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Customer Satisfaction: Why Startups Should Prioritise It, Plus How To Measure And Improve It Today

Satisfied customer is a good promoter for your product/service.

Customer satisfaction is a basic requirement for the success of every startup, but with methods of measurement running the gamut from Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) to Customer Effort Score (CES) to Average Handling Time and more, it is easy to get overwhelmed – and tempting not to bother.

Yet customer satisfaction is critical. It is, arguably, the biggest indicator of startup success. Greater customer satisfaction leads to stronger customer retention, increasing business profitability while bringing down customer acquisition costs.

More importantly, satisfied customers are your biggest ambassadors. They’ll campaign for you through word of mouth recommendations. They’ll not only market your product, but they’ll advertise it, too.

Conversely, unhappy customers can achieve far the opposite result – and no startup wants that.

Customer satisfaction is critical not only to every startup’s survival, but also – and more importantly – its success. Whether you start small or start simple doesn’t matter, so long as you start somewhere.

Net Promoter Score

A good place to start with customer satisfaction is identifying your Net Promoter Score. Simply put, NPS is the willingness of users to recommend your product.

“On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you going to recommend to this product to a friend?” It’s a question we’ve all encountered on a website or an app. Zero means there’s no chance of recommendation, while 10 means we absolutely will recommend it. Take the percentage of those willing to promote your product and subtract the percentage of those who are not going to recommend your product, and you will have your Net Promoter Score.

What makes NPS effective is how it serves as a quickfire indicator of users’ satisfaction with your offering. Consider it one measurement of raving or ranting – naturally, those with positive experiences with an app will likely recommend it, and those with so-so experiences are less likely to rave about it to a friend.

NPS can also be indicative of other things, such as whether or not you’re meeting your customers’ expectations, and how much adoption your product is getting. It also suggests whether your customers will be loyal, or jump ship as soon as they discover a better offering.

App Store: Ratings & Reviews

For startups whose products and services run on mobile, App Store is worth taking a good look at. In particular, their pointers for receiving Ratings and Reviews lend some insight into the power of customer satisfaction.

On the App Store, customers give Ratings and Reviews based on their experience of an app. These Ratings affect your app’s discoverability, encourage or discourage downloads, and in the best cases, help create rapport with users.

“The number of App downloads is affected significantly by bad reviews and low star-ratings – 1 or 2 stars,” explains Kai Tsang, co-founder of White Knight who formerly was the Head of App Store at Apple.

“Bad reviews and ratings also decrease your chances of being featured by Apple’s editorial team.” What others say about your product is arguably more important than what you say about your product.

How you track customer satisfaction is equally important. The App Store guidelines suggest you “make the request (for a rating) when users are most likely to feel satisfaction with your app, such as when they’ve completed an action level or task. Make sure not to interrupt their activity.”

For instance, companies like TransferWise choose to survey their users after processing a monetary transaction, while those like AirBnb give users the option to leave a review once their trip is over – clearly, there’s no worse time to ask for feedback than during your user’s vacation! Not only would you have wasted your effort – as they’re unlikely to respond – you’d have also annoyed your users and potentially influenced a negative review in the process.

Depending on the nature of your business, their feedback can be indicative of the experience they’d had, the quality of your offering, both, or more. In the case of AirBnb, survey results also reflect the house they stayed at. Companies like Uber ask passengers to rate their driver as well.

Drive customer satisfaction with on-boarding

Another area of user experience we highly encourage you to look into would be customer onboarding. Why?

“For new customers, onboarding is very important as it can increase customer satisfaction by a lot,” says Tsang. “First impressions, after all, are so important.”

Customer onboarding is the process of introducing users to your brand and demonstrating how your product works. A successful onboarding process convinces your users to keep using your app.

The reality is, those who are new to your business are quickly forming opinions about whether or not to use your product or service. Being the first experience they will have with your offering, onboarding is crucial to retaining a customer.

Studies indicate that more than 20% of users that download an app only use it once. To avoid becoming part of this statistic, take advantage of this first engagement with users to help them understand how your product works and how it will bring them value.

Onboarding methods and essentials

Depending on the nature of your service, onboarding your customers span a range of approaches. There is the benefits approach, which spotlights how your product benefits your users’ lifestyle. There is also the functions approach, which focuses on your app’s core features and demonstrates how your product is used.

Another approach involves more engagement – demonstrating how your app works by getting your user to try using different functions, or having them sign up for the service in order to access its features. A combination of the above is also an option.

While the approaches vary – it’s up to your startup to determine which approach will maximise the onboarding process for both you and your user – some key requirements are important to keep in mind.

First, keep things personal. Welcome users by name. It’s not difficult to customise a Welcome email, yet doing so is a powerful way to ensure customers feel recognised and taken care of by your brand.

As well, ensure you have services and strategies in place to keep them. What assistance might they need in the process of engaging with your product? Do you have customer service set up to help? What else might benefit them over the course of their usage? Do you have follow-up actions to engage them?

In the startup world, it pays to consistently remind your users how you benefit their lives. A high Net Promoter Score is imperative to growing your customer base, yet it will also take a succinct and seamless onboarding experience to ensure your customers stay in the long run – and hopefully leave you a raving rating and review.

About White Knight Group

White Knight Group is a revolutionary investor dedicated to partnering with startups and helping them succeed. Get in touch with the White Knight Group at

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