There's no single factor that dominates a customer's feeling towards a support interaction. Obviously, a great support team is first and foremost (need some help hiring a great support team ?). However, we do know that some metrics, while not the most important movers and shakers when it comes to quality of support, really make a difference. First reply time, and time to resolution are key. Interestingly enough, our customer service team found that the metric that relates closest to CSAT is actually one-touch resolution (OTR). As the amount of back-and-forth between us and the customer goes up, the quality of the support interaction goes down.
That can mean a lot of things of course. Complex issues are complex, and they might need a longer conversation to resolve. That doesn't mean it's a poor experience necessarily. Back and forth though usually does mean that time to resolution will suffer. It also often means that there's a breakdown of communication between you and your customer. If you can help your agents jump-start every ticket and solve them more efficiently, your customers will surely be thankful for it. Here are some things that we do in Zendesk Support to keep our tickets lean and mean:
- Zero-touch! Deflect with self-service. Nothing is more efficient than customers that help themselves. Not sure how to start? Track top issues (check that "About" field I noted earlier), and write articles based on those, and make sure agents are well-trained and refreshed on those topics. We've found that 72% of customers are going online to serve themselves ( infographic ), you should do your best to meet them there. Build up that Help Center, and make sure your agents are active there to quickly answer questions from your community.
- Get tickets to the right teams quickly. Our customer service team triages every ticket that comes in and makes sure it gets to the right team as fast as possible. We also have subject matter experts on our advocate team that focus on a deeper understanding of specific areas of our product. Complex ticket about specific issues can be routed to the group of agents that are most likely to be able to answer it right the first time. Check out a wonderful community discussion we had previously that goes into both of these ideas.
- Find your top performers. Maybe there's certain team members that are more efficient than others. Take a look at Insights and dig into how many interactions everyone is having, agent by agent. Our local Insights guru Desiree put together a recipe so you can do just that . Have some super stars on your team? Buy some pizzas and have a lunch & learn where your top agents can share their secrets and strategies.
- Macros! Macros! Macros! If your team is answering the same thing over and over again, macros are a no-brainer. They're also awesome for troubleshooting steps. Make sure your team is asking all the relevant qualifying questions by building macros for specific types of tickets. This can also help jump-start your agents troubleshooting muscles if they haven't worked on a particular type of issue in a while. We love macros for better escalations in Zendesk Support. Escalation macros make a private comment with a set of questions for the escalating agent to fill out. This reduces unnecessary back and forth when the next tier doesn't have all the information they need about a ticket.
- Pick up the darned phone already! This is huge. Keep going back and forth with a customer? Feel like you're just not on the same page? Dealing with long delays between replies? Arrange a time to give them a call. This can serve a few purposes. You can quickly find common ground on the issue, get to a fast resolution, and also diffuse a ticket going south. Your whole team basically has James Earl Jones quality pipes, don't let them waste that on typing all day.