Five tips to reach top customer service satisfaction

Startup Advice

Since we started capturing customer satisfaction ratings on our customer support responses we have reached an incredible 99% of respondents who have indicated to be satisfied. Compare this to the industry average of 85% for other web applications (which Zendesk provides in their reporting suite), so we are quite proud of this. We’d like to share some of the things we do which we believe have contributed to this great indicator of our support desks’ performance.

— Joshua Rapp (@rappsodystudios) February 21, 2011


1. Let’s start simple: thank the customer for getting in touch. The people getting in touch with your support desk are among the most engaged people using your application. They have taken the time to write in, so first and foremost just be courteous. Some of our comments on the satisfaction survey specifically referred to the courtesy provided.

2. Do everything you can in a single response. Avoid asking questions about information which could have been found in screenshots, customer data or log files, whatever you have available. Nothing is more frustrating for the customer than being asked to provide something which they already had and making them wait longer for no reason.

3. Use ticket status properly. The customer knows exactly where they stand if the ticket is either:

Open: you are leaving the ticket open because you are still working on the issue and will follow up with another response
Pending: you are expecting a response before being able to continue
Solved: the ticket is deemed solved unless the customer has additional requests

4. Be transparent. If you cannot action the request or a customer asks for a feature which is not on your roadmap explain why. Your customer is smart and a better understanding of your product and why things are the way they are can help them. It’s not always what they want to hear but they will appreciate your straight forward response. Avoid canned responses intended to appease the customer which can come across as passive aggressive. At the very least, make the customer feel listened to.

5. The last and probably most important one: be accountable and action the request. Whether it concerns a bug report, a feature request or just a question, actually doing what the customer asked for seems obvious but support reps are sometimes tempted to blow the customer off with a nice sounding message that avoids them doing work. At BugHerd we have the luxury of running a nimble product development process which allows features and bugs to be fixed sometimes on the same day, but the same counts if you have a 12 month release cycle. And last but not least: we don’t run Support as a department; everybody including the CEO answers support emails.

It hardly needs to be said, but customer service is all-important. It’s like being active on social media. There’s no direct connection to more sales but it most definitely can set you apart from the competition. Good customer service can turn even a random tire-kicker into a fan.

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