This article appeared on the FCR blog on March 16, 2017. Click here to read the original.
It’s pretty standard these days for a customer communication platform to have built-in survey functionality for customers to rate the quality of their interactions with customer service. To name a few:
- Zendesk asks, How would you rate the customer service you received? The customer can respond with a simple Good, I’m satisfied or Bad, I’m unsatisfied. Customers can also submit a comment to elaborate on their rating.
- Desk.com asks, How satisfied were you with the resolution we provided today? Customers are presented with either two or four emojis ranging from sad to happy. They can share additional feedback as well.
- Help Scout offers a Customer Happiness Rating which asks, How would you rate the support you received? Customers can respond with Great, Okay, and Not Good and also submit additional comments.
Benefits of using the built-in survey functionality
There are some clear benefits to using the built-in survey functionality::
- They are simple to activate and easy to use.
- Customers receive a survey promptly after a ticket is resolved and while it’s still fresh in their mind.
- It’s easy to reopen cases and respond if a customer marks that they’re dissatisfied.
- Response rates are really good — upwards of 20-30%.
…and the drawbacks
A client recently approached us asking what other options were available to them beyond the built-in survey. Before I discuss some options, let’s first explore why they would ask that. While the aforementioned benefits are solid and place the emphasis on getting timely, actionable feedback — which is critical — they do leave a few things to be desired.
The first issue that we run into in the contact center is the desire to separate out responses that are a reflection on the product and company from the ones that point to the quality of the customer service provided by our agents. With built-in surveys, there’s no way to see this easily without some investigative work. One way to mitigate this is to expand the survey to ask questions about both the product/company and the agent.
The second issue has more to do with some of the popular survey methods like Net Promoter Score (NPS) from Bain & Company, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES) from CEB. These methods exist for a number of good reasons including the fact that they are backed by extensive research and, especially in the case of NPS and CES, have strong correlation to the customer’s likelihood of continuing to do business with the organization. These methods also offer a slew of best practices and the ability to benchmark results against other companies and industries.
Now for the alternatives
As I sought recommendations for our client I surveyed the marketplace and our other clients for third-party survey platforms. Here are five I found that are worth looking at if you’re in a similar boat.
If you’re looking for complete flexibility to create as many questions as you want, however you want them, SurveyMonkey is a great platform. You can easily ask custom questions or use any of the popular methods I previously mentioned. SurveyMonkey boasts a variety of integrations including Zendesk, Salesforce, and Freshdesk and plans range from $26 to $85 per user per month.
Check out Delighted if you’re looking to use NPS with your customers and offer a really nice, simple experience both on the computer or a mobile device. Among their many integrations are Zendesk, Salesforce, Desk.com, Help Scout, and Slack. Plans range from $25 to $250 per month.
CustomerThermometer offers a variety of options for surveying customers including a post-interaction email survey and the ability to add surveys to an email signature. One of the benefits of adding surveys to email signatures is allowing customers to rate individual messages and agents. This gives you a better tie to the quality of the service provided by individual agents. CustomerThermometer also offers a variety of options for both CSAT and NPS. Popular integrations include Zendesk, Salesforce, and Desk.com, and packages range in price from $29 to $159 per month.
Nicereply also offers the ability to do post-interaction email surveys and add them to email signatures. Survey customers using CSAT, Customer Effort, and NPS depending on your preference with Nicereply. Their integrations include Zendesk, Salesforce, Desk.com, and Help Scout, and pricing ranges from $89 to $329 per month.
Stella Connect has geared their platform toward allowing customers to rate the quality of the customer service provided, causing companies to think long and hard about quality assurance ratings coming directly from customers. Choose from a 5-star CSAT or an NPS scale.
One of the cool things about Stella Connect is the ability for customers to suggest recognition and rewards for agents who offer great service. It also enhances the human connection by showing a picture of the agent who served them. Stella Connect integrates with Zendesk, Desk.com, Salesforce, and a number of others via API.
Regardless of the platform you choose, the point is that surveying customers is a best practice and there’s tremendous insight to be gained from it. If you already have a bunch of survey data, here are some tips for analyzing your survey data and taking action. If you’d like to dive deeper on any of these platforms or best practices, leave us a comment or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.