7 Tips to Improve Customer Satisfaction & Manage Retention

Diedrich RPM Marketing

Time and time again at Diedrich RPM, we see clients struggle with maintaining high customer satisfaction ratings. We observe instances where overall satisfaction is at 60% or less, and no accountability is in place to address customer service issues. Unfortunately, this applies to a wide variety of markets, from retail to manufacturing to health care. This is why we specialize in monitoring reviews and ratings to identify areas for improvement for the companies we serve. Break the trend of low customer satisfaction and boost company performance by following the tips below!

Best Practices for Understanding Your Market Position to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Establishing a Baseline

A baseline study that looks at all retail, geographic areas, or other critical segments of service is key to establishing benchmarks. The baseline study should incorporate quantitative evaluations of the business, the competition, areas of service, whether customers will maintain their loyalty to a business, and whether they will recommend the business to others. It should provide a clear overview of each segment and the size and importance of the segment as it relates to the business. 

Compare your Benchmark Against the Industry

When using the baseline study, it is important to understand how your business stacks up against the competition. Therefore, if you can access national data, you can determine your market position.

Develop Your Company Satisfaction Goals and Formerly Communicate This to Your Management Team

Use the benchmark and baseline data to support this strategy.

Support Goals with Rewards and Training Where Needed

Provide monthly reporting feedback and accountability back to your management team. (This is supported with number 5 below.)

Implement an On-Going Continuous Satisfaction Survey

Give your customers the opportunity to voice their opinions freely, monitoring trends such as WOMI (word of mouth index) to see how your teams are progressing in achieving the company satisfaction goals.  The survey should be easily accessible, utilizing a mixed-method approach to field responses from all customers regardless of age, communication preference, or online presence.

Incorporate Retention Strategy for At-Risk Customers

Prevent negative customer reviews before they happen by implanting a trigger alert with automated notifications based on negative satisfaction ratings.

Leverage Positive WOMI and Satisfaction Scores Through Your Marketing Efforts

Demonstrate your collective performance to your customers and acknowledge areas you are working on as needed (any areas that are underperforming).


Avoid the Following Pitfalls :

Incorporate Safety Protocols so People Cannot “Cheat” the System

Unfortunately, if leaders are being compensated by a performance measurement, they may try to trick the system by providing phantom positive reviews.  Make sure your vendor or internal infrastructure is set up to monitor, track, and eliminate fictitious data.

Don’t Rely on Nominal Data Tied to Inadequate Respondent Population Sizes

Ensure that you have a representative sample (Central Limit Theorem) commensurate with your population.  If your response data is skewed, your reaction and strategies to address the data will be too.  (Ask yourself questions like, “Are there too many seniors responding?” “Are there not enough respondents in a certain geography, affinity customers, or within your key segment?”)


The Proof:

If you implement these strategies, you can see customer satisfaction improvements. Below are examples from clients from a range of markets. 

Health Care Patient Satisfaction Trend Analysis

Five-year overall satisfaction performance trend analysis:

Health Care Chart of Improve Customer Satisfaction

Retail Customer Satisfaction Trend Analysis

Primary and secondary customer market share trend analysis:

Retail Customer Graph of Improve Customer Satisfaction

Manufacturing Customer Satisfaction Trend Analysis

WOMI (word of mouth index) measures the loyalty indicators to determine advocates of the brand.

Manufacturing Data of Improve Customer Satisfaction


Sorting through this data and conducting constant surveys can be a lot of work for small and large businesses. However, Diedrich RPM has many research services to help companies monitor and improve customer satisfaction for optimum success.

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