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5 ways to boost customer satisfaction in a digital world

ManageCategory
6 min read
Jody Carey

How much time do you spend chasing new business versus giving your existing customers special attention? Customer satisfaction is a key factor in running a successful business.

In fact, generating a new customer costs more than nurturing a current customer. You could end up spending as much as five times more to land a new customer than it costs to build better relationships with those who already like you.

Happy customers are the best salespeople.

When a customer feels valued, they tell others about their experience. And a warm referral is always better than a cold call.

To boost customer satisfaction, think about how you can make it easy for customers to do business with you. Below, we’ll look at which apps are the best at boosting customer satisfaction.

5 apps to improve customer satisfaction

Yellow balloons with smiley faces on them


All the apps on this list have a free or low-cost version for the budget-conscious business owner. If you need all the bells and whistles, there are also paid plans to choose from. Plus, they're all cloud-based, so you can make customers happy from anywhere.

1. Calendly

Calendly allows people to make an appointment with you.

The ping pong game to coordinate calendars is tiring for them and you.

Make it easier for customers to meet with you and pick a time that suits them. This will help boost your overall customer satisfaction.

Calendly lets you set days and times when you're available for a Zoom conference or phone call. It also automatically sends a confirmation and meeting reminder. With this app, you're less likely to get a ring when you're in the middle of a big project. No more, "Did I catch you at an okay time?"

2. Survey Monkey

Asking customers their opinion improves satisfaction. We all like to share our views and be heard. Survey Monkey has a free option that lets you send simple surveys to clients asking for their feedback or an opinion on a new product or service.

Lettered tiles spelling “product review” on marble surface

Asking for their feedback makes them feel listened to and valued. And you now have data to help you make sound business decisions.

3. Help Scout

When email becomes messy, Help Scout keeps conversations organised. Their unique selling proposition is, “An all-in-one customer service platform that helps you balance everything your customers need to be happy.”

The reality is, a lost email can mean lost business.

For as little as $20/month, this handy program is perfect for a growing small business or micro-business. Anyone who employs virtual assistants or uses subcontractors needs a smooth flow of communication.

4. Proposify

Proposify smooths out the sales process by integrating your proposal and invoicing all in one app. It's less paperwork for you, you'll get paid faster, but most importantly, it's easier for the client.

There are many proposal programs available, but Proposify is the one I use as a freelancer. Clients sign the proposal and have the option to pay right away using a credit card. Depending on the accounting program you use, additional fees may apply.

The day I moved from a Word document proposal and invoice to Proposify was the day my business took off.

Related: Win new clients with these business proposal templates

5. Loom

Loom is more personal than email. It's the easiest way to record a video using your webcam and lets you share your computer screen.

To boost customer satisfaction, I use Loom to walk clients through a proposal or project brief. They can watch it on their own time and replay it as needed. My local appliance store sent me a Loom video showing me how to replace a filter, which saved me a service call.

It's your voice (video is optional), it's personal, and you don't have to worry about typos.

Videos under five minutes are free. Try it to walk a client through a first draft, explain how to use your product or say thank you.

Gaining new customers is expensive

Most people don’t realise the amount of time spent on attracting and setting up new clients. Let’s take a look at a familiar example that people can relate to and see how unbilled time can quickly add up.

Kelly is a web designer and needs five new jobs a month. Through local advertising, she lands a new client. She spends small chunks of time communicating with the client to arrange a meeting that totals an hour. She researches the potential client's business to see if they're a good fit, attends a 'get acquainted' meeting and starts working on a sales proposal and project brief.

In total, Kelly averages 5-10 hours to prepare (aka onboarding) her new client. In addition to the advertising costs, Kelly spends 25-50 hours a month to achieve her monthly goal of five clients. That's almost a week's worth of non-billable time!

Lead generation is a concept you've undoubtedly heard. It has its place, but too many small business owners throw money at the latest lead gen techniques only to forget about these hard-earned customers once they land them.

Nurturing your existing client base and improving customer satisfaction is more manageable than generating leads. It can also be done in a fraction of the time (and cost). These little things can make all the difference when it comes to better communication or showing clients you value them. Going beyond expectations creates a lasting impression.

Try an easy non-tech way to make an impression

While you're setting up the apps mentioned, you can try a non-tech version right now. An old-fashioned thank you note will never go out of style. They seem to have fallen off the radar, making them rare, but they're still an effective way to show your appreciation.

Don't overthink it. An SMS, email or handwritten note that sounds like this is all you need.

Dear Sarah,

It was a pleasure working with you. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Karl

This simple message is a great way to boost customer satisfaction. Plus, it opens up a line of communication between you and your client.

Final takeaways on customer satisfaction

Nurture existing clients. It's easier and less expensive than chasing new customers. Plus, the apps above can make both of your lives easier.

Whichever you decide — digital tools or pen and paper — focus on making it as easy as possible for customers to do business with you. In the end, you'll work smarter, save money and gain loyal customers.