Implement systems that result in employees talking with customers, employees talking with each other,

There is an entire world of customer success that has blown up in the past few years. These ideas have existed for a while, but not to the extent that they do now. The change has come from their increasing level of importance.  In a world where software review sites are growing, products are becoming more accountable. The value of keeping customers happy has extended beyond signed contracts.  Unhappy customers can give your service a negative review and spread the word, which can be detrimental. In order to make sure that customers are happy, you have to ask the right questions and keep track of the answers. You cannot just assume or hope. Here are five ways you can measure customer satisfaction that will better empower your customer success team and decrease churn rate:

1. Create easy and effective feedback paths.

As the first way to measure customer satisfaction, it should be as easy as possible for your customers to leave you feedback. You can encourage and elicit this in a few different ways. The first is in net promoter score (NPS) surveys. Be thoughtful since sending them too early can drive customers away. Sending at the right time, though, is an incredibly quick and easy way to receive customer feedback.

You can also include suggestion boxes at the bottom of each communication that you have with customers. A quick “any advice, feedback or suggestions?” at the bottom of your emails can drastically increase customer feedback.

Part of this easy communication path also comes from how comfortable customers are with your team. If you constantly stress a desire to be better and receive feedback, they will be more likely to start conversations and offer thoughts.

2. Keep diligent data on usage and churn.

New business is important and always nice, but low churn rates are just as valuable. Being scrutinous about what percentage of your customers are coming back. Keep prodigious track of who is signing second contracts. This is a great indicator of how they feel towards the product.

In cases when customers do not return, you are provided a great opportunity to learn why. Do everything you can in those situations to get honest and serious feedback.

You can also keep track of product usage. How often are customers going to your site compared to how much you would like them to be visiting? Are they taking the key actions that they need to? What other metrics are important to indicate the value they are receiving from your product? This way, you will know if customers are getting the full value proposition. Plus, it will likely be an early indicator of churn.

3. Measure qualitative data.

Beyond the quantitative data above, decide what qualitative metrics are important to measure. This could be customer sentiment towards the product or the way that they feel when using it. Take note of how often customers are asking your support team questions and what those questions are. This information can help you find areas of miscommunication.

These metrics are more challenging to keep track of, but they are just as important. Many stories are not told by numbers, alone. There are quick ways to measure this qualitative data like short surveys for gift cards.

4. Take the time to ask the more important questions you do not have answers to.

Although you might not want to hear the answers to certain questions, you should understand the customer journey and experience as much as possible. This means inquiring into the onboarding process, the support customers receive, and their sentiments towards your team and product.

Take the time to talk to customers on the phone or meet with them whenever you get the chance. These longer conversations will enable you to ask questions and learn about their experience in a much more detailed fashion.

Creating a team culture that puts an emphasis on talking with customers will improve these communication efforts further. Instead of trying to avoid talking with individuals to save time, use those opportunities to learn.

Talking with customers or potential ones in an exploratory way can significantly open your eyes to their problems and needs. In the process, it is also important to equip your team with the right questions to be seeking out.

5. Test the assumptions you make from customer conversations.

Customers might tell you that they love your product or that they would be willing to give you a referral. Test those statements out. It can feel a bit uncomfortable, but you can put incentives in place to elicit customer actions that will help your business.

Ask your customers to rate your product on software review sites. Ask them for warm referrals. Asking for something will give you a better indication of whether they actually would recommend your service.

It is one thing to click a button and something entirely different to put their own reputation on the line. Finding ways to spark customer action will give you better feedback and  lead to new customers and reviews on sites thanks to these ways to measure customer satisfaction

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John Rampton is an Entrepreneur and Connector. John was recently named Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine, Finance Expert by Time and Blogging Expert by Forbes. He is the Founder and CEO of Due.

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