When a customer receives great service, nearly four out of five (78%) will do business with you again even following a mistake. But how do you know what customers think of their support experiences? Unless you’re measuring customer satisfaction (CSAT), you won’t.
Most businesses know the value of keeping customers satisfied. Not only do customer perceptions significantly impact the health of your business, they also determine its long-term viability. Despite this, many businesses still fail to gauge customer satisfaction through surveys, social posts, agent notes, or other methods.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Defined
In general, the term “customer satisfaction” refers to a customer’s perception of how well your company met their expectations or needs. CSAT is an important business metric that captures an ‘outside-in’ barometer of how well your brand meets its promises. This includes the quality of support you provide when an issue arises or a problem occurs.
Oftentimes, post-purchase support is viewed as separate from the buyer journey because the purchase has been completed. That view is both short-sighted and dangerous. Customers don’t view the journey as completed; they view it as just beginning. If you hope to keep customers for the long term, it’s important to treat post-purchase support as an extension of the journey. It’s the only way to enhance customer experience (CX) and improve lifetime value (LTV).
Now that we’ve clarified factors that influence satisfaction levels, let’s focus on why you need to measure this key performance indicator (KPI).
1. Improve the Customer Experience (CX)
Measuring customer satisfaction through traditional methods like surveys and questionnaires provides invaluable insights into the mindset of your buyers. Without this, it’s impossible to craft effective marketing content, understand customer pain points, or connect with customers in any meaningful way.
When you gather voice of the customer (VOC) feedback, you can leverage this information to improve products and services – including customer support. VOC can be captured in many ways, from surveys to speech mining to social listening.
But don’t stop at information gathering. The ultimate goal of ‘listening’ is to take action. Fix what’s broken, prevent the next issue, make the experiences more effortless for customers. Weaving customer insights about their journey with you into your business strategy can help accelerate your competitive differentiation.
2. Reduce Operating Costs
Proactively measuring customer satisfaction and then working to improve CSAT scores can have significant cost-reducing benefits. Increasing customer satisfaction levels can lead to both direct and indirect cost reduction.
Raising CSAT helps reduce churn. When you decrease churn and increase retention, you increase the lifetime value of your buyer base. This will enable you to spend less on customer acquisition efforts.
Additionally, improving customer satisfaction will reduce the frequency of friction-filled exchanges between support agents and consumers. In turn, this will lead to improved staff morale and less turnover. You will be able to maintain better staffing levels while simultaneously reducing your hiring and training expenses.
3. Assess Agent Skills
Customer satisfaction levels are a direct reflection of your product quality, sales team, and support staff. If your CSAT scores fall below a given threshold, one or more of these facets of your business may be responsible.
Fortunately, a well-designed CSAT survey will help you zero in on which factor needs immediate attention. Surveys should contain a blend of closed-ended (“Please use a 5-point scale to rate the agent who assisted you”) and open-ended questions (“Why do you say that?”). Allowing customers to share feedback in their own words often reveals hidden obstacles that no one in the company is aware of.
Customer feedback can be gathered about any area of the agent experience. Feel free to ask about agent hard skills (technical proficiency, ability to resolve the issue, adeptness at recognizing the problem) as well as soft skills (courteousness, professionalism, attentiveness). These scores can be used to help with quality assurance feedback loops and continuous improvement training.
Agent scorecards should include customer feedback metrics. However, keep in mind that each agent likely will only receive a small handful of surveys per month. So use VOC insights as a barometer or yardstick to track over time, recognizing these scores are most effective as part of a larger 360° view of agent performance.
How to Boost CSAT
When it comes to raising customer satisfaction, although there is no one-size-fits-all solution most companies will benefit from specific focus on common key drivers.
One prime example is first response time (FRT). This metric refers to how long it takes customer support to first respond to a customer issue; it can be measured in seconds, minutes, hours, or even days. The longer your FRT, the lower your CSAT score.
Another critical metric is issue resolution. This refers to whether the customer issue was resolved, or not, at the conclusion of the interaction. Low issue resolution rates are known to negatively impact CSAT scores.
The good news is that you can address any issue once you have a solid understanding of what’s happening at each stage of the customer journey, and on each customer interaction with support. Techniques like increased staffing levels, omnichannel support options, and additional training can be highly effective when used correctly. You may also need to upgrade support software, as antiquated solutions could hinder agent productivity and slow response times.
Still struggling? Maybe you need to partner with an expert instead of doing it alone. Companies like Goodbay Technologies have gathered – and acted on – customer feedback for decades. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help you boost customer satisfaction.