Customer satisfaction dropped in 2017. Is your team doing its best to improve it?


When a customer requests information from a company to decide whether to acquire one of its products, or when he needs a problem with one of its services to be solved urgently, the company needs to provide help quickly and efficiently. Therefore, it is vital that its customer service team be prepared to provide an adequate response, and in the shortest time possible.

In order to improve customer satisfaction, it is also essential to constantly monitor the team’s work. But, are customers satisfied with the service that companies are providing? What can be done to improve that satisfaction?

There is still room for improvement in customer satisfaction

The company LiveChat recently published a report on Customer Service containing some interesting information about degrees of satisfaction in 2017. To do this they collected data provided by 21,000 companies in 22 industries, using different support tickets and live chats, along with some of their sales and customer service tools. To be exact, they analysed 334 million chats and 17 million tickets.

The main conclusion of this report was that, in general, customers are satisfied: on average, customer satisfaction was 83.54%. Although this data is positive, there is still room for improvement. And, unfortunately, it was down off the previous year: in 2016, customer satisfaction was at 86.35%.

The report also indicates that, when it comes to meeting customers’ online requests, not all companies are equally effective. Of those analysed, technological companies were those satisfying customers most: the level at software companies was 90.6%; web hosting, 89.6%; and at IT, 86.8%.

Companies’ size also impacts the service they provide their customers: small (one to nine employees) and medium-sized (between 10 and 49) companies had the lowest customer satisfaction rate, at 81%, which shows that they still have to improve their service.

Another report produced by the company Superoffice, specialising in CRM products, reached even more pessimistic conclusions. The company sent two questions to 1,000 companies, asking them for their telephone numbers and the location of price information on their website.

Surprisingly, 62% of companies did not even respond to the email sent to customer service. In addition, 90% did not let the user know that their email had been sent successfully, through a confirmation message. As for the average response time amongst the companies that answered, it was 12 hours and 10 minutes. The fastest answer was in one minute, and the slowest took 8 days. Thus, as you have seen, customer service continues to be unfinished business for many companies.


Are you taking the optimal measures to satisfy your customers?

As we have said, there is still room for improvement to make customer service more effective and, obviously, the response rate to emails should be 100%. If you lead a team charged with it, you have to ask yourself if the way you are organising it is ideal, and whether you monitor your team’s results and analyse its performance adequately.

For example, evaluating the average response time to a customer service email is a great help, as customers are more satisfied if they get a quick response. Customer service teams should dither about responding quickly or in the best possible way, as the important thing is for the first response to the customer to arrive in just a few seconds, and for the team to, later, have the necessary tools to solve the customer’s problem or answer his question in the shortest time possible.

That is, it is not necessary to fulfil all his requests in one’s first email, but rather to interact with the customer as quickly as possible, to start the conversation with him.

Knowing the number of customer service emails that arrive, either through support tickets or other channels, can also be very beneficial. By analysing email volume and response times you will be able to know whether your team is able to satisfy all customers quickly, or whether, on the contrary, it is necessary to hire more staff, or change your strategy to meet demand.

Awareness of the best time to contact customers (according to our data, morning is best) can also make communication with them more successful, especially when acting proactively. It is also a good idea to establish a criterion to ask your customers themselves about their degree of satisfaction.

To be able to monitor all this data, Gmail Meter can be very useful. Thanks to its detailed analytics on the team’s inboxes, it is possible to measure their performance and act to improve the customer’s experience, to strive for a 100% satisfaction rate.

You can improve customer satisfaction by monitoring the average response time of your team’s inboxes. Try

Is customer success the same as customer support?


Maintaining smooth communications with customers, guiding them at all times, and helping them make the most of a company’s product are some of the tasks that all businesses must perform in order to satisfy their users.

Customer success and customer support teams are charged with this mission. However, although these two concepts are often used interchangeably, the truth is that there are notable differences between them. In fact, the objectives of these departments, the way they work, and the metrics to evaluate their performance, are different. Here we discuss the different functions they perform.

Differences between customer success and customer support

In essence, we can define customer success as a business focus on using technology and users’ information to ensure that they continuously receive value from a product throughout their life cycle as customers.

Thus, customer success is a philosophy based on forging closer ties with users and interacting with them proactively so that their experience a the product and brand are as positive as possible. In short, pleasing customers is a good way to retain them, which has a positive impact on a company’s revenues.

Customer support, meanwhile, is geared towards satisfying the user when he has a problem. Thus, this team tries to remove all the obstacles that a customer might encounter, and provides him with the assistance he needs to enjoy the product or service he wants.

These are the main differences:

  • Being proactive vs. reacting. A customer success team must take the initiative, while customer support is based on a reaction to the customer’s needs: when a user requests help via any channel (email, telephone, social networks), he needs to be given an effective solution soon as possible.
  • A continuous mission vs. a specific task. Customer success is not a task to be carried out in a fixed period, as the relationship with the customer is an on-going one. Customer support, on the other hand, is provided in a series of isolated cases, each with a beginning and an end. They start with a customer’s request and end when his issue is resolved. While the former centres on the long term, the latter concentrates on the short term.
  • Impact on business vs. immediate effectiveness. The metrics that evaluate customer success are much more generic than customer support ones, as in the first case an attempt is made to measure the impact on the business in the long term, whereas with customer support quality and speed of response are evaluated.


Metrics to evaluate customer support and customer success

As stated, the metrics to evaluate the results of each team are different. Customer success teams do not solve specific problems, but rather try to improve the consumer’s long-term experience. Therefore, the Repeat Rate (evaluating how many customers purchase again), CLV (Customer Lifetime Value, gauging the margin obtained over time with a customer) and Customer Retention Rate (the ability to keep customers; that is, the recurrence of purchases) are some of the metrics to measure this department’s results.

Customer support metrics are more specific, and can be evaluated after each interaction. The CSAT, or Customer Satisfaction Score, measures reactions to the service received; the Customer Effort Score (CES) evaluates the effort the user had to make to get his problem solved, and the Net Promotion Score (NPS) indicates whether the customer would recommend a product or service to those in his social circle.  


How do I create each team?

Many companies have a customer support team, but they are less likely to have one dedicated to customer success. After all, Customer Support is a marketing field that has been studied for far longer, while the customer success approach is more recent and less defined.

In one way or another, the truth is that any company, in accordance with its size, should have a customer support team, and another customer success one, or professionals focusing on these differentiated approaches, with distinct functions and objectives. This does not mean that the two should not relate to each other. In fact, they should definitely communicate with each other to improve the customer’s overall experience.

These two teams interact with customers all the time, so they will both receive comments about failures and problems, but also advantages, detected by customers, which they should be aware of. A company will operate better if these areas work in a coordinated way, as customer support’s short-term work is complemented by customer success’s long-term vision.

Therefore, creating these teams, training their professionals, assigning them different responsibilities, and evaluating their performance with the help of metrics, is essential. Gmail Meter can be very useful in this regard.

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