Tagged in customer experience


5 Tips for Creating Effective Customer Experience Surveys

April 24, 2018



Delivering high-quality customer service is vital to your company’s bottom line. Statistics show that 67 percent of consumers switch brands because of unsatisfactory customer experience. Combined with another report that says attracting a new customer is six to seven times more expensive than keeping one, increasing customer satisfaction should be a top priority. Luckily, customer experience surveys are a cost-effective solution for figuring out how to increase customer satisfaction. Creating a good survey, though, does take some effort. These five tips will help you get started.

  1. Understand what you’re trying to measure

Each survey should have a specific learning goal in mind, and the questions you create should be tailored to fit that goal. When companies aren’t sure what they’re trying to learn, there’s a tendency to jam-pack a survey with an assortment of questions. When customers aren’t sure what you’re asking or how questions relate to each other, they can get confused and skew your results.

  1. Use emotive rating fields

The standard “poor” to “excellent” ratings system is robotic and stiff, not the friendly, quality service you want to be known for. Try expectations-based ratings instead. “Hated it” to “loved it”, for example. It’s unexpected and makes the survey experience more interesting.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask yes/no questions

It’s tempting to ask open-ended questions. Detailed feedback can be really helpful, but that data’s much more difficult to sort and troubleshoot. Starting out, a quick consensus can be enough to get you moving in the right direction. As your customer experience efforts evolve, more freeform responses could be helpful to steer you towards more advanced and microscopic adjustments.

  1. Identify your promoters

Net Promoter Score (NPS) can be a powerful measurement of brand loyalty. “Would you recommend our products and services to a friend or family member?” breaks your customers into three different categories: detractors, neutrals, and promoters. Promoters are brand loyalists who are bringing new customers to you. Knowing what makes them happy can help you recreate those same experiences for your other customers.

  1. Keep the survey short

Customers are willing to give you feedback if the survey is succinct and convenient. Long customer experience surveys are more likely to be ignored or only partially filled out, and complex questions can confuse or frustrate customers. Instead, strive to appease and delight customers even during something as innocuous/everyday as a survey. The simpler and more standardized the response, the more convenient the survey is to the customer.

Customer experience surveys are an effective way of gathering meaningful customer feedback. However, they need to be designed in a way that doesn’t inconvenience your customers while also getting you the information you need to make crucial customer service decisions. It’s a delicate but achievable balance that’s well worth the effort of executing properly.


Featured Image: Shutterstock/Brian A. Jackson

5 Customer Service Trends to Watch in 2018

December 4, 2017


As I reflect on the busy year 2017 shaped up to be, its hard not to see the commonalities and trends many of us face when it comes to customer service. I racked up 90,000 travel miles this year and no matter where the plane took me or if I talked to contact center newbies or veterans, the conversations all seemed so similar. Whether its balancing a personable, high-touch style with the efficiency of technology-based applications or swapping out old processes for more customer-centric ones, there are some clear key customer service trends to keep an eye on in 2018.

  1. The rise (and balance) of AI

From conferences to tech blogs, everyone was talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) this year. Virtual assistants like Suri and Alexa have become immensely popular in our personal lives, but we’ve also leveraged the same technology to assist customers. Not only can AI help trim costs, but it can siphon off lower tier support requests, freeing up your agents to handle more complex issues and questions.

With all the good AI can do, there are still two major challenges companies using bots will face. First, ensuring bots are deployed on the right channels because not all channels are created equal. Second, finding proper balance between human agents and bots to create finely tuned hybrid workforces.

  1. Deeper channels, not just more options

Many companies have expanded the number of customer service channels to include convenient options like chat and email. While customers love options, they also expect their chosen channel to get the job done completely. No one likes to start a chat session only to be told they have to call the customer service line. It’s not just about having the right channels in place but properly training agents on how to communicate best through that method and ensuring they have the knowledge and access to resolve conversations themselves.

  1. Personalized customer experiences

Businesses collect an assortment of customer information—demographics, behavior, interests—but few use it to their advantage or to the customer’s benefit. While more companies have started using this information to tailor deals and offers, a few have expanded into predictive technologies. These tools can help reduce customer effort and increase sales by predicting the customer’s next several website clicks based on buying and pages viewed on your website.

When I talk to companies about this technology, I always get the same response: Spooky. But these technologies deliver a lot of value to customers. It’s essentially like having an invisible sales rep walk alongside the customer. Especially with jargon-heavy industries like healthcare and insurance, it’s a means to prevent frustration and promote a simpler buying process.

  1. Visual IVR

As mobile usage increases, there’s been more chatter about using visual IVR menus. These would allow callers to select from multiple choice menus on their mobile phone rather than just selecting from keypad/speaking options. This will better accommodate those who have hearing impairments. For those customers unfamiliar with your terminology, it will give some additional time and context for them to understand their options and pick the right support path. It’s expected to also help reduce the number of agent re-routed calls for both of these reasons, a common pain point for call centers.

  1. Focus on millennial acquisition

Millennials have become the key buyer demographic to market to and they’re challenging a lot of long-standing customer service beliefs and practices. For instance, millennials are a driving force behind the new focus on self-serve portals. It’s the age of DIY and they want to troubleshoot on their own time.

Millennials hold incredible influence over other buyers largely due to social media. It’s the megaphone they use to cheer and jeer the brands they buy from, and it’s what they turn to when researching their next purchase. Millennials also put more value on good experiences and reputation than they do costs, further showing the value and growing demand for customer centricity.

While 2017 was a fascinating year full of new tech we’re all just beginning to understand and a heightened focus on customer experience, I’m excited to see what 2018 brings. Who will excel in customer service this year? How will customers continue to challenge our processes? What other technologies will make our work lives easier?

Most exciting of all? Can I break 100,000 miles traveled in a single year? I think so, and I hope to see some of you along the way, whether it’s sitting next to you at a conference or bumping into you at Starbucks.


5 Powerful Ways to Measure Customer Experience

August 3, 2017


Making assumptions when it comes to measuring customer experience can be really dangerous for your company’s short-term customer satisfaction and long-term growth. According to Time, 80% of surveyed companies say they deliver “superior” service. Yet only 8% of consumers think these same companies deliver “superior” service. This leaves them with a big performance gap that needs some immediate attention. Statistics like this illustrate a common though misguided approach to customer experience, basing it more on feeling and less on data.

Assuming is a thing of the past. Today, we have the technology and means to get real-time feedback from customers, engage them in surveys, and track key components of customer satisfaction. These five customer experience metrics can help you get started.

  1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS is the percentage of customers that would recommend your company, products, or services. This powerful metric focuses on long-term happiness and can even help you predict customer behavior and company growth.  A customer survey is the most common avenue to gather this information. Include the question: How likely are you to recommend this business to a friend or colleague? Allow customers to rate you 0-10. Promoters are anyone that rated you 9 or higher. Detractors rate you 6 and under. Subtract your percentage of promoters from your percentage of detractors.

Target NPS varies from industry to industry. Get an idea of your industry’s average with this helpful chart below.


Source: netpromoterscore

  1. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customers rate you based on a specific experience they had, like returning a product.  CSAT can help you identify root causes of reoccurring issues plaguing your bottom line and loyalty numbers. It’s a great metric to use in conjunction with NPS because it focuses on short-term happiness, giving you a fuller picture of customer satisfaction. Think of NPS as a high level view and CSAT as a means to dig into the finer points of your operations.

  1. Customer Effort Score (CES)

You know what customers really love? When you make things easy for them. CES helps you understand the effort your customers exert when accomplishing a task, such as finding a product on your website or getting a support request resolved.  This metric is flexible, so it can be applied across any process or interaction you have, making it a compelling collector of valuable, specific information. Implementation can be as simple as adding a one-question survey at checkout like, The Company made it easy for me to find the item I was looking for and then ask them to rate from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.”

  1. Customer Churn Rate

The percentage of customers who stop doing business with you, either by not making a repeat purchase or by cancelling their recurring service, is your customer churn rate. Churn is a growth decelerator. Comparing against some of the other metrics above, you can start to understand why you’re losing customers and then develop an informed plan to combat it. Select a period of time, like the previous quarter, and divide the total number of lost customers by the total number of active customers. As you make improvements to your customer engagement process, be sure to revisit your churn rate to see if your changes are working.

  1. First Call Resolution (FCR)

While FCR can certainly influence many of the metrics above, it’s a powerful customer satisfaction metric in its own right. At the end of a call or chat session, ask the customer, “Have I fully resolved your issue today?” and record the answer in your ticketing system or CRM. Get a snapshot by dividing the total number of calls resolved correctly on the first attempt by the total number of calls in a given period of time.

Make it easy for customers to give you feedback and they will. Gather real data and real suggestions of where to make changes that create the most impact on customer experience and satisfaction. It can be stressful to hear the complaints and pain points, but honest and thoughtful communication with your customers will help you retain more customers and grow your company.