Customer support agents do a lot, from helping with product and service documentation, providing feedback to appropriate teams, and resolving customer issues. Although powerful, the impact of these processes may not always be visible to other departments.
This is where customer support data becomes handy. Customer support data helps customer support agents better understand customer preferences, needs, expectations, etc., and sets the foundation for data-backed decisions. It can help businesses improve their products, services, and offerings and meet customer and industry standards.
However, not all customer support teams know how to leverage customer support data to improve their processes and overall customer experience. This post will serve as the ultimate guide to leveraging customer data. You will learn how to analyze customer data and use the information to drive business growth.
Grab a coffee, let’s dig in.
The Types of Customer Data To Collect
There are several kinds of customer support data categorized into two major types – structured and unstructured.
- Structured data: this refers to data you can count and visually present to others using tools like Help Scout and other intercom alternatives. It is also called quantitative data.
- Unstructured data: this refers to data that is based on people’s sentiments. You cannot visually present this data to others. It is also called qualitative data.
For this topic, we will be focusing on structured or quantitative data. This type of data can be tracked and measured and will directly impact business practices. For example, you can track the number of resolved queries or collect information from customer experience surveys. This data can then be represented visually in a graph or presentation.
On the other hand, when you ask customers how they feel about your service, their answers will likely be based on sentiments and are deemed unstructured or qualitative data. You can’t measure or put this data in diagrams; however, it is very important for your business.
Where To Collect Structured Customer Support Data
There are several sources you can explore to get insightful, structured customer support data. Some of the best ones are on channels you already use to serve your customers. Let’s explore a few.
Your knowledge base software will give you an idea of how many customers are visiting these pages and which articles are popular. This tool will also provide insight into the most searched pages so you can identify gaps and create more in-depth blogs or video content.
Help desk software will provide important information like busiest channels, busiest hours, agent performance data, and volume of conversations. Help desk software even lets support agents customize their dashboards so only the data they need is visible to them and other team members.
Review sites are great places to discover how people feel about your product. This data may be structured or unstructured, and combing through it can be challenging. You may not use this source often as a customer support agent, but it comes in handy for certain projects.
It is not common for support agents to conduct customer interviews, as they are mostly handled by marketing and product teams. However, you can always contact them for the information you want.
Your help desk solution will likely send an automatic survey option after a customer interaction. In this scenario, customers are usually asked to rate the quality of the service they received, so your survey questions must be as clear as possible with no ambiguity.
How To Leverage Your Customer Support Data
Having all the important data is not enough. The end goal is knowing how to interpret and use the data to make powerful decisions that help improve your work and grow the business. You want to ensure all the effort you put into doing a good job and collecting necessary data is materializing into real business impact.
Let’s explore how to make the most of your customer support data.
Focus on the right metrics.
With so many customer support metrics available to track, you must find a mix that aligns with your goals. Picking the right metrics is like cooking a meal. You need all the vital ingredients, like protein, vegetables, seasoning, water, etc., that make the meal come together nicely.
However, other ingredients, like truffle oil, sound amazing but are not necessary. Focusing on vanity metrics like ticket deflection will only create short-term wins but will not improve your overall customer support strategy.
Instead, prioritize important metrics that build stronger and more positive customer support habits in your team. These metrics include Net promoter score (NPS), CSAT, and first contact resolution.
Align performance with company goals.
Company goals usually aim to serve two purposes – decrease costs and increase revenue. Your customer support goals should ultimately serve these two purposes, as this is the best way to make your superiors care about the data you’re presenting. For example, instead of saying, “The signup feature is broken, and we need to fix it because a lot of customers are complaining,” to the product team may not solicit a practical response.
However, if you rephrase the sentence and say, “The signup feature is broken, so we are losing customers at that stage, which has accounted for over $ 5,000 lost in the past two weeks,” you may get an immediate response. When issues are presented with the bigger goals in mind, it’s easy for other teams to recognize their impact on overall company goals and work faster to resolve them.
Use multiple data to paint a picture.
One metric cannot provide the same level of information and insight that two or three related metrics would. For example, suppose you’re asked, “How is the current performance of our support team?” In this case, sharing the response time and satisfaction metrics will tell a better story about the situation. You could even go further and note the response time that made customers the most satisfied or happy. When you use multiple metrics to present information, you can paint the full picture of the situation and provide all the insight your company needs to make necessary decisions or changes.
Understand your audience
When putting together your metrics to present to a specific department or team in your company, you should tailor your presentation to match the information the team needs. For example, suppose you’re presenting metrics to the marketing team. In that case, they don’t need to know how many product glitches customers experienced during the week.
Instead, they would be more interested in the number of inbound support tickets from blogs, emails, and other marketing materials. Instead of creating general reports filled with all the metrics you tracked and sending them out to all departments, you should create tailored reports for each department. Focus your reports on the metrics that matter to each team, as this is how you get fast feedback on issues.
Customer support data will shed light on your incredible work as a customer support agent and show other teams and departments how they can support your role more effectively. You already know the data to track and where to find them; learning how to use it to achieve departmental and company goals makes all the difference.
The better you understand and leverage customer support data, the easier it will be to make solid decisions about product, marketing, customer service, and the entire business.