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Posted By ECT News Network on 04/04/2019 in CRM

3 Key Learnings From Analyzing 8 Million Customer Service Tickets

3 Key Learnings From Analyzing 8 Million Customer Service Tickets

By Linda Crawford 

When I joined Helpshift in 2017, I was sold on the company's mission to bring messaging-based customer service to the masses. At the time, the operational benefits of messaging as a channel had already been quantified. Messaging is a lot less expensive to staff and scale than phone calls, live chat or even email.

The understanding was that customers also preferred this channel of communication, as evidenced by the rising popularity of platforms like iMessage and Facebook Messenger. Yet we hadn't looked deeply into our own data across channels until now.

Recently, we anonymized and analyzed 8 million customer service tickets from retail, finance, technology and gaming companies. We looked at tickets that came in through email, live chat, web forms and messaging channels in order to gain a more comprehensive view of how these channels perform. Here's what we learned.

1. Customers do strongly prefer messaging.

The variation that we saw in CSAT across channels is incredibly telling.

Messaging saw an average CSAT of 4.1 out of 5 stars. This is a full point higher than the lowest performing channel, which is web forms (those forms you have to fill out line by line on a landing page). Email CSAT came in at 3.3, and average CSAT for live chat was 3.6.

What does this mean?

Consumers strongly prefer a messaging interface. They care about the benefits that come with messaging, like having access to their conversation history and being able to walk away from the conversation without having to wait in a browser.

In fact, it means they care more about those features than having access to real-time assistance. It's also important to note, along these lines, that top performers in messaging received an average 4.6 CSAT rating, which is significantly higher than any other channel.

2. High levels of automation can be achieved while maintaining a great customer experience.

Many of the same brands that are excelling with messaging are also leveraging high levels of automation.

For example, some brands are using AI to classify and label their incoming tickets so that their agents and supervisors don't have to. Additionally, these support teams are creating bot workflows that allow customers to solve issues themselves in many routine instances, like recovering their accounts and rescheduling their deliveries.

Depending on the industry and use case, brands are able to partially automate 80-90 percent of incoming issues in some capacity. This allows their customers to resolve issues much faster and can equate to huge cost savings on a per-ticket basis.

3. Agents can be more productive when messaging and automation are combined.

Agents are already able to handle significantly more ticket volume with messaging than with other channels.

Because agents do not have to respond to issues instantly with messaging, they are able to handle more issues at once. They are not tethered to a live connection like they are when speaking to a customer over the phone. When automation is in the mix, bots can collect a lot of the upfront information needed, like user and inquiry details.

This means that once the agent enters the conversation, he or she is able to resolve it in fewer interactions. The agent will also have more bandwidth to take on additional tickets within a given period of time or only work on complex inquiries. When bots are used, agents are able to send 47 percent fewer messages.

Whether your company is relatively new to digital customer service or made the switch a while ago, it is possible (and highly recommended) to continue building out and improving your customer service organization.

Messaging as a channel is the first step towards modernizing your service, but over the next few years, we're going to see increasingly advanced use cases of automation that allow brands to really set their support organizations apart from the rest.

About the Author
Linda Crawford is the Chief Executive Officer of Helpshift, an AI and bot-powered, messaging-based customer service platform. Prior to Helpshift, Crawford held several executive positions at Salesforce and at Siebel Systems, Inc., and has served on the board of directors at Demandware. Crawford has 20+ years experience in CRM and pioneering next-gen customer service.

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