January 6, 2022
By Pavel Jirik in Blog
In the past, companies paid attention only to product or service quality. However, they were ignoring the fact that customer satisfaction depends not only on this factor, but also on the rest of the customer journey. These stages include the opinion about the first impression while contacting a company, the usefulness of any initial advice, how simple the purchasing process is, and the quality of customer service.
Several studies have shown that positive interactions with companies and a positive overall shopping experience increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. This, in the long term, encourages clients to spend more on products or services offered by companies providing these outstanding experiences.
To understand this correlation, let’s look at the case study results titled Impact of Customer Experience and Customer Engagement on Satisfaction and Loyalty (source). Researchers found out that a 1% increase in customer experience may have an impact on increasing customer loyalty by more than 46%.
Fortunately, more and more businesses are aware of the fact that various factors influence customer satisfaction. That is why now, more often than not, marketing campaigns are oriented to the needs of their clients. However, customer satisfaction is a highly subjective goal and is, therefore, more difficult to measure than the usual KPIs (key performance indicators), such as impressions or clicks.
Different models for measuring customer satisfaction have begun to emerge to address this challenge, and one of the most common is the Customer Satisfaction Score, or CSAT, for short.
By reading this article, we hope you will find out what CSAT is, how to calculate it, and how you can get better results in contact centers by using technologies like voice biometrics authentication.
What Is a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)?
The Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is the most direct customer satisfaction survey methodology. It measures customer satisfaction regarding any business interaction, inquiry, purchase, or even support. It is calculated by asking questions such as "How satisfied are you with our call center service?" that the customer should answer using a scale, usually from 1 to 5 or from 1 to 10. You can also use a Likert Scale to provide clients with options for their possible responses:
- Very satisfied
- Somewhat satisfied
- Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
- Moderately dissatisfied
- Very dissatisfied
Some other basic, binary questions, "Did the customer service department provide you with answers quickly?" or "Would you recommend our service to a family or friends?" can be answered with “Yes” or “No” answers. You can also ask open-ended questions, for example, “How was your experience with us today?” and let the client share their opinion in an open text box.
One of the strengths of the CSAT is its simplicity. It is an easy way to close the interaction loop and determine whether a particular interaction was effective in ensuring customer satisfaction. You are also able to look at scores over time and ascertain the overall quality of service.
If the experience was not satisfactory for some reason, it is easy to identify the cause and implement measures to improve. And that's not the only benefit of running CSAT surveys. It also enables you to monitor customer satisfaction throughout the entire lifecycle.
Since it is a quick survey, it is easy to use it across multiple experiences during the customer journey and take a helicopter view of how the clients feel at various touchpoints whilst interacting with your company. This makes it easy to spot potential roadblocks and improve the experience.
Which Factors Influence Customer Satisfaction?
To understand how you can improve customer satisfaction, let’s have a look at the main groupings that influence the way customers perceive your brand. These can be divided into three groups:
- Factors expected by the client: These factors fall within the customer's expectations.
- Satisfactory factors: Things that encourage the client to buy. They like these particular aspects of your product or service, and they are important to them.
- Pleasurable factors: Everything that evokes emotion and joy in the client. They may not even expect it. It may even be the reason why they become your 'promoter' and recommend your brand to others.
There are specific factors that are a part of one of the above-mentioned groups. We have not covered all of them in the list below; we’ve only hand-picked those that may correspond to the direct interactions between your brand and clients.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the quality of customer service is one of the most crucial factors that influence customer satisfaction. This includes the speed of service, the level of difficulty experienced while connecting to a contact center, and the time it takes for clients to get their issues resolved.
Product quality and shopping experience are the two aspects of customer satisfaction that do not require much explanation. However, the quality of your products or services has a huge and direct influence on customer satisfaction. That’s why you should test your products extensively and implement improvements based on customer feedback to meet their expectations.
This is an important moment for both the brand and the consumer. The end-to-end customer journey and shopping experience should be as simple, easy, and frictionless as possible to contribute to building higher customer satisfaction levels.
Any sales channels that are available for clients also play an essential role in improving customer satisfaction.
A sales channel is a medium that a company uses to deliver products or services to end users. An eCommerce website, a mobile app, a physical retail store, an online marketplace, or call centers are all examples of sales channels.
Ask yourself: “Are your sales channels sufficient? Do they have all the necessary products available? How do our customers perceive them?” and if you spot any room for improvement, plan changes in the way your sales channels are organized.
How Can I Improve Customer Satisfaction and CSAT Scores?
There are many ways to improve your CSAT score, and the direction you should take is dependent on the results of the CSAT surveys you run. However, there are more general, reliable rules that, when followed thoroughly, will deliver positive outcomes for any business. These rules should be followed regardless of the industry or type of products offered. In this section, we will look at the ways to improve customer satisfaction, mainly during direct interactions.
Provide Fast and Frictionless Customer Service
Users nowadays expect seamless customer service; it’s a well-known fact. This is why companies should do everything possible to ensure their clients are provided with help and support as quickly as possible, and in a frictionless way. This can pose a challenge, but these days, there are tools and solutions available that can help contact centers in providing fast customer support. This ensures customer expectations in this area are met.
Ensure The Security of Interactions
Security is another aspect that can hugely influence customer satisfaction with contact centers or during interactions between customers and brands happening in various channels. Your clients must feel that, while contacting your company, their personal information is safe, and they can have their problems solved in an environment that does not jeopardize their data or money.
Respond to Problems Professionally
If any problem between your company and a customer occurs, react quickly and make sure any interaction is done professionally. Not only is the speed of your reaction important, but the consistency of communication also matters. One way to always ensure professionalism and consistency while handling unsatisfied customers is to make sure you have established brand guidelines for all your communication channels, addressing things like response time, tone, and protocol for escalating issues.
Build and Maintain Relationships
The relationship with the consumer must go beyond the sale. This relationship can be built through many touchpoints and interactions that, altogether, make the difference and positively influence overall customer satisfaction.
If possible, stay connected with customers and be available as often as possible to support them and help solve issues they may be facing. If this requires 24/7 availability, consider creating a rota for customer service, with different shifts.
Who doesn't like a perfectly convenient experience? The convenience of interactions between your brand and consumers can consist of different factors: from the overall customer service, shopping experience, or what it’s like to use your product or service. Remove complexities from any of these stages and try to avoid preventable mistakes. Make your customer's experience pleasant and valuable in every aspect.
How Can Voice Biometrics Improve Customer Satisfaction in Contact Centers?
Implementing solutions that leverage voice biometrics can be one of the ways to improve CSAT scores in contact centers. We mentioned earlier the need to provide a fast and frictionless customer experience, as well as the importance of ensuring security and convenience during user interactions. Voice Biometrics ensures these key points are met, and it also makes it easier for agents to respond to problems in a professional manner and, as a result, build and maintain relationships with customers.
All these benefits can be achieved thanks to the multiple possibilities offered by voice biometric authentication.
Speed of Service
Voice biometrics authentication significantly reduces the time to verify the customers' identities. The agent does not have to ask verification questions because the system, based on voice biometrics, analyzes the caller's voice in a few seconds and confirms their identity. Therefore a task that, in the case of more traditional forms of verification, had to be done by the contact service agent manually, is eliminated from the workflow.
With the use of passive voice biometrics, this entire process takes place in the background of the conversation. For example, when a customer calls a contact center and answers any question out loud, voice biometric authentication software instantly compares their speech to a voiceprint (collected earlier during the enrollment process) and allows the conversation to continue.
As a result, a customer can be connected to the contact service agent much faster. This drives down the average handle time of calls, as by reducing the time from dialing to speaking with an agent, you’re making it more likely that the call will take a shorter amount of time. It’s not a well-kept secret that Average Handle Time directly correlates with customer satisfaction. Everyone wants their problems to be solved as soon as possible.
Using voice biometric authentication methods considerably improves contact center security. Methods based on analyzing biometric traits are much more secure than traditional verification methods. Anyone can say they are somebody else, but your voice is unique. Implementation of such tools significantly reduces the risk of cybercrime and eliminates the possibility of phishing.
Additionally, customers feel secure, that they don't have to worry about their data security, which also improves their overall satisfaction. At the same time, contact centers that have implemented such a solution gain a competitive advantage over their competitors in the form of an extremely secure and accurate verification process.
Automating Manual Tasks
Finally, we can't forget that by eliminating the mundane and tedious task of verifying customers' identities every time, it’s possible to make the job of a contact center agent much easier. This seemingly small improvement may help them save several hours per month. As a result, agents can spend more time resolving more complex customer issues or implementing improvements generated from customer surveys. Additionally, they can focus on supporting customers in their day-to-day challenges and invest more time in building and maintaining relationships with them.
As mentioned earlier, customer satisfaction is affected by various factors. Focusing on improving only one of them will not always translate into an increase in overall customer satisfaction. Only the introduction of complete and comprehensive solutions can bring tangible effects in the form of better customer satisfaction score results.
The implementation of voice biometric authentication methods is an example of such a solution, and we highly recommend it. The technology brings benefits and possibilities that allow you to simultaneously improve several factors that positively affect the quality of interactions between contact centers and customers. This fact makes voice biometric authentication a highly agile and worthwhile choice for those responsible for ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction in contact centers.