Loaded with valuable lessons and actions to help you improve your CSAT and understand how insights from CSAT can be used to inform the wider business.
We discussed the following topics -
- The limitations and opportunities that exist in CSAT
- How to make CSAT a metric for every department, not just Support
- How to analyze support data to identify areas of improvement in the wider business
Did you know that while every support team breeds CSAT on a daily basis but for Miro it is one of their Northstar metrics?!
We got Svitlana to elaborate on that.
Svitlana : CSAT is a north star metric that is discussed throughout the entire organization, especially during customer experience, all-hands, and monthly meetings.
CSAT is a metric that provides insight into the health of customer sentiment, at least from a customer support perspective. We all know that CSAT is not only related to the work of the agents; it's much bigger than that. Every team has their own key metric, and for support, it's CSAT.
We use CSAT as a north star metric to ensure that everyone in the company feels responsible for this metric. Every team's work ultimately affects the customer, and if an issue arises, it ends up with support. However, it's not just their effort that contributes to the score. One of our key values is empathy, towards each other and towards the customer, ensuring that we can put ourselves in their shoes and make their journey as successful and easy as possible.
We analyze the actual comments and responses on a monthly basis. The leaders celebrate when the score is high, but they also keep a close eye on it and ask questions, such as what is connected to this score and if there is anything we can do to help with any issues that arise.
Q. What do you find driving your high CSAT score at Miro?
Svitlana : Many things. I think the fact that the product is in my humble opinion, amazing. And our customers really seem to like using it and we really don't see that many issues or bugs. Of course, things happen, but overall the product quality is good. And I think most issues that customers have, get solved very quickly.
Of course, that's the number one thing. But also agent empowerment. Let's say the element that we have the most control over. In support and in support excellence. It's one of the key things that my team focuses on, is giving the support all the tools they need to be successful and giving them motivation and building a culture around CSAT where every agent really feels responsible.
And yeah, I I think it's really about empowerment. Agent empowerment is the key. At least when it comes to the sphere of influence that support has.
Q. How are you using CSAT to identify product improvements?
Marion : We use CSAT extensively, dividing it into various categories. For example, we divide our CSAT by topic, contact reason (automatic vs. manual answers), and pre-written answer. By doing this, we can identify areas where CSAT is increasing or decreasing.
Regarding the product, we analyze user comments to identify patterns and understand which features or options are not working or not yet available. We use this information to generate feedback and gain an understanding of our product. Instead of simply telling the product team what customers want, we gather enough data points, metrics, and feedback to prove how changes in the product can impact overall metrics.
By dividing CSAT into various categories, the product team can prioritize their tasks using all of this information. For instance, a few weeks ago at Wallapop, we presented an idea or option that was not yet available to users. However, it generated about 100 tickets per week. Although it may not seem like a lot, it adds up to 100 per week. We presented all the relevant data and now, the product team is working on making it available in the next few weeks.
Q. How do you also balance agents being scored on CSAT when you have so many different drivers.
Marion : For us, it's kind of easy because we work with BPOs. We are totally aware that what's in the CSAT is not only about the agent, but we focus on meeting quality, meeting with them, and having meetings about this. I would say you have to focus on what we can improve in the agent part. The product part, we take it and we'll do the best we can to improve it. But you guys focus only on what the agent can do.
Svitlana : Our process includes handling tickets and cases where agents may request to close a ticket without a CSAT score if the situation is completely unreasonable and unfair. Team leads have the option to approve this request, and in such cases, the CSAT is not recorded.
However, for all other tickets (whether related to product, customer success, sales, or anything else), we still take the customer experience into account, as it can make a big difference. Customers often understand this.
We conduct a detailed analysis of these tickets to determine their relevance. If they are above a certain level, everyone receives an extra bonus. If they are at a certain level, there is no change. If they fall below a certain level, there is a deduction in the bonus, although that rarely happens, luckily.
Q. How do you collect your CSAT ratings? Is it only after a ticket is sold or other sources like experience surveys?
Svitlana : We only do CSAT surveys. Nothing else. But NPS which is an incredible source of information about everything that's happening in the company. However, NPS is not owned by support in Miro. There are companies where NPS is a support metric, which makes sense to me also, depending upon the business. But yeah, we only look at CSAT surveys.
Marion : It is the same for us. Only see CSAT survey and that too only after the ticket is closed.
Q. Is NPS not a better metric than CSAT to drive customer loyalty from improved experience?
Svitlana : Yes. It's better! But it depends on what you’re looking for. I personally love NPS I think that its a great way to holistically see how customers are feeling.
I think NPS also has a higher response rate usually, and there are teams that analyze our NPS in detail. But for support specifically, CSAT does serve as a mechanism to see how, what the quality of the support is like and how the agents are performing. So, for our purposes CSAT is a good way to show the customer’s satisfied with the answers and the knowledge that we have provided.
When it comes to customer loyalty, there are many other ways to measure that and look at it from different perspectives. NPS is one of them and I love it.
Marion : I completely agree. I agree with and I think for the way we use it at Wallapop, we categorize and divide everything on the CSAT. It’s so much easier to do it with CSAT in my opion.
I think that's true for any metric, any, especially survey based metric, whether it's NPS or CSAT or any of the survey. It depends how do you use it for what purpose, what questions you're asking. What are you really doing with those analysis and reserves, and how do you combine different metrics basically?
Q. What's your take on limitations of CSAT?
Marion : The biggest limitation we face is dealing with non-professional customers who tend to evaluate the entire experience rather than just the agent's performance. For instance, if a customer has a long-term issue due to a shipping carrier's failure, which is not our fault, the agent may do a perfect job by showing empathy and doing a lot of follow-up, but the customer's experience is still not good because it was long and painful. Consequently, they may leave a bad CSAT. Another limitation is when checking CSAT, we need to consider what is happening within the company.
For example, during August, many shops that we work with, go on vacation and may neglect to close their shop on the app, leading to a lower CSAT. Therefore, we have a table or graph that shows all events versus CSAT, allowing us to determine if a decrease or increase in CSAT is due to a failure or something we have launched in the company. The first reply time is also a limitation because CSAT works closely with it. If the first reply time increases, there is a higher chance that CSAT will decrease in some contact reasons or topics. However, there are also high chances that it will increase.
Svitlana : One limitation that comes to mind is that CSAT is used as a key metric for many different industries, but it cannot be compared between physical product companies and software companies, or between B2B and B2C businesses. The way CSAT is treated in different companies is very different.
As a customer support field, we need to be more creative in evaluating customer satisfaction in different ways. Some companies use customer effort score, which is interesting, but it doesn't work for every industry.
I agree with Marion that CSAT is not a single success metric. It needs to be looked at holistically with SLA adherence, handling time, number of replies, and quality score of agent reviews.
Another limitation is that the response rate for CSAT surveys is fairly low, around 7-8%, and the number of comments is even lower. We do not get enough insight to really understand customer sentiment. On one hand, this is not enough for us to make a difference business-wise. On the other hand, we need to provide numbers to make a change.
For example, at Miro, we look at the size and type of customer. If we see a particularly sensitive CSAT score, we get in touch with them and make sure they are aware of what's happening with the customer and what type of tickets they are raising.
And also understand from them how sensitive the situation is. Is there anything we can do, any premium support we can provide to build that kind of bridge between the teams for a common goal?
Q. Are there any strategies you have implemented to increase response and comment rates?
Marion : Our system is unique because we send the CSAT in a different way. You can chat with us through the app, and you'll receive the CSAT by email. This means that our response rate is even lower. We have tried several things to improve it. For example, we used to have a three-hour delay between when we sent the CSAT survey and when the ticket was solved. Now, we're trying to delete this delay.
Currently, we don't have any delay. The ticket is closed, and the CSAT survey is sent immediately. We've seen an increase in the response rate of almost two points, which is not a lot, but it's something. We've also tried changing the message copy to encourage users not to leave the chat before receiving the CSAT.
We have a macro for agents to make sure they don't leave the chat and instead wait just one second to get the CSAT survey. However, we're still open to trying other things to improve our response rate.
Svitlana : Yeah, the one thing we changed was simplified the process for sharing the insight.
Unfortunately, most of our conversations with customers go through email or tickets, which have a lower response rate than chat. However, we have simplified our message, made it more casual, funny, and easy to understand. This way, customers feel entertained and are more likely to leave a CSAT rating.
We haven't tried this yet, but I heard that some companies encourage customers to begin their thought process in the comment field by adding the beginning of a sentence. This could be an interesting approach. Currently, we are looking into ways to increase our response rate.
We don't have any major changes coming up because our CSAT is quite high, and customers are generally happy. However, we believe that striving for a higher response rate is important.
Q. How do you communicate back to customers following their CSAT scores?
Svitlana : I can share what we do at Miro. We have a Slack channel where every bad CSAT score is added and the support leadership team are tagged .So first of all, they always check the csat, check if it's an actionable item, if it's something that can be mitigated, and then they talk to the agent who received the CSAT to immediately reply and try to provide some assurance to the customer that we're looking into this or even try to solve the issue in a better way.
The team actually look at this channel themselves because, Again, first we have the benefit of not receiving that many CSAT scores, so it's easier to analyze for a much bigger scope of tickets. This is more difficult and we have a high level of ownership among the agents for every single csat, which also promotes this kind of sensitive approach towards any comment and trying to answer the customer as soon as possible.
Marion : Yeah, I agree. I think customers definitely deserve a response if they are giving some constructive feedback. Cool.
Marion and Svitlana , you have both been in support for almost a decade. You both have worked as agents, as team leads, you have managed teams, you have managed CSAT programs.
Q. What would be your recommendation to our community when it comes to CSAT?
Svitlana : I am all about agent empowerment. The internal employee satisfaction of an agent is directly linked to customer satisfaction (CSAT). If the agent takes ownership of the conversation with the customer, even if the issue is not resolved, they will try their best to ensure it leads to a good outcome. Therefore, ensuring that agents are happy and understand what they can do to change the CSAT to improve in the future is the number one priority.
Providing agents with the right tools is crucial. We have implemented a contact methodology called "the burger," which is the way any conversation with a customer should look like. All the elements of a burger ensure that it is a well-rounded meal, starting with a good opening and closing as the buns. The solution is the meat or the vegan patty. Other elements include acknowledging the customer issue, showing empathy, sharing follow-up actions, explaining the next actions clearly, sharing any additional information, and providing a wow factor. The wow factor is not as relevant for Miro since it is software, but for retail companies, agents can offer extra discounts or send physical gifts to the customer to wow them and change their experience.
Empowerment is also important, particularly for outsourced support. Last year, we started to outsource part of the support in Miro, and there was a significant concern about making sure our CSAT stayed high and stable. We found a vendor who was culturally aligned with us and emphasized empathy towards the customer and going the extra mile. They also had an empowering structure that took care of the agent's well-being, which was above industry standards. It's essential to find a vendor who aligns with the company's tone of voice, culture, and values. We were lucky to find one and transferred our values to them by visiting their core team with our quality and enablement manager to give them trust and show them that they were part of our company.
Marion : I completely agree with Svitlana. Although outsourcing wasn't one of my takeaways, I would like to add that outsourcing is essential at Wallapop due to the high volume of tickets we have to deal with. It allows us to free up our time to focus on other tasks. Instead of managing a large team of agents, I can use my time to develop strategies, analyze data, and manage my own team.
To improve customer satisfaction, it's crucial to focus on actions that have the biggest impact on CSAT. You need to identify which types of tickets receive the highest and lowest CSAT scores and focus on those areas. This could be a specific topic, channel, or contact reason. By doing so, you can determine where the biggest impact will be.
I've tried improving little things, but it doesn't always have a significant impact. It's important to have well-organized data and focus on where the impact could be bigger, such as achieving a big increase in CSAT.
Q. Can you elaborate as to how you do it on a day-to-day basis? How do you get other teams involved?
Marion : One of the biggest topics for which we receive CSAT reviews is refunds. It's understandable that refunds are a big concern for users, as it's about their money. We have conducted an analysis and found that refunds are the biggest topic on CSAT where we receive most of the reviews. Therefore, we need to work on improving the refund process.
We are reviewing all the processes for the agents step by step to identify areas where we can improve and shorten the process, which will make the user happier. We want to make the processes less complicated for both the user and the agent.
Q. How do you set a target for CSAT?
Svitlana : As for us, it's very easy. It's based on the past data.
Seasonality is not a big issue. It's not a big subject. We don't see CSAT going up or down that much. So it's really based on the past data.
Marion : We also use past data, but for us the seasonality is huge. So, we try to set CSAT targets for every quarter.
Q. Is it even possible to have benchmarks for CSAT?
Marion : I mean, to some extent, but not with great precision. It's especially difficult to benchmark at Wallapop.
This is due to the fact that there are so many different industries, such as B2B, B2C, and within those, there are subcategories like commerce, retail, travel, and tech.
To start with, you should really look at the insights from your CSAT surveys. In the past, I have worked for companies where most of the negative CSAT feedback was not about the agent experience. The agents were doing their absolute best, but the overall experience was frustrating, which prevented customers from leaving positive ratings.
Customers would even mention in the comments that the support was great, but they had such a bad experience that they could not give a "thumbs-up" or a five-star rating.
Svitlana : A benchmark for me doesn't make a lot of sense! And really looking at your own data, it's like comparing yourself to others. Does it really make sense to do that or does it make sense to compare yourself to your past self and see if you're developing, that is much better for growth and development.
Q. If you have to change one thing about CSAT, what would that be?
Svitlana : From my personal experience, I enjoy leaving feedback. Whenever I go to a restaurant, I make sure to leave a rating on Google. My friends and I even play a game where we raise the rating of a restaurant by at least one point if it has very few ratings and we enjoy it.
I believe it's essential to give feedback to businesses, as it gives them the trust and opportunity to improve. However, I dislike the barriers that exist when providing feedback. In my perfect world, a popup would appear every time you complete an action, asking for your feedback. For example, after a phone call, a chat message could ask you to rate the call. Although this sometimes happens, the message is often either annoying or unappealing, which doesn't motivate me to give a score. Therefore, my number one suggestion is to make providing feedback easier and more appealing to people so that they are more likely to fill it out.
Marion : In an ideal situation, the perfect approach would be to address bad comments that are not related to the agent's attention by asking the customer, "What do you think about all the agents explaining it to you?" This would help the user and customers understand the situation better. Another limitation of CSAT is that users who are not professionals and don't work in a company where they speak about CSAT or customer satisfaction may not know that CSAT is related to the agent's attention.