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Customer satisfaction bores me. It’s such a low bar to hurdle, you barely have to leave your feet. To really distinguish yourself from the pack, generate word-of-mouth, and grow your business, you need to aim for customer delight. And you need to measure it. Here’s what I mean.

We use a trouble-ticketing system called Zendesk to track all of our support requests. In general, Zendesk is a great product and provides with a lot of indirect measures of our performance: first-response time, overall resolution time, and so on. However, in our opinion its built-in customer satisfaction metrics — which are not configurable — are weak. Whenever we solve a ticket, Zendesk prompts the customer:

Yawn. Good, I’m satisfied? What does that mean? Eh, ok, I guess? In practice, customers are reluctant to click Bad, I’m unsatisfied unless they’re really ticked off, so over 99% of our customer responses with this system have been positive. Sounds great, and I guess we should be marketing the heck out of that, but it’s really nothing to write home about. All it really says is that 99% of our service doesn’t suck. It’s a great measure of mediocrity, but not of excellence.

So this week we introduced a new rating system that Jeff, our Service Manager, developed in-house. All of our support responses now include the following request for feedback:

Clicking any of the “hand” icons immediately records that response. It also takes the user to feedback.itfreedom.com, where they can add additional comments, if they wish:

It’s a very simple change — three feedback options instead of two — but it allows customers to distinguish excellent service from mediocre. We publish the results internally, so all of our technical staff can see how they’re doing. We also plan to publish a live ticker of our average rating over time to the Internet. I can’t wait to see how we do.

— Carey