I reserved a flight by calling Delta recently, and this was one of the few times I stuck around to take a survey. What intrigued me from the beginning was that the integrated voice recording (IVR) told me I would be invited to take a 1-question survey after speaking with the customer service representative (CSR).

Maybe because I have an interest in customer success, customer experience, IVR systems, etc., but the 1-question survey had me thinking.

What kind of question would’ve been enough for Delta to know how my experience went? Are there enough takers where Delta could ask several one-question surveys to get a good feel of how I would’ve answered to other questions (they knew me given my SkyMiles number)?

First, I want to share a little detail of what I was reserving because the complexity had me calling in.
  • I was traveling outside of the country with a single stop each way.
  • I wanted to use an “open ticket” from an earlier cancelled flight due to medical reasons. This meant the CSR had to authorize the ticket and ensure no change fee was incurred.
  • My girlfriend booked separately, and I was trying to get the seat next to her and link our tickets together (in case of flight changes).

It’s not the most complicated reservation, but the CSR had to have some experience to know exactly how to look up everything and make the necessary changes. She handled it all perfectly.

At the end of the call, I was directed to the survey after one ring leaving me with little time to hang up. The question:

On a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being definitely “yes,” and 1 being definitely “no,” how likely would you be to hire the last Delta representative you talked to, if you ran a customer service company?

I’ve heard of this type of question before, but I had never been asked it. As I was with the CSR, I was already thinking of how well she was handling my case, so this question wasn’t too difficult for me to answer – I said, “5” (definitely yes, I would hire her). She was courteous. She knew exactly what she was doing. Prompt. I’m good. Exactly what I needed and wanted.
Why I liked this question:
  • You have to think about the whole experience. The take-rate for surveys is typically real low. Prompting the caller that this would be a single-question survey mitigated dread on my end. Dispatching me into the survey after one ring made taking the survey that much more seamless. I was done with what I needed – the call with the CSR. Any other time would be my “donation”, and thus, would need to be seamless for me to participate.
  • It gets to the point. We can talk about how courteous was she? We can talk about if she was knowledgeable. We can even talk about the wait times. However, Delta wants to know about the customer service rep. The question was focused about the rep. Other more detailed questions about the rep would require additional supporting questions or would be incomplete. However, those details are all proxies for what Delta wants to know – did I value their rep that I would want her on my team? Would I want to work with this person again and again and again (let alone the one time)?

This question can be complicated if someone were to be especially critical. In this case, I could’ve said, “whoa, whoa, I need more information. Send me her resume.” How does she handle an even more complicated, irate customer with a language barrier? Is she a team player? What’s her compensation package? This is a much simpler question. It’s focused on the caller and the rep.

In that vein, who around you would you hire? Or, who would you hire again? Who would you stake your company’s reputation on? Who you stake your personal reputation on?

Continuing from last week’s 7 Tips for Customer Case Studies, here are some questions to think about asking (and answering).
  • What does [Customer Name] do?
  • What is your role?
  • What was the challenge(s) you were trying to solve with [Product/ Service]?
  • Why didn’t existing solutions work for you?
  • When you first used [Product/ Service], what was that initial impression?
  • What are the results [Product/ Service] has been able to deliver for you? Your team?
  • Was there another benefit [Product/ Service] enabled that you weren’t expecting?
  • Why would you recommend us to someone else?
The goal of the case study is to, obviously, highlight your product or service. You also want to highlight the success and significance of the customer. This adds credibility to the customer, which gives you credibility.
Sell, sell, sell. That’s what you’re going to do, and that’s what you’ll aim to do. But, your prospect will need more assurances. They need to know they’re not the only buyer. They need proof. Enter testimonials and case studies.

“Nobody gets fired for choosing IBM.”

Ever heard that before? The notion speaks to risk mitigation for the buyer. The subtle message: IBM is a reputable company with thousands of customers. As a buyer of IBM’s products or services, if it doesn’t work, surely it wasn’t because you chose a bad partner. (Versus choosing a riskier partner.)
Testimonials mitigate risk with social and professional proof – who they are, why they chose you, and what were benefits have they achieved.
Here are 7 keys to be mindful of when creating case studies and testimonials:
  1. Who is the case study coming from? Who is the buyer (person) and company? You want this person to be reflective of your target persona(s).
  2. 90% about the customer’s experience and how you enabled them.
  3. Pain-Solution. Tie everything to the pain and what the benefit(s) was. Note: think about primary and tertiary pains and solutions. Hit home with the primary, and layer any tertiary.
  4. Numbers are worth a thousand dollars. Like a resume, quantifying the benefits is key. If you can’t find one, try again… early on, maybe that’s a SWAG.
  5. How do you share? Distribution channels? Are you recording video? Are you just looking for a quick quote to share on a website or marketing collateral? Are you creating a one-pager?
  6. This is your learning experience, too. If your product/ service has truly helped the customer, you’ll hear anecdotes. Be acutely aware of details – they matter.
  7. Sometimes, you must ask for it. People are busy, but they want you to succeed.

Have fun with customer testimonials and case studies. Make them conversational.

I’ve been reading a lot about customer success and onboarding recently. It’s top of mind for me these days as we continue to onboard more and more customers at SalesWise. Two articles that have stood out: 

The Slack article was more about go-to-market strategy. In it were important tenets that were also echoed by WP Curve. This includes the importance of getting to the “wow” factor.
I wrote a post before titled “U in UX Stands for You: The Evolution of Consumer Engagement”. I highlighted the importance of early user experience like Spotify which enables users to get up and running quickly. Then, I highlighted the importance of empty-state design in “Starting With Nothing: Solving Early Churn With Empty State Design”.
After reading the WP Curve and Slack articles about the “wow” factor, it’s important today more than ever to present value immediately. For Slack, the “wow” moment was user engagement. For Spotify, it was signing up and browsing channels before listening. For a marketing automation platform, it’s seeing an automated campaign in action.
At SalesWise, many customers share their “wow” moment — getting real-time visibility into insightful data they hadn’t seen before. We do this with simple, secure Oauth for services like Gmail and Salesforce. In 10 minutes, an entire company can be up and running. The algorithms and heuristics work in the background to organize it all. That’s how we get to “wow” fast.
One President of a customer company said it simply: “You deliver on the SaaS promise”. That is, our platform just worked. Some customers share how other SaaS platforms they started trials with took too much effort to set up. Even in today’s world of SaaS and APIs, set-up friction is high.
Body Boss, back in the day, required too much effort to get to the “wow”. We required too much setup of strength coaches. Thus, we had many coaches bail after the first and second visits.
It’s critical for companies to recognize “wow” moments, and how to deliver that as soon as a user signs up. The SalesWise “wow” factor is seeing real-time sales activities automatically organized. We’re developing some new features that will highlight even more “wow”. We’ll be able to help our customers instantly identify sales opportunities that may fall through the cracks. This will drive immediate value by spurring a sales rep to take action. This, in itself, will be massive in value to our customers.
Find your “wow” factor, and deliver it as soon as possible. Find ways to present value and insights without having to do much set up. Show enough to get the user to get value. You can always get more data and do more set up once the user sees immediate value.