Great customer service is the foundation of providing an excellent customer experience and consumers continue to reward companies that do service well. According to research by American Express, consumers are willing to spend 69 percent more with companies that deliver good customer service
On the flip side, bad service is costing companies greatly. The report found that more than half of people decided against making a purchase because of bad service, and 33 percent say they’ll consider switching companies immediately after a single instance of poor service. In order for companies to be competitive in today’s business landscape, they must focus on providing great customer service. This starts with understanding your customer’s experiences and turning your contact center from a necessary overhead to a primary driver of customer satisfaction.
Metrics to measureJust like you wouldn’t run a marketing campaign without measuring the results, you also shouldn’t provide customer support without measuring how your customers perceive their support experience. There are two types of data to measure: Experience data (X-data) and Operational data (O-data). X-data is the human factor data — the beliefs, the emotions, and the sentiments that lie behind their behavior. It’s the human feedback that points to the gaps between what you think is happening and what’s really happening. O-data is tangible records of activities, and is helpful because it tells you about win rates, response times, and employee efficiency. To learn about each of these metrics in-depth, check out our article “The Top Customer Service Metrics to Measure.”
Experience metrics (X-data)
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)– A commonly used key performance indicator to track how satisfied customers are with your organisation’s products and/or services.
- Customer Effort Score (CES)– Measures how much effort a customer has to exert to get an issue resolved, a request fulfilled, a product purchased/returned or a question answered.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)– Measures the loyalty of customers to a company by asking if they would recommend your products/services to a friend.
- Social Media Monitoring– Social Media should be monitored for brand mentions over time, negative comments, and technical or account questions.
- Customer Churn– Also known as customer attrition, churn is when a customer chooses to stop using your products or services.
Operational metrics (O-data)
- First Response Time– The amount of time it takes to reply to the customer.
- Overall Resolution Rate– The number of tickets that are actually resolve.
- First Contact Resolution Rate– The number of tickets that are resolved on the customer’s first point of contact.
- Customer Ticket Request Volume– The number of support tickets you receive each day/week/month.
- Average Handling Time (AHT)– The amount of time it takes to resolve a ticket.
Customer service surveysThe only way to know if your customers are happy and you’re meeting their expectations is to ask. Customer service surveys can evaluate the agents, ease of service, and the quality of service. For more information on customer service surveys, check out our article “Questions to Ask on a Customer Service Survey.”
Type of surveys and questions
- Agent-specific survey questions– Focus on the customer’s interaction with the specific agent that handled the ticket.
- Based on your recent interaction regarding (insert incident), how satisfied or dissatisfied were you with our service team member?
- Channel-specific survey questions– Focus on the quality and ease of the specific channel like phone, email, or live chat.
- Were you satisfied with the live chat feature?
- Customer Effort Score (CES)– This is an industry benchmark and can help predict churn and loyalty.
- How easy or difficult did Qualtrics make it for you to handle your issue?
Make your surveys smarterYour customers are giving you valuable insights, so It’s important to honor their time and maximise your effort. By sending smarter surveys, you can gather great information without creating survey fatigue.
- Don’t ask questions you already have the answers to — Questions like the customer’s name or date of interaction are repetitive and frustrating for the customer. Your survey platform should already have this information.
- Use question logic – Use conditional or skip logic to ask questions based on previous answers. This makes the survey personal and give you more detailed insights.
- Keep it short — Shorter surveys reduce survey fatigue and generally have higher response rates.
- Utilise a robust right survey platform — In order to get the best insights, you need a platform that can capture insights, analyse the data, and strategise action. Qualtrics CX management uses AI in data analysis to engage customers on their terms and predict what they will do next.
Improving customer service at your companyProviding good customer service is crucial in today’s experience economy. According to the Temkin Group, a modest improvement in CX generates an average revenue increase of $775 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues. Consumers are willing to spend more money with companies that deliver excellent service, and they stop doing business with companies who provide poor experiences.
While it’s not always easy, there are ways companies can improve their customer service experience. For more information on taking your customer service to the next level, check out our article “How to Improve Customer Service at Your Company.”
Invest in technologyIn order to create a robust customer service program, you must have technology that supports X-data and O-data. The best customer experience management programs track every customer interaction and analyse the data to close the gap between what customers expect and the experience currently being delivered. In addition, service desk management and ticketing software programs are helpful to track service levels, set goals for your customer service team and make sure you’re closing the feedback loop with your customers.
Provide self-help contentA recent study by ZenDesk found that 91 percent of respondents said they would use a self-help knowledge base it was available and met their needs. Customers want to answer their own questions without speaking to an agent. Creating a robust knowledge base can reduce the number of customer support calls, saving your company money and creating a better experience for your customers.
Close the feedback loopWhen a customer reaches out to your company, they want a response— and fast! It’s important to directly respond to customer feedback and close the feedback loop with each customer to ensure their issue has been resolved.
Meet your customers where they areYour customers want support options wherever they are and you must be able to meet them where they’re at. Omnichannel customer service and feedback uses multiple service methods like email, phone, and live chat to create a unified brand customer support experience. Your customer should have a positive experience using each channel. As we’ve seen, web self-services and knowledge bases are now the preferred method of receiving support. According to Forrester research, self-service minimises handle times and customer recontacts and maximises first-contact resolutions. In addition to self-service, customers now expect multiple channels of support such as:
- Live chat
- Social media
- Call center
- Mobile messaging (SMS)
- Messaging apps (i.e.- Facebook Messenger)
How to train and motivate your teamEmployee experience (EX) and CX go hand in hand. The more engaged employees are, the better experience they’ll provide to your customers. Focusing on your EX program gives you a competitive advantage and a motivated workforce.
TrainYour staff should receive training in soft skills such as clear communication and empathy, and hard skills like technical and product training. In addition, they should also be trained to use any phone or live software, so they can help customers efficiently. Providing training can boost employee motivation and engagement, too.
SkillsSkills training can boost your employee’s confidence and help them provide better support. Below are some of the skills you could train your employees on. For more information, check out our article “9 Tips to Improve Your Customer Service Skills.”
- Active listening
- Use positive language
- Technical skills
- Clear communication
RewardLow employee morale costs companies $350 million each year. One of the best ways to boost morale is by providing rewards to engaged and high-performing employees. Find ways to keep your team cohesive, feel appreciated, and excited to keep working hard. Some of the best ways to do that are:
- Preferred scheduling
- Personalised gifts
- Free food