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How to Improve Customer Satisfaction with a CX Quality Management Program
July 29, 2019
For too long customer service was thought of as a cost center and a necessary evil. Brick-and-mortar stores with millions of customers worldwide existed, knowing virtually nothing about their customers.
Now, we see companies using CX as a relationship-builder, prioritizing knowing their customer in an effort to create a long-term relationship with them. Companies are finally realizing what has been true all along: good customer service leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, both of which translate into tangible gains.
At a time when anyone with a basic coding skills and a computer can start a company, it’s more important than ever for companies to provide excellent customer support – dare I say...brand differentiating interactions with customers on. the. reg. WOW. What a world.
This is a series of articles on how quality management programs can help teams improve customer service, and use QA to manage customer satisfaction.
When Simon & Garfunkel wrote “Keep the Customer Satisfied,” Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores (as we know them) did not exist. But today, CSAT is a widely accepted metric used to determine if support teams and companies have done just that – kept the customer satisfied.
Every company wants happy customers – they know that, to some extent, their business depends on their ability to create exceptional customer experiences – and they look to the “98%/excellence” CSAT benchmark to determine their success.
While managers know intuitively all the levers that they *could* pull to improve their CSAT, the possibilities for improvement are endless. They need data to know which specific areas they should focus on that create a predictable increase in CSAT.
Many companies have this data within their reach – they have hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of tickets with satisfaction scores attached to them, that they sometimes review for egregious agent errors. However, they often have no methodical way of quantifying the information around what agents are doing that’s resulting in a given CSAT score. Or maybe, they do keep track of the things agents are doing well for each customer interaction, but the information can’t be used because it’s locked away in an unwieldy spreadsheet.
Every company struggling with bad CSAT is fighting a unique fight. No two companies have identical pain points, and the cause of these pains differ widely.
The good news is, there is some consistency in the solutions for this type of problem – companies can think about improving customer satisfaction scores using the following framework. Here’s an overview of how it’s done:
Identify the source of bad Customer Satisfaction scores – the way that you do that is through an initial quality review of tickets with bad CSAT.
Use checkboxes within broader categories to hone in on the source of customer pain – this will systematically show you which issues are having the greatest impact, and should therefore be addressed first.
Go through another round of breaking issues down into their component parts – if the cause of bad CSAT seems to be agent tone, break it down further to fully address the root cause (could be impatient tone – maybe you’re understaffed?).
Then, use this QA and CSAT data to inform your coaching and training strategy. Take the issues that you identified above and make sure you have a plan for coaching agents on them – maybe this is in 1:1s, or maybe you set aside time in your team all-hands to discuss the issue.
Continue monitoring progress through your QA program, and eventually, this structured framework will help you analyze CSAT and then implement changes that will ensure higher customer satisfaction.
Put simply, QA programs can be leveraged to better understand where your support team is successful, and where they could use a little love/training. This, in turn, has the power to improve the quality of customer support, and therefore, CSAT – the elusive and extremely sexy metric that everyone’s trying to impact these days (we’re with you).
The five ways that QA programs can impact CSAT are:
Identify areas that need improvement on your team generally – are certain teams, regions, or channels struggling more than the others? Are tickets with a certain tag getting bad CSAT results more often than not?
Identify agents who need extra help – many of our customers use QA score as a metric for identifying agents who are thriving (promotion, yay!), as well as agents who need a bit of extra coaching. With that extra coaching, improvement happens, and customers have better experiences (yay again!)
Find correlations between CSAT and service quality – QA scores can help you understand if bad CSAT scores are a result of something the support rep did, or the result of something going wrong elsewhere in the business. With data to back them up, support leaders can then make a case for changes to be made in other departments to improve the customer experience, and therefore (hopefully!!) CSAT.
Let QA inform resourcing – while you probably don’t want to push the limits too much, QA scores can help you understand how agents are performing with different volumes of incoming customer requests. If you see QA scores drop at certain volumes based on the number of people staffed, it can help you determine how many people you need to staff to maintain a certain service quality level.
Rethink optimal levels of efficiency – QA scores can also be used to figure out what an optimal level of efficiency is for a customer support rep. More and more, we’re finding that customers of ours are shooting for quality over quantity in customer interactions. (Believe it or not, this wasn’t in vogue for a while...but we’re glad it’s back!)
Freshly provides differentiating customer support. They innovate in proactive outreach, in the channels upon which they support customers, and in how they follow up after support interactions. They are also on the cutting edge of omnichannel quality assurance in terms of the processes and technology that they have in place.
They do all of this because they want to provide really fantastic customer experiences, and it’s working. Freshly now boasts a consistent 96% customer satisfaction.
They did this through improving their QA program, scaling dramatically (they QA 5% of tickets, this is SUPER impressive), and really investing in coaching agents with QA metrics.