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Blog / Customer Experience

How to Raise Your CSAT Score to Keep CX Metrics Moving Forward

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No one wants to lose a customer. An excellent CSAT score can mean the difference between keeping your customers versus having to go to the effort and expense of replacing them.

Anyone out there with a social media account is a potential brand ambassador or outspoken critic of the product or service you represent. You’d obviously rather create the former than the latter. A high customer satisfaction (CSAT) equals happier customers who speak—or tweet—well about their relationship with you. Let’s explore CSAT in detail and identify ways to improve it, along with your call center’s customer experience (CX).

What is CSAT?

CSAT is a metric used to determine a call center’s customer satisfaction score. CX affects the CSAT, while the CSAT reveals the CX. An excellent CX is what keeps you in business. When the customer is happy, it trickles down like a chocolate fountain to affect every other layer of the operation.

How do you measure CSAT?

It’s as simple as asking your customers a variation of one question: Are you satisfied with the service you received? The answer is most often given as a ranking between 1–10, where seven and over are considered positive responses. If you’re not asking customers what it’s been like to deal with your organization, you’re missing opportunities to improve and retain them.

Some centers have scripted this question into the back end of the call, just before disconnecting. Others follow up with a separate call, text, or email.
More detailed surveys can help pinpoint a trouble spot. For example, focusing on the agent’s ability to zero in on the issue, solve the issue, etc. Multiple choice questions can include the length of time spent waiting for an agent, time spent on hold, and other key metrics.

A comment box where customers can expand on their kudos or complaints is also appreciated by them and will give you more insight into their experience.

What is a good CSAT score?

In the call center industry, a good CSAT falls between 75–85%. Few centers achieve a higher ranking.

How to calculate CSAT score

In order to determine your CSAT score, divide the number of positive responses by the total number of responses and multiply the result by 100. You’ll end up with the percentage of satisfied customers that you can either brag about or work to improve.

For example, if you received 34 positive responses out of 50 surveys:

34/50 = .68 x 100 = 68% CSAT

That’s a pretty good score. Two out of every three customers say they’re satisfied. But there’s also room for improvement.

Factors that affect your CSAT

The most important factor in customer satisfaction is Average Handling Time (AHT). That’s the length of time that passes between the agent’s greeting and when the call has ended. (Managers may also factor in post-call tasks such as note-taking, of which the customer is unaware.)

If a customer perceives that their time is being wasted, their satisfaction diminishes the longer it continues. It’s essential that your AHT is as low as possible, as long as it coincides with a resolution to the reason for the call. AHT is the number one complaint affecting poor CX.

First Call Resolution (FCR) is another crucial metric that leads directly to dissatisfaction. It frustrates customers when they must call back repeatedly before their issues are resolved. A low FCR is a clear signal that there’s a problem. Figure out what types of calls are being resolved with a single touchpoint and which ones aren’t and you’ll be on your way to plugging this information leak.

Reduce time on hold, call transfers, and anything else that eats up precious minutes or puts a burden on the caller. Offering to call the customer back once an agent is free is preferable for most people over having to hit redial a dozen times.

How to improve your CSAT score

In the same way that eating a healthy diet is necessary to encourage flawless skin and lustrous hair, to improve CX from the outside, you must start with the inside. These methods for improving your CSAT score are simultaneous tips to improve CX. The two go together like PB J.

Optimize Knowledge Management. AHT, FCR, time on hold, transfers, and other important metrics all come back to the ease with which agents can access information or, conversely, the barriers that prevent them from doing so. Software tools like ProcedureFlow, a cloud-based knowledge management solution that provides agents with a single source of truth for their procedural knowledge, can help in this regard.

Invest in training. Improved training doesn’t have to come with a bigger price tag or lengthier training schedules. In fact, with ProcedureFlow, training time shrinks, and new agents onboard faster. Refreshers are simpler to implement, too.

Scenario-based learning, such as that offered with ProcedureFlow, has become the go-to instruction method for new hires in call centers. Telling agents how to respond with probing questions can’t equal the impact of having them experience it. The advantages are numerous, from better information retention to developing confidence. And there’s the empathy factor which includes using empathy statements when dealing with angry customers. Walk a mile in the customer’s shoes, or, in this case, spend some time in the black hole of being put on hold.

Use CSAT and Act on It. It’s one thing to collect data. It’s another to make it useful. Customers don’t complain without cause.

Once you have CX input, it’s just as important to make changes based on the results to address common complaints. That may mean setting aside biases about how well you perceive that the organization functions.

Familiarize Yourself with the CX. Call your own call center as a customer, and then call others.

Compare how you fare, whether the agents seem confident in providing answers, if you’re put on hold for a long time, and whether the call is personalized. You may come away with tips to improve your operation. You might also discover that your agents are doing a better job than those who work for competitors. 

What makes a good CX?

When it comes to pleasing customers, you’re starting with a deficit. Frankly, they’d rather not be saddled with whatever issue it is they need to be resolved. And they may have had a poor customer service experience in the past, either with your center or somewhere else. That experience makes them apprehensive. But instead of viewing it as a negative, it’s your opportunity to exceed their expectations.

What are CX best practices? They’re every detail mentioned above that can be summed up in one age-old sentence: treat customers the way you’d like to be treated. It’s old-school advice that hasn’t wavered since the days when the only phones in existence were tethered to walls. Respect the customer’s time, focus on their needs, and your CSAT score will rise. Book a demo today.

Written by Lisa Brandt.

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