Monday, July 11, 2005

The 5 Customer Satisfaction Questions You Will Ever Need

The latest copy of the Mun's Report [link will expire but can be accessed if you register] from the Help Desk Institute has a great piece on choosing customer satisfaction (csat) questions to measure the performance of your service team. You ARE measuring the performance of your team from the eyes of your customers (end-users), right? HDI has been surveying various companies that provide service and support (tech support, help desk, other forms of customer or end-user facing service) to determine best practices.

The idea of a csat process is to determine the performance level of your service team. Are you meeting your customer's expectations? Are you failing to meet them which could and usually does mean your customers will dump you and find someone who will? Or...are you providing too much service which is just added cost for you?

The questions (in order of importance):

1. Courtesy of the Analyst - Your customer deserves and and expects to be treated in a courteous/professional manner. If you are scoring poorly here you need to make sure you have communicated the absolute importance of service and satisfied customers to your team. You may also need to specifically train customer service skills. I know this sounds odd, but people simply do NOT have a service mentality. Make sure you are hiring service oriented people as well.

2. Skills and Knowledge of the Analyst - While a courteous analyst is nice, it won't make a bit of difference if that analyst can't solve the customer's problem. Your customers want confidence in the analyst's skills and knowledge to resolve the issue at hand. This is the best way to measure your team's skill and knowledge level. (You do know their basic skill level, right? You benchmarked during the hiring and training process, right? You assessed them before they came on board and after they completed your training, right?). Weaknesses here go back to the hiring and training process. Don't have the money to implement a knowledge-base? Build a wiki. Find a way to get to best practices among your team. Everyone should be solving things roughly the same way. I personally hate scripting, but troubleshooting and solving problems doesn't leave a lot of room for interpretation if you do it properly.

3. Quality of the Resolution - Again, courteous and (seemingly) knowledgable agents are good, if doens't matter if they don't actually SOLVE problems. Customers calling back to fix the same problem over and over again is a customer that is going to churn on you.

4. Timeliness of the Resolution - Time is money! Fix your customer's problem the first time they call. Two things happen if you don't: you drive up your total cost per incident (you are measuring cost per ticket/incident/case, right?) and you irritate your customer's...see churn above. This is a process problem. Break it down step by step. No step is too small. Trouble lies in the handoffs.

5. Overall Experience - This is really the weighted average of the first 4. Keep in mind that customers will weigh each of the above differently. If you have a low score (bottom two boxes out of 5), CALL THAT CUSTOMER AND BEG THEM TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU CAN DO BETTER!

6. Additional Feedback - always, always, always allow your customer to give you open ended feedback. Let them vent. Not only will they tell you what is wrong (and right if you are lucky) they will tell you how to FIX IT.

Feel free to add an additional targeted question if you must. But this is a great approach.

3 comments:

Meghan Wier said...

Mike,
Great Entry,and you have a very comprehensive collection of the same but I have a question... why do you blog?

clanlally said...

Insomniac, I blog for several reasons. This blog is a place for me to collect "best practices". It could ultimately serve as a source for a book. Or two. And I share this site with people with similar interests. It is a public blog, but not "public". And that is ok because I am VERY liberal with referencing the material and directly quoting. Its kind of like a notebook.

My other blog is a communication tool to family and friends. It started as an easy way to keep everyone updated while our daughter was in the hospital. It was too exhausting having to repeat the same info over and over again. Over time, its taken on a life of its own. But still mostly a comm. tool.

SurveyTool said...

This is incredible. What kind of customer survey is that? There is nothing like genuine support and love from customers. 20% off is nice, but asking to give the highest score to receive it is plain dishonest.

Satisfaction Questionnaires