customers are happy and satisfied after doing business with you. Implement these processes for measuring customer satisfaction so you can really know what your customers think about your business. Then, use that information to improve your offerings, attract and keep more customers, and grow your service-based business.