The quarterly Zendesk Benchmark study examines the metrics of the behavioural cues that agents use to get to the heart of the matter, and the level of customer satisfaction beyond the traditional metrics.
The report indicates that customers are often turned off by the verbose replies from CSAs, especially when the agents adopt a more apologetic tone. Despite that, global satisfaction showed a slight upward trend, rising 2 per cent to an 83 per cent satisfaction rate.
“Our research shows that word choice and word frequency have a direct correlation with customer satisfaction,” said Sam Boonin, VP, products, Zendesk and research lead on the Zendesk Benchmark report.
“We’ve found there are triggers around the word ‘sorry’, and when used more than twice there is a problem brewing,” Boonin added. “This can be a helpful indicator for companies to know when to escalate a ticket, avoiding an unhappy customer.”
Additionally, the report found that words or phrases like ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ triggered a more positive reaction from customers, an indicator that these dialogues often involved multiple steps or inquiries and a longer resolution time.
The choice of words used to end the conversation also impacted customer satisfaction. Closing phrases like “Best Wishes,” in comparison to “Best Regards,” “Cheers” and “Yours Sincerely,” generally scored lower with customers, ranking between 11 and 14 per cent.
The lowest customer satisfaction scores were observed by users of Yahoo’s email service, which checked in with a rating of 75.4 per cent. This represented a 12.2 per cent difference between the .mac rating of 84.6 per cent.
Retail and social, which were previously amongst the lowest-rated industries for customer service, have shown gains recently. Specifically, social media’s approval rating jumped 9 per cent to 78 per cent. IT and consultancy led the pack with a customer satisfaction score of 94 per cent.
Government and non-profit agencies saw a slight drop, falling below the second-place ranking for the first time in the last three quarters.
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