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A Customer Satisfaction Tool That Actually Works? Thinks It's Found One.

It's about the people, stupid.

Shutterstock / Tyler Olson
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Clay Singley has made a career out of managing and measuring customer service teams. And he’s still been blown away by the percentage of Jet customers who have given feedback on their customer service experiences over the past few months.

While Singley has historically seen response rates of 8 percent to 12 percent when a company emails customers for feedback after a customer service interaction, e-commerce startup Jet is currently seeing a rate of right around 40 percent.

“That is literally unheard of in customer satisfaction scoring,” Singley, head of Jet’s member services team, said in an interview. “Literally unheard of.”

The difference maker, he said, has been a new software tool from StellaService, a New York City-based startup that has raised $37 million in venture capital. Up until now, Stella has built its business by measuring customer service levels at the company level in the retail and e-commerce industries. Stella’s new product, however, aims to let companies across industries more effectively measure an individual customer service rep’s performance.

How? The software, dubbed StellaConnect, sends customers feedback emails that include a photo of the rep who handled a customer’s inquiry, as well as some of that rep’s hobbies. In short, it tries to make it clear that a real person just helped the customer, and Jet customers are responding in kind.

“It’s all about the individual,” Stella CEO Jordy Leiser said.

Additionally, if a customer gives the rep four or five out of five stars, they can choose to encourage a company like Jet to offer the rep a small reward, such as a coffee or free lunch. Each rep sees the feedback as soon as a customer sends it in, good or bad, the latter of which can be rough on a rep, Singley said, but ultimately part of learning in the job.

Jet’s customer service team ballooned from half a dozen to 400 people last year, according to Singley. And he says for once in his career he can actually use emailed customer service satisfaction scores as a real performance evaluator since the response rate is so high.

“It’s kind of hard to draw conclusions when it’s a low percentage of responses, because you could be getting all upset people or all happy people,” he said. “It becomes challenging, making real tough decisions [based] on that.”

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