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How Much Does Speed Impact Customer Satisfaction Scores?




We dig data here at Hickory.We find that many problems become far simpler when we can have the right numbers. When it comes to improving CSAT scores, there are two key stats we try to capture with the companies we work with:

  1. Speed of resolution
  2. Speed of response

We measure these two KPIs over time so we can see how our training program it affects outcomes. It also helps us demonstrate what a business’ customers truly want when they call the customer service help line.

The Standard: “Perfect Support for Zero Cost”

Ideal customer service provides “perfect support for zero cost.”It’s an unattainable goal, of course. But the closer you get to the ideal, the better results you’ll see.When you create rules for your customer service reps, you might assume that the faster a customer’s issue is resolved, the happier the customer will be. Accordingly, you might create policies that encourage your reps to get people on and off the phone as quickly as possible. You measure time per call, number of transfers, and speed of resolution most of all.But is that really the best approach? Is that what resolves problems and improves CSAT scores?We’ve researched the issue in depth with customer service departments at companies of all sizes.Let’s see what the data has to say about it…

Insight #1: Faster Resolutions Increase CSAT Scores

When we break down our data, we find that speed of resolution correlates strongly with higher CSAT scores. We know if we train customer service reps better, they’ll be able to solve customer problems more often—without having to transfer the call to someone else for help.But our research shows there’s more to it than just the speed of resolution.There’s also the speed of the initialresponse.

Insight #2: Faster Response Times Also Increase CSAT Scores

It turns out speed of response also correlates strongly to higher CSAT scores.It’s important to note that response time says nothing about the total time it takes to resolve a customer’s issue. It only measures how long it takes for someone to pick up the phone and speak to the customer in the first place.Notice the low CSAT score on the left of the chart? In that range, bots answer the phone, which most people aren’t fans of (yet).When humans answer the phones, the correlation holds.Faster response times equal higher CSAT scores.In other words, when a customer calls with a problem, the speed of your response really matters. A customer who quickly reaches a human being quickly will have more patience as you try to solve their problem. A customer made to sit on hold for 20 minutes before talking to someone will not give you the same leeway.The takeaway?You can make up a lot of ground in your CSAT scores by improving first response resolution.

What You Can Do to Improve

We often find ourselves in discussions with management and trainers to find the right KPI’s to be measuring for success. But the bottom line is: happy customers are profitable customers.

Repeat Buyers

No matter what your KPIs are today, if you want better CSAT scores, start measuring speed of resolution and speed of response.Then work to improve both.To improve speed of response, look at your staffing levels and your greeting system. Make sure customers aren’t sitting on hold or fighting through a phone tree that takes five minutes or more to navigate.To improve speed of resolution, it’s all about training. To get better CSAT scores, design a training program that teaches CS reps how to resolve more issues on their own—without having to transfer customers. We’re experts at this, so we invite you to schedule a free demo. We’ll be glad to explain how we can help.

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