CX that Fits Like a Glove? Top 6 Takeaways from Netomi’s eCommerce Customer Service Benchmark Report

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Dec 6, 2022

It’s no surprise that eCommerce is booming worldwide, and the pandemic has only fueled its surge. How are eCommerce brands performing from a customer service standpoint? Are they delivering the speedy resolutions that consumers have grown to desire and expect?  

As eCommerce and CX go hand in hand, Netomi’s research team set out to investigate. This time around, we opted to narrow our scope of focus. Prioritizing depth over breadth, we zeroed in on the top 10 B2C (business-to-consumer) eCommerce companies. This list includes retail giants such as Costco, eBay, and Wayfair. We looked at the availability of support channels, such as email and phone, along with response times.  

Here, we share our top findings from Retail is Attention to CX Detail: eCommerce Customer Service Benchmark Report.  

CX + eCommerce + AI = A Powerful Trio

As we saw in this current research, some eCommerce brands opt to dedicate more human-power to their CX strategies. In contrast, others have better intelligent technology CX solutions that are well-equipped to handle large volumes of customer queries. This, in turn, may help to boost their performance on one channel, such as phone. Their support may fall short on other channels, such as web chat. To connect with customers wherever they are, a robust omnichannel support strategy that spans channels is key because this is where the modern customer is.  

To align with these preferences and expectations, CX strategies need to shift and evolve in the new relationship economy. We are in an era where customers crave authentic connections with brands. How can brands connect with customers in the moments that matter, authentically?  

For eCommerce brands, AI can pave the way for these connections to occur with conversational experiences that are contextual and intent-driven. This includes offering proactive product recommendations and providing updates on order status and tracking. 

With AI for customer service, eCommerce companies can help their customers seamlessly move from click to cart to check out – for a superior CX that fits like a glove. 

View all of the findings from our eCommerce deep-dive in the full report – Retail is Attention to CX Detail: eCommerce Customer Service Benchmark Report!

Customer Service KPI Metrics: Everything You Need to Know in 2023, Explained

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Nov 12, 2022

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a special set of metrics that help determine whether business is going in the right or wrong direction. At first glance, it seems that customer service KPI scores take a backseat to traditional business KPIs, like profits, costs and regional sales. However, key customer support metrics may paint a more complete picture of success for the long-term viability of a business. 

Jeff Bezos has gone on the record to say that customer obsession is “the first and by far the most important” key to building a successful business. Amazon isn’t alone in this belief: Netflix is one of many other Fortune 500 businesses that believe happy customers are the foundational element of a successful business. So what customer service KPI metrics are worth obsessing over? 

This post will highlight everything you need to know about customer service KPIs, including: 

  • Why are customer service metrics important?
  • What are the most important customer service KPI metrics for teams? 
  • What is a customer service KPI dashboard?
  • Why are top customer service KPIs hard to achieve?
  • How do you improve customer service KPIs? 

Why are customer service KPI metrics important?

Customer service teams have their work cut out for them: the need to optimize margins and cut costs, all while providing a higher level of care that meets the modern customers’ expectations for immediate, personal and effortless support.

It’s now widely understood that for support teams, the stakes have never been higher. People are increasingly making their buying decisions based on the support they receive. Customers will stop doing business with a company after one poor customer support experience. Because of the impact support can have on a company’s bottom and top lines, it’s critical that support leaders are tracking the performance of their support agents, understanding areas for improvement and what’s working, as well as celebrating exceptional performance. To do that, there are specific customer service key performance indicators that need to be monitored on an ongoing basis in order to adjust processes or optimize agent training. 

When you’re tracking the right KPIs, you get an undoctored, objective view of your team’s performance, which increasingly, has an impact on a company’s bottom line. Let’s take a look at what those are now. 

What are the most important KPIs for customer service teams? 

It’s more important than ever for customer service teams to understand how you are performing against your customers’ expectations. There are core KPIs that every customer support team needs to be tracking closely. Some are based on very tangible metrics like resolution time, while others look at your customers’ feelings towards your company and how they perceived an interaction. 

Here are the 15 most important Customer Service KPI Metrics:

1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

CSAT score is the most popular and straightforward way to measure customer satisfaction. It’s a metric that measures sentiment towards your product, service or a specific interaction. To measure CSAT, you’ll ask a simple question, such as: On a scale of 1-5, how satisfied are you with your recent purchase/support interaction/service? You’ll want to carefully review the interactions for people who responded with low scores to analyze what went wrong to update procedures and responses or conduct additional agent training. 


Read how we increased WestJet's CSAT by 24 with AI. How can AI improve your customer service KPI metrics?

2. Customer Effort Score (CES)

Minimizing disruption in a person’s life and requiring minimal effort on their part are the cornerstones of good customer service. CES measures how much effort your customer had to put in to resolving a particular issue or answering a specific question. CES depends on a myriad of factors including time spent, total back-and-forth interactions, and the number of times a person has to reach out.

To determine CES, you’ll ask your customers, On a scale from “Very Easy” to “Very Difficult”, how was your experience? If you find that you have a low CES score, identify how to remove obstacles and friction. 

3. Employee Satisfaction Score (ESAT)

Customer service has one of the highest attrition rates of any industry. Measuring employee satisfaction with their job, processes and team can alert you to any issues or attrition risks, and as a result retain your agents (and keep recruiting, training and onboarding costs at bay). Take frequent employee surveys, have 1-on-1 check-ins and encourage open communication to understand your employee satisfaction. 

4. Total Tickets and Tickets Per Customer

The most straightforward KPI for customer service teams is tallying the total number of customers submitting support tickets. In addition to tracking the top-line figure, you’ll want to analyze to identify how volume fluctuates based on times of day, day of the week, or based on seasons. 

You can’t just take the number at face value, though. You need to understand if you are getting more service requests because your product/service is broken or because you are getting more customers. Tracking tickets per customer can help inform resource allocation through the lens of long-term vs. short-term needs.

5. Volume by Channel

Track where your customers are reaching out from in order to optimize staffing and prioritize channels that would benefit most from technologies like automation.

For example, companies generally have been de-prioritizing customer support email as a support channel in favor of social messaging and live chat. In a recent study, we found that customers prefer email support over all other digital channels. By tracking ticket volume per channel, you prioritize and shift resources to where your customers are. 

6. First Response Time (FRT)

Also referred to as First Reply Time, FRT measures how long it takes a company to provide an initial response to a ticket. Valuing a person’s time is the most important thing a company can do with regards to customer service according to 73% of consumers, so decreasing the time it takes to at least acknowledge a person’s request is critical to a person’s overall satisfaction. Across the board, first response time needs to be a key area of focus. Research has found that the average first response time is 12h 10m, but 75% of customers expect it within 5 minutes. It’s important to note that confirmation emails with generic auto-responders skew first response time metrics. If your company uses autoresponders, you may need to define a new KPI that measures “first impactful response time.”


78% of customers expect a response in 5 minutes. The average is 12h 10mins. How does that help your customer service KPI metrics?

7. Average Handle Time (AHT)

Getting back to your customers quickly is one thing, but how long it takes for you to actually resolve an issue is even more important. To calculate AHT, add up the tidal time it takes to close a ticket, from the time your customer initially reached out, hold / wait time, back-and-forth interaction and subsequent tasks, and post-interaction system updates. 

You can minimize AHT by decreasing time your customers are waiting and optimizing each back-and-forth interaction. Using hybrid support models, like human+AI vs. purely human agents can significantly help reduce wasted seconds.

8. First Contact Resolution

You don’t want your customers to have to reach out to you multiple times to resolve a single issue. That’s the recipe for frustration that directly impacts retention. That’s why measuring first contact resolution, or whether or not you resolved an issue in a single chat session, phone call or email response, is a good indicator of how your team is performing. If your customer needs to reach back out or be escalated to another source for support, it does not count as first contact resolution.

To measure First Contact Resolution, ask your agents to check a box or confirm within the agent desk if an issue was resolved at the end of an interaction (you’ll want to audit this on a regular basis), or follow up with your customer and ask if their issue was resolved.

This is a better resolution time measurement than average resolution time (ART). While first contact resolution results in a solution being provided in the initial outreach, average resolution time measures the amount of time it takes to completely close a case. If you are in a service industry where issues escalate or move to other departments, measuring ART takes the true view of your performance out of your hands. 

9. Cost Per Resolution

Let this sink in: 265 billion customer support requests are made every year, costing $1.3 trillion. Understanding how much it costs to solve a single ticket is critical not only to operating costs and staffing but also serves as a great way to measure the effectiveness and ROI of adopting tools like AI.

To calculate cost per resolution, take your total monthly operating expense (salaries, technology, training, licenses, overhead, office supplies, etc.) and divide it by the total number of tickets. If you have a high cost per ticket, or notice that it is increasing, you’ll need to look for ways to bring efficiency to your group. This could come in the form of new training and employee performance review, a need to review systems used like agent desk platforms or the need to adopt new technologies.

10. Top Topics

In addition to tracking the number of tickets, analyzing the topics and reasons why people are reaching provides opportunities to carefully review processes, responses and policies to ensure a positive customer experience. You’ll also be able to identify opportunities to proactively communicate throughout the customer journey and create ways to surprise customers and catch them before a problem becomes a pain point. 

For instance, if there is a high volume of troubleshooting questions for a particular product after three months, your company could proactively provide steps on how to keep a product working as expected. 


Learn about Intercom vs. Zendesk if you are looking for a new solution to improve your customer service KPI metrics and give them a more personalized experience.

11. Consistent Resolutions

Think about whenever you’ve visited In-N-Out. You know you’re going to get great service and your meal is going to taste the same as every time before. Like with their burgers, people also expect consistency when they reach out to a company – no matter the channel, the agent on the other end or time of day.

In fact, In our own consumer research, we found that consistency in a company’s service and experience is one of the most important factors in creating satisfied customers. Striving to provide consistent resolutions is something that is becoming increasingly critical – especially as people are more than eager to loudly share their negative experiences.

To measure consistency, use AI to analyze how agents respond to different people reaching out with the same query and flag discrepancies.

12. Net Promoter Score (NPS) As A Customer Service KPI

Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures loyalty and the probability that someone will recommend your company to other people. NPS looks at overall, long-term brand perception, and is measured by asking a simple question: On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend [company] to a friend/colleague? 

NPS can be an indicator of growth potential for a company because peer recommendations carry so much weight in our society that is social media-obsessed.

13. Customer Retention

You should track the retention rate of your customers who reached out with an issue. Did they come back and buy from you again? Did you manage their issue well enough for it to not rupture your relationship with the customer? This will require integrating into your CRM platform, and making sure all systems (agent desk, eCommerce, etc.) are feeding data in and out of your CRM for a 360-degree customer view.

This is also a key performance indicator for determining overall customer loyalty to your brand, so the implications of good customer retention go beyond repeat purchases.

14. Employee Turnover Rate (ETR)

Employee Turnover Rate is the percentage of employees who leave a company within a certain amount of time. If you run a large support team, make sure you have a close pulse on your ETR so you can address issues head-on. The cost of replacing employees (recruiting, training and onboarding) is huge and any time you have a new agent, there is potential for inconsistency and other metrics to slide. 

15. Top Performing Agents

You’ll want to track and recognize your agents who have the lowest average handle time, highest first contact resolution, solve a large volume of tickets, deliver high CSAT and more. Ensure your agent desk platform allows you to drill down to specific agent performance, including both human and AI-powered virtual agents.

What is a Customer Service KPI Dashboard?

A customer service KPI dashboard is a place where managers can access data in real-time – whether it’s CSAT, resolution time or effort score. Data is presented in graphs or charts and is continuously updated, enabling leaders to understand exactly how their team is performing. Within a dashboard, you can examine how your team is performing over time. And if you make new hires, change policies or procedures, or adopt technology like AI, you can easily see how performance is affected. 

You can create your own dashboard, or access out-of-the-box data platforms from agent desk software like Salesforce, Zendesk, Gladly or Freshdesk, among other customer experience management platforms. 

Why are Top Customer Service KPI Metrics Hard to Achieve? 

Managing a customer support function is harder than ever. There are more channels to support, higher volume and stretched – and stressed – agents. Here are the top 6 challenges impacting support team KPIs:

1. Elevated Customer Expectations

Meeting modern customer expectations is getting harder to do; people expect quick, convenient high-quality resolutions on their terms. People expect more, and although many companies have been trying to improve their support, whether it’s live chat or online wikis and customer self service options, more than 50% of U.S. consumers have not seen any improvement in customer service over the last 12 months. Twenty-three percent have reported that customer service has grown slightly or significantly worse.

2. Conversation Juggling

With the pressure to resolve tickets quicker, agents on digital channels like live chat and social messaging are often carrying on multiple conversations at the same time. This opens the door for distraction and mistakes.

3. Information Silos

In order to fully resolve tickets with personalization and context, agents often have to access information from various back-end systems of record – whether it’s CRM, order management systems, booking systems, knowledge base platforms, or logistics systems. This creates more work for agents that results in wait time and longer resolution times. 

4. Angry Customers

An article in the Los Angeles Times has referred to customer service agents as the “punching bag” on the front lines. The article focuses on the airline industry, but I would argue that agents across all industries deal with difficult customers daily. According to the publication, “Agents are subjected to verbal abuse almost daily. It’s a thankless job requiring patience and thick skin.” Agents often bear the brunt when something goes wrong – whether it’s a missing ingredient in a meal-kit, a lost bag, or lost package. 

5. Unavoidable Crises and Ticket Surges

When the COVID-19 pandemic crept across the world, customer service teams were dealing with a surge in volume, evolving policies and new remote work environments. Many companies stopped measuring customer satisfaction during this time as they were simply trying to get back to customers, which often took days. When a crisis hits, it’s hard to maintain the same level of service previously provided, especially when using a human-only team that is affected by new work environments, external pressure and stress, and can’t scale output as volume surges. 

6. Not Measuring the Right Customer Service KPI Goals

While this might sound very basic, you need to have the right systems in place to actually measure the business-critical KPIs before you can look to improve them. If you use multiple engagement platforms, make sure all of the data is analyzed together to provide a true picture of how your support engine is performing.

How Can You Improve Your Customer Service KPI Metrics?

So how can companies actually deliver against customer expectations and turn support into a business driver? There are 3 specific ways that companies can improve their customer service KPIs: 

1. Hire More Human Agents

To decrease resolution time and first response rate, companies can simply hire more agents. However, hiring an army of new agents to work around-the-clock and man all of the traditional and emerging support channels is cost prohibitive for most companies. The average salary for customer service agents is $35,437 in the U.S.. You must also consider costs for human agent desk platforms, overhead costs, paid time off, sick days and more.

2. Outsource Customer Service

Many companies hire outside teams to manage customer service, but while outsourcing your customer support operations is a popular choice to save on costs, you’ll need to keep a close eye on consistency, agent training and CSAT.

3. Bring AI Into The Organization In The Form Of Virtual Agents

Companies are starting to bring AI into their workforce to automate and augment support. The companies that leverage AI-powered virtual assistants are seeing upticks in customer satisfaction and other KPIs.


Are customer satisfaction surveys still relevant to your business as you evaluate your customer service KPI?

Adopting AI can help improve customer service KPIs in two core ways: 

  1. Automate resolutions to repeatable issues:
    AI can respond instantaneously to high-volume, simple queries like order status and return requests. 
  2. Augment human agent work: AI can help agents work faster by gathering data from a customer prior to handoff, or pulling information from other business systems like your CMS and eCommerce platforms. The AI can package up all relevant data to pass along to an agent who can quickly review, make a decision and communicate with the customer.

Give your customers instant answers and improve your customer service KPI reports on up to 85% of issues with our Zoho chatbot integration.

How Do You Measure AI-powered Virtual Agents Against Your Customer Service KPI Goals For Human Agents?

Seventy-seven percent of executives have already implemented conversational bots for after-sales and customer service. With more companies turning to AI, it’s important to understand the relevant KPIs for virtual agents.

Whether you’re tracking the performance of human or AI-powered virtual agents, you need to look at the same key metrics. Yes, that’s right. measure AI like you measure your human employees. Track the impact human and virtual agents are having on CSAT, retention rates, how well they collaborate with teammates, how successful they are at cross-selling, and the underlying metrics related to efficiency in closing tickets. This is a new way of measuring the impact of an automated customer service technology platform. Virtual agents are performing human work and need to be measured in the same way. 

Need help improving your overall customer service KPI? Discover how other companies improved their most business-critical customer support KPIs.

How To Maximize Your Zendesk Answer Bot With AI

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Nov 11, 2022

Today we’ll be exploring Zendesk Answer Bot. Companies of all sizes are adopting AI to automate resolution of the 265 billion customer support requests made every year. A customer support chatbot serves as the first line of defense to respond to customers and help resolve a customer’s questions before looping in a human. As a result, the best chatbots can help save up to 30% of customer service costs while also improving the customer experience.

Zendesk, one of the largest customer service platforms in the world, has its own AI offering: Answer Bot. In this article, we’re going to dive into what the Zendesk Answer Bot is, costs and features, how to best leverage the technology, and when you would choose the Answer Bot over a more advanced solution like Netomi’s AI customer service.

What is Zendesk Answer Bot?

Zendesk Answer Bot is an artificially intelligent Zendesk chatbot that aims to improve customer experience on any customer-facing website. Answer Bot leverages machine learning technology to suggest articles from a company’s Zendesk Knowledge Base to answer customer questions. Essentially, when a customer asks a question in the chat window, mobile app or Slack, the Answer Bot scans the knowledge base and instantly provides links to multiple articles within the chat while a customer is waiting for a human agent. It serves as a way to deflect a simple, everyday question like the details of a refund policy from human agents, ultimately reducing resolution times.

If a customer is able to find an answer to their question, they can mark their answer as resolved. If the customer needs further assistance, a human agent is looped in. Answer Bot can also suggest articles to a human agent within the Zendesk dashboard.

Zendesk answer bot in action

How much does Zendesk Answer Bot cost?

Zendesk’s Answer Bot is priced per resolution, based on when a customer marks that their question was resolved. Pricing is also dependent on the total number of answers, or depth of a knowledge base. You can use the calculator on Zendesk’s website (linked in the “What to expect from Zendesk Answer Bot” section below) to get a ballpark estimate on how much Answer Bot will cost you.


To see how Netomi’s chatbot tools can integrate seamlessly with the best knowledge base software for your company, get in touch to book a personalized demo!


How can I make the most of my Zendesk Answer Bot installation?

Before you adopt Answer Bot, you’ll want to first focus on creating your Zendesk Knowledge Base. A knowledge base is essentially a library of articles covering recurring topics and questions on products and service. For retailers, this could be questions related to return or refund policies, the process of how to modify or cancel an order, or how to best care for or clean products. Before building out a travel chatbot, travel and hospitality companies would benefit more by first building out their knowledge base to cover customer questions including the process of booking or upgrading, checking-in, or required documentation.

Implementing the Answer Bot is an effective way to extract more value from a Knowledge Base as it further amplifies all of the content that already exists. Without an extensive Knowledge Base that covers the most frequently asked questions, the Answer Bot will deflect few tickets from a support team.

What’s the difference: Netomi AI Chatbot vs Zendesk Answer Bot

While both leverage machine learning, the Zendesk Answer Bot and Netomi AI chatbots are very different offerings that are designed for different support teams with different automation goals. With that said, Zendesk does offer an intelligent integration with Netomi which could give you the best of both worlds.

What to expect from Zendesk Answer Bot

The Zendesk Answer Bot can be looked at as a great first step into AI. Answer Bot leverages machine learning more to deflect customer questions from human agents, not fully resolve issues on a personal level. The bot suggests articles by picking the best answer from the available library of content, but not necessarily the most accurate response. According to its website, Answer Bot automates an average of 6% of incoming tickets and charges approximately $1 per resolution. Answer Bot is ideal for Zendesk customers who are already using Zendesk Suite and want to offload a few basic customer questions.

What to expect from Netomi’s AI Bot

Netomi’s solution is purpose-built for AI-powered customer service. Compared to Answer Bot, Netomi can automate between 5x-8x more tickets depending on the industry (30%-50%). In fact, Netomi’s AI has recorded the industry’s highest resolution rate at 87% for WestJet. One major difference is that Netomi’s AI chatbots focus on personalized resolution rather than just deflection. Netomi’s AI chatbot is designed to replicate a human agent: it can decipher the intent of what a customer asks based on a semantic analysis and sophisticated natural language understanding (NLU). Additionally, Netomi can understand un-natural language, typos, emojis and errors. Netomi also maintains business-specific entity maps to understand business jargon, locations and information unique to specific industries.

If the Netomi chatbot hasn’t been trained on a specific topic it can pull articles from a knowledge base like the Answer Bot. Furthermore, Netomi’s AI bots integrate with back-end systems – like CRM or order management systems – to provide personalized, contextual resolutions for an individual customer, not simply generic articles. So, instead of just providing a link to an article on a return policy, Netomi bots can actually process a return. Netomi’s AI can also be deployed across a variety of channels including email and social, whereas Answer Bot can only be used via chat for now.

How Zendesk and Netomi work together

Netomi partnered with Zendesk to create the ultimate Zendesk chatbot – a seamless experience for Zendesk customers who want to up-level their customer support. According to Greg Dreyfus, a Zendesk Platform Architects Team Manager: “Partnering with Netomi, you can have your own bespoke AI chatbot, your own way of engaging with AI to give exactly the experience you want to offer. This is their core. This is what they do and they are very good at it.”

The Bottom Line on Zendesk Answer Bot

Both Zendesk Answer Bot and Netomi’s chatbot platform help to decrease resolution times by providing instant answers. Deciding which solution to adopt depends on your support team’s needs and your customer expectations. Zendesk and Netomi partnered together to offer customer service teams the best of both worlds. If you’re looking to automate a little, Zendesk Answer Bot is for you. If you are looking to implement a more robust AI solution that is still very Zendesk-friendly, check out Netomi.

Find out what your ROI will be if you build an AI chatbot. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator.

Check out our on-demand Webinar: Zendesk & Netomi Present: The Future of AI in Customer Service. Watch Now!

Highlights from The New 9 to 5: The State of CX in the Gig Economy – Customer Service Benchmark Report

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Oct 31, 2022

From ordering a ride to sourcing a dog sitter with ease, many are drawn to gig economy platforms for their sheer simplicity and convenience. It is a unique structure, one that involves gig economy workers, and the customers they serve (the drivers plus the riders). How is customer support delivered by these companies, across various channels? Curious to take a deep dive into this – relatively – new landscape of work, Netomi’s research team set about analyzing the top 87 gig economy companies spanning industries, from ride-sharing to food delivery, legal, and health. Here, we present our insights and top takeaways from The New 9 to 5: The State of CX in the Gig Economy – Customer Service Benchmark Report.

The Gig Economy + CX

With its flexible working structure, the gig economy is shaping the future of work. More individuals are turning to gig economy platforms, especially in today’s economy, as economic factors such as inflation are at play. With an enlarged user base (the global gig economy is predicted to grow from $204 billion in 2018 to $455 billion in 2023), there are bound to be support-related queries that follow. With this, coupled with rising consumer expectations for immediate support, the need for excellent customer experiences is even more urgent. AI-powered virtual assistants can swiftly deal with highly repeatable queries such as ‘Where is my order?’ and ‘I am unable to log in to my account,’ enabling faster support for gig economy players, who are always on the go.

Which gig economy companies get five-star ratings? View all of our findings in The New 9 to 5: The State of CX in the Gig Economy – Customer Service Benchmark Report!

Who Passed with Flying Colors? Highlights from the 2022 Airline Customer Service Benchmark Report

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Jun 20, 2022

It’s time to talk travel. This fondly remembered hobby is now on the minds of many, after being pent up due to COVID-19 restrictions. Demand for flights is soaring – Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian reported that March 2022 had been the carrier’s best month for sales in its history, while the four major U.S. airlines (American Airlines, Delta, Southwest and United) are planning summer schedules that are 4% to 20% larger than one year ago. Amidst this summer travel rush, airline worker unions are warning that travelers could endure months of continual flight delays and cancellations – in other words, travel within the near future is likely to be a bit of a headache.

While airline customer service has been notorious for its long wait times, does this long-standing perception really hold true? How long are customers typically left waiting, which channels are the most helpful, and where are timely responses most likely to be received? We at Netomi were eager to take a deeper dive into how airlines today are delivering customer support via web chat, social media and phone. We visited websites to engage with virtual assistants, called customer service phone numbers and sent messages via social media platforms. After careful analysis of 20 of the largest airlines in North America, the report cards are in.

Netomi’s 2022 Airline Customer Service Benchmark Report: The Top 5 Findings

  • The award for best overall customer service goes to… WestJet: This Canadian airline was found to provide the best overall customer service, with an SPI of 82.56 out of 100 (the Support Performance Index is a 100-point scale that was used to measure the quality of customer support). WestJet performed the best overall in terms of its cross-channel support, scoring well in availability, responsiveness, response time, personalization, relevance and empathy – all of which are key qualities of customer support teams. Spirit Airlines and Porter Airlines round out the top three.
  • When it comes to speedy resolutions, social media reigns supreme: The average response time for inquiries sent via Twitter is 42 minutes, and 75 minutes for Instagram.
  • Twitter is the better social media channel for support: We found that the overall quality of the support provided by airlines was 38% higher on Twitter than on Instagram, with 100% of the responses received through this channel also more relevant to the questions that were posed.
  • Chatbots are few and far between: While chatbots have been widely adopted for customer service, only nine airlines (45%), had a chatbot on their website. Of those who have leveraged chatbots, only WestJet and Spirit Airlines had prominent chatbot pop-ups, while others were hidden within help sections and knowledge bases.
  • If calling airline support teams, it may be wise to have a newspaper handy: The study found that the average hold time across all days and times was 56 minutes – 41 minutes on weekdays, and 1 hour 16 minutes on the weekends. Aeroméxico, Spirit Airlines and Sunwing Airlines take the lead in providing the best phone support.

Where to Next?

As travel picks up steam in 2022, prioritizing responsiveness and timely service across channels is key for airline customer service teams. For many, travel, along with its various elements (flight delays, booking and lost luggage) can be stressful and time-consuming. To scale their support across traditional and digital support channels, many airlines today are turning to sophisticated AI tools, leveraging a unique combination of human and machine intelligence to tackle repeatable and costly support tickets with ease, decrease resolution times, and ensure smoother journeys ahead.

The report cards are in, and we have the results. To view all of our findings, download your copy of Netomi’s 2022 Airline Customer Service Benchmark Report!

What is Customer Experience? Tips, Strategies, and Examples

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Jun 19, 2022

Customer experience (CX) is one of the biggest buzzwords in the business world today. With 2/3 of companies competing on customer experience, up from just 36% in 2010, companies now have Customer Experience Hubs and are hiring Directors of Customer Experience to champion CX efforts.

In this post, we’re diving into everything you could possibly want to know about customer experience, including: 

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is a customer’s emotions towards a brand based on the totality of every interaction.   

In other words, CX is your customer’s perception of your brand. It encompasses every touchpoint – in-store, online, browsing a website, customer support, product – and spans the entire relationship that a customer has with the company.  

CX is important because it can be the difference between a customer who is loyal to your brand and one who churns.  Creating a positive customer experience should be a key goal for any business because it can lead to customer loyalty and repeat business. 

There are many factors that contribute to customer experience, such as customer service, convenience, and product quality. Creating a positive customer experience requires taking a holistic view of the customer journey and understanding what motivates customers at each stage.

There are many ways to improve customer experience, but it starts with having the right mindset. You need to be customer-centric in your approach and always think about how you can make the customer’s life easier.

What do customers want when it comes to customer experience?

Over the past few years, there has been a tremendous focus on streamlining and removing friction from customer experiences. Everything that customer-obsessed companies like Amazon, Uber and Netflix do is through the lens of providing the most effortless customer experience possible.

Companies no longer compete with direct competitors on CX, but also these “customer-obsessed” brands, which have dramatically increased expectations across the board. So what exactly is a great customer experience? Good CX boils down to a few key things: 

  1. Anticipating and removing points of friction; Making every interaction as simple and effortless as possible
  2. Being available whenever (24/7), and across multiple channels  
  3. Minimizing wait or downtimes
  4. Eliminating anxiety by eliminating unnecessary steps and actions; minimizing decision-making 
  5. Being proactive; not relying on the customer to take the first action 
  6. Deeply understanding your customers’ usage of your product and website 

Why is customer experience so important?

Loyalty is harder to earn than ever before. 54% of people said they’d switched providers in the past year, and 78% say they retract loyalty faster today than they did three years ago.

In this environment, brands have to prioritize the customer experience. CX is now just as important in consumers’ eyes as price and quality. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Companies that earn $1 billion annually can earn an additional $700 million within three years of investing in CX. On the flip side, customers switching companies due to poor CX costs U.S. companies a total of $1.6 trillion.

Good CX is not just good for customers. It also makes for happier employees. Studies have revealed that companies with a great customer experience have employees who are 1.5X more engaged than less customer-centric companies. When employees are engaged, they work better and are less likely to turnover (resulting in even more cost-savings).

Prioritizing the Customer Experience

How do I improve customer experience?

Improving your customer experience comes down to removing friction (i.e., reducing effort), anticipating issues and making things as quick as possible.

Here are five strategies for improving your customer experience today: 

Remove friction from every touchpoint

In the customer experience, friction refers to “anything that gets in the way of a customer completing a task.” Essentially, anything overly complicated or something that takes a lot of time. Always choose the path of least resistance. This is critical because 81% of customers who report high effort during an experience will talk negatively about a company. 

According to  Kintan Brahmbhatt, who helped create the Amazon Music subscription services and music on Alexa: “The goal here is really about anticipating friction points in the customer’s mind — and if you can’t, then finding and alleviating them quickly. This isn’t easy.” Reducing friction requires a cross-functional effort from sales and website to support and product design. 

Amazon, of course, is the poster child for removing friction from the customer journey. Free and fast shipping, one-click buying, saved payment methods, and access to reviews and comparisons in the same window. An article in Fortune talks about Amazon’s “War on Friction: “‘Amazon maintains an obsessive focus on removing every pain point from the buying process.’ To put it another way, Amazon is the world champion at taking out friction.’”

Leverage AI and chatbots to automatically resolve customer service tickets

One of the biggest pain points with the customer experience is customer service. When a question or issue arises, customers often have to reach out on multiple channels to get a response and wait for a response. AI-powered chatbots are customer experience tools being used by global brands to automatically resolve everyday issues within seconds using email, chat, social/messaging, and SMS customer service


Give your customers instant answers to up to 85% of customer service issues with our Zoho chatbot.


Provide proactive experiences

Companies are also starting to anticipate issues before they exist and preemptively intervene before an issue becomes a bigger deal. By acting on behavioral, lifecycle or sensors from the physical world, companies can now anticipate the next contact and preemptively intervene with the right information or solution at the moment of relevance. HP, for instance, sends customers a message before they run out of printer ink and provides a seamless reorder experience. 

Find ways to surprise and delight

One of my favorite customer experience stories is from Zappos. A support agent was on the phone with a customer and heard a crying baby in the background. The agent sent the customer a nice note and a baby blanket in the mail.

It was a completely unexpected gesture that would make a significant impact on a customer’s perception. Empower your customer-facing team to be human and go above and beyond to delight your customers. 

Track and act on reviews

Don’t ignore what your customers are saying about your company in reviews, social media and NPS surveys. You can identify friction points in the customer journey and be able to address any issues. 

According to Shan-Lyn Ma, Zola’s CEO and founder: “It’s tempting to listen to all the good stuff you get in your NPS surveys. But we know we’ve learned a lot more by being very focused on the not-so-good comments. We want to really understand the reasons certain couples aren’t promoters.”

What companies are getting customer experience right?

We’ve talked a lot about Amazon in this article, so now we want to highlight other incredible examples of companies that have reduced friction and provided an incredible customer experience. 

Uber

It’s hard to remember, but we used to stand outside in the glaring sun, pouring rain or freezing cold to hail a yellow cab. Uber completely redefined the experience through on-demand ride-hailing, seamless / contactless payments, instantaneous reviews and impeccable customer service. The company identified every pain point and offered a much more effortless and enjoyable solution.

customer experience

Chewy

The customer experience team at Chewy, an eCommerce marketplace for pet food and products, aims to wow customers every day. It sends 11 million handwritten cards annually to new customers, birthday cards to customers’ pets, and sympathy cards when pets pass away. It’s these little WOW moments that can completely change a person’s perception of a brand.

WestJet

The Canadian airline’s Juliet chatbot fully resolves up to 87% of tickets without human intervention. So if a traveler needs to be rebooked on a flight or has a last-minute baggage question, an answer is immediate.

Juliet proved her worth at the beginning of Covid-19 when travelers rushed to cancel or rebook flights or request refunds. The average hold time to speak to an agent on the phone during that time was over 12 hours, but Juliet deflected tens of thousands of calls by providing immediate, effortless resolutions to pressing and time-sensitive questions.

WestJet’s chatbot on Facebook Messenger enables guests to discover destinations, book trips and receive instant support (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
 

Slack

This online communication and messaging platform is recognized for its merging of engineering and customer service. It has specialist teams that become experts on specific areas of the product so customers are routed to the right expert every time.

This ensures issues are resolved in a single touch, eliminating a customer from being passed from agent to agent and repeating themselves. With 33% of people saying getting their issue resolved in a single interaction is the most important thing for a company when it comes to customer service, it’s easy to see why Slack is celebrated for its CX.

customer experience

Zola

The eCommerce platform helps millennial couples manage their wedding registries. In the past, a bride and groom would register with one or two retailers. Zola lets couples register for gifts across 600 retailers and has everything shipped directly from the manufacturer.

In addition to an innovative product,  Zola is a great example of taking feedback from its customers and adapting its strategy. According to Shan-Lyn Ma, Zola’s CEO and founder, “We interviewed hundreds of couples and formed the hypothesis that they no longer wanted traditional items for their registries. We thought they only wanted experiences, cash for their future, and cool gifts from up-and-coming brands. What we found out right away — through both our NPS [Net Promoter Score] research and the data we collected on the site — was that our thesis was not entirely correct. Couples want it all. We had to change our merchandising strategy very quickly.”

These are just a handful of examples of some of our favorite companies dedicated to customer experience. Who did we miss? Drop us a line at info@netomi.com to be included. 


Learn more about companies using chatbots for customer service.


Common ways to measure CX

There are several methods of measuring customer experience. First is understanding deeply how your customers are using your products and website and where things might be broken. Additionally, you can solicit feedback directly from customers themselves.  Here are a few of the most common ways to measure CX: 

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction surveys are sent immediately following an interaction such as a purchase, free trial or customer service interaction. Customer satisfaction surveys measure how well you deliver against your customers’ expectations of these independent moments. A text, email or message is sent asking something like “How satisfied are you with your recent purchase/support interaction/service?” or “On a scale of 1-5, how satisfied are you with your recent purchase/support interaction/service?”

Customer Effort Score (CES)

As discussed above, a major focus for CX is reducing effort that the customer has to put in to complete a task. With customers expecting truly effortless interactions, the perception of good CX will be tied almost directly to low effort.  CES surveys ask, “How easy was it for you to [complete this task]?” The customer ranks the effort on a 5 or 7-point scale, from Extremely Difficult to Extremely Easy

Net Performer Score (NPS)

Net Performer Score looks more holistically at a customer’s perception of a brand by asking how likely they are to recommend a product, service or company. It’s more of an indicator of long-term loyalty than CSAT, which is more about short-term happiness.  If a person perceives a good customer experience, they are more likely to recommend a brand to their friends. 

Useful Customer Experience Tools

Selecting the right customer experience platform is critical to achieving your goals. As such, before making this decision, it’s important that you first consider exactly those fundamental objectives behind implementing one. Do they involve evaluating and boosting the performance of a service team or seeking insights on satisfaction levels among customers themselves?”

We’ve compiled a list of the best customer experience tools, and you can read more about these selections in the Best Customer Experience Tools blog post. 

  • Netomi
  • Zendesk Sunshine
  • Sprinklr
  • Adobe Experience Manager
  • HubSpot
  • Clarabridge
  • Contentsquare x Clicktale
  • Gemius Prism
  • Genesys
  • Medallia
  • Oracle Maxymiser Testing and Optimization
  • Qualtrics
  • Responsetek
  • Satmetrix
  • Tealeaf by IBM
  • UserZoom

The importance of CX is only growing 

The implications of CX are not just with increasing brand loyalty and making customers happy. It’s not tied to the bottom line: brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience. Customer experience needs to be the top priority for every rough brand to thrive in increasingly competitive markets.  

Can we talk about how AI can help elevate your customer experience? Get in touch.

To learn more about improving customer experience, visit:

How a SaaS Chatbot Can Reduce Churn Rates

The Top 11 Zendesk Alternatives

The 9 Best Live Chat Software to Connect in Real-Time

How Ticket Triage AI Can Revolutionize Customer Service

The Ultimate Guide to Delivering Exceptional Customer Support in 2023

Written by Amy Wallace  on   Jun 8, 2022

Many of us have experience interacting with customer support agents in various contexts, from streaming service subscriptions and car rental bookings, to online clothing purchases.

For businesses worldwide, offering timely support across multiple channels and touchpoints is critical in today’s highly competitive and digital-first world.

A strong customer experience strategy is a defining feature that sets companies apart – yet what do customer service and customer support truly mean? Why is delivering quality customer support so essential, and how can companies begin doing so? Fundamentally, how can businesses keep customers happy? Here, we break down the meanings behind the terms, and several key best practices to consider weaving into your customer support strategy.

We’ll answer the following questions, so jump directly to a specific section or scroll to read the post in its entirety:

  1. What is customer support?
  2. How does customer support differ from customer service?
  3. What are the most important qualities of customer support?
  4. Why is customer support essential for any business?
  5. What are some tips for boosting customer support?

What is customer support?

Customer support: the team of individuals who provide assistance when customers have questions about a product or service, or experience issues.

How does customer support differ from customer service?

Although the two are often used interchangeably, customer support is not synonymous with customer service. The latter is an umbrella term for all interactions that encompass the overall customer experience and help shape a person’s relationship with the company.

Customer ServiceCustomer Support



Focuses on creating positive, hassle-free customer transactions



Focuses on how the customer interacts with a product



Attends to customer needs throughout every interaction with the product



Solves one specific need at a time



Does not always include customer support



Always requires customer service



Proactive to customer needs and reactive to issues



Reactive to specific customer issues



Agents use soft skills often



Agents rarely need soft skills



Not inherently technical



Often very technical

Customer service, the broader umbrella term, typically refers to all types of customer-facing activities, those that often are non-technical in nature. An essential part of improving customer success is the sales process for many products.

Customer service is directly related to the customer experience, and is comprised of roles such as a sales associate at a department store, or a barista at a cafe. Successful customer service teams often employ customer-centric soft skills. Great customer support requires attention to detail and an overall positive approach in order to keep existing customers. Customer service is all about adding value by helping customers to make the most of a business’ products or services, and support is just one subset of this.

What are the most important qualities?

Good support is more than just installation and troubleshooting – it is about making the customer feel heard, about collecting data and using that to better the customer experience. It is about investing in personal conversations, demonstrating sound product knowledge and empathy, and devising creative and customized solutions to customer issues. Good customer support involves meeting, as well as exceeding customer expectations – what do customers themselves want? What types of experiences do they expect, and what will keep them coming back for more?

A survey from Zendesk discovered that the key customer service principles revolve around empathy, convenience and speed. Customers favor, above all, speedy resolutions to their problems, 24/7 access to support, and interacting with friendly agents.

For customers today, a seamless omnichannel experience is also critical. This allows them to switch devices and fluidly maneuver between multiple channels, carrying forward context with each interaction. For instance, if one day an individual received support via telephone, they want to log into their web browsers to continue the conversation on a separate occasion. Consistency is key – 71% of consumers desire a consistent experience across all channels, yet only 29% say they actually receive this. Investing in omnichannel experiences plays a big part in customer loyalty. Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies enjoy 91% higher customer retention rates year-over-year, compared to businesses that don’t.

Why is customer support essential for businesses?

Amid a shifting global landscape (new and emerging technologies, new ways of working), consumer expectations are shifting along with it. In Netomi’s The State of Customer Service in 2022 Report, more than 65% of those surveyed report they have higher expectations for customer service today than they did 3-5 years ago. What’s more, the report found these higher expectations are not being sufficiently met, with 51% believing that customer service has not improved over the past 12 months.


Uncover Customer Expectations in The 2022 State of Customer Service Report


Put simply, support, delivered in a timely manner, drives customer satisfaction, and conclusively impacts customer retention, customer lifetime value, and brand reputation. Our report also revealed that 77% of U.S. consumers believe that good customer service is crucial to earning loyalty as well as business. Such findings emphasize that there is a tremendous opportunity for companies to put such strategies into place, to go above and beyond to elevate the overall customer experience. Good customer support is expected – it is sought-after and highly regarded.

What are some tips for boosting customer support?

Support your support team with AI-powered chatbots

In the demanding and always-on economy of today, many contact centers are feeling the pressure – with 74% of them at risk for burnout. Moreover, turnover rates hover between 30 and 45%, among the highest of any industry. Companies using AI chatbots for customer service can create a more cost-effective and streamlined approach to drastically improve the experience of agents themselves. This helps to make them feel more fulfilled and engaged in their roles.

A February 2022 survey from Salesforce found that 71% of service agents have considered leaving their job in the past six months, while 69% are considering leaving customer service roles entirely. Working with outdated technology systems and a lack of access to career development opportunities are among the challenges faced by agents. According to the survey, 81% of service agents say they do not have new and advanced technology/tools at their current jobs.

AI-powered chatbots have come to the forefront as a means to meet consumer preferences for 24/7, instantaneous support in real-time. Interest and usage of these tools is burgeoning, and not just among SaaS (Software as a Service) companies. Insider Intelligence predicts that, by 2024, consumer retail spend via chatbots worldwide will reach $142 billion – a jump from just $2.8 billion in 2019.

By providing immediate resolutions to the most common and repeatable of queries, chatbots help to drastically cut down on customer service tickets. They can also assist customers with no human intervention (How do I pause my gym membership? How can I select my seat?) Agents, as a result, can dedicate their time and energy to more complex, high-touch and creative tasks. Advanced technologies such as chatbots serve as the all-important key to supporting overworked employees, helping them to complete their jobs more efficiently.

Customer Support Example - WestJet

Be proactive

Today, 27% percent of customers expect customer service to be proactive – for companies to anticipate their needs and wants. How can you preemptively intervene, before an issue exacerbates, or even turns into an issue? Informing customers that a software update is available, or they will soon be eligible for a cell phone upgrade takes your customer support strategy one notch higher, and signifies to customers that you are looking out for them.


Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level


Make it personalized

How can we harness customer data that is at our disposal to better tailor and curate the experience? This can be as simple as greeting customers by name or asking for feedback in Customer Satisfaction Surveys.

A customer, for instance, may have previously ordered several pairs of jeans from an online retailer. After being sold out for some time, these best-selling jeans are now back in stock – and are also now available in several colors. Might the customer want to purchase another pair or two?

According to research from Accenture, 83% of consumers are inclined to share their data with companies, to enable a more personalized experience for them. This is true so long as businesses are transparent about how they plan to use that data and that customers have control over it, however. Moreover, almost 70% of consumers want companies to personalize their communications, and 65% of customers report that personalization influences their brand loyalty.

Meet your customers where they are

Allowing for multi-channel customer service, chatbots enable businesses to deploy their customer strategy across social media, email, chat, voice, and phone – scaling support across every channel of their – and their customer’s – choosing. Support delivered via live chat has grown to become a must-have. This is the preferred channel for consumers between the ages of 18 and 49, nearly 70% of consumers expect live chat support. Some matters may be better suited to one channel over others, depending on the situation and degree of urgency. Customers typically do not have one single channel that they choose to use 100% of the time.

"Good customer support is ensuring that the customer's experience is positive and memorable..."

Make it easy for customers to assist themselves

In line with the ‘DIY’ culture of today, customer preference for self-service is growing. A 2022 report from Gartner points to several categorical shifts in customer service – among them, customer’s growing preference for self-service. 59% of customers, the report found, prefer to resolve their issues without reaching out to a customer service rep. However, only 13% of customers feel that they are successfully contained within self-service.

Meanwhile, Zendesk’s CX Trends 2022 report found that 70% of customers say that they expect a company to have a self-service portal or content available to them.

How can we reimagine the customer journey, guiding customers to the best fit path? The key then, is to coordinate the self-service journey all the way from search through to resolution, from directing customers to relevant self-service options on a company’s website, to routing them to a human agent, if and when needed.

Leveraging curated FAQ pages and robust online knowledge bases (or Help Centers) can help users easily find answers, and enhance the customer self-service experience. The ultimate combo, however, is a knowledge base, used in parallel with AI-powered chatbot software. This offers content that is most relevant to each individual customer, and delivers it at the exact moment-of-need. To determine the appropriate next steps, chatbots should first diagnose and triage the customer issue. Can the customer find the necessary information within an article in the company’s knowledge base, or does the situation warrant an interaction with an agent? With AI chatbot platforms sitting at the center and human agents stepping in only when needed, this also relieves a bit of the pressure on the agents themselves, significantly reducing their workloads.

Track KPIs, and determine where they can evolve

It is important to employ metrics and KPIs in order to gauge performance of support efforts, for businesses to track the performance of their support agents and identify areas for improvement. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), volume by channel and total tickets are among the KPIs that can be measured. How does ticket volume fluctuate based on the time of day? On which channels are customers reaching out for support?

It is also advantageous to regularly review KPIs to determine where they can evolve. The relevance and efficacy of KPIs that were initially selected will change over time, as a business grows and customer expectations and preferences shift.

Final thoughts

Customer support, as part of a great customer service approach, can add tremendous value to a business’ product or service, improve multiple business bottom lines, increase customer retention, and build trust and loyalty. It can offer an experience that is in line with today’s digitally-savvy customers, and keep them coming back for more.

Get in touch with us at Netomi to chat about leveraging conversational AI to supercharge your customer support strategy, and boost overall customer experience!  

To learn more about improving the customer experience, visit:

Tell Us How You Really Feel: The Frustrating Reality of Customer Support in 2022

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Apr 14, 2022

What are the most dreaded customer service calls to make? Do customers enjoy making small talk with support agents, or prefer to get straight to the point? We polled more than 1,200 consumers across the United States to get a pulse on how they are feeling today, when it comes to interacting with customer support teams. We discovered that, in the fast-paced world of today, customer expectations are not being met, frustrations are high, and patience is wearing thin. 

Download Netomi’s complete The State of Customer Service Report!

Our Top 5 Findings from The State of Customer Service Report 

  • Emotional outbursts are common: 14% of customers report having screamed at and 19% have sworn at a company’s representative, while, out of frustration, 61% of people have hung up the phone mid-conversation. This is true on both sides of the equation, as…
  • Stress is taking its toll on agents: 73% of consumers have had instances of an agent being rude to them, and 44% have experienced an agent grow agitated
  • The desire for instant gratification is real: 39% of consumers have less patience today than they did prior to the pandemic
  • Small talk is not necessary: Only 27% of respondents value situations when customer service agents engage in small talk when assisting them, while 73% find no value in such friendly banter, preferring agents to focus on the issue at hand
  • Many issues are left unresolved, after a single interaction: 65% of consumers have needed to follow up more than once to get their question resolved, and 25% of respondents reported needing to contact a company three or more times in order to resolve an issue

The bottom line: What does all of this signify?

As the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted consumer behaviors, preferences and expectations, businesses need to evolve amid the changing landscape to meet the needs of the modern consumer. In today’s fast-paced world, the pressure to deliver superior customer experiences is on, big time.

AI-powered chatbots can have an enormous impact on support organizations, and greatly elevate the experience of agents and the customers that they serve, by:

  • Swiftly resolving customers’ queries, across channels (such as email, chat, and SMS), for enhanced customer satisfaction and happiness
  • Surfacing relevant answers and links to the agents during support calls, transforming them from agents to super-agents
  • Automatically resolving repetitive, everyday tickets, offloading mundane work from agents and allowing them to concentrate more on complex tasks
  • Working around-the-clock with 24/7 availability, so there are no frustrating hold times for customers

What else do customers have to say? View more insights in Netomi’s The State of Customer Service Report!

CSAT Score: Everything You Need To Know About Customer Satisfaction Scores (Updated March 2022)

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Mar 27, 2022

Every company wants to grow. The easiest way to do that is to keep your existing customers. To retain customers, you need to make them happy. Happy customers turn into long-term and profitable loyalists. And in short, long-term and profitable loyalists go a long way toward improving your CSAT score.

How do companies actually know how happy their customers are with their products, services, and experiences? They measure their customer satisfaction score – or their rating for Customer Satisfaction.

Throughout the entire customer lifecycle, there are many moments that add up to a person’s relationship with and feelings towards a brand. This includes in-store and online shopping experiences, customer care interactions and learning to use a product itself. Without a doubt, every one of these standalone touchpoints are important.

That’s why customer experience and support professionals hyper-focus on customer satisfaction score (CSAT). CSAT measures how well your company is delivering against your customers’ expectations in these independent moments.

In this post, we will dive into everything you have ever wanted to know about your scores. Jump to specific sections or scroll down to read the entire post.

  1. What is CSAT?
  2. Why is CSAT important?
  3. How do you calculate and measure CSAT?
  4. CSAT Scores: How do you use them?
  5. How to improve your CSAT score
  6. Comparing CSAT to other popular consumer metrics
    1. CSAT vs. NPS  
    2. CSAT vs. CES
    3. CSAT vs. DSAT
  7. Benchmarks for CSAT Scores By Industry

What Is a CSAT Score?

CSAT scores are the most popular and straightforward way to measure customer satisfaction. The metric measures sentiment towards your product, service or a specific interaction.

Companies often take a pulse after key milestones in the customer lifecycle. For example, after a first purchase, prior to the renewal or following customer support interactions.

It’s important to realize that CSAT differs from Net Promoter Score (NPS), another popular metric. NPS measures loyalty, the probability that someone will buy again and recommend your company to other people.

So what exactly drives satisfaction?

In short, people are satisfied when their expectations are met. Like many things, expectations are fluid and change based on situational context and stage of the customer journey. For example, if you spring for a first-class ticket on a flight, you are going to expect more personal and proactive service from flight attendants. On the other hand, when you purchase a basic economy seat, you expect attendants to simply ask what you need during their food and drink service. In Economy airline travel, there’s no expectation for a glass of champagne before takeoff.


Circumstances change expectations. When measuring CSAT, it’s important to understand the different circumstances of your individual customers to glean actionable insights.


Why Is CSAT Score Important?

Customer retention is fundamental to a thriving business.

This is because it’s cheaper to keep your current customers than attract new ones. Studies report that 70% of companies say this is true.

CSAT can provide insight into where and when your company is at risk of losing customers. In the same vein, it can uncover opportunities to optimize experiences. If used regularly, it gives businesses a pulse for how your company is performing and helps you understand your customer. Of course, you need to look at and measure the entire journey, not solely flashpoints along the way. It can help you realize where your processes are working and where you need to make changes.

Think about this with customer service. In the last year, 78% of U.S. consumers have stopped doing business with at least 1 company or scrapped a planned purchase based on poor customer service. Moreover, 31% reported doing this multiple times. That is to say, only one instance of poor support can lead to immediate customer attrition. And so, understanding what makes people unsatisfied with customer support can identify a few things. Firstly, where more training needs to be done. Secondly, where there’s an opportunity to be proactive. And lastly, where processes need to change.

Impact of Low Customer Satisfaction: Almost half of the consumers have stopped doing business with at least one company in 2019 due to poor customer service.

In essence, a person’s short-term happiness or unhappiness with your company following their customer interaction is indicative of future spend and lifetime value.

Learn how to automatically resolve customer service inquiries at the industry’s highest rate over messaging, chat, email, and voice with our helpdesk AI solutions.

How Do You Calculate And Measure CSAT Scores?

CSAT is often measured by completing customer satisfaction surveys. Surveys are completed through a brief, single question form asking how a customer feels following their most recent experience. This can be done through an email, chat, phone follow-up question, or through traditional paper or postcard satisfaction surveys. It’s typically immediately following an interaction when the experience is top-of-mind.

Customer satisfaction survey questions often look like the one we offer below: 

How satisfied are you with your recent purchase/support interaction/service?

  • Extremely Satisfied 
  • Somewhat Satisfied 
  • Satisfied 
  • Not Satisfied 
  • Very Dissatisfied 

On a scale of 1-5, how satisfied are you with your recent purchase/support interaction/service?

  • <Very Unsatisfied> 1 2 3 4 5 <Very Satisfied>

To calculate your CSAT, take the number of positive responses (i.e. Extremely and Somewhat Satisfied) and divide by the total number of responses. Then, multiply by 100.

For example, say you gather data from 200 customers. If 160 customers scored satisfaction a 4 or a 5, here’s what you would do.

                     160/200=0.8 (80%)

In this example, the company’s score is 80%.

Additionally, companies will often leave a place for people to add specifics as to why they scored the way they did. This unconstrained feedback in particular can provide invaluable insight into things that can be improved.

How Do You Use Your CSAT Score          

For customers who reported being unsatisfied or dissatisfied, carefully review their entire interaction. You’ll first want to identify what happened. Next, see if there was an opportunity where your company could have been proactive. Finally, determine what information could have provided a more pleasant experience. For example, did someone reach out with questions while setting up your product? Or, is there additional information you could have preemptively provided to ensure a smooth, successful set-up?

For dissatisfied customers, identify ways to court them to try and maintain a positive relationship with them. Can you offer free shipping on their next order if this one was delivered late?

Equally important, you’ll also want to learn from your satisfied customers. What are the key components that led to expectations being met? Did you offer the right tools at the right time? Did you quickly resolve an issue within 2 minutes on social media?

In summary, don’t just look at your percentage. Make sure you dissect the outliers to learn how to exceed customer expectations in the future.

How to improve my CSAT Score?

Customer service is one of the micro-moments that dictate customer loyalty and future spend. As mentioned earlier, one instance of poor service is enough to deter a major portion of your customers to move their business elsewhere. As customer service continues to establish its foothold as a business driver, companies need to meet expectations for customer support. Satisfaction, as you may remember, comes from expectations being met.

 So what do people expect today? In short, quick, convenient resolutions on their channels of choice. For example, in our recent study, we found that: 

  • Nearly Half: Expect not to wait for a resolution
  • 47%: Expect convenience
  • 61%: Expect quick resolution

While that may sound simple, companies are finding it harder to meet these quick-rising demands. And even more, scale personal interactions across customer support email, chat, social and voice channels. In fact, more than 50% of U.S. consumers have not seen any improvement in customer service over the last 12 months.


Improve your customer satisfaction. Discover the best help desk software solutions today.


Another way to improve the results of your surveys? Work on improving the response rates of your surveys. According to research done in 2015 by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, “response rates for paper-based surveys were around 10% and the response rates for e-surveys (web, wap and e-mail) were averaging between 5% and 15% – which can only provide a straw poll of the customers’ opinions.”4

Improve CSAT Score with AI

Bringing AI customer service into the workforce enables companies to automatically resolve over 50% of incoming tickets immediately, within seconds, according to our customers. These repeatable, everyday tickets are not routed to human agents. Instead, agents focus exclusively on more complex and subjective issues. All tickets – the simple and complex – are resolved faster. Logically, bringing speed to support will increase CSAT.

One of our clients, the Canadian airline WestJet, has seen an increase of 24% with its virtual agent Juliet resolving issues immediately on Facebook Messenger. Juliet is helping people understand how they can fly with skis, how much it costs for a checked bag and flight status within seconds. Customers, all-too-often packing last-minute or stuck in traffic to the airport, are thrilled to get their pressing questions answered without a long hold time or desperate website search.

Comparing CSAT to other popular consumer grading measures

CSAT differs from other popular customer service metrics that are used by companies. When companies use all of these metrics together, they will have a very rich understanding of how your customer support organization is functioning and delivering against customer expectations.


Click here for more information on customer support.


CSAT vs. NPS

Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is used as a way to capture customer feedback. It measures loyalty and the probability that someone will recommend your company to other people. 

NPS looks at overall, long-term brand perception, whereas CSAT measures short-term happiness with a specific incident. NPS can be an indicator of growth potential for a company because peer recommendations carry so much weight in our society that is social media-obsessed. Nielsen actually found that “more than eight-in-10 global respondents (83%) say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family.1

On NPS surveys, customers are asked a simple question: On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend [company] to a friend/colleague? Your customers will fall into one of these categories: 

  • Promoters are people who rate your company with a score of 9 or 10. Promoters are your enthusiasts and loyalists.

    • Advice for how to treat promoters:
      • Keep these customers happy as they are the ones that will be recommending your brand to their friends and family.
      • Give them referral codes or links that they can send to their friends to let them earn points or discounts for the new business that they bring in.
      • If it makes sense, involve promoters in product research and selection, for instance, a meal kit company could ask them which recipes they’d like to see on the menu.   
  • Passive customers are people who rate your company a 7 or 8.

    • Advice for how to treat passive customers:
      • Push passive customers to promoter status by asking for a feedback survey on what could be improved and acting on what they tell you.
      • Like promoters, companies can also provide passive customers incentives in the form of referral codes or links that they can send to their friends and family to encourage recommendations and endorsements.
             
  • Detractors are customers who rate your company with a score of 0-6.

    • Advice for how to treat detractors:
      • Analyze your interactions with detractors to see if you can identify why they are unsatisfied.
      • Are there any trends that you can identify? If there are particular instances that occurred throughout someone’s life cycle, say consistently late deliveries, technical issues or wrong items delivered? If so, address the issues, apologize and communicate how the company is making changes so issues don’t happen again.
      • It’s important to remember that you’re not going to have a fan in every customer, so you also need to realize when you’re not going to change someone’s mind and walk away.

CSAT vs. CES

Customer Effort Score, or CES, measures how much effort a customer puts into completing a task, including resolving a support ticket, making a return, etc. CES measures a specific instance.

Measuring CES is important because customers expect effortless, convenient experiences. Customers are more likely to churn if the experience is difficult. In fact, research has shown that “96% of customers with a high-effort service interaction become more disloyal compared to just 9% who have a low-effort experience.2” 

You can reduce effort in a variety of ways. Such as minimizing time spent to get a resolution, the number of times a person has to reach out or total back-and-forth interactions.

To determine CES, you’ll ask your customers, On a scale from “Very Easy” to “Very Difficult”, how was your experience? If you find that you have a low CES score, identify how to remove obstacles and friction from the interaction.

CSAT vs. DSAT

The exact opposite of CSAT is Customer dissatisfaction (DSAT). DSAT measures whether your customers are dissatisfied with an experience. Companies often don’t think about DSAT, but it’s important. This is because the damage a dissatisfied customer could have goes well beyond the individual not ever purchasing from you again. People talk to their friends and post on their social media channels about poor experiences. In fact, Americans are telling an average of 15 people about poor service3.

To track DSAT, you’ll analyze the data from the same question in which you ask how satisfied a person is with experience. On a scale from 1-10, your dissatisfied customers are the ones who responded 1-5. Once you identify your dissatisfied customers, you can analyze their entire experience to identify what went wrong and address the issues.

Don’t waste your resources by giving detractors referral codes or links. Because at this point in time, they are not going to recommend your business.

CSAT Score Benchmarks for 2020 

Companies are putting more focus on the customer experience as a part of the usual market research. Benchmarking CSAT scores against industry averages is a good way to see if your efforts are enough. But how do you know what a  good score is?

Benchmarks depend on many factors, primarily your industry. Some industries have notoriously low scores due to the nature of their business. For instance, airlines have a lot of aspects of their service outside of their control, such as weather events and other delays. Even longer lines at TSA security checks can negatively impact a person’s perception of flight experience. The airline, though, had nothing to do with security delays.

The same holds true for your home internet and cable provider. Service might become interrupted by things outside of the company’s control (for instance weather or downed utility lines). In short, customers don’t always look at the full picture, but rather zero in on the company that they are paying.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index has outlined benchmarks by industry. It also looks at how they change year-over-year. According to the organization, breweries have the highest CSAT at 84%. On the other hand, internet service providers and subscription television services have the lowest at 62%.

A few other industry CSAT score benchmarks include: 

  • Personal care and cleaning products: 83% 
  • eCommerce: 81% 
  • Banks: 80% 
  • Internet Travel Services: 79% 
  • Supermarkets: 78% 
  • Apparel: 77% 
  • Hotels: 75% 
  • Airlines: 74% 

To summarize, keeping track of how your score is performing against industry benchmarks is something you should be closely tracking.

While this is not the only way to measure your customer service performance, it does offer valuable insight into an important dimension of your customer support. Before you can improve your support organization, however, you need to know your baseline and set a goal for the next 3 months, 6 months, etc. Create an actionable plan on how you’re going to reach these goals and improve CSAT, such as reducing resolution time, implementing more self-service options, offering proactive support and being available on more channels.

CSAT is a valuable tool. And we can boost it an average of 20% in 6 months. Interested? Let’s chat.

References

  1. Neilsen: https://www.nielsen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/04/global-trust-in-advertising-report-sept-2015-1.pdf
  2. Qualtrics.com: https://www.qualtrics.com/experience-management/customer/customer-effort-score/
  3. American Express: https://about.americanexpress.com/press-release/wellactually-americans-say-customer-service-better-ever
  4. Customer Think: https://customerthink.com/customer-satisfaction-survey-response-rates-update/ 

The Cryptocurrency Customer Experience: How Global Cryptocurrency Companies are Delivering Customer Support Today [Research]

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Feb 24, 2022

It is no secret that, worldwide, interest in cryptocurrency is skyrocketing. Research from the University of Chicago research group NORC revealed that, within the past 12 months, 13% of Americans bought or traded cryptocurrency. In comparison, 24% of Americans invested in stocks over that same time period. Major companies are now accepting cryptocurrency as payment, and, in a “milestone for the cryptocurrency industry,” the first U.S. bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund made its debut in the stock market in October of 2021.

It is clear that the crypto craze is far from over. Yet how are the world’s leading cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges and platforms faring from a customer experience perspective? Are they going above and beyond to deliver cross-channel support, amid this time of digital transformation and consumer demand?

In our new Customer Service Benchmark Report – Cryptocurrency, we analyzed top 101 global cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms, with emphasis on support delivered via email (which we know is a preferred support channel). We also looked at one, three and five-star mobile app reviews for both praise and complaints regarding customer support. Here, we share some of our most intriguing findings from this CX benchmarking report.


Download your copy of our Customer Service Benchmark Report – Cryptocurrency to get the complete picture, with all of our findings!


The Top 10 Key Findings from Netomi’s Customer Service Report – Cryptocurrency

  1. Thorough responses are rare: More than half of crypto companies lack thoroughness in their responses, and 7.7% do not provide an answer to even one of their customer’s questions.
  2. Customer queries are often overlooked: Although 97% of crypto companies have readily accessible email addresses for support-related queries, customer emails are ignored nearly 1 in 3 times.
  3. There is little to no follow-up: 41.8% of companies send an automated email response acknowledging the receipt of an email, yet 22.4% fail to send a follow-up email, to ensure the full resolution of an issue. Meanwhile, 38.8% of companies do not use automated emails at all. 
  4. Oftentimes, responses lack a personal touch: While 32.7% of companies fully personalize their responses, nearly half (46.1%) do not address the customer by name.
  5. Many companies are monitoring and tracking customer reviews, and respond in a timely fashion: 75% of companies respond within the first week, while 10.8% respond within 2-4 weeks and 1.2% respond after 4 weeks. 13% of companies, however, do not respond to reviews at all.
  6. Companies respond more often to negative reviews: Crypto companies are, on average, 2.04X more likely to respond to negative reviews about customer service, as opposed to positive reviews.
  7. For crypto companies, time is of the essence in this fast-moving industry: The average email response time for these companies is 9.5 hours, which is 3X faster than average response times that Netomi has measured across other industries, and highlighted in past Customer Service Benchmarking Reports, i.e., Travel & Hospitality Benchmark Report, eCommerce Benchmark Report and Gaming Benchmark Report.
  8. Response times vary, region-to-region: Companies based in North America and Latin America have the fastest average response time at 2.7 hours, which is 2.6X faster than those based in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).
  9. Response times also vary, based on company size: In comparison to medium-size companies (between 251-500 employees) which have an average response time of nearly 25 hours, the crypto companies with the most employees have the shortest average response time, averaging 1.7 hours.
  10. The largest companies skim the surface, failing to get to the root of the customer’s issue: Looking at 25 of the largest crypto companies by employee size, 40% of them either do not reply to emails at all or only send an automated email, without providing a full resolution to the issue at hand. Meanwhile, 16% of companies provide no response to customer emails.

Why strong customer service is key for crypto companies

Cryptocurrencies are redefining the global financial system, and are revolutionizing age-old concepts of money management. Unlike the traditional stock market, which is generally limited to set business hours, crypto markets are open 24/7 – meaning that traders are able to buy and sell at any time of the day, or night.

To keep pace in this rapidly evolving landscape and meet heightened customer demand, cryptocurrencies and exchanges need to adopt a similar, always-on approach in their customer support strategies. What if, for instance, a customer is having trouble accessing their account at 2:00 AM, when a financial opportunity has presented itself? What if a website crash or other crisis occurs, and customers need assistance, ASAP?

Netomi’s findings from our Customer Service Benchmark Report – Cryptocurrency underscore the fact that these companies must prioritize responsiveness across channels, and reply to customers in a timely manner, in order to build and maintain user loyalty in the digital banking era. Crypto customers are tech-savvy and always looking toward the future, when it comes to banking and finance trends. It’s time to offer them personalized and convenient support across platforms, whenever and wherever they may be.

To learn more about how some of the world’s leading crypto companies deliver email support, download the full Customer Service Benchmark Report – Cryptocurrency!

References

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/23/13percent-of-americans-traded-crypto-in-the-past-year-survey-finds.html
  2. https://www.euronews.com/next/2021/12/04/paying-with-cryptocurrencies-these-are-the-major-companies-that-accept-cryptos-as-payment
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/18/first-bitcoin-futures-etf-starts-trading-tuesday-what-to-know-.html
  4. https://www.vox.com/recode/2021/10/20/22736639/bitcoin-etf-stock-exchange-proshares-wall-street
  5. https://www.businessinsider.com/day-trading-crypto