Customer service is the ability of an organization to satisfy its customers. Customer satisfaction is the measure of how satisfied the customers are. This term refers strictly to those who purchase a good or service. An analysis of the satisfaction of those who, for example, use an ecommerce site without making a purchase, would be an analysis of user satisfaction. The term user satisfaction is also used for other services that are not purchased, such as government service and specifically for the operating efficiency of a purchased product, that is, what it is like to use it. Obtaining a measure of its customer satisfaction is useful in helping businesses secure repeat business and larger purchases.
To measure customer satisfaction, businesses can conduct customer surveys, hold focus groups, and sign up advisory groups. A survey can cover elements of the customer experience, including their ratings of the quality and speed of delivery of the product or service and the pricing, problems they’ve experienced or complaints they have, other types of service or products that they require, and the degree to which they trust the business. Focus groups allow for more in-depth discussion, and can facilitate the presentation of new product or service concepts for reaction on a one-time basis. Client advisory groups have an ongoing relationship with a business. In addition, comment cards offer customers an opportunity to sound off whenever they have something on their minds, and this may allow for positive responses to be recorded that would otherwise be lost.
To ensure customer satisfaction, experts recommend prompt response to customer communications, whether by phone, mail, email, or Twitter®. They suggest that employees maintain a friendly and approachable air and demeanor. It is important to have a clear and detailed customer service policy that is publicly available and to offer the customer an apology and correction when something goes wrong. Clear and straightforward shipping and return policies are also helpful, as is carrying out all promises and implied promises of those policies. In addition, performing over and above promises to help consumers who are in need of further assistance can help turn customers into company evangelists.