Article

How 5 top brands use customer feedback to drive agent performance

By Jordy Leiser

Published February 3, 2020
Last updated February 3, 2020

There is a human behind every contact center interaction, and it’s the human element that makes or breaks the customer experience. When you personalize interactions, listen to customer feedback, and prioritize coaching,

In this article, we will explore how five best-in-class brands are using customer feedback to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

1. Yext enables teamwide performance visibility

The challenge with capturing customer service data is ensuring it’s accessible at all levels. Traditionally, only the leadership team has had access to CX insights, while frontline employees could only see their open tickets. Yext has changed that by implementing real-time feedback streams and dashboards, which flow directly to agents, managers, and company leaders.

Real-time customer feedback flows into streams, dashboards, and leaderboards that anyone on the Yext team can easily access at any time. They share positive feedback across their Slack channel and weekly manager roundup emails. Each week, the top comments are even shared at the company-wide all-hands meetings, which helps highlight the great work the service team is doing for the whole company to see.

Yext has changed that by implementing real-time feedback streams and dashboards, which flow directly to agents, managers, and company leaders.

Real-time feedback informs better coaching and reward programs, and as a result, the Yext team has seen an 8-point improvement in customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores, with average scores now well over 90 percent.

[Related read: 4 ways to bring transparency to the customer experience]

2. Lululemon informs training and coaching

Training new contact center employees can be challenging. It takes time to fully ramp on the ins-and-outs of products, clients, and brand voice. Lululemon leverages real-time customer feedback to develop training programs specific to each individual or team. This not only encourages self-correcting behavior, but it also increases engagement, motivation, and performance.

“Feedback is a gift. We really believe that,” says Dave Pitsch, senior director of Guest Education Centre at lululemon. “We can share at all levels what kind of opportunities we see to make ourselves better.” The company has found that when agents have the ability to be problem solvers in their own areas, guests receive a better experience.

[Lululemon] has found that when agents have the ability to be problem solvers in their own areas, guests receive a better experience.

3. FabFitFun increases agent motivation

Training and visibility mean nothing if agents are not motivated to do their best work. Direct customer feedback, both positive and negative, can serve as the driving force behind agent performance. At FabFitFun, every agent has a real-time customer feedback stream open on their second monitor. Agents love the instant gratification of positive feedback and take lessons from the negative.

FabFitFun uses customer feedback to empower managers to deliver in-the-moment coaching, drive self-correcting behavior, and ultimately motivate agents to keep improving every day. With visibility into all the customer feedback data, agents and team leaders can better collaborate to improve the customer experience.

At FabFitFun, every agent has a real-time customer feedback stream open on their second monitor. Agents love the instant gratification of positive feedback and take lessons from the negative.

According to Caitlin Logan, senior director of Customer Experience, “I actually see it as I walk through the floor, people being motivated and excited about the ratings they’re getting. The negative feedback is not as pleasant, but it’s an opportunity for them to get motivated to do better.”

[Related read: The best CX metric to drive your business]

4. Birchbox salvages negative interactions

It’s never fun to get negative feedback, but luckily there’s something that can be done to turn it around. Birchbox uses service recovery to flag negative customer feedback and then turn the experience around to salvage the relationship.

“Negative interactions happen in any contact center–it’s a fact of life,” says Deja Whitehead, senior manager of Customer Operations & Communications. “Our role as CX leaders is to ensure our agents learn from these negative interactions and then address the issue directly with customers.”

Birchbox uses service recovery to flag negative customer feedback and then turn the experience around to salvage the relationship.

Birchbox CX leaders flag all negative feedback to determine whether it’s appropriate for follow-up. The agent will handle basic follow-ups, but in more complex cases, the responsibility falls on team leaders. Team leaders use negative feedback to coach the individual agent. This improves the effectiveness of the follow-up and helps ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen again.

After the customer has been re-contacted and the new ticket is closed, Birchbox measures changes in customer sentiment to understand the impact. As a result of service recovery, Birchbox has seen improvements in CSAT, customer sentiment, and internal product innovation.

[Related read: Why smart, predictive CX experiences depend on hybrid workforces]

5. Postmates drives product innovation

Customer feedback not only helps drive agent motivation and more effective front-line coaching, but it also provides an invaluable tool for shaping product development. Postmates’ CX team partners with their product team to ensure customer feedback informs key product decisions.

According to Hetal Shah, CX, Product, and Operations leader at Postmates, “Our customers’ voices are vital when it comes to product innovation. Listening to and acting on customer feedback prevents myopic thinking and helps us constantly improve.”

To this end, Hetal not only oversees CX but also product and operations, which highlights the importance of the front-line team in driving product innovation. Postmates also has an analytics team dedicated to mining insights from customer feedback. This team has uncovered insights to drive measurable improvements, including a significant reduction in customer cancellations with a simple product update.

Postmates also has an analytics team dedicated to mining insights from customer feedback. This team has uncovered insights to drive measurable improvements, including a significant reduction in customer cancellations with a simple product update.

Feedback now

These are just five of many examples of the transformative power of customer feedback in customer service. When agents are equipped with a real-time flow of customer feedback, teams undoubtedly see an improvement in agent performance, motivation, and ultimately customer happiness.

Jordy Leiser is the Co-Founder and CEO of Stella Connect, a software company focused on customer feedback, QA, and coaching for customer service teams. He has been featured as a customer service thought leader in media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNBC, and Forbes. A Colorado native, Leiser graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in Economics and Political Science. Prior to founding Stella Connect, Leiser worked in investment banking at JPMorgan, specifically with consumer and retail clients.