Why CSAT is essential and how we used it across the entire funnel to rebuild the funnel

CSAT (customer satisfaction rating) is commonly just used as a hard-ask after the closing of a customer support ticket. However, our customer support team doesn’t control the entire customer life cycle.

During my time in leadership at C&C Design Studio we expanding the CSAT ask to all communications and changed it from a hard-ask which we consider as an email that usually has the subject “How did {{agent}} do?” and a few emoji options to a passive ask which was below our email signature and asked “How good was this email?” followed by emojis.

The reasoning behind this being we dramatically grew the company, we went from just being wedding photographers to offering planning to building the Dance School division and the Real Estate Divison; we knew that not 100% of our customers were loving the process they had gone through.

So, we took six months to add this CSAT ask passively to every email sent ever and introduced hard-asks at the end of support tickets, closings of sales, and post the event.

These CSATs told us a lot. First off, I am going to go over how we organized this data because CSAT data is dangerous when unorganized since it could lead to blaming the wrong team entirely.

We used Survicate and built ten surveys;

  1. Sales (Weddings)

  2. Sales (Dance)

  3. Sales (Real Estate)

  4. Sales (Portraits)

  5. Support (General)

  6. Support (Dance)

  7. Support (Wedding)

  8. Editors (Wedding)

  9. Editors (General)

  10. Automation Emails

We did this so we could have granular data as to which team was getting what scores. Additionally, we used hidden fields in the URL to tell us the representative and in some cases the subject line that was being rated.

On top of a lot of data collection, we had daily reports emailed to everyone on the team, with the names and specific information redacted, so everyone would know how we did. Our team operated as a family, we had the moto that we thrived together and fail together.

After permitting this six months to accrue the right amount of data we reviewed everything.

The results, our team was doing stuff wrong. First off, we had a lot of times where someone would inquire and they would be triaged where someone from support replies with “Hey I am forwarding you to your sales rep, they’ll email you back soon” this wasn’t because sales 100% needed to handle that email but because support didn’t know how to do sales stuff and vice-versa. Additionally, we made mistakes, we didn’t give everyone access to all software; our thought was that support didn’t need access to marketing and sales and sales didn’t need access to support, everything integrated so they saw overviews but no one got the full context.

So, to fix this triaging issue because it was the root cause of 67% of the negative CSATs, we released a mass amount of internal documentation to the entire team so everyone could do anything on their own, and only needed to forward should the person still be in the middle of a extremely delicate sales process.

Additionally, we consolidated our live chat to only being via @Drift — at first we used @Drift on the marketing site and @Intercom on the internal in-app client pages or once someone converts to a client, however, we noticed the fact that we had two caused delay in response we pushed everyone to watch and learn from Drift University (highly suggest) and trained support and sales on handing off chats and managing the shared inbox.

On top of that, we also learned from the sales email fails. Our CSATs on sales emails taught us about our audience — our team at first never liked to talk pricing in the first email, however, people gave this a negative score because they didn’t know whether they should email back since they didn’t know if we were in the budget.

Additionally, when we tried to do a quick fix and add a pricing page link people found that “lazy” and rude since it left the consumer to figure out which package was right for them.

We fixed this by saying “Our starting price is 2800, however, we have an assortment of packages which I would be thrilled to help you navigate or should none of those work we can custom make one specific to you!”

This fix yielded a major spike in love for the sales team!

The summary; CSAT isn’t just for support, embedding it into all your messages (even automated ones) will allow your customers to share their thoughts more often and help you perfect every process.

Our CSATs are still running and increased dramatically after these changes, in fact, we found a rise in referral rate for the customers who onboarded after these changes went into effect!

So, if your seeing shortfalls in the customer journey, add in some quick CSAT asks and see where those falls are truly beginning.

Lastly, if you want to do this and think you don’t have the budget. You can always use something cheaper like a Google Form with prefill form fields or just a custom form on your site with some custom coding to accept hidden fields.

CSAT doesn’t have to cost a lot, but the amount it says is priceless.