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5 Things We’ve Learned About Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction:

the measure of how products and/or services provided by a company meet or exceed a customer’s expectations.

How does an organization reach customer satisfaction? Of course there isn’t just one guaranteed method. It’s different per client, but there are definitely many principles that are repeatedly performed and received with satisfaction by customers. Many of these should be known through common sense, but we are all human, and sometimes over time, we forget to do them. Remember, no organization is immune to unsatisfied customers, and all you can do is give them your best. This information is very useful for just about any business, but we are sharing it with you to use on the members of your association.

Our principles of customer satisfaction are:

1. Be available. 

Have you ever tried to call customer service at an organization and be put on hold for tens of minutes to maybe even an hour? Have you ever emailed a support desk and received a response that you’ll get an email back within 24 hours but they didn’t get back to you until much longer? Availability and quick response time is key to having good communication and relationships with your clients. As an organization, being available is more beneficial to you than your clients because it’ll help with your reputation, trust factor, and when there are problems and you take too long to respond, you don’t want information that isn’t directly from the company to get to the client while they’re waiting for you.

For example, here at Alinity we have 5-10 minute long stand-up meetings every morning to discuss issues on our help desk. We make sure no issues that are sent to us don’t get addressed, the meetings involve people of various positions in our company, so that discussions and decisions can be made without wait time. This was implemented so that clients are not sitting and waiting for a response.

2. Be Smart.

Remember what has worked for you and your clients in the past and trash what hasn’t. Trash it and empty that metaphorical recycling bin and never use those methods again! You also want to make sure you are giving your client accurate information. Do not try to answer or solve problems you have no training or authority doing so. This could lead to impatience and mistrust from clients.

At Alinity, we admit what we are not good at. For example, some clients want to integrate their website with our website. We admit that we are not experts and advise them to do it with another company. Saying “I don’t know” is much better than struggling.

Another way for your organization to “be smart” is to talk about previous clients you’ve helped and how it relates and benefits other clients and their members. People like stories and examples. It helps them understand the service you are selling to them better. If clients can see how they can benefit from you by seeing how you’ve already benefited other organizations in their industry, they are more likely to trust you.

3. Be trustworthy.

Why pay money towards an organization you don’t trust? How will you keep and acquire more clients without trust and honesty? You can’t. It just doesn’t make sense. There is also no possibility of being sly about it, because in today’s world, news flies around much faster. If you aren’t being trustworthy, there is someone out there that is, and they are getting clients because they deserve it. To have clients for the long term, as well as new clients coming in from all the great word-of-mouth, be trustworthy!

Being trustworthy just means your organization has the ability to be relied on as being honest or truthful. So if you made a mistake with a client, admit it and fix it. Better yet, if you realized you made an error, acknowledge before they do and they’ll like you more!

4. Be compassionate.

To be compassionate means to show sympathy and concern for your customers and to have the urge to fix the problem. Your organization can do this by truly listening to client’s concerns, whether it’s through a question, complaint, or suggestion to improve, and taking the time to give them a helpful answer. If they are having trouble using your service, finding an easier method for the client and explaining it to them is a way to be compassionate.

For example, at Alinity, after installing our software with our clients, we’ll only use our own software to relay any announcements to them. We try to use our own software for as many things as possible so that if we encounter a problem or find an easier way to use it, we can tell our clients. We want to “walk a mile in their shoes” (their being the client) and understand our software as a user to be compassionate towards the struggles of our clients.

5. Be consistent.

Do all of the above and never stop doing it. If you set the bar on your customer service once, you can not and should not lower it. Customers will expect what you give them, and if that is great customer service, keep giving it to them. This will benefit your organization by the spreading of word of mouth by happy clients and you will have a higher rating as a service to them. Remember, your relationship with clients is like any relationship in life. Would you like your friend being there for you through thick and thin for months, then suddenly they chose to stop? Consistency will keep your clients in the long term.

Association Management Software

If you have any suggestions of other customer satisfaction tips, please leave them in the comment section below! If you are also looking for software to procure, but aren’t sure which one is best for your organization, use our Software Procurement Checklist. With it, you’ll be able to compare license management and association management software with the same criteria.