Everywhere we turn,  its seems like many businesses have no idea what a happy customer looks like.

Sure, most people understand what makes a satisfied customer. But a happy one? That’s an entirely different story.

This is an issue for companies looking to grow and expand when you consider the fact that customer experience is the new battleground for business. In a world where markets are becoming increasingly crowded and it’s harder and harder to differentiate yourself from competitors, being able to provide an experience that leaves a smile on a customer’s face is by far the best way to rise to the top.

According to a study by Forrester Research, customer experience is one of the main drivers of revenue for a company, with leaders in customer experience having up to 5x the revenue growth of companies who deliver a poor customer experience.

With all that in mind, here’s how you can start looking beyond satisfied customer and start achieving happy  customers.

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What is customer happiness?

First of all, it’s incredibly important that you understand what customer happiness is exactly.

Customer happiness is all about the emotional connection a brand develops with their customer. Businesses that excel in the customer experience department are those that focus on designing an experience that elicits a positive emotional response.

On a data-driven level, you can get some idea of whether or not a customer is happy from their Net Promoter Score (NPS). A customer with an NPS score of 9 to 10 is considered “happy”, whereas a customer with an NPS score of 7 to 8 is merely “satisfied”. By no means is that a terrible score, but we’re aiming for better.

Not only are happy customers 6 times more likely to purchase again and 12 times more likely to refer your brand to someone else, it has also been found that the lifetime value of a customer with an emotional connection is twice that of a satisfied customer.

These days it’s becoming increasingly clear that customer happiness is the true driver behind business success.

More than simply delivering a well-made product or service, what customers want is to be able to feel like they’re doing business with a brand that makes them feel valued. That means creating a customer journey that does exactly that and it all starts from the very moment they first interact with your business.

Finding out what makes your customers happy

The problem that most businesses face when achieving customer happiness is that they have no idea what a happy customer even looks like, let alone what metrics to track. Unfortunately, brands can’t simply ask what makes customers happy because most customers don’t even know themselves!

Now I won’t ask you to figure out what the answer is to achieving happiness.... Smarter people than I have been debating that for thousands of years and there’s still no definite answer!

There are a few tactics, however, that you can use to help track and measure your customer’s happiness.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Generally just 2 questions, at first glance an NPS survey seems fairly simple. It asks the customer to give a score based upon how likely they are to recommend your brand to someone else, and a text field to answer ‘why’ they have given you the score that they have. However, many businesses often make some simple mistakes when it comes to measuring NPS for their customer experience.

The most important point to keep in mind when using NPS as your chosen CX metric is ensuring you ask “why” a customer has given you the score they have. Relying on the numerical score by itself won’t give you the reasoning or context behind a score. It is this context that provides actionable insights to point you in the direction of what most needs fixing and how to implement these changes in order to improve your customer experience.

The collection and analysis of NPS survey responses used to be time-consuming and cost prohibitive. Luckily, we now live in a world where technology has allowed companies to get in-depth information into their NPS with a few clicks of a button, and without relying on expensive Market Research agencies.

Two of the NPS survey providers we like to recommend are Delighted and Promoter.io. Kapiche has an integration to pull survey data direct from Delighted, making the analysis of this data quick and easy. Our Promoter.io integration is also in the product pipeline.  

Open-ended, unstructured feedback

This one seems pretty obvious, but it is surprising how many organizations overlook this point.

Structured data can only tell you so much - usually, it can give you an indication or a reference point of what your customers are feeling, but it can’t give you the complete picture. Organization's can solve that problem by including open-ended questions in your customer surveys, and be on the lookout for specific keywords.

When it comes to analyzing customer feedback, you should have a list of specific topics to track in your customer's unstructured feedback. These topics will give you deep insights into how your customers feel about the key parts of your business and what is causing the positive and negative customer experiences. For example, a bank may track topics such as ‘fees’, ‘charges’ and ‘home loans’, whilst an online retail store may track ‘shipping’, ‘styles’ or ‘price’.  

Whilst there are the obvious topics relevant to your industry, there will also be topics unique to your business and emergent topics that you are not yet aware of. For this reason, a higher-level view of what your customers are saying is crucial to seeing trends across multiple interactions and multiple touchpoints. The upside of an approach like this is the ability to identify issues affecting your customers - before they become systemic.

Once you gain a deeper understanding of what customers are talking about the most and why they have given you the score they have, you can start looking towards an informed CX strategy that ensures customer happiness across all parts of your business.

Pinpoint your emotional drivers

Your customers can only tell you so much. To understand the other side of the equation when it comes to your customer's happiness, it is important to reflect on what kind of emotional connection you want to provide.

Figure out what positive emotions your product or service provides your customers. Look beyond your product features and instead focus on what emotion is associated with your customer’s experience.

Is your customer looking for a sense of community and belonging? Do they want to feel self-sufficient? Or perhaps they prioritize standing out from the crowd?

This is when using tools to help you crunch through and contextualize your data become extremely handy. Once you’ve gathered all your data it’s time to go through it all to see if you can find out what the emotional drivers are behind a purchase.

Take a look at what demographics your target customer reside in, and find out what matters to those specific demographics. At the end of the day, you should be able to build a complete picture of what factors and elements make your customers happy.

Conclusion

Customer happiness is incredibly important to the success of any business. No matter what industry you’re in, or what kind of organization you are, you should always be on the lookout to create an emotional connection with your customers.

Understanding what makes your customer happy can help inform your strategic decisions, adjust your marketing message, and create a stronger sales funnel. Doing this will help you to get ahead of the competition by winning the battleground that is customer experience.

Never settle for a satisfied customer, and always be on the lookout for new ways to bring a smile to your customer’s face.

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