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9 Simple Questions that Will Improve Your Customer Experience

By Shaun Tinney
4 minute read | Last updated: December 7, 2016

Your customer service team can provide a great peek into your customer experience. Their insights can show you improvements that can produce immediate results.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise but your customer service team is a gold mine of information. One of the easiest ways to understand your customer experience is to talk with those who talk to your customers regularly.

Unfortunately, the customer service department is usually overlooked when it comes to discovering areas to improve on the website or in a company’s online content.

Customer service is usually overlooked when it comes to discovering areas to improve on the website. Click To Tweet

So where do you start? It begins with asking the right questions of your customer service staff in order to pinpoint the most problematic areas.

We’ve developed nine simple interview questions that you can ask your customer service team to learn more about your customer experience.

From customer service to customer experience

customer experience

When your brand listens to your customer service team, you can better align with your customers.

The goal in interviewing customer service staff is to understand the most common issues, complaints, problems, hassles, and struggles that they have listened to customers talk about with your brand and website. Their insights into customer pain points can direct your focus toward improvements that can produce immediate positive results.

Resource: Score your site to discover growth opportunities.

Start your interview by simply asking your customer service staff to describe a typical day for them, including the most common issues they help resolve for customers. In almost every interview of a customer service team we have conducted, new and unexpected areas of pain have been exposed and old issues that continue to plague customers have resurfaced.

Here is a foundational interview script of questions for your customer service staff:

  1. Can you [customer service staff] walk me [interviewer] through a typical day for you?
  2. What are the most common requests or issues that you get?
    • Can you break down the requests by volume?
    • Per product?
    • Per content type?
    • What are the main categories you would put customer service requests into?
    • What are the most common questions or complaints you get about the website?
    • Can you think of a time when individuals had trouble using the site or could not find what they were looking for?
  3. What are the biggest challenges customers face when buying online?
  4. If you could change the website to help make your job easier, what would you change?
  5. Have people called after visiting the site being unable to find answers to their questions?
  6. Do people ever say “I wish you guys / the website would ___”?
  7. Do you have a customer-service-specific “guiding star” that you follow?
  8. What are some of the ways that you explain product features to customers?
  9. What does _____ as a brand mean to you? What is your company all about?

Customer service interviews, which can be very informal, should become a regular part of the ongoing maintenance of your site. We call this opening the customer service feedback loop.

Opening the customer service feedback loop

To open the customer service feedback loop, initiate a dialogue between your brand’s customer service and sales and marketing departments with a call log. Set up a Google Form or some other simple data capture tool so your customer service team can log a portion of their call data.
The call log should be very simple to complete (radio buttons, drop downs with preconfigured options, etc.), capturing the following information from each caller to customer service:

  • Customer segment
  • Product categories of interest
  • Key issues prompting customer to call for help (purchasing, product info, sizing, warranty, return, shipment tracking, account log in, team purchase, etc.)
  • Open text box to summarize key issues and any related notes

We have found that this simple tool is responsible for some of the most dramatic improvements in customer experience and the content of brand sites.

Some of the most common digital failures reported on call logs include:

  • Technical jargon disguised as marketing copy
  • Confusion caused by email failures
  • Lack of useful sizing and fitting tools
  • Complicated account registration or login requirements
  • Poor warranty, replacement parts, and shipment tracking information

Applying the customer service feedback loop

The list of customer experience issues you and your customer service team uncover may look daunting, but do not panic. It’s important to organize the issues you find into natural groups so you can handle related issues together. Prioritize your roadmap for making site changes based on your data and start with the top 20% of your commonly reported issues list. There will always be outliers that may require a large investment but the majority of changes that you will find will be relatively simple user interface matters and site content updates.

Once you’ve initially used these nine questions to discover where your customer experience is today, don’t stop. If you allow these questions to become part of a regular check-in with your customer service team, it will allow you to continually be improving your customer experience. This will not only help your customer service team and your customers, but your brand as well.

To discover other ways to improve your customer experience, score your site. It can help you quickly find out where your consumers are getting stuck along the customer journey for your website.