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3 Tips to Improve Customer Satisfaction

07.11.2017, 6m

Satisfied customers – that’s what online retailers want, because that’s what drives their shop forward. However, how can online retailers make their customers happy? Here are three tips to improve customer satisfaction and, therefore, sales.

It costs between 6 to 8 times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep an existing one and motivate them to buy again from your shop. Therefore, it makes sense for online retailers to consider customer satisfaction as their top priority.

However, how can online retailers really make their customers happy? This blog post shows you three options you have to ensure customer satisfaction and increase sales.

Happy girl laughing against a colorful tiles background

1. Meet the customers’ expectations...

...or better yet, surpass them. This should be at the top of your agenda.
There are many reasons why a customer might not be satisfied with your shop: the product doesn’t meet their expectations, their package was delivered too late, or, worst-case scenario, it wasn’t delivered at all, and the list goes on.

Although these potholes in the road of satisfaction can’t always be avoided, you can do some things to try and prevent them. By looking at your shop, or your competitors’ shops, you will most certainly notice that product descriptions and images are often very scarce. Customers end up buying products and simply hoping for the best.

broken glass in the box

If the product doesn’t meet their expectations, it simply gets returned. This mean that A) you need to bear the return costs, and B) your customer is not satisfied – which is exactly the opposite of what you want to achieve.

To improve customer satisfaction (and reduce returns), you should therefore invest more resources for displaying your products. More detailed product descriptions and high-quality product images make sure that your customers know exactly what they are about to order.

In our article on social media contests, we explained to you how you can benefit from the pictures taken by your customers to improve sales and customer satisfaction. When customer engagement is high, there's a good chance you're building loyalty at the same time. 

Customer engagement whitepaper

Providing better product descriptions is not the only way to increase customer satisfaction. Precise information on delivery times is important, too, because it makes sure that customers know exactly when they’ll get their order delivered.

If a package is delivered later than expected, customers have to check why they haven’t received their order yet or where it is to be found. This wouldn’t add to customer satisfaction.

You should rather try and contact your customers pro-actively in case their order is delivered later than expected. You may want to say sorry with a discount coupon or a voucher via e-mail – your customers won’t be annoyed about the delay, and they’ll be grateful for the gift instead.

This brings us to the next point:

2. Small gestures, a great effect

Over the last few years, the eyewear company Ace & Tate has been able to acquire a large number of loyal customers, which, by the way, is steadily on the rise.

One of the reasons for its success lies in the great effect it has achieved with small gestures. For every glasses sent, a handwritten note is attached: Thank you for your order and enjoy your glasses. :)

Such small gestures lead to a ‘wow’ moment, which is unfortunately far too rare in e-commerce, and increase the likelihood that customers talk about your online shop.

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Handwritten messages showing gratitude, an extra item sent for free to your customers, a friendly reply to complaints going beyond the usual empty phrases, or offering a free gift are all small gestures that often lead to customers becoming loyal fans of your shop.

Think about how you can make sure your customers experience such a ‘wow’ moment when they open their package, or how you can bring joy to them – of course, without incurring high costs or giving up a lot of your time.

It is usually the small things that enable successful online shops to differentiate from the average competitor and improve customer satisfaction.

The next point shouldn’t be underestimated, either:

3. Make it as easy as possible for your customers to buy from your shop

How easy is it for your customers to get their bearings on your website? How long does the check-out process last?

shopping cart red background fire


Frustration is one of the greatest conversion killers in e-commerce. If you want potential customers to actually buy something from your shop instead of leaving empty-handed, you should make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

This means clear calls to action, a simple check-out process, and the possibility to have questions answered as soon and easily as possible.

As an online retailer, you know your online shop like the back of your hand. However, you may be so routine-blinded that you fail to detect what isn’t working with your ordering process or what is keeping customers from getting to the end of it.

Apart from analysing your data on Google Analytics, you may also follow the tip provided by conversion expert Nisk Kattau.

Get your online shop tested by somebody who doesn’t know it, with low affinity to e-commerce, or who is usually very critical. These testers may include your parents, friends, partners, or children.

There are also professional providers like HotJar who can help you analyse how your customers interact with your shop. However, for a first analysis, volunteers that you can observe in action will do the trick.

This strategy enables you to identify and remedy the shortcomings of your online shop.
Making it easier for your customers to buy from your online shop can even lead to an increase in the average shopping basket value.

By implementing sensible upselling and cross-selling strategies, the customer experience can also be improved.

  • If a customer adds a new digital camera to their shopping cart, you may want to offer them additional batteries at check-out.

  • If a customer is buying a television, you may want to offer them an HDMI cable.

    Is your customer interested in buying flowerpots? Then they will most certainly need potting compost, too.

  • Do you sell fully-automated coffee machines? Then, why not offer your customers also coffee beans or a coffee grinder?

Here, the focus should be on ‘sensible’. Customers should be led to think ‘Right! If I buy X, I need Y, too. Useful advice.’ and not be annoyed, rolling their eyes around because you are trying to sell them a bathtub mat with golf clubs.

Extra tip

Customer satisfaction should not be limited to your online shop. Customer satisfaction can be improved by acting beyond your day-to-day sales activities, too.

Give your customers some added value and be more than just an online shop. How?

By writing a blog, publishing amusing posts on social networks, and interacting with your customers.

By using blog posts or videos to provide customers with guidance on alternative ways to use the products you sell, you will establish yourself as an expert in the sector.

Not only does it boost customer loyalty, but it also makes sure that new customers find your online shop in the first place, even though they had never heard of it before.

Questions, complaints, or compliments are frequently posted on Facebook. Especially on Facebook, the trick for higher customer satisfaction is to provide a human (and quick) reaction.

If you answer your customers in a fast and reliable way, the customers who asked the question won’t be the only ones to be happy: your answer will be visible to everybody else, including new potential customers.

Don’t palm your customers off with the usual empty phrases, but be attentive and helpful!

The same holds true when it comes to support requests via e-mail or phone. Here too, the same rule applies: small gestures can have a great effect.


To improve customer satisfaction, you should...

  • surpass the customers’ expectations;

  • shine with small, yet by no means obvious gestures;

  • make it as easy as possible for customers to buy from your shop;

  • be more than just an online shop and advise your customers;

  • react to customers’ questions and requests in a fast and attentive way.

If you want to learn more about engaging with you customers to build loyalty, click on the banner below to download our free whitepaper. 

Building loyalty through customer engagement whitepaper