call center csat

How to Improve Call Center Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Call Center Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is, together with other customer related measurements like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES), among the most widely recognized and frequently used KPIs in the call center. What is it, why is it so important and how can you improve CSAT in your call center with call center software? Let’s investigate. 

CSAT is a measurement that is based on customer feedback. Basically, you measure the percentage of customers that is satisfied (or very satisfied) with your services. The higher the percentage of positive customer feedback, the better your CSAT score. So far, so good. 

But what are some of the things you can or should do to improve Customer Satisfaction scores in your call center environment and how can your call center software help? In most cases and for most centers, there is no single answer to that. But here’s some things to keep in mind when looking into improving CSAT: 

  1. Support the Channels your Customers Want. You need to ensure you provide service in the channel or – more likely – channels that your customers want to reach you in. So if you still have a large percentage of customers sending you emails, then you need to support that. Are your customers millennials or younger? Chances are they spend a lot of time on Social Media platforms, are actually ok with self-service and interacting with a bot. Make sure you are flexible enough to meet your customer wherever they are. 
  2. Resolve Customer Contacts at the First Attempt. First Contact Resolution, while by no means a new measurement, is still very much valid. Customers want their issues be taken care of right away. Delay is frowned upon and in many cases will not help with your ratings. What does that mean? Provide your agents with the tools, information and empowerment to do what it takes to resolve the customer’s issue at the first attempt. If that involves changing or adding channels in a customer session, then enable your agents to do so. You will see it reflected in your improving CSAT scores. 
  3. Handle Customer Contacts Fast. Do not make the mistake to believe that all older KPIs are not relevant any more. Some still are, maybe more than ever. The time a customer today is prepared to wait to speak with (or receive a reply from) an agent has not gotten any longer. Customers expect service fast, regardless of channel, so long Wait Times will definitely not help your CSAT scores. Interestingly enough, Average Handling Time actually has a tendency to grow – likely because in many environments, fast and easy, routine interactions are now automated, and agents handle more higher value, higher complexity interactions. Make sure to schedule for this. 
  4. Offer Self-Service and Automation - Correctly. Here’s more on self-service and automation. Younger generations actually do not mind at all to self-serve, or interact with an automated system. Mobile apps and bots definitely fare better than your dial-tone IVR, and a good or great website, knowledge base or online community are often very well received as well – as long as you make sure that customers still have the option at any time to reach out for live help, and to get that help quickly, should they need to do so. 
  5. ASAT Directly Relates to CSAT. Last but not least: monitor Agent Satisfaction as closely as Customer Satisfaction. They literally are the face or voice of your company. When your agents are satisfied, it reflects in the way they provide service. Provide sufficient training, and lots of timely and correct feedback. Think about adding scheduling flexibility, consider work at home as an option to attract and retain talent. Enable agents to self-manage more, and most important of all, ensure that you measure agents based on the correct KPIs. If your main goal is to increase Customer Satisfaction, then don’t compensate your agents for shorter handling times. 

There are so many more things you can do, this list is neither complete nor does it even necessarily address the main areas around improving Customer Satisfaction in your Call Center. We haven’t even started looking into how Quality Management, Analytics and other call center software can help you to improve CSAT. Let’s leave that for another post…