SWOT Analysis: Using Business Strengths and Weaknesses to increase Customer Satisfaction
When we use SWOT analysis, it’s often for strategic planning. It prepares for decisions and gives an overall look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of business. But SWOT analysis can also be used to increase and build upon customer satisfaction.
To give a well-rounded overview of how to use SWOT analysis for a boost in customer satisfaction, we’ll start with the Strengths and Weaknesses first.
The strengths and weaknesses of SWOT analysis
In business management, strengths measure what your company is doing right. It also measures competitor edge – how you’re positively measuring up against the competition. And it guides towards appropriate methods for conversions and purchases. Analyzing why your strengths are working for your consumers and against competitors is where you’ll find the real answers.
But businesses also need (and will develop) weaknesses. Weaknesses represent the holes in your business model. They can be anything, including:
- Poor website user interface
- Inferior email marketing
- High state taxes
- Shoddy sales copy
- Lackluster product descriptions
- Lack of funding
While weaknesses cause stress, they’re also what keep businesses from slumping. Or in this case, aid in increasing customer satisfaction. Paired with business strengths, we’ve got the main ingredients to keep customers happy.
Now we need to concentrate on mediums for improving customer experience. Beginning with reviews.
Using good and bad reviews to your business advantage
Depending on the market of your business, customer satisfaction can be found in many ways. The most prominent way is through reviews. Happy reviews tell us the things we’re doing right to create a returning customer. Reviews often discuss:
- Quality of product
- Quality of customer service (response times, general communication)
- Processing/Shipping times
- Expectations vs. Reality (of product/experience)
If you have many good reviews, it’s easier to see how your business model appeals to your consumers. So, identify the positives. Keep track of what is repeatedly mentioned, as this is a formidable strength against competitors. It’s also what keeps your customers happy.
Eventually you will have a negative review. While people fear bad reviews and believe they hurt brand credibility, the truth is, a bad review can be a chance to increase customer satisfaction. Keep track of what customers repeatedly complain about (or mention is “OK” but not “Excellent). Then create possible solutions. While you may not need to implement these solutions after one bad review, ten bad reviews on the same topic may persuade you to look deeper. But this way you’re already prepared and developing a plan.
Rip My Product to Pieces for customer satisfaction
If you don’t feel confident in reviews or want a more direct way to improve upon your business, you can ask others to critique it. This works best for:
- New sales pages (copy, appearance)
- Websites (user interface, functionality, appearance)
- Product descriptions (copy, relevance to product, benefits vs. features)
It’s recommended to do a “rip my X apart” pre-launch so you can make adjustments prior to ideal customers seeing it. Asking people who you don’t know (and are not blinded by emotional connection) will provide the most honest responses. You can find people on:
- Facebook Groups
- Forums (related to your niche/market)
- Reddit (subreddits: Startups/Small Business)
Here people will tell you what’s working (strengths) and what’s not (weaknesses) from a consumer/customer viewpoint. With this feedback, you have multiple resources to improve upon design and concept.
But if you hope to reach pre-existing customers, you may need to go more in depth.
Concise Customer Surveys
Another way to reach out about customer satisfaction is through a simple survey, sent to your customers through email.
This survey should be short and touch on 1-2 aspects of the business which is either lacking in conversions or is doing well but could be better. Basically, strengths and weaknesses you’ve noted in your business through SWOT and PESTLE analysis, but wish to have better feedback before implementing improvements/changes.
Surveys can be sent in two ways: periodically (annually or quarterly) as feedback to existing and repeated customers. These customers are currently satisfied enough to continue purchasing (strength). Or you can send surveys to customers after they’ve opted out of your service/product (weakness).
You can use a rating system (numbers, agree/disagree, yes/no) while giving an outlet to customers to provide feedback with their own words. For example, video game companies who have subscription-based online games will send a survey to customers who decide to not re-subscribe.
The key thing they ask is: How do you feel we (company) can improve upon X?
X can be the product (game), features, or benefits. What they’re really asking is, what made you decide to take your money elsewhere? What made you bored, or uncomfortable, or so upset you decided to look elsewhere?
With this question asked, the former customer is given a word/character limit to respond in their own words what caused them to opt-out.
As important as surveys can be, it means nothing if you don’t intend to use the answers to increase customer satisfaction. Only use this method if you intend to keep records of the data/responses to implement into future services.
And remember, the more concise the survey the better your results. Asking 10 different things will make it hard to analyze the data and feedback. But focusing on 2-3 key aspects gives tighter responses for easier implementation.
Online tools to create surveys: Survey Monkey or Free Online Surveys.
To increase customer satisfaction…
It’s best to use strengths and weakness analysis to identify the aspects of your business customers are satisfied with, but also what they dislike. Because people build businesses after being that disgruntled customer.
But by staying customer-focused and documenting customer praises and complaints, you can use your business strengths and weaknesses to increase overall customer satisfaction.