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Five ways customer support teams can use survey responses

Five ways customer support teams can use survey responses

Survey technology is evolving and you can now get real-time feedback on your company’s support interactions.

Instead of seeing if your support team did better this month than last month, customer support teams can use real feedback to close the loop between what an agent does, and what a customer thinks about it.

Now you can use your survey results to solve your customer issues, rather than just uncovering them. Here’s how.

1. Service recovery

For small businesses, conquering churn is a really big deal. The U.S. Small Business Administration claims 68% of customers leave because they’re upset with the treatment they've received — but a shocking 96% of unhappy customers don’t bother to proactively complain.  

Imagine how much revenue you could save if you could increase your customer retention with even a small percentage of the unhappy clients you don’t normally hear from.

You can use customer feedback via survey responses to find out how customers are feeling in real time and give yourself a fighting chance of recovering a customer before they leave.

2. Supporting the individual

It’s challenging to fight churn in a world where customers have wildly different expectations of your customer support team and  churn is caused by a customer feeling poorly treated a massive 68% of the time. But one customer’s great response is another customer’s bad one. We see this in our own support, where someone may be highly technical and resent any “hand holding” we try to do, versus another customer who is new to the tech world and really wants to be guided through.

3. Agent training

Managing a support team and motivating agents to deliver great performance is a hard task when the only feedback they get is from their manager. Are your agents just hearing “nagging from mom” about their performance?

Real customer feedback that relates to the work the agent just did carries tremendous power. One of our Fortune 500 customers uses live customer feedback to help train and develop their support team, and has seen a double digit improvement in their staff satisfaction surveys as a result.

If customer service is important to you, and you demonstrate it at every opportunity by asking customers how you did, your staff will become acutely aware of how their actions impact customer satisfaction and ultimately customer retention. It becomes part of the fabric of the way you do business.

Getting specific feedback tied to individual customers can help connect agents with customers’ real (and often unexpressed) needs.

4. Visualizing problems

Tracking down where improvements can be made is not always intuitive. Be sure to view your customer survey responses from as many different angles as possible to ensure you’re seeing the full picture.

For example, you may have a shift timing problem, a language problem, or a cultural problem but you’ll only know if you can sort your feedback data by country or region.

It’s also important to understand that non-response bias (basically, the fact that customers are more likely to complete a survey if they are unhappy) means that one or two agents who are significantly underperforming  may be greatly distorting your data. Put together a table ranking your agents’ performance by the customer feedback they’ve received, to help pinpoint problems.

5. Improving canned responses

It’s been estimated that companies spend 98% of their time reacting to problems, and only 2% preventing them. By getting customer feedback on a response-by-response basis, you can assess which of your ‘canned’ replies or standard content isn’t cutting the mustard with customers, and proactively go and improve it.

Getting snippets of feedback in real time can revolutionize your support team’s ability to sense and respond.

Get as much identifiable customer feedback as possible after your support interactions. By doing so, you’ll be able to move the satisfaction needle, rather than just looking at it.


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