5 Ways to Outpace Your Competition in 2022

What’s it going to take to outpace your competition in 2022?

We’re heading into the new year, and it seems like there’s a lot stacked against us. But even as talent shortages loom large and supply chain issues continue to slow down sales across industries, it’s your customer service that will help you outpace your competition and keep customers coming back for more.

Reflecting on the last two years, we can all agree that we don’t know exactly what will happen in 2022. But there are two things we can infer:

  1. Support requests are increasing
  2. Customer expectations are rising

Average weekly support requests are up 20% since the start of the pandemic, according to Zendesk’s Customer Experience Trends Report. And despite the increased challenges of the pandemic (or possibly because of it), customer expectations are skyrocketing.

However, it’s a new year, and the possibilities are endless. You’re heading into this stage with knowledge in hand and an opportunity to leverage the right tools to delight your customers.

Discover the top 5 ways you can get ahead in 2022.

1. Boost employee engagement with gamification

Did you think we were going to start with customer tactics? If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that our employees are the most valuable assets we have, and we need to do what it takes to keep them healthy and happy

“Between December 2020 and July 2021, there was a 21% increase in employee burnout” – meQuilibrium

Just between December 2020 and July 2021, there was a 21% increase in employee burnout, according to a report from meQuilibrium. Coupled with the talent shortage, this puts your team at a disadvantage.

Because of a smaller talent pool, it’s even more vital to keep your current employees happy and working to their full potential.

A good way to engage employees? Gamification

Gamification brings an element of competition and fun to your customer service objectives. Turn objectives and goals into a game with a points-based reward system. Offer rewards like vacation time, restaurant gift cards, or work-from-home perks.

Engaging employees with gamification can help increase their productivity. Companies with higher engagement are 22% more profitable, according to employee communication platform Smarp.

Creating a rewards system gives your customer support agents a clear indication of what’s important and which metrics matter most. Plus, they get an easy way to measure their own performance against fellow agents.

You can also tweak the rewards to help focus on your teams’ priorities. If you’re concerned about the competition outpacing you on resolution times, you can increase the number of points assigned to low-resolution times.

Additionally, you can balance productivity increases with acquiring new skills. If an agent shows low productivity, offer more points for the most tickets served per hour. Once agent performance is in a good place, offer points when they complete a course or module in your learning management system.

In 2022 especially, your team is your strongest asset. Investing in employees and creating new ways to engage them will help you outpace competitors and improve customer satisfaction.

2. Implement AI solutions

We talked about the talent shortage and how engaging with your employees is a good way to increase productivity, but what if customers still face long wait times and your support team is overwhelmed? 

High-performing teams are leading with AI to support their team and get a leg up on the competition.Conversational Customer Service reduce call volume

You can use AI and chatbots in several ways to improve the customer experience.

  • Use a bot to welcome customers to your website or messaging platform and collect basic information to serve them better when an agent becomes available.
  • Integrate bots with live agents so agents can send a customer to a bot to answer questions, and bots can send customers to live agents for more complicated issues.
  • Program chatbots with answers to basic FAQ questions to cut down on the number of tickets your agents must service.
  • Use bots to walk customers through a troubleshooting process to identify and potentially solve issues.
  • Route messages through a chatbot at the end of conversations to collect CSAT surveys.

Zendesk reports usage rates for AI-powered chatbots were still low in 2020 despite their ability to reduce the burden on overwhelmed support teams. This makes it a great opportunity for companies who embrace AI to outpace their competition.

3. Be available wherever your customers are

How easy is it for your customers to connect with you? Do they have to go to your website, find the support page, and send an email? Do they have to track down a phone number?

When a customer has a problem that needs fixing, the last thing they want is to waste time trying to figure out how to contact you. Sometimes outpacing your competition simply means removing that one layer of frustration for your customers.

Provide service and support wherever your customers hang out. Your website is the best place to start, but expand your availability to sites like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Google Business Messages, Apple Business Chat, and more.

According to Zendesk, 64% of surveyed customers used a new support channel in 2020.  And high-performing companies are more likely to offer omnichannel support.

Customers are getting more comfortable using multiple communication channels to connect with businesses, and this trend is likely to continue in 2022. It also caters to customers’ need for instant gratification. As soon as they notice a problem or have a question, they can get an answer from your support team within whichever app or platform they’re already using.

Facilitating cross-channel communications has also never been easier. Support agents can easily manage multiple channels, pick up conversations from one channel to another, and switch between conversations with a platform like Quiq. You’ll provide more customer service options without adding additional pressure to your support agents.

4. Enable conversational commerce

Since removing customer friction is a top priority in 2022, conversational commerce has become a trending topic. 

help agents convert revenue sales messaging payments apple pay google pay facebook pay shopify paymentsIn addition to solving customer problems, support teams are positioned to assist customers before a sale to increase conversions. Putting support agents on multiple platforms gives customers ample opportunity to ask questions about sizing, product use cases, service details, and any other questions that might pop up during the decision-making process. 

And since customers are already primed for a sale once they’ve gotten answers, why not let them complete the sale right within the chat platform? 

Adding payment options to your customer service messaging can improve your customer satisfaction and even increase your revenue.

Enabling customers to make a purchase within whichever messaging platform they’re using makes for a faster and more seamless purchasing experience. For Quiq clients, integrating payments resulted in an 85% reduction in abandoned shopping carts.

Here are a few messaging platforms that allow you to integrate secure payment solutions.

  • Facebook Messenger
  • SMS/text messaging
  • Instagram Direct Messages
  • Web chat
  • Apple Business Chat
  • Google Business Messages
  • And more

5. Lead with values

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that customers want to be understood. 

Customers want understanding and empathy when they’re facing a problem—even if it doesn’t have an obvious solution. 49% of customers want agents to be empathetic, according to Zendesk. 

But that understanding also extends to customers’ personal values. With so much social division, customers are more careful where they spend their money and time. 54% want to buy from companies that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities and workplaces, and 63% want to buy from socially responsible companies.

It’s never been more important for support teams to embody company values and practice them in every customer service interaction. Take the time in 2022 to give your team practical examples of your company values and how they can share them in each conversation.

2022 is your year to outpace your competitors

2022 represents a fresh start—and a lot to do. Unfortunately, customer service teams are fighting an uphill battle as we ring in the new year. But now’s the time for big leaps.

Take advantage of this new start to set your team up for success and leave your competitors in the dust.

There’s a lot to do, but you can achieve it with Quiq. 

Business Messaging 101: Best Practices by Channel

If you haven’t heard yet, business messaging is a big deal.

We’re moving away from endless phonebanks and multi-hour wait times to multiple business messaging channels. And customers love it. 89% of customers would like to use messages to communicate with businesses, reported Twilio.

The pandemic accelerated messaging popularity in 2021. According to Zendesk’s 2021 CX Trends Report, in-app messaging popularity grew by 36%, SMS/text messaging by 75%, and social messaging by 110%.

While it has become an essential part of your customer communication strategy, it’s admittedly confusing. There are multiple platforms, endless rules, and many nuances between each.

We’ve created a best practices guide to help you embark on your business messaging initiative. It covers:

Adding messaging can elevate your customer satisfaction, increase agent efficiency, reduce call volumes, and more.

Continue reading for business messaging best practices.

The basic principles of business messaging

  1. Start with a plan. What type of goals are you setting? Are you simply trying to lower costs? Reduce call volume? Or do you have a long-term strategy to improve your CSAT and increase revenue? Whether starting with incremental goals or going all in, lay it out clearly in the early planning stages. This will determine which channels you focus on, how you’ll train your staff, and which conversation platform you invest in.
  2. Keep conversations organized. Juggling multiple channels of asynchronous communication gets chaotic. Switching between platforms, monitoring multiple conversations—it just doesn’t work if support agents don’t have a way to keep it organized. Conversational platforms are the way to do this. Quiq’s intuitive interface keeps conversations organized, with easily accessible history, simple conversation switching, and help only a click away.Conversational Customer Service reduce call volume
  3. Stay true to your brand voice and tone. Your customer service agents are the voice of your company, so they should follow your brand voice and tone guidelines when interacting with customers. Some businesses write chatbot scripts to be overly formal: avoiding contractions, using proper English, and completing their thought in one long sentence. But this isn’t an English paper! If your brand voice uses conversational language, so should your chatbot. It’ll feel more natural to your customers AND your support agents.
  4. Create a messaging style guide. Your marketing team has a style guide—what about your customer service team? Give your customer support agents a comprehensive guide covering everything from emoji use (as in, use this ? but never this ?) to contractions to appropriate text-speak (LOL, JK, TL;DR, IYKYK, but never WTF). Utilizing a tool like Quiq’s predictive text can also help support agents with messaging. It’ll help support team members stay on brand, have good grammar, and get answers to customers faster.
  5. Tailor your strategy by channel. Although you want to keep your brand voice consistent, you should tailor your communication strategies to the platform you’re on. For example, talking to a customer using live chat on your website should be a different experience than Facebook Messenger. You get to decide what works best for each platform. Consider message length, emoji usage, and formality when designated platform best practices.

Messaging best practices by channel

Web chat and live messaging

Web chat or live chat is when you embed a chat box directly on your website. Expect this channel to get a lot of action—especially if you’re in e-commerce.

Customers often come to your site for two reasons: to purchase something or get a question answered. Live chat should help them do both.

  1. Send a welcome message. While you don’t want to bombard web visitors with popups, make sure they know live chat is available. Send a friendly welcome message letting them know how they can use the chat function, if they’ll be connecting with a person or a bot, or even a featured sale. The point is not to be aggressive but to let them know they have support whenever needed.
  2. Tailor messages based on where they’ve been. Use Quiq to track which website pages a customer has visited to guess intent. Are they fishing around on your support page? They likely have a question they can’t answer with your knowledge base. You can even get creative and offer sizing help or product suggestions based on the items they’ve viewed.
  3. Make your teams’ availability clear. Manning live chat 24/7 is difficult, but there are ways to ensure your customers get their questions answered. Program a Quiq chatbot to offer away messages when no one’s available, share wait times, or even answer questions and point customers to other self-service options.

Business SMS/text messaging

Text messaging has become an increasingly popular way to connect with customers and often crushes email open rates. And unlike many of the other messaging platforms, text messaging doesn’t require an internet connection. Anyone with a phone plan can receive text messages, making it an easily accessible option for your customers.

  1. Keep it casual. Text messaging is still a primarily personal medium. You use it to chat with friends and family more than businesses, and your customers are the same. This means a casual, friendly tone is best over text messaging. Avoid being too formal and keep messages short and to the point.RichMessaging_Integration_iPhoneX
  2. Personalize messages. Text messaging is all about cultivating a 1:1 experience with your customers. While you can use text messages to send mass communications to your customers, try segmenting based on interests, past purchases, or even locations. And add personalization tags for that extra touch.
  3. Make it a two-way conversation. While text messages are great for communicating deals and exclusive content, customers want to respond and ask questions. According to Attentive, almost 70% of customers say they would be extremely likely or likely to receive customer service over a text message.
  4. Message one or millions. Quiq’s messaging platform can be configured to send one-to-one text messages or reach an entire customer segment. So whether you’re sending a package tracking link, notifying customers of a service outage, or offering a coupon, you can reach your customers quickly, and in the manner they prefer.
  5. Convert calls to text. Give customers who call your busy customer support center the option to send a text message instead. Phone IVRs work well, but giving your customer the option to text when agents are busy is an easy and effective way to surprise and delight them. Instead, integrate texting with your IVR for an easy “press 1 to text” experience.
  6. Embrace multimedia. Over half of customers (51.1%) are more likely to make a purchase if they receive a text message with media (GIFs, images and video), reports Attentive. Show off personalized product suggestions, share knowledge base articles, or have fun with memes—if your brand voice allows for it.

Facebook Messenger

Since 1.3 billion people use Facebook Messenger globally, it’s safe to say you can find your customers there, too. But there are some social media pitfalls to navigate as you go.

  1. Be responsive. Facebook adds “Very responsive to messages” badges to company pages that have a 90% response rate and consistently respond in 15 minutes or less.
  2. Follow the customers’ lead. Judging your customers’ cadence is a big part of messaging on a social platform like Facebook. Some highly active users may expect a naturally flowing conversation with quick answers. But some may jump in and out of the platform while doing other things. When that happens, agents need to be able to pick up the conversation where it left off. Quiq’s intuitive platform keeps the conversation history and pertinent information handy, so agents can jump in and out of conversations without ever missing a beat.
  3. Take advantage of rich messaging. Emojis? Memes? Gifs? Videos? Facebook Messenger supports it all. While you still want to talk to your customers in a way your brand would, there’s more freedom to have a little fun in Messenger. Use these sparingly and in the right setting to appeal to your customers. Fair warning: Overuse can make you sound glib or out of touch. You can also use Facebook’s multimedia capabilities to get to the bottom of a customer issue faster. They can send images of damaged items, and agents can share how-to videos or other resources. Overall you can shorten your resolution time and leave customers happy.
  4. Use bots in multiple ways. Many Facebook users expect the same response times on nights and weekends as they do during the week. Use Quiq’s customer service chatbots to welcome guests and collect information to route them to the right customer service agent. Since social media is the place for quick answers, Quiq’s chatbots can also answer simple questions within Facebook Messenger.

Instagram Direct Messages

While businesses aren’t new to Instagram, Instagram only recently embraced business messaging. 90% of IG users are already following a company, and they often reach out to businesses on Instagram to resolve issues with existing or previous sales, according to Instagram. With Instagram’s API, you message your customers within the Quiq platform.

Many of the same best practices for Facebook and other social media platforms apply to Instagram direct messaging.

  1. Be the trendy relative. Instagram is like Facebook’s cool cousin. It’s more visual, demographically younger, but has relatively the same features as its predecessor. Adapt your voice to fit. It’s still best to avoid “internet slang,” but insert emojis and youthful language where appropriate. IYKYK.
  2. Take advantage of unique features. Instagram offers features that not all platforms have. You can send voice or video messages, drop a pin to a store or event location, and even create chat rooms when appropriate.
  3. Have a Stories strategy. When users reply to Instagram stories, it goes directly into your inbox. It’s a great way to strike up conversations naturally with your customers or potential clients. Ask questions, add prompts, and don’t forget to ask customers to message you.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is another heavy hitter. With 2 billion active users worldwide, there’s a good chance your customers use it—and they wish you did, too.

  1. Follow the guidelines. WhatsApp has strict guidelines as to what counts as spam and how you can use discount codes, promotions, or giveaways. Be sure to read through the guidelines before using WhatsApp for business purposes.
  2. Get consent via an opt-in. Before you can start messaging users, you need both their phone number and an opt-in.
  3. Create groups and broadcasts. WhatsApp gives you two options to reach out to multiple users at once. The first is a WhatsApp Group. It allows you to have exchange messages with up to 256 users. Conversation happens altogether in one big group.

The other is a WhatsApp Broadcast. Broadcasts only allow the broadcaster (you) to send a message to everyone. If other users reply, they’re routed to private messages.

Apple Messages for Business

Apple Messages for Business connects iOS and macOS users to your business in brand new ways. It takes no additional downloads from your customers and provides a holistic e-commerce shopping experience. Customers can find your business and start conversations from Safari, Maps, Search, Siri, or your website.

  1. Support transactions with Apple Pay. Using Apple Messages for Business and Quiq, you can complete sales right within iOS native messaging. It’s secure, and customers likely feel more comfortable using a trusted payment provider.
  2. Go beyond text messaging. Create a fully realized shopping experience. Pair Apple Messages for Business with Quiq to authenticate users, schedule appointments, and collect information.
  3. Use Apple Message Suggest. Message Suggest automatically gives your customers the option to message your business with one tap. Use this feature to shift early conversations to messaging over more costly and time-consuming phone calls.

Take your messaging to the next level with Quiq

Managing multiple messaging channels—keeping track of notifications, ensuring smooth conversations, and providing customer satisfaction—can all be achieved using Quiq’s conversational platform.

Is Your Service Center Busy? Don’t Turn Off Messaging!

Knee-jerk reactions happen. It gets busy. You see your agents struggling. And when your agents are overwhelmed, it’s natural to want to go back to what you know. So you turn all your agents to the phone while turning messaging off.

But this can make things ten times worse.

Instead of controlling the funnel of customer requests, you simply create a ticket backlog that frustrates your customers and further overwhelms your team.

Hear us out about why you should resist the urge to suspend messaging when you get busy. 

Don’t turn off messaging. Here’s why.

1. Customers prefer it.

Business professional woman holding a cell phoneGlobally, messaging has increased in popularity significantly in 2021. According to Zendesk’s 2021 CX Trends Report, in-app messaging popularity grew by 36%, SMS/text messaging by 75%, and social messaging by 110%.

While customers value human connection, younger generations don’t consider emotional connections and text communications mutually exclusive. 

If your customers are used to messaging options, they’re likely to get frustrated when you take it away. The worst-case scenarios? They become unsatisfied, switch to a competitor, or take their complaint to social media.

2. Messaging is more efficient.

It might seem counterintuitive. Rather than focusing on a single call, agents are juggling multiple customer messages at the same time. But with the right tools and sufficient planning, messaging can be a lot more efficient.

With phone calls, agents can only serve one person at a time. They’re wholly tied down to one call. And they may or may not know how serious the problem is, the customer’s mood, or how long it’ll take to resolve their issue. It’s often a crapshoot. 

But messaging gives agents the ability to serve six to eight requests, compared to one phone call. They can prioritize messages based on urgency, dollar amount, VIP and more. Plus, agents can chat with other customers while waiting for one to respond, maximizing their time.

3. Messaging is asynchronous.

Except for live chat, messaging doesn’t require an immediate response. It lands somewhere between phone conversations and email. Customers often send a message but rarely wait for a response. This gives customers a chance to go about their day while having their issues resolved or their questions answered. 

Your customer service agents then have more flexibility in their responses. You can afford to slow down communications without upsetting the customer.

Yes, it’s good to answer customers as quickly as possible. But when it’s busy and your agents are overwhelmed, taking longer to respond to a text message is better than leaving them on hold for the same amount of time.

4. Integrate chatbots to alleviate urgency.

The biggest advantage messaging has over phone calls? Chatbots.

Online customer service chatbot conversations with a customerSalesforce reported that 66% of service professionals credit self-service for reducing call volumes—and that includes chatbots. There are many ways to integrate bots and AI into the customer support experience to reduce the burden on your agents. 

Chatbots can act as your first line of defense, greeting customers and collecting information on their issues. During busy times, you can triage support issues. Customers with urgent problems can be helped first, while those with simpler problems can wait a little longer. For frequently asked questions, you can even write a script for your chatbots to respond and complete the ticket without involving your team at all.

Chatbots and agents can also work in tandem, tag-teaming a conversation when agents get overwhelmed. Chatbots can ask questions or provide scripted responses, and agents can jump in with the solution. Plus, agents can see the entire conversation with the chatbot, so the transition is seamless, and there are no redundant questions.

5. It’s just better customer service.

If you’re a Friends enthusiast, do you remember the episode “The One with the Screamer”? Stay with us. In short, Phoebe misses Joey’s play because she’s on hold for hours trying to claim a warranty that’s about to expire.

While that’s poor customer service taken to the extreme, it’s still very relatable. A Zendesk survey found that  56% of customers say that long hold/wait times are one of the most frustrating customer service experiences. No one wants to wait on hold for hours. And when your support agents are busy, that’s a possibility. Sending a message allows your customers to go on with their day while waiting for a response.

What doesn’t work with messaging

While integrating messaging into your customer service is a great strategy, it’s not a silver bullet. It doesn’t solve all your support problems without some help. 

Here are some ways messaging can go seriously wrong.

1. You only use live messaging.

Live chat is a great way to engage with customers, but it’s not the most forgiving during busy times. Synchronous messaging (instant communication between you and your customer) requires both parties to be available and provide instant responses. It doesn’t adequately replace a phone call. When you’re busy, synchronous messaging can take up more of your agents’ time.

2. You’re using chatbots ineffectively.

Pairing chatbots with synchronous messaging lends to a lackluster customer service experience. Using simplistic chatbots in your web messaging often turns into hold messages (i.e., “Someone will be with you in 20 minutes”) or a glorified search bar (i.e., “What can I help you with?”).

Chatbot scripts and messaging trees are also vital to their success. Filling it with copy that lacks empathy, is too formal for your audience, or confuses them further will also create a bad experience.

3. You’re not adequately preparing your team.

According to Salesforce, 55% of agents say they need better training in order to do their job well. Messaging customers and handling issues over the phone are two different skill sets. There are many cues you can pick up on through someone’s voice to determine their state of mind. Your customer service team was likely trained to listen for these cues and respond accordingly. 

But messaging is different. There are fewer ways to pick up on a customer’s mood and fewer ways to build a rapport. If your team isn’t prepped to respond quickly while expressing empathy, it can come off as detached or fake.

How to ensure messaging success

Don’t panic. When you see a busy season on the horizon, there are a few things you can do to set your customer support team up for messaging success.

1. It’s all about the prep work.

It’s not a good idea to plug your current customer service strategies into a messaging platform as is. You need a strategy that works across voice calls and messaging, so you can transition customers between them seamlessly. 

2. Set up triage ahead of time.

Messaging Chat Bots Help Customer ServiceBefore the avalanche hits, decide how you’ll handle customer support questions. Who gets to go first when you can’t get to everyone right away? Will it be the most urgent problem? The VIP customers? Whoever has a problem that can be solved the quickest?

Then determine how you’ll assign issues to different service agents or even different departments. Lean into conversational AI and chatbots to help automate those decisions.

3. Reduce call volume with call-to-text.

Integrate call-to-text with your interactive voice response (IVR) system to give customers the option of transitioning to text instead of waiting on hold.

4. Ensure seamless integration across platforms.

It’s easy for customer communications to become fragmented. Silos can form between different messaging platforms, phone calls, and web chat. Find a communications platform that keeps track of customers across multiple channels so your agents have a complete history of the conversation before they jump in.

5. Create an escape plan.

Okay. Not an actual escape plan. But you should have a strategy in place to help get your customer service agents out of the hole—that doesn’t involve turning off your messaging entirely. Have some remote agents on call to take the overflow. Or try enlisting other team members to help out when your team is overwhelmed. Maybe even try turning off your phones and relying on messaging services until you catch up.

Whatever you do, set yourself up for success with better options than shutting down your customer service messaging and weathering the storm.

Master your messaging with Quiq

Don’t hit the panic button. Even if your team is under fire, resist the urge to go full phone. Instead of solving the problem, you may be creating several more.

What does it really take to reach customer service messaging success? A conversational platform that enhances your agents’ ability to deliver exceptional customer service. Prepare for the busy days ahead with Quiq.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of messaging channels out there. Regardless of how your customers or prospects engage, Quiq manages it all within our multi-channel conversational engagement platform.

Get a Quiq demo today.

3 Key Customer Success Metrics to Go After in 2022

With jingle bells ringing and cash registers chiming, it’s clear we’re still smack dab in the middle of the holiday rush. But off in the distance, you can hear an orchestra play the first few familiar notes of Auld Lang Syne.

2022 is quickly approaching, and you’re likely gearing up for new initiatives, process changes, and everything else that comes with the beginning of a new year.

Have you figured out how to measure it yet?

The beginning of the year is a great time to start tracking your customer success metrics. Measuring how happy your customers are with your service and how likely they are to return is a great predictor of overall business success.

Use success metrics to:

  • Gauge the success of new initiatives
  • Identify weak points in the customer journey
  • Measure the success of your customer service team
  • Track the growth of individual team members
  • Predict customer loyalty

But the world of customer data is massive. Where do you start?

There are many ways to gauge and improve your customer service, but we’ve identified three customer success metrics that will give you the best, well-rounded view of how you’re performing in your customers’ eyes.

Keep reading to see what they are and how to use them. 

Why should you measure customer success?

To put it simply, you can’t make customer-centric decisions without any input from the customer. While we always have our customers’ best interests at heart, what we think customers want and what they actually want can be vastly different.

But more than identifying needs, giving customers the opportunity to provide feedback makes them feel valued. Customers with service issues often just want to be heard, which also applies to the feedback they offer. They want to know their complaint has been taken and addressed.

Plus, 1 in 3 customers share their contact center experiences with others, and half of those do so on social media, according to a 2020 report from the CFI Group. Hearing about customer issues from social media has the potential to damage your brand.

That’s where customer surveys come in. 

Success metric #1: Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction, or CSAT, often asks customers one question: How satisfied are you with your experience? 

Customers respond using a numerical scale to rate their experience from very dissatisfied to very satisfied. Numerical scales are typically 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, but they can vary based on your business’s preference.

How do you calculate CSAT scores?

Number of satisfied customers ÷ Total number of respondents x 100 = CSAT

On a 1 to 5 scale, 4s and 5s are typically the highest predictors of customer retention.

This short survey works best when asked immediately after a specific experience. You can offer the survey after a purchase, an interaction with your customer service team, or a return.

What can you do to improve your CSAT scores?

  • Improve response times
  • Resolve issues quickly
  • Ask follow-up questions to discern the context behind customer dissatisfaction

While CSAT is an excellent monitoring tool, it has its limitations. It works best when measuring specific interactions but doesn’t give you an overall picture of the customer experience. While it can indicate customer satisfaction, it isn’t the best at identifying whether a customer is likely to return or recommend your business to someone else.

You’re also more likely to hear from customers at either extreme: either terrible experiences or outstanding experiences. Customers in the middle are less likely to take the time and fill out the survey.

Success metric #2: Customer effort score

Customer effort score, or CES, measures how easy it is to do business with your company. For this survey, you ask customers to rate the ease of interaction with your customer service team, typically from 1 to 7, with low numbers corresponding to very difficult and high numbers very easy.

How do you calculate CES?

Sum of all scores ÷ total number of responses = CES average

This more recent measurement originates from a Harvard Business Review study that found “little relationship between satisfaction and loyalty.”

Their main conclusion?

“When it comes to service, companies create loyal customers primarily by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily.”

So while customer delight and satisfaction are vital goals, HBR concluded that the level of effort required is a greater predictor of disloyalty. The more effort customers have to expend, the less likely they are to continue patronizing your business.

What can you do to improve your CES?

  • Simplify the checkout process with message-based payments
  • Solve customer issues with fewer interactions
  • Give customers self-service options on your website

The main issue that pops up with CES is that it’s ambiguous. Customers don’t always interpret “effort” in a manner that is useful to your business. It also doesn’t translate well across cultures.

Success metric #3: Net Promoter Score®

A Net Promoter Score, or NPS®, is a proprietary customer success metric that asks the question: How likely are you to recommend [business/product/service] to someone you know?

Customers answer based on a 10-point scale, and answers are categorized as follows:

  • Detractors: 0 to 6
  • Passives: 7 and 8
  • Promoters: 9 and 10

Detractors are customers who were completely dissatisfied with your service and have the potential to damage your business. It’s best to follow up with these customers to ask them why they feel the way they do and to solve any persistent problems they might have.

Passives are typically customers who were satisfied with your business but overall unenthusiastic about it. They’re more likely to switch to competitors depending on their needs.

Promoters are the ultimate goal. They’re enthusiastic about your brand. Promoters are most likely to purchase frequently and share your business with people they know. According to Bain & Company, a promoter has a lifetime value 6 to 14 times that of a detractor.

How do you calculate NPS?

% of promoters — % of detractors = NPS

While NPS is designed to gauge the overall performance of your business, you can also use it transactionally to measure the success of products or services. If your goal is overall company reputation, it’s best to send out the survey at regular intervals, like quarterly or yearly. If you’re measuring a specific product or service, send the survey shortly after the purchase is complete.

What can you do to improve your NPS?

Since NPS is measuring your customers’ perception of your brand, there aren’t one or two things that can drastically improve it. Everything matters.

NPS brings a different dynamic to survey results, but the answers without any context aren’t constructive. Since you’re more likely looking at the overall impression of your brand instead of specific interactions or customer emotions, it can be pretty hard to decipher the results in a meaningful way.

That’s why it’s essential to ask for reasonings either within your survey or as a follow-up. Give your customers the opportunity to explain their decisions, and then use that information to improve your score.

Customer success survey best practices

What do all of these customer success metrics have in common? They require surveying your customers.

Here are some best practices to help increase your response rates.

  • Send surveys using the method customers prefer. If they reached out to you via web chat, Facebook Messenger, or Google’s Business Messages, send a survey immediately after their interaction. 
  • Combine communications. If you send an email thanking customers for their patronage, add the survey to that message. If you send a text with their order details, include it with the message. They’re less likely to ignore it when it’s paired with important information.
  • Use chatbots. Set up your chatbot to trigger a survey message immediately after a ticket is closed, so you can ensure you’re serving every customer.
  • Offer incentives. Low response rates can skew your data. Encourage customer participation with discounts, free shipping, or an entry into larger giveaways.

While there are some tricks to encourage customer participation, there’s no silver bullet. Regularly engaging with your customers will get them used to frequent conversations with your brand and make them more likely to get involved.

Capture customer success metrics with Quiq

Measuring customer success metrics is an essential part of your customer experience. But you need a reliable way to capture feedback, no matter which platform your customers prefer.

Quiq’s integrated surveys let customers answer questions directly within the conversation, and it doesn’t send them to another page. Use these in-conversation surveys to increase your response rates—and even increase your CSAT scores.

What’s Quiq all about?

Dreading Customer Experience Snags Over the Holidays? You’re Not Alone.

Your dread of poor customer experience is justified: The holidays are going to be tough on retailers this year. It’s already proving to be a mess of a season. Between supply shortages, delivery delays, and a smaller labor pool, holiday shopping can prove difficult this year. 

And customers know it. 

68% of shoppers are either very or somewhat concerned about poor service due to a lack of employees, according to the Salesforce Holiday Insights report. 78% are concerned about shipping delays and product availability, respectively. 

Overall, there’s a lot to worry about this year. But you’re not alone. 

On a positive note, holiday shopping has started earlier. Sales were up 18% year-over-year for the first two weeks of November, according to Salesforce. Black Friday sales aren’t breaking any records and actually suffered a small decline over last year. Adobe Analytics is reporting $8.9 billion in sales, which actually makes sense. It tracks with earlier spending as shoppers try to avoid stockouts and shipping delays.

Now to your big question: How do you ensure a stellar customer experience amidst these challenges? Let’s discuss that.

Customer loyalty matters more than ever

It seems like we say that a lot, doesn’t it? 

Customer loyalty is a constant focus, but it becomes even more critical during times of change. As shoppers move toward e-commerce, they forge new loyalties. The brand interactions they have are with your customer support team instead of with sales team members. This poses both challenges and opportunities.

But the real problem this holiday season is that shoppers know what they want, and they don’t care who they get it from. 

39% of consumers who couldn’t get an out-of-stock item switched brands or products, and 32% switched retailers.”

According to a McKinsey study, 39% of consumers who couldn’t get an out-of-stock item switched brands or products, and 32% switched retailers. They’re not waiting for items to come back in stock.

Whether trying to keep the customers you have or attempting to capture new customers as they jump ship from other retailers, you have a short window to capture their loyalty.

How do you do that? Listen to your customers, communicate effectively, and empower your agents to go above and beyond whenever possible.

Infuse CX into every step of the customer journey

Since customers are more willing to switch retailers to get the items they want, your customer experience needs to be your number one priority. 

We know you’re already slammed with holiday queries, but bringing your support team into every step of the customer journey is the best way to ensure a stellar customer experience.

Consider how to get ahead of customer problems before they get to your support team. Include holiday questions on your FAQ page and send out notifications when inventory or shipping snags occur. 

When problems do arise, remember these short customer experience tips to solve problems quickly and earn back the trust of your customers.

Quick customer experience tips:

  1. Be warm
  2. Be prepared with quick answers
  3. Ensure your customer feels listened to
  4. Don’t come off as rote
  5. Be transparent about problems
  6. Solve issues in one support request

Get creative with staffing

According to Forbes, 68% of organizations saw a greater increase in customer service inquiries during the 2020 holiday season versus the 2019 holiday season. It would be no surprise to see even higher numbers this season.

And in customer service, immediacy is the name of the game. Customers want quick service and often expect some kind of reply 24/7. Yet many retailers are short-staffed.

While the labor pool is shallow, long wait times are the quickest way to frustrate your customers. To ensure your team isn’t completely overwhelmed, get creative with your staffing:

Top holiday staffing strategies

  1. Lean into short-term staffing
  2. Extend hours for employees who want them
  3. Stagger shifts based on peak shopping hours
  4. Pull in employees from other departments
  5. Extend your labor pool with remote hires

The right infrastructure can make hiring short-term and remote employees a breeze. Messaging software makes it possible to onboard new hires quickly—even when they’re across the country. No need to ship desk phones or physical products. Just log in and go.

Embrace chatbots for improved customer service

We know it’s crunch time, but adding chatbots to your customer experience arsenal will do a lot to smooth out the snags. There’s a lot you can do with chatbots and AI to speed up your customer response time. Live-Chat-Software-Chatbot-Messaging-Window

The first is to use chatbots as a routing method. Ask simple questions to gauge the type of customer issue. If you can direct the customer to another department or another self-service option, that’s a best-case scenario.

You can also get more advanced and prepare scripts for commonly asked questions. Consider it an FAQ page on steroids. You can answer slightly more complex queries, and customers get the feeling of personal service.

Here are some common holiday questions you can program a chatbot to answer:

Common questions for your chatbot

  1. What’s the status of my order?
  2. When’s the last day to order to ensure my package gets delivered by Christmas Eve?
  3. What’s your return policy?
  4. How much is shipping?
  5. When will this item be back in stock?
  6. How often do you get new products in?
  7. I ordered the wrong size, what do I do?

Preparing scripts for simple answers like these once can save your team from handling hundreds of interactions—give them more time and you one less thing to worry about.

Streamline backend technology

The holidays are the worst time of year to fight against your technology. Customer service teams are handling loads of messages and calls from all different platforms, and switching between them is inefficient. And frankly annoying.

Consider a conversational platform that allows your customers to reach out using the preferred channel but still keeps the backend organized and efficient for your team.

Agents can bounce back and forth between messaging channels without losing track of conversations. Customers get to chat with your brand how they want, where they want, and your team gets to preserve the experience and deliver snag-free customer service.

Do away with dread and upgrade your customer experience

The holidays are a make-or-break moment for retailers. While you may be dreading the rush just as much as the customer, they’re looking to your customer support team to shine amidst the struggles.

Let your last major technology purchase of the year be one that can help you get through the holiday season with fewer customer experience snags and more sales

Power your customer service team with Quiq

Ensure your team communicates effectively over any messaging channel with Quiq. Our AI-enhanced conversational platform supports your customer service team with multiple messaging channels, chatbots, CRM integrations, and more.