Increase Your CSAT RatingIf you work in the world of customer service, you are undoubtedly very familiar with the Customer Service Satisfaction Rating, or CSAT, as it’s commonly abbreviated. Even if your company has never received a J.D. Power & Associates award for great customer satisfaction, the results you get from CSAT follow up surveys or the Net Promoter Score are most likely your benchmark for where your company is at and show where you need to make improvements in your customer satisfaction efforts.

Improving your customer service satisfaction rating doesn’t occur in a vacuum – it requires a fundamental focus on how your company interacts with and respects your customers. Call centers are often charged with the CSAT rating task; in order for your call center reps to successfully serve your customers, your call center needs to have an organizational structure established.

Take heed of the following tips if you’re looking to improve your customer service satisfaction rating – these proven tips will change how you approach customer service.

Increase Customer Service Satisfaction Rating Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to personally interact with your customers

Interactive voice response systems (IVRs) are ubiquitous and generally the first line of defense at call centers. For large companies, they are commonly seen as cost-savers, since less call center reps would be needed. However, IVRs are a barrier between you and your customers; they prevent you from interacting personally with the very people you’re trying to serve, and they thwart your efforts to upsell and cross-sell your other products. Though it may seem initially more expensive to invest in live customer service representatives who spend the bulk of their time handling customer requests (instead of IVR systems), case studies have shown that companies can dramatically increase their sales by focusing on real-time, live customer interaction.

Increase Customer Service Satisfaction Rating Tip #2: Pay attention to your other metrics, too

Your customer service satisfaction ratings are important, but your other metrics matter, too. In fact, there are direct correlations with how other measurements affect your CSAT scores. By paying attention to your full-spectrum of metrics (including call escalation and time to resolution), you’ll be able to plug the holes that may be keeping your customer service satisfaction ratings low. For example, large studies have found that for every 1% of improvement companies receive on their first call resolution scores (FCR), there is a corresponding 1% improvement in customer satisfaction.

Increase Customer Service Satisfaction Rating Tip #3: Create a position to oversee customer service

Your company would not exist if it weren’t for your customers, correct? And your revenues will decrease significantly if your customers are dissatisfied and find another company, right? For such a vital aspect of an organization, it’s surprising that more companies don’t have a dedicated position whose sole job is to oversee customer relations. Invest in the areas of your organization that are going to drive business; invest in someone who oversees customer service, and who can interact with every level of the organization to ensure that all parts are working together to improve customer service.

Increase Customer Service Satisfaction Rating Tip #4: Fix the problems that are annoying to your customers

Are there themes that repeatedly pop up when your customers call customer service? Do you get complaints (and have to spend valuable customer service team time) about the same issue over-and-over again? If you spend time surveying and monitoring your customer calls, chances are, you’ll start to find patterns. Look closely at the aspects of your service or product offerings that are bothersome to your customers and find a solution. In other words, don’t give your customers a reason to call and complain.

Increase Customer Service Satisfaction Rating Tip #5: Grease the squeaky wheel

Do you conduct follow-up surveys with your customers about their experiences with your services and products? If not, start. Offer an incentive to your customers for providing their feedback, and take special note of those items that are dissatisfying to customers. Then, address the problem and follow-up personally with the customers to let them know that you heard their concerns and you are addressing the issue. Similarly, monitor customer feedback through your social media outlets and respond to those customers who are showing dissatisfaction. By giving extra attention to those who complain, you will be demonstrating that you do truly care and are making changes to address their concerns. Your customers, even the dissatisfied ones, will appreciate this.

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World-class customer service is possible. With the right training and approach, you can elevate the level of customer service your company provides. With work, that coveted J.D. Powers & Associates award just might come your way.