Creating the optimal experience

In customer service, if you hear the word “optimal,” it’s most likely modifying “Support Experience.” As in, how can we deliver the optimal support experience? It’s an ambitious goal but a worthwhile one. To get there, focus not only on making (and keeping) your customers happy, but your agents as well.

In other words, support is the result of a successful connection between the customer and the agent. You simply can’t offer optimal, or even decent, support without that.

So, if you want optimal support, you need to focus on your agents and what they need. The best place to start is with a little knowledge and understanding.

Support = the customer experience the agent experience

How is this achieved? Feedback. You probably regularly survey your customers, but do you also solicit feedback from your agents? CSAT surveys measure how customers feel about the support interaction after it occurred, but it’s not the whole story. That’s why we also measure agent satisfaction using what we call the ASAT survey. This survey, administered quarterly, gives everyone in Zendesk’s Global Advocacy team the chance to share their experience about what’s working, what isn’t, and how they’re feeling about their jobs and careers. This feedback highlights what needs to be done to improve our service, increase agent satisfaction, reduce support costs, and lower employee turnover. That’s pretty key intel from a survey offered just four times a year.

Job satisfaction can lead to higher quality work

Soliciting feedback gives us the information we need to make changes that improve life for our agents. As a result, they stay longer and become more experienced and effective in their roles. This decreases the costs of lost expertise and recruiting, and of hiring and training new staff to replace them. Beyond that, giving agents the chance to be heard and to resolve any problems or concerns, improves their job satisfaction and thus, the quality of their work. When your agents feel a sense of loyalty and connection to your company and your mission they pass that goodwill right along to the customer in the form of–you guessed it–optimal support experience.

So remember, offering the best in customer support means doing your best to support your agents. Regularly solicit feedback from your team to make the improvements necessary to increase agent satisfaction. You won’t just have happier agents, you’ll also increase CSAT, lower costs, and decrease turnover. In other words: one step closer to optimal.