In addition to their products and services, I am a fan of Zendesk because they openly share pertinent customer experience information. Unlike others who report customer experience results, Zendesk’s data is not the byproduct of surveys but instead emerges from customer interactions with over 25,000 businesses in 140 countries. Here are some high level findings from Zendesk’s recently released Q2 report:
When a customer contacts a business with a complaint, customer satisfaction decreases with the frequent use of the word “sorry.” While sorry has it’s place in resolving a customer’s issue, frequent use of the word can signal that solutions are not being generated by the company’s representative.
Closing off your communication with a customer is obviously an important transition point; particularly, after a service issue has been addressed. According to the Zendesk report, “When looking at the sign-off in the last public comment made by an agent to customer, it appears that specific word choices can impact customer satisfaction…The use of a valediction—specifically ‘Yours sincerely, ‘Best regards,’ and ‘Cheers’—are all better options than other choices, or none at all. Customers want personalization, and a personalized sign-off can be a great reminder to the customer that they are speaking with a human. However, and perhaps oddly, customers appear to have an aversion to the phrase ‘Best wishes.’ It’s difficult to draw any conclusive lessons from this. But it is clear that small details like this can have a serious impact. Tracking these details and learning from them—in this case, avoiding “Best wishes”—is more important than you might realize.”
How often are you or your company’s representative saying, “I’m sorry” to a customer? Customers want you to acknowledge the problem and fix it and not repeatedly apologize for the problems existence.
In the spirit of the Zendesk study, I take my leave this week by simply saying “with gratitude and enthusiasm.”