Customer satisfaction is what differentiates you from your competition.
I catch myself saying this pretty often to my colleagues and to my readers. Customer satisfaction, has gained a lot of importance in the last few years. Customers have begun to expect a lot more from companies and brands than just a trouble-free purchase. With plenty of companies sprouting every other minute, customer loyalty is a hard win. Organizations have to constantly work to ensure that customer satisfaction trumps company profits. Every single time.
Not convinced yet? Let’s look at a few numbers and stats.
- By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key differentiator between brands.
- One happy customer can equal as many as 9 referrals for your business.
- Great customer experience can lift revenue by up to 15%.
- Maximizing customer experience can lower the cost of serving customers by as much as 20%.
- 74% of consumers have spent more due to good customer service.
- 86% of buyers would pay more for a better customer experience.
- 56% of global consumers say they have higher expectations for customer service now than they had just one year ago.
Everyone is a Customer Support Unicorn
Back in the days, organizations had separate teams for customer service that helped answer customer questions. But we still have support teams to run the show even today. What’s changed? Employees are encouraged to become customer engagement agents. Customer support agents are encouraged to sell or market products in a way that doesn’t sound promotional. Roles of people from different functions are diverging; everyone within an organization is becoming aware of the importance of customer experience to brand health. Companies are also adopting advanced customer support tactics such as implementing omnichannel support or identifying and solving customer issues even before they become pressing problems.
What Cannot be Measured, Cannot be Managed
Now that you know the importance of customer satisfaction, your next course of action is to put a plan together on how to incorporate it into your support strategy. And to do that, you need to identify and measure a few key customer support metrics. From our experience as a customer support software company, here are four key metrics that we think you should measure.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
That’s a no-brainer. If you are measuring customer success then the first place to start would be the CSAT score. It is necessary to measure this metric so that you can identify what’s lagging and how you can fix it. When you fix this in the product or service, it will result in happy customer. And when customers are happy, they share their positive experience with other people. This builds trust in your prospects because 92% of prospects trust recommendations from other customers. Another important benefit is lower churn. With every 5% increase in retention your profitability goes up by 25-95%.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
One other closely related metric that you need to include when measuring customer experience is the net promoter score or NPS. This is usually confused with the CSAT score. While CSAT is only about customer satisfaction ratings, the NPS is a combination of customer ratings and free-form customer feedback. You are essentially asking your customers whether or not they will take the time to share positive reviews about your business. This feedback comes in through surveys that you take after a customer interaction. Since this is a free-form feedback, customers have the space to detail their experience or expectations from your business. Using this information you can build a better product experience and customer interaction.
When creating a survey, you need to create a strong survey program that will effectively gather the required information or feedback from your customer. Sometimes, all it takes is one question.
Most of the decision-makers in an organization will argue that churn is the most important metric, particularly if you are a SaaS company. Though there are many ways to calculate churn, it is essentially the percentage of customers who turn away from doing business with you. Nearly 86% of companies are focused on acquiring new customers. But in truth, the cost of acquiring a new customer is greater than the cost of retaining an existing customer. Churn rate helps you identify how much effort you need to put into retention and gives you insights on how you can improve your customers’ experiences.
How to Consistently Maintain 98% CSAT
Make your customers the focus of your interactions. Provide quick resolution. Follow up and close the loop on conversations with customers. Use a good helpdesk software. These are things that you already know and might have implemented them in your support processes. Here are four out of the box ideas that you can use to up your customer satisfaction score and consistently stay at it.
Avoid excessive use of canned responses
Though this might be easy to improve first response time for your agents, it does not work in favor of customer satisfaction. Your customers know when they receive a canned response no matter how personalized you make them. Use them sensibly.
Quick responses vs quick quality responses
Common wisdom has it that it’s necessary to respond to customer queries as quickly as you can. But that doesn’t mean you have to shoot for the moon. If the stress is on quicker responses, your agents might succumb to the pressure of responding quickly but the quality of their support will take a hit. Always remember that it’s quality before speed.
Automate processes with care
Automation takes a whole lot of load off your agents. Manual repeat processes like ticket allocation, auto response, can work wonders for teams that focus on time management. But automation has its pitfalls as well. You need to take the time to scrutinize every process that you automate so that customer tickets do not end up with the wrong support agent or team.
If you were a customer, what would your next question about a specific issue be? This is what is commonly known as forward resolving where you anticipate what the customers’ next question will be. And then you proactively offer it as a solution even before it is asked. This adds an element of pleasant surprise to the customer’s interaction and has a positive impact on their experience.
The ideas that I have mentioned are not limited. You can get as creative as you can to come up with ideas that will help you consistently wow your customers and in turn, help you maintain a good customer satisfaction score. If you have done something out of the box and has worked well for you, share them as comments here.
About the Author
Monica Maria is the Content Marketing Manager at Freshworks. She has a profound knowledge on the ticketing system and its functioning which makes her voice about it often. When she is not charting out content strategies, you can find her reading Sci-fi, doodling, or taking photographs. You can
connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.