Customer Success Practices and Metrics Study Now Available

ServiceXRG announces the immediate availability of a comprehensive study of Customer Success Practices and Metrics.  This study examines the approach companies use to organize, deliver and measure their Customer Success initiatives.  The study examines the following:

 

  • The Customer Success Organization
  • Customer Success Goals, Metrics and KPIs
  • Customer Success Activities
  • Adoption and Success Planning Services
  • Customer success Resources
  • Customer Success Tools
  • Review top findings from the study

Top Findings from the Customer Success Practices and Metrics Study

Improve Customer Experiences by Understanding What Users Want and Need

The ability for a service organization to maintain an acceptable level of customer satisfaction and deliver a reasonable customer experience begins with a company’s understanding of what its customers need, want, and expect.  When customer expectations are not well known or more importantly not managed – the instances of dissatisfaction will rise.

This article describes the factors that affect customer satisfaction and experience levels.

Satisfiers & Dissatisfiers

 

Availability of Service

Customers’ expect support to be available when they need it. This means that regardless of when the customer needs help they should be able to get it.  This includes both service hours as well as the policies and programs that define entitlement to services.

Satisfiers

Robust self-help resources.

Free (or included) assisted support.

Generous warranty and support policies.

7 x 24 x 365 coverage.

 

Dissatisfiers

Restrictive support policies.

Limited service hours.

Costly service fees.

Poor self-help resources.

Knowledge of Service Representative

Customers expect that when they contact you for support the person that provides assistance is knowledgeable and capable of resolving the issue in a timely manner.

There is nothing worse than a situation where the customer feels that they know more than the “expert” providing assistance.

Satisfiers

Skilled support reps.

Empathetic.

Empowered.

Dissatisfiers

Unfamiliar with the product.

Needs to escalate to someone else.

Unable to comprehend problem.

Rapid Response

We live in a world where we expect instant gratification.  Customers expect their problem to be acknowledged quickly and that a response will be provided in a reasonable time.

Satisfiers

Immediate acknowledgement of problem submission.

Expectations set for the time it will take to get help.

Response and follow-up within timeframe established.

 

Dissatisfiers

No acknowledgement (e.g. e-mail or web-based cases).

Excessive amount of time to receive a response.

Failure to set or meet expectations.

Professionalism

Customers want to be treated respectfully.  Most service organizations place a significant emphasis on soft skills, but all it takes is for a customer to feel like they have been slighted for the entire service experience to go downhill.

Satisfiers

Acknowledgement that there is an issue.

Understanding about the current relationship (e.g. the customer is important).

Please, thank you, and apologies when appropriate.

Dissatisfiers

Condescending tone.

Inability to defuse an escalating situation.

Lack of empathy.

Not hearing the words “sorry.”

Rapid Resolution

Customers want the fastest resolution they can get and are looking for the commitment and effort to quickly work to resolve their issue.

Satisfiers

Expectations for the time to resolve.

Meeting or exceeding expectations.

A shared sense of urgency.

Dissatisfiers

No firm commitment to resolution.

Failure to meet expectations.

Lack of urgency.

Quality of Product

While not a characteristic of service excellence it is frequently cited as a characteristic of the service experience.  Customers don’t want to have to rely on Support for product quality issues, but are often appreciative of help using the product more effectively.

Satisfiers

Little or no need for help with errors and bugs.

Help using the product more effectively (how-to / application of product).

Proactive notification of issues.

Dissatisfiers

Excessive issues with product quality and performance.

Little to no resolution through fixes and updates.

Too many updates.

Complete Resolution

Customers’ expect that the solution offered is complete and effective.  Customers are seldom happy when told to try something and call back if it does not work.

Satisfiers

A solution that works the first time.

Commitment to see the issue through to resolution.

Ability to by-pass the normal queues to reconnect on an open issue.

Dissatisfiers

A sense that the rep has brushed off the issue with a suggestion.

Solutions that do not work.

The need to contact support repeatedly for the same issue.

Self-Help Resources

Customers want to help themselves on their terms and often do not want to rely on service.

Satisfiers

Depth and breadth of self-help resources.

Answers to their specific problem.

Easy to use (search, navigate, etc.).

Dissatisfiers

Limited self-help resources.

Difficult to use and navigate.

Knowledge articles that are difficult to understand.

Outdated resources.

Proactive Updates

Customers want to be made aware of updates with an option for their technology to be proactively updated (don’t force the update).

Satisfiers

The ability for products to update themselves (don’t force the update).

Flexibility to configure how and when products will update.

Dissatisfiers

Inability to configure how and when updates occur.

A call to support acknowledging that they know about an issue (but made no effort to communicate it proactively).

Updates that cause more problems than they fix.

Maximizing Satisfaction with Support Case Resolution

Customers do not typically like to call for technical assistance, but when they do they are most often satisfied with the results of the service they receive.  Overall 70.5% of cases are resolved to the satisfaction of customers regardless of time to close.

Time to Close

As time to resolve increases the level of dissatisfaction rises.  Positive satisfaction can be sustained as resolution times increase if customers are kept up to date and feel that progress is being made towards a solution.

Quality of Answer

Customer dissatisfaction with case resolution is more closely associated with the effectiveness of an answer provided by Support.  As the effectiveness of an answer declines the level of dissatisfaction with the support case grows.

Speed + Quality = Satisfaction

In the chart below 87.6% of customers that received a satisfactory answer to their question within a timeframe that met their expectations indicate that they are satisfied.  The majority (70%) of customers that did not receive a timely answer report that they are dissatisfied.

To maximize customer satisfaction with case resolution you must provide a satisfactory answer that solves the customer issues and do so within a reasonable amount of time.

For more information about case resolution best practices see the following research reports and playbooks:

Maximizing Customer Satisfaction with Support Case Resolution
First Contact Resolution