At Natural HR, we have always prided ourselves on customer service – right from the outset we have striven to make sure we offer the best product with the best service bar none in the industry.
Of course, you can decide by looking at our feature list if our product is right for you but what about service? We can tell you our service is great but then everyone says that so we have decided to share data from our main customer support platform, Zendesk.
Zendesk offers stats on three key areas: Channels (how are our customers contacting us), First, reply time and, finally, Benchmarks in three categories – Industry, Audience and Company Size.
As you can see from this, most of our clients get in touch via email or via the web form on our support site – additionally we also use an online chat tool and, if no one is available to take the chat request there and then, it gets sent to our ticket system so the enquiry is then dealt with through that channel. These figures do not include live chats we have where there is no ticket raised.
First time to reply
This is one of the key stats which we use to measure our customer service effectiveness – how long after a customer gets in touch does it take, on average, for one of our team to reply to that customer with a REAL reply. Why do we emphasize a real reply? We do not use autoresponders, we do not count a vanilla copy and paste response as a reply – when we reply we are replying to the customer’s question aiming for a first time fix every time.
The headline number is that, on average, we respond to customer queries within 36 minutes. When you consider we have clients in 191 countries around the world so a truly 24×7 clientèle and that these figures do not differentiate based on location or time of day etc, we are pretty happy with that.
Whilst we do sometimes beat ourselves up about 11% of our clients having to wait over an hour for a reply, Zendesk’s benchmark is a great facility which allows you to compare your stats against those of other users of Zendesk (Zendesk has over 50,000 customers globally including big names like Box, Foursquare, Shopify, Vodafone and more). Obviously not all companies use the benchmark but it is still a useful and large enough sample set.
When we look at these stats we see that we are WAY ahead of the curve on every metric – if we look at Web applications (there is no industry for HR software so this is the closest we can use) then our average first reply time is 27 times FASTER than the average. It gets even higher when we consider our company size and audience where we are over 31 times quicker at our first reply.
The other two metrics in the benchmark are useful but not something we tend to focus on – Satisfaction rating is based on clients responding to an automated follow up email asking them if they were satisfied (being honest, we don’t get many people using this) and New tickets, whilst obvious in its meaning, is not very useful in itself – it shows we are not just ticking over with a few tickets and are receiving to between 2 to 4 times as many tickets as the average but the number of tickets says nothing about our service levels.
We want to continue to improve and continue to offer our customers the very best service – our two focus areas for 2015 are to work on reducing the 11% of clients who do not get a response within 1 hour and, additionally, to improve on our use of live chat. The primary goal is to be there at the actual moment the customer has a question and to answer it whilst they are on the page. Live chat is a very different experience from our side and takes a different mindset to reply to a ticket but, from the customer’s side which is ultimately what matters, we recognise it is an excellent medium and one we will continue to push forward with into 2015.