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How to improve customer satisfaction in 2024 & beyond


The Team at CallMiner

April 11, 2024

Customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction

According to a report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), customer satisfaction in the U.S. rose to a score of 77.8 out of 100 in the fourth quarter of 2023—an all-time record high. This is in sharp contrast to Q4 2021, when customer satisfaction reached its lowest point in 20 years.

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While this is good news, it doesn’t mean that the work is done. Today’s companies face a variety of challenges in maintaining customer satisfaction, ranging from increasing competition to heightened customer expectations, outdated or ineffective technology, and the lack of an omnichannel management strategy.

In this guide, we’ll explore customer satisfaction in more detail, its importance, and proven strategies to improve customer satisfaction in the current landscape, including:

  • What is customer satisfaction?
  • Why is customer satisfaction important?
  • Benefits of improving customer satisfaction
  • Challenges in improving customer satisfaction
  • Proven ways to improve customer satisfaction in 2024 & beyond
  • Final thoughts
  • Frequently asked questions

What is customer satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction measures how a business's products or services meet or exceed customer expectations. It is an important indicator of a business's overall success and quality, reflecting the level of happiness and loyalty customers have towards a brand or organization.

Customer satisfaction is influenced by various factors, such as the quality of the product, the level of customer service received, the price in relation to the value of the product or service, and comparisons with competitors.

Why is customer satisfaction important?

Customer satisfaction is an important business performance metric for companies as it provides insight into customer loyalty and the likelihood of churn and helps identify issues with the product or service. Companies that maintain a high level of customer satisfaction can also use it to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Surveys and studies conducted by various organizations repeatedly highlight the importance of customer satisfaction. For example, in Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer Report, 8 out of 10 respondents say the customer experience they have with a brand is equally as important as the company’s products or services.

What’s more, 88% of respondents in the same survey say that they’re more likely to purchase from a brand again if they have a good customer experience.

However, if they have a poor customer experience, 67% of consumers have told someone else about their negative experience, and 65% of consumers have switched to a competitor. More than half of consumers (54%) will stop doing business with a brand after a single bad experience, and 80% would switch to a competitor after more than one poor experience.

Clearly, getting it right the first time is crucial, but that’s easier said than done, as today’s customers have increasingly heightened expectations. According to Ultimate’s Customer Service Trends 2024 report, the top change in customer behavior in 2023 was higher expectations, noted by 38% of customer experience leaders surveyed.

The 2023 National Customer Rage Survey, conducted by Customer Care Measurement & Consulting (CCMC) in collaboration with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, found that 74% of consumers have experienced a product or service problem within the previous year.

According to the CCMC survey, consumers have shared personal brand experiences on social media an average of 41 times in the past year. That means word can spread quickly about your company’s excellent customer experience—or lack thereof.

Brands do have the opportunity to turn many of these poor experiences into positive experiences. The National Customer Rage Survey found that 79% of consumers will take the time and effort to make a customer service complaint.

Additionally, 39% of consumers were either completely satisfied or delighted with the company’s resolution of their concern, an increase of 7% since 2020. Companies are doing better, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

Benefits of improving customer satisfaction

Improving customer satisfaction is crucial for businesses looking to succeed in today’s competitive market. Happy customers are more likely to return, make repeat purchases, and recommend your business to others. Here are some key benefits of focusing on improving customer satisfaction:

  • Increased customer loyalty: When customers are satisfied with the products or services they receive, they are more likely to become loyal customers. They will continue to choose your business over competitors and are also more likely to make repeat purchases.
  • Positive word-of-mouth marketing: Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your business to friends, family, and colleagues. It’s one of the most effective ways to attract new customers and build a strong reputation in the industry.
  • Higher profit margins: A focus on customer satisfaction can lead to increased sales and higher profit margins. Satisfied customers are willing to pay more for a product or service they value and trust, leading to increased revenue for your business.
  • Improved brand reputation: Customer satisfaction is closely linked to brand reputation. You can build a positive brand reputation in the market by consistently delivering high-quality products and services and ensuring customer needs are met.
  • Reduced customer churn: Customer satisfaction plays a key role in reducing customer churn. Satisfied customers are less likely to switch to a competitor and are more likely to continue doing business with your company over the long term.
  • Competitive advantage: In today’s market, customer satisfaction is a key differentiator for businesses, providing a competitive advantage and attracting more customers to your business.

Challenges in improving customer satisfaction

While organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of customer satisfaction, attaining consistently high customer satisfaction levels can be challenging for a number of reasons. Here’s a look at the most common challenges companies face in improving customer satisfaction in 2024:

  • Increased competition: There’s growing competition in every industry today. For businesses that fail to maintain customer satisfaction, there’s a competitor (or three) waiting in the wings with the promise of a better customer experience. Market disruptors are also increasingly common today, particularly with the pace of technological advancement. Putting customers at the center of new product development efforts and product development strategy is vital to maintaining a competitive edge and cultivating customer loyalty in today’s competitive landscape.
  • Heightened customer expectations: Along with increased competition comes heightened customer expectations. Customers increasingly expect high-quality products and exceptional service. As long-standing competitors and new market entrants step up their customer experience game, customers raise the bar for the brands they know and trust. This pushes companies to invest more in product development, customer service training, and quality control, which can significantly raise operational costs—particularly for businesses that are leveraging outdated or ineffective technology (more on that below).
  • Handling angry customers: Dealing with customer complaints is something that every business has to face, no matter how great their products are. It's important to train customer service representatives to handle these situations with care and professionalism. Additionally, gathering feedback through surveys can help businesses identify and fix the reasons behind customer dissatisfaction, ultimately leading to better overall customer satisfaction.
  • Lack of (quality) customer feedback: Gathering sufficient customer data is essential for improving customer satisfaction. It’s vital for businesses to collect as much customer data as possible to make smart decisions about how to improve their overall experience. By setting up ways for customers to give their thoughts on all the different ways they interact with the business, and making sure that the feedback is useful and reliable, companies can take some meaningful steps in the right direction.
  • Outdated customer information: Outdated customer information is much like not having enough customer data to analyze. Outdated data can lead to misinformed decisions and negatively impact the customer journey. Keeping customer profiles and preferences up-to-date based on ample, timely feedback and analysis is key to improving customer satisfaction.
  • Lack of an omnichannel management strategy: Without a comprehensive plan to handle customer interactions through different channels, there may be discrepancies in the way customers experience a brand. Developing a unified database and centralized content management can help overcome organizational silos. With a unified view of customers, businesses can ensure a smooth and consistent omnichannel experience.
  • Outdated or ineffective technology: The success of customer experience and customer satisfaction strategies relies heavily on having the correct technologies in place. Without the right technology, companies might find it difficult to effectively analyze customer data or offer seamless experiences across all channels. Investing in the right tools and technologies for customer experience is crucial for improving customer satisfaction.

Proven ways to improve customer satisfaction in 2024 & beyond

1. Provide omnichannel customer service.

Omnichannel customer service is inherently customer-centric. This is largely due to the way data is handled in between customer interactions. Customer conversation data persists across channels and agents, cutting down on the need for repetition. Customer service reps can take advantage of this sticky data to improve cohesion across touchpoints.

By adopting an omnichannel service strategy, organizations can assist their agents in creating exceptional experiences for their customers. Individual customer issues can begin on one channel and smoothly transition across several others without wasting time and effort on redundant questions. This way, persistent interaction data directly improves service delivery and customer success. Enhanced visibility of customer concerns can also improve agent intervention outcomes, potentially lowering your service rep churn rate.”

(Source: CallMiner)

2. Establish empathy.

“The ability to establish empathy for your customers and identify how they’re feeling at every turn is what makes customer journey mapping, a powerful exercise.

A customer journey map – or customer experience map – expands that empathy on a broader level so you have a true understanding of their experience and can be meaningful in your organization’s customer experience improvement strategies. Utilizing this approach allows you to take your customer’s perspective and use it as an opportunity to find solutions to any problem they may face when interacting with your company.”

(Source: Delighted)

3. Establish and exceed expectations.

“Just satisfying customer expectations is not important. You need to be able to ‘wow’ your customers so that even a single bad experience would not make them move to a competitor. The only reason why a customer would jump ship is when the brand fails to meet its customer expectations.

Deloitte says that more than 62% of companies view customer experience as a competitive differentiator. So exceeding customer expectations is a big parameter for you to succeed in a world that is known to be ultra-competitive.

A Gartner survey says that companies that focus on satisfying customer expectations are known to analyze customer feedback. Then, they work on improving it thus creating a better business foundation.”

(Source: SurveySparrow)

4. Listen to your customers.

“There’s no way of knowing whether your customers are satisfied with your product or not, or what they want you to update or fix, unless you ask them directly and actively listen to their response.

Listening and responding to your users helps you retain more customers and build product loyalty. But without the right tools in place to actively listen to your customers, you could be missing out on important roadblocks in the customer journey, key user frustrations, and unique ideas for improvement.”

(Source: Hotjar)

5. Identify your service language.

“No two departments (or teams or individuals) have exactly same vision for unbelievable service. Each group has a different understanding of the attention, resources, processes, and systems needed to improve customer experiences.

Many organizations adopt standardized customer service training programs in order to manage these differing perspectives. But that’s the wrong approach. First, we need to identify a common and consistent language that we’ll use to communicate about serving customers. Building that common language starts by building a shared vocabulary that helps unify the attention and actions of teams across the customer journey.”

(Source: Ron Kaufman’s Uplifting Blog)

6. Communicate authentically.

“If you are in the process of solving a customer’s problem, feel free to keep the language professional enough. But once you solve a customer’s problem, or if a customer contacts you with positive feedback, please feel free to be less formal and more personal.

Use good judgment in communicating with customers [in an] authentic way, with your own voice. For example, if customers contact you on Twitter, feel free to respond with a GIF or hashtag. If you leave them a comment on Instagram, try embedding an emoji. In terms of attention, personal touches can make you endearing to your customers and make them more excited to connect with you.”

(Source: TwiLead)

7. Create a customer-centric culture.

“A customer-centric culture means that every team and department works to foster a positive customer experience. When everyone does their job duties with the customer in mind, they are constantly solving for the customer and working to satisfy their desires and satisfy them.”

(Source: Hubspot)

8. Respond to negative feedback, reviews, and customer complaints.

“When customers complain, listen and act. For example, if they complain on social media or a review site like Yelp, respond to their complaint in a timely manner. The challenge for most organizations is most customers don’t complain. They just move on to another provider.”

(Source: CMSWire)

9. Empower your team to deliver exceptional customer service.

“Your employees are on the front lines. In many cases, they are the face of your business. Therefore, employee engagement and training are essential for delivering exceptional customer experiences.

You see, engaged and well-trained employees are more likely to provide knowledgeable assistance, empathetic support and personalized service that exceed customer expectations. By investing in ongoing training programs and clear customer service guidelines, you create a culture of providing exceptional customer experiences.”

(Source: Forbes)

10. Measure customer satisfaction performance.

“Aiming to make a positive impact on customer satisfaction without actually tracking your performance over time is a lot like trying to shoot a target while blindfolded. You should be accustomed to measuring each and every facet of your business that you intend to improve.

Choosing appropriate metrics to measure customer satisfaction among those that you serve helps transform your attempts to improve into an actual strategy backed by data. A few excellent key performance indicators to consider keeping track of are customer satisfaction score (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), customer retention rate and average resolution time.”

(Source: CallMiner)

11. Make it easy for customers to do business with you.

“You want to do everything possible to make sure your customer will return and do business with you again and again, and tell their friends about their experience with your company.

There are many ways to do this, but one of the most powerful tools at your disposal is appreciation. So many companies forget to take a step back and appreciate their customers for trusting them with their business. Everyone could use a little more gratitude in their lives, and it’s exactly what your customers want from you.”

(Source: Quality Contact Solutions)

12. Boost employee satisfaction.

“Your customers are likely to mirror the mood of your service staff. A study conducted by the University of Western Australia and Carlton University found that ‘the affective state (e.g. relief, satisfaction or excitement) of each may influence the other.’ The findings underline that employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction are highly intertwined.

Both your customers and your service agents want to feel respected and valued.

Action step: Make sure your service employees see the positive results of their hard work. By integrating your feedback tool with your team platform (e.g. Slack, Asana), service ratings or customer comments are immediately visible to your service agents.”

(Source: Userlike)

13. Evaluate every touchpoint.

“For some customers, a bad experience at any point in the customer lifecycle can ruin the reputation of your brand forever. To anticipate any friction, you need to be sure customer experience skills are being demonstrated consistently throughout the journey. Pay the most attention to key touchpoints, but make sure you have a full view of the customer experience, or you risk lapses in service that can really hurt the business overall.

Key touchpoints involve how customers come into contact with your brand before, during, and after the purchase phase. So, it's crucial to consider all these steps when engaging with a customer who might have had a positive or negative experience.”

(Source: SurveyMonkey)

14. Create personalized customer experiences.

“People appreciate it when businesses go out of their way to recognize them, address them by name, and remember their preferences. Personalizing customer experience involves understanding the customer’s needs, preferences, and behavior to create a tailored experience. For instance, if a customer consistently purchases a particular product, suggest other related products that the customer may find useful. And keep in mind that personalization is not just limited to product recommendations—it can extend to providing personalized offers, promotions, and loyalty programs.”

(Source: Podium)

15. Answer inquiries and address concerns quickly.

“There’s a direct correlation between the level of customer satisfaction and the time it took to resolve their issue. That’s one reason why omnichannel communications are so important.

Customers hate it when they can’t get the information they want right away. It’s the number one consumer complaint. That’s why you must be able to dynamically scale customer service resources to match demand. It’s difficult for many companies to have those resources on standby just in case demand surges. Being able to handle customer concerns quickly plays a significant role in improving a brand’s net promoter score. It’s one reason why so many brands turn to outsourcing their support.”

(Source: Odondo)

16. Share customer feedback with your team.

“If you know what analytics to track to get a firm understanding of your customer service efforts, share them with your team to let them know what they are doing right, and where they need to get better.

For instance, if you are finding that some consumers have voiced frustration about a product or service, share this with your employees so they can fully explain how this service will be carried out — scheduling, dispatching a team, the work to be done, and everything else a client would like to know to make the process smoother.”

(Source: WorkWave)

17. Offer self-service support options.

“The best way to manage support tickets is to be proactive and provide simple solutions for customers to find answers and solutions independently without needing to contact a support rep.

Customer self-service helps you put an end to both your customers’ and agents’ misery by enabling customers with the answers and support tools they need. It empowers customers to solve their own issues without waiting in a long customer service queue, decreases time-to-value, and simultaneously saves time for your customer service crew with ticket deflection. In fact, 69% of all users prefer web self-service over any other form of support.”

(Source: Whatfix)

18. Offer a loyalty program (and leverage the data).

“Loyalty programs serve as a powerful tool for businesses to collect customer data and gain valuable insights. By incentivising customers to join these programs, businesses can access demographic information, transaction history, product preferences, and engagement metrics. This data allows businesses to personalise their offerings, tailor marketing campaigns, and create targeted promotions that resonate with individual customers, ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience and fostering loyalty.”

(Source: Loyalty & Reward Co.)

19. Offer dedicated customer service channels on social media.

“Using your business profile for customer service inquiries is perfectly fine. In fact, it's a great opportunity to build trust by responding to comments and solving problems in a timely manner.

However, it's always a good idea to outline other options such as a Facebook Group, chat, or interactive helpdesk for users who may need additional assistance.

This approach allows for transparency in customer relations without unnecessarily advertising issues to other followers who may not be aware of them. Remember, there's no need to hide customer issues, but there's also no need to advertise them.”

(Source: Sendible)

20. Create a feedback system to share feedback across departments.

“The first step to share customer feedback across departments is to create a system that collects, analyzes, and distributes feedback in a consistent and timely manner. You can use various tools and methods to gather feedback, such as surveys, ratings, reviews, comments, complaints, or testimonials.

You can also use software or platforms that integrate feedback data from multiple channels, such as phone, email, chat, or social media. The feedback system should allow you to segment and filter feedback by different criteria, such as type, topic, sentiment, or urgency. It should also enable you to assign feedback to the appropriate department or person, and track the progress and results of the actions taken.”

(Source: LinkedIn)

21. Identify customer pain points.

“In a nutshell, customer pain points are any issue with a product or service that causes frustration or confusion for the customer. Pain points can include anything from when an app or website is not working properly to delivery delays to poor customer service.

Once you identify what a customer’s pain points are, you can work toward solutions that lead to better product development or service, greater customer interactions, and even enhance marketing efforts.

The biggest challenge is that not every user or customer will have the same pain points, and finding solutions that don’t have greater implications can be tricky at times.

Knowing your customer’s pain points can lead to a better customer service strategy. If you do your homework in the beginning so that you have a solid understanding of what’s most frustrating for customers, you’ll have the best chance of developing a solid solution.”

(Source: SolidWP)

22. Analyze your competitors.

“Competitor analysis is used by the most successful businesses to remain forward-looking – it helps you revise strategy based on the insights you uncover and amplify what works.

Competitive analysis also helps businesses understand how they can improve by better serving their customers, based on customer feedback around other competing businesses in their market.

Businesses are better off if they know how they are faring when competing for market share, and why.

Businesses not executing regular competitive analysis risk not understanding when and why consumers prefer their competitors, not identifying their competitive vulnerabilities, and not seeing new threats and opportunities.”

(Source: Qualtrics)

23. Ensure your customers feel valued.

“Emotions drive decisions just as much, if not more, than logic and reason. The feeling that someone doesn’t think you’re important can be devastating to that individual’s self worth and status. Customer relationships, just like any relationship, have peaks and troughs. Often there’s a honeymoon period when everything is new and customers are given the red carpet onboarding treatment. This is difficult to sustain over time. Some customers don’t particularly mind, or barely notice. Others will feel a sting of abandonment and betrayal.

You’ve ideally got to know what customers are thinking about this kind of thing. And be sensitive to picking up minor changes that you can address. Use customer feedback to gain the right insights. And don’t underestimate the value of treating customers with courtesy, curiosity and patience.”

(Source: Customer Thermometer)

24. Turn mistakes into positive customer experiences.

“When a customer encounters an error or issue, fixing the problem is the first step. While it’s essential to resolve the issue, it’s equally important to take steps to enhance the customer experience after the fact.

One way to achieve this is to offer something extra as a goodwill gesture. This can be something tangible like a discount, a free product or service, or something as simple as a sincere apology or a personalized message.

By going above and beyond to show the customer that you value their business, you can turn a negative experience into a positive one. This, in turn, can lead to customer loyalty and even advocacy.”

(Source: Doing CX Right)

25. Go beyond surveys by analyzing every conversation.

“Understanding customer feedback is essential if businesses want to improve customer experiences and boost retention. For many organizations, surveys have long been the primary, and often only, source of customer feedback. While surveys – or solicited feedback – provide valuable insights, they’re not without challenges. Surveys historically have low response rates, and many customers who take them often fall on the extreme ends of the emotion spectrum. It’s no surprise that most customers who respond to surveys are either extremely satisfied or extremely dissatisfied.

It’s time organizations view surveys as only one customer feedback channel – not the only channel. Businesses must begin to diversify their feedback collection methods.

Unsolicited feedback provides the ideal solution. Businesses can obtain a comprehensive view of customer sentiment without burdening customers with survey requests. Unsolicited feedback is mined directly from the interactions your business is already having with customers, such as through the contact center. These conversations represent a rich source of data with invaluable insights hidden within.”

(Source: CallMiner)

Final thoughts

Having in-depth and accurate customer insights is the key to improving and maintaining consistently high levels of customer satisfaction. A conversation intelligence solution like CallMiner analyzes 100% of customer interactions, delivering a wealth of insight into customers’ emotions, needs, desires, opinions, and expectations. Leveraging conversation intelligence enables businesses to deliver superior customer experiences while also improving efficiency and minimizing costs.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between customer service and customer satisfaction?

Customer service refers to the support and assistance provided by a company to its customers before, during, and after purchasing a product or service. It involves helping customers resolve issues, answering questions, and ensuring a smooth transaction process.

In contrast, customer satisfaction measures how well a company's products or services meet or exceed customer expectations. It's an indicator of the customer's perception of the value received from the product or service.

What is the meaning of improved customer satisfaction?

Improved customer satisfaction means that a company has successfully increased how well its products, services, or interactions meet or exceed customer expectations. This improvement can result from enhanced product quality, better customer service, or a more engaging customer experience.

What are the 3 major areas of customer satisfaction?

The three major areas of customer satisfaction are product quality, service quality, and the overall customer experience.

  • Product quality refers to how well a product functions, its durability, and whether it meets the customer's needs.
  • Service quality reflects the efficiency, empathy, and responsiveness of customer support and service interactions.
  • The customer's overall experience is their holistic view of their journey with the company, including ease of purchase, usability, and emotional satisfaction.

What are any four 4 factors affecting customer satisfaction?

There are many factors that can impact customer satisfaction, such as:

  • The gap between what customers expect and how they perceive what they receive.
  • The customer's assessment of whether the product or service is worth its cost.
  • The quality of customer service, support, and interaction with the customer.
  • The reputation and trustworthiness of the company in the eyes of the customer.

What is a good customer satisfaction percentage?

A good customer satisfaction percentage typically ranges from 85% to 95%. However, this can vary by industry and customer expectations. Achieving high satisfaction levels indicates that a company is meeting or exceeding customer expectations effectively.

What is the main goal of customer satisfaction?

The main goal of customer satisfaction is to create loyal customers who are likely to make repeat purchases, recommend the company to others, and contribute to a positive brand reputation. Satisfied customers are essential for long-term business success and growth.

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