4 warning signs of declining customer satisfaction

by Scott Spivack • ,

Measuring buyer satisfaction and key performance metrics is critical for retailers to maintain loyalty and keep lifetime value high. Unfortunately, most customers won’t make their voices heard if there’s a problem – they’ll simply take their business elsewhere. This leads to low retention rates and missed opportunities for improvements in CX.

Low satisfaction also leads to negative reviews, which can greatly affect a brand’s chances of attracting new business. A Bizrate Insights survey this year found that 92% of shoppers read reviews before making a decision to buy.

Identifying issues before they become major flaws in the customer experience is one of the cornerstones of effective CX management. Here are four signs that could indicate your shoppers are unhappy with their experience:

1. They aren’t taking advantage of sales or discounts

If you run a major promotion or special offer, but conversions are lower than expected, it may be because customers no longer have enough faith in your brand to purchase from you – even at a reduced cost. While customers typically gravitate towards the retailer that offers the best prices, a negative experience will discourage them from returning regardless of the savings.

Instead of trying to win over these customers by slashing prices, focus on identifying and correcting the issues that are driving them away from your brand. Examine your business’ key metrics and look for any trends that could indicate a pain point. These can help you pinpoint issues that are interrupting your customers on their path to purchase, such as technical problems with checkout or resistance to shipping charges.

2. They aren’t responsive to emails or social media posts

Digital channels are one of the primary methods you have of engaging with customers. When open rates or social interactions drop, it could be a sign that shoppers feel less loyal and connected to your brand.

This decline could be for a variety of reasons; your content may be off message, or your customers may be unhappy with some aspect of their experience. With many factors at play, it can be difficult to pinpoint what’s truly turning customers away.

To find out what’s limiting consumer engagement, a more comprehensive solution may be required. A Voice of Customer solution can be a useful listening tool to identify shoppers’ pain points.

3. Complaints increase – then suddenly stop

If a customer stops complaining, it may not mean that their issue has been resolved, but that they have simply given up on addressing it. If this is the case, the chances of them ever returning are dramatically lower.

We covered the importance of handling complaints quickly in our eGuide, Negative Reviews, Positive Impact. The general consensus among consumers is that they want an immediate fix to their problem. Time is of the essence if retailers want to maintain their loyalty.

4. Key metrics start to drop

Bizrate Insights allows retailers to track and measure multiple customer experience KPIs. Many of the metrics we track serve as an early indicator that customer loyalty is declining, such as Likelihood to Recommend or Likelihood to Shop Again.

If these stats are declining, don’t dismiss it as a temporary drop. Examine your customer comments to find common threads that can help you better live up to their expectations.

The most important thing to remember is that in most cases it’s possible to win back customers with a fast and satisfactory resolution. Many won’t raise the issues themselves, which makes it critical for brands to monitor the customer experience. As eCommerce becomes an increasingly customer-focused industry, the ability to learn from negative feedback and adapt accordingly will become critical to long-term success.

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