How to Successfully Get Feedback from Customers after Resolving the Support Query
The customer’s perception is your reality. — Kate Zabriskie
This holds true for customer support too. If you need to know whether something you’re doing is right or wrong, there’s no better source of truth than your customers.
Customer feedback is the cornerstone of improving the support provided (and the product you’re building but more of that in another post).
Let me start with a quick recollection of what happened when our support team was trying to gather feedback about our customers’ support experience. We had some insights to improve metrics like productivity, SLAs etc. However, it wasn’t enough to answer the burning question – are our customers happy with the support experience we’re providing? We needed to hear from them to know what we were doing well and what needed to be improved.
Customer feedback is crucial to delivering better great support experiences.
How Did We Tackle Customer Feedback in the Past?
Once we helped a customer with an issue, we’d mark the ticket as ‘resolved’. Right after that, we’d send out a follow-up notification similar to the one in the below image.
Along with this, we’d send another email containing a CSAT survey.
Though we were resolving over 170 tickets successfully each day back then, we weren’t receiving enough feedback to gauge our customers’ support experience.
Only those customers who read both the emails (the follow-up and the CSAT survey), took the time to provide feedback. This was just 10% of the customers who reached out to us every day. It wasn’t enough for us to work with. So it got us thinking and we brainstormed on what we can do to make more customers share their experience with us.
We had an option of sending the email with the CSAT survey later. But we didn’t think it was fair to bog customers down with follow-up emails after their issues were resolved. Plus, it was quite natural that the email would get lost in their inboxes. Also, recalling the details of the support experience long after the issue was resolved wouldn’t be easy for customers. So, we ruled this option out.
Then we began including the link to the CSAT survey at the end of the conversation. When we were sure that the issue has been resolved, we attached the survey in our message to customers.
Here’s what our message looked like –
Guess what? It worked! We got more feedback from customers. It also reduced the number of follow up emails we were sending them.
Now that a huge part of the problem was sorted, we moved on to solve the rest.
At Freshdesk, we provide customer support on different channels. Which meant customers reached out to us through – email, chat, and phone etc.
When customers emailed us, we added the CSAT survey in our email conversation. With chat, customers have an option to provide real-time feedback after an issue has been marked as resolved. But it wasn’t that easy when customers got on a call with us to resolve an issue.
How do you ask the customer to provide feedback at the end of the call? And how do you record the data provided?
After some brainstorming, we realized the best option would be to send out an email to the customer with a CSAT survey, right after the call. (Thanks to our phone channel being integrated with Freshdesk, we were able to find the customer’s email address and send out the CSAT right away.)
From this experience, we gathered three takeaways that will help your support team effectively collect feedback from your customers. Here they are:
1. Know-why Before the Know-how
Without a clear idea about what you’re going to do with the feedback collected, your attempt at getting feedback might turn futile. As step one, set your goal and then progress to build an action plan.
Let’s say, your objective is to examine the effectiveness of the training given to new agents. Once you’ve got this figured out, all you have to do is frame questions that examine the knowledge of the agents and send them to your customers. This makes it easy to analyze the feedback and draw conclusions on the training.
Once the goal has been set, framing questions, using the right approach amongst other things that fulfill your goal, becomes easy. So, before you spearhead into framing questions, jot down the objective of collecting feedback.
By setting the goal ahead of anything else, you’re zeroing out the confusion for both, your support team and your customers.
2. Get the Timing Right
Imagine this: you board a three-hour long flight and a few minutes into the takeoff, a member from the cabin crew hands over a feedback form for you to fill.
Way to jump the gun, right?
Any passenger in the same spot would feel quite awkward and probably refuse to provide feedback right away.
You can’t expect customers to provide feedback before helping them first. This might even put your customers off the edge. To successfully collect feedback, you need to get the timing right.
Therefore, decide on when your agents should send feedback forms to your customers.
Is it after a ticket has been marked as resolved? Or only after it’s been closed?
Accurate feedback can be gathered while the support experience is still fresh in your customers’ minds. So, time the task of sending a feedback form soon after you resolve a customer’s issue. Remember, the rule of thumb is to collect feedback only after a customer’s issue has been fixed.
3. Spell the Importance
When a customer knows that the feedback they’re giving is going to be put to productive use, they’d be happy to give it.
So, while collecting feedback, make your customers understand that their contribution is valuable to your business.
You can get this across by tailoring your message according to the situation.
For example, after you’ve demoed a feature to a customer, say –
Hey there, thanks for getting on a call with us. I hope this feature meets your requirement. Since this is the first time you’re using the feature, you might face some roadblocks. Feel free to reach out to me. We’ll work it out.
I will now mark this ticket as resolved. I’ve added a CSAT survey below for you to rate the support experience. You can use the dialogue box to let us know what you think needs to change: regarding the feature, the demo etc. It’s a relatively new feature and we could use your feedback on it.
As opposed to sending a generic message –
Hey there, thank you for getting on a call with us. I will now mark this ticket as resolved. I’ve added a CSAT survey below where you can report the support experience. You can use the dialogue box to write additional comments if you’d like. Thanks.
Remember, it is important to come across as genuine, not pushy.
Bonus: Make a List of Approaches
Different instances call for different approaches to collecting feedback. Getting the right approach is important. When the reason stated for collecting feedback and the method used to collect feedback don’t match, you might leave your customers puzzled. In general, this might result in fewer customers providing accurate feedback or worse refusing to give feedback at all.
To give you a better idea on how to go about this, in this section, I’ve listed a few instances along with an approach that is appropriate.
Goal: Collect feedback to know if customers are happy with your team’s first response time.
Approach: A yes-or-no question or a poll
In this case, a simple close-ended question will suffice.
Goal: Collect feedback on the support provided to see how well each agent in the team is performing.
Approach: A satisfaction rating
To gauge how your support agents are doing, setting a survey rating with a scale will work well. Or you can also try the following setup:
When there’s a poor rating from a customer, understanding what made them unhappy gives you actionable input. To get detailed feedback on poor ratings, trigger a form with a few questions when a customer chooses an undesirable option.
For instance, in the above image, when a customer rates the support experience as “not good”, then set up a dialogue box so they can mention the reason behind their rating. Like this:
Goal: Collect feedback to understand how likely customers are to recommend your brand to others.
Approach: Net Promoter Score
When the need of the hour is to find out how many of your customers will be advocates of your brand, use the NPS system to derive the answer. This is how the scale works:
– Detractors (0-6): customers who aren’t too happy with your brand
– Passives (7-8): happy customers but aren’t loyalists
– Promoters (9-10): customers who are extremely happy with your brand and are loyal
Be it setting a goal or deciding the right time, there’s a lot of thought that needs to go into the process of collecting feedback. It might take you a while or you might nail it from the get-go, but once you get this right, you’re sorted. The next step is to effectively use the feedback gathered from your customers to get your service kicking.