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By Use Case
Customer satisfaction, also known as CSAT, is a metric used to measure a customer’s happiness and sense of value with your product or service. It allows your company to collect and report on the sentiment of your entire user base, or a specific set of customers or users.
Customer satisfaction is usually measured by asking the question “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the [goods/service] you received?” and then allowing your customer to respond positively, negatively or neutrally. Most surveys will also leave room for a follow-up comment. CSAT is usually expressed in a percentage ranging from 100%, meaning complete customer satisfaction, or 0%, meaning total dissatisfaction. Most companies strive to trend between eighty and ninety percent.
Customer satisfaction is one of the single most important metrics for customer support, and it should matter to all teams. It shows you what your customers are thinking, feeling and saying and can be incredibly valuable and important for support insights. Similarly, it can be an impactful metric for product and sales teams that also have stake in the customer experience. CSAT is an excellent metric to provide insights on how to move forward with product growth and strategy. It is also one of the quickest ways that you can catch dissatisfaction with a product change or a potential bug—customers will never miss an opportunity to tell you something you’ve been doing wrong.
Customer satisfaction scores also serve as a useful benchmark for goal setting and growth. Collecting CSAT, specifically around issues that you have benchmarked it as a metric for, can help your company make informed decisions by using the actual voice and insights of the customer.
CSAT surveys can be incredibly impactful in a number of ways. The first being that, as we noted above, they can be used to directly impact and shift the product roadmap. If there are meaningful or wide-scale problems that happen for customers, they will likely show up in your customer satisfaction surveys. With that data, the customer support team can open up a dialogue with your product team about the things that would make the most impact for the customer and for key metrics like contact ratio to fix or shift. Similarly, your sales team and other customer-facing teams, such as customer success, can see what they can do to better improve customer satisfaction in their own departments—CSAT is not a metric for support alone.
Secondarily, customer satisfaction surveys allow you to assess your support strategy and the performance of the people within your team. Using just CSAT measurements might not be the best note on which to have a constructive conversation with your team member (entirely quantitative rather than qualitative feedback can be difficult to stomach), but it is a place to start. Setting an expected average CSAT rating for each team member is a great way to benchmark success for them. Speak to your team member about how their CSAT score is, and then review tickets with them and discuss what changes they could make to their ticket handling to help improve customer satisfaction.
Another important impact that CSAT has on customer support is enabling the team with the ability to see what impact implementing features like live chat, or tiered support have on your customer’s satisfaction. Oftentimes, when adding a new, quicker method of contact with your support team, you will see a rise in customer satisfaction—people love getting their questions answered as quickly as possible.
As customer satisfaction is one of the more important metrics that you can use within your company, not just in support, it is important to nail down some of the best ways to assess it within your individual product. There are a number of different ways that you can ask your customers how they feel about your product or service, but here are a few of the best ones that we’ve found to ensure you get a response.
The more places that you incorporate the survey and the more specific moments of value you have in mind as you incorporate it, the better the responses that you gain from your surveys will be.
Most companies send out customer satisfaction and feedback surveys after the end of a support interaction, such as a chat, email, or phone call. That being said, you can really maximize the potential reach of your survey by incorporating it into your product. A great example of this is displaying the survey after a moment of value has been met for the customer. So, if a customer has added 5 members to their team within your software or service, or if they have purchased an item from your store, you could then serve them a CSAT survey. Moments of value can be anything on your site or in your product where you think a customer has hit a real milestone of finding value or need in your service or product.
While it’s easy to just create a pop-up text box and ask your customers to tell you exactly how they feel, you’ll likely get more data and more interaction through a visual scale. While it would be helpful for product feedback if everyone that took a survey wanted to write about everything they loved and disliked in your product, the likelihood of it occurring is slim. Using seven-point scales, or visual representations that people can click on within your survey will increase the number of people who are willing to participate, and will also allow you to make the reports using your data slightly more granular. After they’ve clicked on the visual representation in your customer satisfaction survey, then you can include a second step that gives them the option to write more if they would like to.
Documentation or solution articles are incredibly important for customer satisfaction—after all, it is the first place customers will go when they start having trouble. Given that, it’s also a prime place for a customer satisfaction survey or at least a variant of it. Have a survey on your help documentation that allows people to say whether they are helped by the content, or if they weren’t able to find what they needed.
The best way to do this is to target a CSAT survey to appear at the very bottom of a page that a customer has been browsing for a certain amount of time. If you show them too frequently, they will just frustrate your customer and they won’t want to answer any questions at all—even a simple visual survey as we mentioned above. Having to constantly close out of a pop-over when they are trying to find an answer to their question will make a customers want to do anything but answer your customer satisfaction survey.
Freshdesk also offers a sleek and straightforward option to have a customer satisfaction survey appear at the bottom of every solution article asking if the article was helpful. Rather than being strictly reactively with your customer satisfaction survey results, you can impact change by showing the survey at a time when customers need it and want it. You will gain significant insights by allowing customers to offer feedback on their own time within the context of what they’re offering insights on.
When looking into a helpdesk solution that works for your needs, be sure to consider customer satisfaction surveys, and what your goals are for implementing them. A good helpdesk solution should be able to make all of the above options easy for you to implement by yourself without an engineer. Keeping your CSAT goals and needs in mind as you are looking through feature sets will help make your search a bit easier and more straightforward.
When you have a large amount of customer satisfaction survey data to go through, it can be overwhelming to find trends and make sense of everything. Spotting customer satisfaction trends can be very straightforward, though, once you know where to look. Here are a few of the best ways to find trends in your CSAT data, and use them to propel your company forward.
Some helpdesks have outstanding reporting that will allow you to see a visual graph of how your CSAT has changed over the course of a period of time. Take a look at the graph that you have in your helpdesk, and see if there are any trends that you can find that align with product releases or changes.
For example, when you made a large pricing change to your product or service, did your CSAT go up and down? Frequently, customer satisfaction survey graphs and charts will be a surprising timeline of your best (and worst) releases.
It would be great if everyone could always have 100% CSAT across the board. But for most industries that is not the standard industry- or region-specific metric. Instead of striving or setting goals around a metric that is unattainable for your team, do some research and determine what you could and should actually be hitting. Not only will this be beneficial for your company to understand where everyone else in a similar industry and region is at, but it will be beneficial to your team by not setting them up against impossible odds that they’ll never reach. It’s demoralizing to be told there’s a goal you have to reach, and not be able to reach it—especially when it’s about something that can be as subjective as customer satisfaction.
There are often ties between statistics. For example, sometimes teams will notice that as ticket volume goes down, time to first response goes down, and CSAT goes up. Examine your team’s metrics that you currently measure, and see if you can determine what levers can be pulled to lift up CSAT as needed. Once you see what metrics are tied together, you can start to make moves to improve them. For example, in the case above with ticket volume going down and CSAT going up, the team should then think about ways that they can continue to get ticket volume to go down—perhaps by focusing on their documentation, or self-service support.
There are a few reasons why it is valuable to improve customer satisfaction ratings:
As a company, you likely have a series of goals and benchmark metrics set for performance. It is highly probable that CSAT is one of those metrics that you are paying close attention to. As soon as customer satisfaction starts to dip, it’s an indication that something could be better either with your product or with your support offering. Here are a few ways that we’ve found to go about improving your CSAT when it starts to drop.
As soon as you start to notice declines in your customer satisfaction rating, sit down and take a look at what trends you notice. First, examine if there have been any major product changes, shifts in pricing, or ways that your team provides support. If there has been, it is likely that’s the reason for your shift, but you should dig into any comments that you received from customers to confirm.
If that does not lead you to any further identification, the next place to look is in your other metrics. For example, some potential reasons that CSAT may be declining:
All of those can be indicators of issues in your support organization, and they are both often reasons for customer satisfaction survey ratings to start to decline.
Take your time digging to uncover the root cause of the issue, and then you’ll be able to call your whole company’s attention to it and move toward resolution.
If the issues in customer satisfaction are related to customer support quality rather than a shift in product, it could be valuable to take a look at which specific metrics are causing problems. If it’s something like agent handle time the problem can likely be resolved by scaling your support team or providing better training.
Beyond training and teaching, though, for things like response quality, it can be a good idea to implement process around peer review, or QA to improve customer satisfaction. As you are implementing new processes, ensure that they are scalable and that you will be able to maintain them as your company continues to grow.
TIP Ongoing training for support employees is incredibly important. You can offer an ongoing training budget for employees to use that renews annually, or you could do ad hoc training specifically around the needs for customer satisfaction.
Root cause analysis is one of the most useful tools that you can use when problem-solving, and digging deeper into the trends that you’ve analyzed through CSAT. Instead of just looking at the surface value data such as, for example, ten people saying some variation of “I really hate your billing page.”, you can do a root cause analysis to figure out what, specifically, on the billing page is causing the most pain and what you can improve. For example, maybe it is hard to discover where to change the billing contact, or you do not have a place where they can update their credit card on their own.
This, instead of just giving you the insight that a lot of people dislike your product, allows you to know exactly what you would have to change in order to impact your CSAT score, and allows you to be productive and proactive instead of reactive with your support and product changes.
Your helpdesk likely offers a number of features that you can use to impact CSAT positively before it even takes a dip. By striving to provide excellent support for your customer before things become issues, you help to improve CSAT, too. Your goal should always be to be ahead of the ball.
As a customer, it is frustrating to be bounced from place to place without knowing where you’re going to end up. It is even worse to be told to reach out on another channel. For example, if a customer calls in for support, and they need to be redirected to another channel, your company should handle the redirection for them. The customer should never hear “Oh, you just need to reach out to us at our email, it’s…” and, if they do, you can likely expect to get a negative CSAT rating from them.
Omni-channel support gives you an automatic boost to your CSAT because it funnels people into the right channel, and allows them to switch between channels as needed with minimal effort. It is one of the best things that you can do for customer satisfaction.
When people run into trouble, they usually just want to get the answer to their question as fast as they can. They don’t want to have to wait for a response from someone, and they don’t want to have to talk to someone and explain what the problem is; often they already feel a little silly for not being able to find the answer in the first place. Because of that, self-service is the preferred method of support for many customers. But that’s not the only reason why self-service and documentation are beneficial for customer satisfaction.
Self-service and providing documentation for your customers also allows you to deflect some of your tickets, thus dropping down volume and allowing your customer support representatives to give even more focus and attention to the tickets that they do get. This is a great way to boost positive responses to your customer satisfaction surveys.
A good helpdesk will offer you tools such as saved replies or automated responses that can help your team automate some of the things that might be taking up their time, and make an impact on time-based metrics. Much like providing self-service and allowing for ticket deflection, for every bit of time that your representatives can save by using a workflow or a canned response, they are able to use more time to focus on crafting excellent responses or making progress on projects to push forward your support team’s goals. Automating away things that don’t have to be done by a human is an excellent way to create more space for productivity on your team without having to hire more people.
You make huge impacts on your customers’ satisfaction by communicating with other teams within your company and aligning on specific, metric-driven goals. By surfacing your customer satisfaction surveys throughout your product, and your self-service documentation, you allow your company to gain the greatest insight, and make the most impactful changes to both your support and product offerings.
Give proactive support a spin today, and reinvent how your team does customer support!
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