The Secret Formula for Customer Satisfaction

Published March 22, 2012
Last updated March 22, 2012

Satisfied customers spend more and stick around longer than dissatisfied ones, but let's face it: products aren't perfect. That's why support is an integral part of your product experience--they smooth out the glitches and keep users happy. The best organizations--Zappos, Southwest and so forth--build it into their ethos, but many other companies that haven't inspired books on customer service also do it well.

Here at Zendesk, we believe there’s a simple formula to delivering customer satisfaction (yeah, we call it a secret formula, but sometimes a special sauce is just ketchup & mayonnaise). You can read more about the metrics driving customer satisfaction in our Zendesk Benchmark white paper.

customer satisfaction metrics
Graphics taken from our Benchmark Report, available here

A Harmonious Relationship
Perhaps the most notable finding is that these three elements must work in harmony to produce satisfied customers. Lag in one area and the entire score plummets.

Let’s look at two similar consumer-facing industries with divergent scores:

Travel, Hospitality and Tourism: 91%

Social Media: 78%

Judging by newspapers, you’d think that travel, hospitality and tourism companies would have extremely low satisfaction scores. But our data reveals that they’re far better than social media, and well above the average of consumer-facing companies. The difference is in the metrics:

Travel vs Social Media Customer Satisfaction

As you can see, the difference lies in first-response time, where social media companies average a 10-hour response deficit to their travel, hospitality and tourism brethren. No wonder their satisfaction score is lower! Best-in-class travel companies realize that fast-response time matters:

Best-in-class Travel Customer Satisfaction

All together now
Our findings show companies that efficiently deliver high-quality support at scale have the most satisfied customers. However, companies with high ticket volumes and low efficiency and quality have the least satisfied customers. Keeping it all in harmony is a difficult task that best-in-class companies manage well.

Find out more
For more information about these metrics and advice on how to influence them, download the Zendesk Benchmark white paper. You can also listen our VP of Customer Engagement Sam Boonin discuss the Zendesk Benchmark in our recorded webinar.