Ron van Haasteren
You always want to know more about what your customers think of you. However, a problem we often face when trying to measure customer satisfaction is a hesitation to act: we spend so much time debating how to ask for feedback, by the time we find a method everyone can agree on, the curiosity we had in the first place has faded away.
Customer service reporting
So the team here at TOPdesk thought we would save you some time and trouble. We sat round the kitchen table and came up with our 10 favourite ways to gather customer feedback. We hope you find it useful and that it gives you some great ideas for learning more about how much your customers love IT!
You can also download our Customer Centricity Ebook for even more tips and tricks.
1. Broadcast surveys
This is almost the oldest trick in the book. Build a simple survey and publish it as a form. You can then send this form out in an email to your whole company, or just a select list of customers. By using survey tools like SurveyMonkey or TOPdesk's own survey tool, you can quickly do this.
When you build surveys, it is important to make sure they are quick and easy to complete. If customers have to spend much more than 3 or 4 minutes to complete your survey, they will probably give up. The same goes for the complexity of answers: make sure your customers don’t have to think to hard or look up their answers. For example, rather than asking ‘When was your last interaction with IT’, you can ask ‘How would you rate your last interaction with IT?’.
2. In-the-moment surveys
Catching people while something is fresh in their mind is always a great way to get a good answer from them. You can do this by creating a short survey and including an invitation to fill it out within your resolution emails.
Alternatively, set up a second email notification to be sent out just after a ticket resolution, asking the customer to complete a survey. This often feels more personal, plus sometimes people like to delete resolution emails without reading them.
3. Embedded feedback tools
Similar to the ‘in the moment approach’: rather than sending out a full survey after the resolution of a ticket, you can use a simple feedback tool such as Rant and Rave. This tool allows the user to quickly rate their experiences with IT. It’s like rating an app on the App Store or using the sad or happy smiley face buttons you sometimes see at airport security.
The benefit of this method is that it doesn’t need to be associated with a specific action: you can just work it into any or all communications you have. For example, you could include a link or a few buttons at the bottom of your email signature, along with a short message asking ‘How did you like working with IT today? Please rate me from 1-5’.
This method is good at getting a high volume of results, but naturally lacks some of the useful details you would get from a full survey.
4. Frequent flyer programmes
Unfortunately, this method doesn’t involve flying off to the Caribbean, but it can get you some handy customer insights!
The idea is to target your high-use customers and find out why they are contacting IT so regularly. You could either do this on a weekly or monthly basis, by running a report of opened tickets, and looking at the top ten requester names. Depending on what feels appropriate, you can either give them a call, send them an email or take them for a coffee.
Ask them questions such as ‘How do you feel IT responds differently each time you contact us’ and ‘Is there anything we are not currently doing, which results in you needing such regular support?’. This is a great way for building advocates of IT inside the business, and gives you valuable feedback from the people who have probably gotten to know you pretty well.
5. Workshops or ‘group therapy’
Getting face-to-face with people is often the most effective way of allowing them to speak honestly and openly, especially if they are with a group of peers who can help validate their own views.
Organizing a monthly workshop, advisory board or lunch-and-learn with different sets of your customers is a great way to engage and learn. You can provide customers with some useful updates from IT and then offer them the chance to ask you questions and give you feedback. You should normally keep these pretty small (maybe 8-12 attendees), so that voices don’t get too lost. Also make sure you invite a mixed group of people.
The most important thing to remember is to always to be listening. It is very easy to quickly jump on a complaint and offer 100 reasons why what happened, happened. But the truth is, most people don’t want a reason, they just want to be heard.
6. Sentiment analysis
Sentiment analysis is a way of taking conversation data from your services and analyzing key words and phrases to work out what the customer consensus is on the service you provide. Brands will often use this as a way of measuring their success on social media. However, it can also be useful for and applicable to service management.
There are a number of popular tools you can use for this sort of analyse, which you can quickly find on Google. Just run a quick and cheap experiment on this. If you gather up the body text of a months’ worth of support ticket email conversations and run them through a free word cloud tool (www.wordclouds.com is a good one), this will show you a visual representation of what you and your customers are saying to each other.
When you see lots of words like 'Delay', 'Sorry', 'ASAP', 'When' or 'Chasing-up' coming through, this might suggest you should start looking into the reactive elements of your service desk. However, if you see a lot of positive words like 'Thanks', 'Great', 'Helpful', 'Easy', and 'Quick' in your word cloud, maybe it’s worth it to give the team a pat on the pack!
At TOPdesk, we often recommend ranking these elements of customer satisfaction across five different areas:
Tangible elements (is your hardware working properly, etc.)
7. The courtesy call
This is an easy one. On Friday, look through the past week’s service desk tickets and look for tickets that maybe took a while to complete, or had a lot of ‘back and forth’ with IT. Give that person a quick call and ask them for their feedback or what they think IT could have done to speed up the process. It's quick, targeted and word will soon get out that IT is taking a more proactive approach to improving.
8. Feedback mailbox
This is an easy thing to set up, but can be a tricky one to manage. Some customers may think it is a bit old fashioned too. But if it is done well, it will provide you with some great insights into how your service desk is doing.
All you need to do is setup a mailbox called something like ITfeedback@email.com or HeyIT@email.com, and market it to your customers. You can use posters around the office, notes in your email signatures or even include little banner adverts on your staff portal or self-service tool. Whatever it takes to make people feel like telling IT what they think.
To make this work, you have to ensure that it is treated as a two-way communication instrument. If customers think this is just another IT black hole, it will probably end up making a negative impact. Remember to reply to people, thank them for positive comments and recognize their frustrations when they complain.
9. Job swap
They say: ‘don’t judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes'. Sometimes, we can get so bogged down in making sure things ‘do work’ that we can often forget that it is also important to care about ‘how things work’.
To get an idea of how the systems and services you provide are used every day, you can approach people and teams in your businesses and ask to spend some time learning how they work. This could either be an hour or two of shadowing a marketing manager, or actually spending a few days working with the finance or facilities team. When given the opportunity, most people enjoy telling you about what they do. If you can combine that with learning a bit more about how IT is seen from the other side of the service desk door, this can help you a lot.
10. Just ask!
And last but by no means least: just ask people. Walk out the door (maybe take a box of chocolates!) and get chatting. Ask people about their work and how they like to do it. Find out what they already know about IT, what they would like to learn more about and then what advice they would like to give you to make IT better.
There are lots of ways IT can actively seek out feedback from their customers, and normally when people are approached in the right way, they will gladly give you the information and insights you need. Whatever method you choose to use, always make sure you are asking question that help build the rapport between and IT and the customer. And make sure that the information you are collecting can genuinely be used to help you improve as a team.
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