‘Average’ – it’s a word that’s come to symbolize something bland, boring, or even sub-par. We are all taught to excel and be better than average. Humans love extremes, including in online reviews. Why? Well the terrible reviews are insightful, and often amusing, while the great reviews warm your heart. But there's an entire middle ground that's being forgotten - the people who leave average ratings, rather 'meh' smileys and more. This silent majority is being ignored - and that's pretty dangerous. Because while it seems like a bunch of relatively average data, there are insights here to be discovered and leveraged. Ultimately, if we accept that all feedback is useful, then we have to treat all of this middle-ground feedback with the same respect. But how do you do that? What lessons can be learned? And why are customer satisfaction surveys, even with lots of average ratings, still incredibly useful to your business? It pays to be transparent Customers place a really high value on transparency. They like to be kept in the loop and know what to expect. Transparency breeds trust, which leads to loyalty and repeat customers. The stats prove it too - 77% of customers would recommend a business to a friend based on their positive experience. Businesses that don’t fully acknowledge or value each of their client’s voices are not being fully transparent, as there’s insight to be gained and importance in every customer’s opinion. Whether it’s understanding that a necessary change in processes is due, or an indication of something that’s working and needs to keep going, reviews provide a perfect opportunity to get close to customers and address their pain points. Customers simply want good, open service - research shows 66% of consumers who switched brands did so because of poor service. So when taken as constructive criticism, all reviews can ultimately help a business become better and more successful. Plus, businesses that place a big emphasis on customer service and make great efforts to gain their client’s feedback prove that they prioritize their customer’s needs. Asking for a customer’s review isn’t an annoying business practice. Quite the opposite - asking for feedback says, “are we doing a good job of meeting your needs? What can we be doing better? How can we help you get what you need more efficiently?” At the end of the day, emphasizing customer reviews shows that you are authentic and that you care, and people ultimately want businesses like that in their corner. After all, people don’t buy products, they buy better customer experiences. Your best offense and defense Providing thorough customer service gives you the unique opportunity to be in the frontlines, so to speak. It’s not possible to reach every single person that comes into contact with your product or service, but it’s worth making an effort to reach as many as possible and speak directly to them. Customer support is both your best offense and your best defense: it tells you what areas need improvement, how your customers are using your product, and what is working well. Without insights like these, you’re essentially just making a product for yourself instead of understanding what you could be doing to make a difference in your customer’s lives. When you make yourself available to customers, it’s a chance to address their concerns (or praises) directly instead of letting their feedback get lost in the cloud. You’re able to provide a personal experience, get specific in your explanations, and understand your customer’s journey from their perspective. Pay attention to customer service comments Naturally, everyone gets a kick out of a really stellar review. As humans, it makes us feel validated and gives our ego a nice boost. Who doesn’t want to hear that they’re hitting it way out of the park? The problem with these stellar reviews is that they’re usually the exception, not the norm. While they should certainly be appreciated, they shouldn’t be the standard. The real gold and the real learnings lie in average reviews. And again, why does average have to be synonymous with bad? If you’re consistently providing average service, it means you’re doing okay. You’re not doing anything terrible and offensive, but you could stand to improve a bit. The comments in these average reviews can teach you a whole lot. Customers may say, “These guys are always consistent, but I wish they would X, Y, Z…” or “I give my experience 3 stars, but had they tweaked this one thing slightly, I would have easily given them 5 stars.” That kind of feedback is incredibly valuable and can literally tell you what you need to do to kick things up a notch. Don’t ignore average reviews just because they don’t warm your heart the way those exceptional ones do. Doing so can lead to huge missed opportunities. How to evaluate your customer experiences Understanding the value of each review is just the first step in the process. Mining for that data is equally important. You’re likely relying on a tool like SmileBack to help you gather your customer feedback, which is a good move because it’s smart to be methodical and accurate with information this important. But how do you keep track of all those survey responses and the insights they provide? Pairing SmileBack with BrightGauge has proven to be a valuable way to slice and dice CSAT data. BrightGauge dashboards show your CSAT data in real-time, as it’s happening. You gain visibility into your average scores, your number of negative or neutral or positive reactions, your reactions per technician on your team, and so on. With BrightGauge, you can set up audible and visible alerts if your scores fall below a specified number, so you can take course corrective action immediately. According to Zendesk research, 89% of support teams already use some kind of integration. High-performing companies use a third more on average. The lesson: get involved, have the ability to be proactive about your customer service, and be sharper in your customer experience. Conclusion In sum, the most important thing about customer feedback is that you place high value on every single piece of feedback you receive. Be deliberate about the way you digest these reviews. Looking at them from a constructive point of view will help you run a better business and will help you give your customers what they want. Happy customers who feel like they are being heard - even if what they are saying is considered ‘average’ - are more likely to stick with you. So, it really pays to pay attention. Want to see how BrightGauge can help with your CSAT efforts? Contact us today and we’ll walk you through a live demo. Ashley Scrace Wendel is the Marketing Manager at SmileBack. Now based in Berlin, Germany, Ashley is a comms pro, with experience from startups and international brands across Europe. If he’s not helping SmileBack with their communication efforts, he’s playing the guitar, singing, podcasting, or enjoying a new travel destination. Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn.
There are a handful of business strategies that serve to motivate and align employees in a powerful, palpable way. Our favorite: setting and tracking goals. Goal-setting works because it gives employees a clearly defined target to work towards and removes any ambiguity around what they “should” be doing. Plus, when goals are made visible to an entire company, it drives team members to feel accountable about meeting those goals because, let’s face it, everyone likes to look good in front of their peers. The tricky part about goals is knowing where to begin. How often should goals be set? What should goals be centered around? What if team members miss their goals? All valid questions without black and white answers. It really depends on you. However, we know how much it helps to have examples as a reference. Ahead, we’ll cover the actual goals we’re tracking this quarter, plus tips for setting your own. This is how we do it For us, setting and tracking goals on a quarterly basis works really well. Focusing on a few goals each quarter helps us make steady progress towards the bigger picture. The idea is that every year is treated like a puzzle we are trying to complete. Quarterly goals make up the small pieces that eventually pull the entire puzzle together. So, while we focus on small wins throughout the year, those goals ultimately help us achieve something grander. In addition, we set company goals and departmental goals. Each person in each department gets assigned 3-4 goals to be accountable for. And, you guessed it, they all tie back to our company goals. Not surprisingly, we use BrightGauge to track our goals. We do this for several reasons, including: You can power goals through gauges you’re already tracking It keeps everybody’s goals organized in one, accessible place Week-to-week, we can add context to our goals to explain why we hit or missed our target that week In the goals sheet, green boxes signal weeks where you’re on track, while red boxes mean you were off-track that week; this makes it so easy to glance and quickly understand where there may be problems (i.e., someone’s goal is too challenging/unrealistic or way too easy) We get weekly email reminders to check into our goals, so it’s easy to stay on track We also get weekly email summaries of everybody’s goal progress, so we can understand what our peers have been working on and accomplishing If goals are unorganized or hard to stay on top of, team members will fail to see the value of setting them. So, it’s quite important to make the process of goal-tracking simple, because we’re already working hard to improve and meet our objectives. This is what we’re tracking Naturally, our goals change from quarter-to-quarter, but they are always about improving and advancing our company’s (and our individual) development. We each have a mixture of process and outcome goals. The best way to understand the difference is an outcome goal is something like, “I want to lose 10 pounds this quarter”, while a process goal is, “I want to walk 50,000 steps each week”. Each process helps you meet the outcome. Here are some actual goals we are currently tracking this quarter: Company Goals Hire a new Sales Development Rep Increase the number of Qualified Inbound Leads Launch Embeddable Gauges (yay, we met that one already!) Go live with new integrations (we recently released Basecamp) Sales Goals Alanna: More than 150 dials per week Allison: at least 55% of demos won per week Felipe: schedule more than 50 demos this quarter Support Goals Danny: 1 ticket or less escalated per week Kristian: Average response time at or below 30 minutes per week Michael: Solve more than 1,500 tickets this quarter Hector: Less than 5 negative CSAT reactions this quarter Marketing Goals Jack: Launch 3 new features pages on our site Nat: Update 3 or more marketing resources Susan: Publish 10 videos on our blog In need of more inspiration? Check out 50 goal ideas for every member on your team. What if we miss our goals? It should be a realistic expectation that not every goal that is set will be reached. If that were the case, it would be more than likely that some pretty unchallenging goals were being set. Goals should motivate us to strive, exit our comfort zones, improve upon ourselves, and learn something new. As long as we’re growing, we’re being successful. If missing goals automatically classified us as failures, we’d be hard-pressed to ever strive for something seemingly out of our reach, which means we’d be pretty stagnant. Of course, repeatedly missing every goal can be a problem, but it’s important to put context around why a goal was hit or missed. Was 70% of the goal achieved? That’s awesome! Sounds like a lot of progress was made. Did a new company goal get prioritized? If so, it makes sense that one’s focus had to shift. Reviewing goals really needs to be done on a case-by-case basis, but we’re pretty strong believers in not tying performance reviews to goal outcomes. By the way, at BrightGauge, we meet as a team at the end of each quarter to talk about our goal progress, but we only have formal reviews once a year. Try setting your own goals Hopefully, by sharing what goals we’re currently tracking, we’ve sparked some interest in establishing a goal-setting strategy of your own. If you’re a BrightGauge user, it’s really easy to get going. Here’s a video that shows you how to set up goals. Want to learn more? We’ll be happy to take you through a live demo of BrightGauge. Just contact us today!
We get asked a lot about the best way to keep track of past due schedules. When running a service desk, it can get a little tricky to see if your resources are working on/completing a project when they say they will (aka, on schedule). Of course, this is important data to know as it helps you assess how you're doing with your SLAs. With BrightGauge, you can easily track this KPI by building a really simple gauge that returns the number of open schedules that are past due. It only takes a few minutes to set up and we show you just how to do it in this video. If you've got any questions at any time, please feel free to check out our knowledge base or submit a support ticket.