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How Nintex Used “Effort” to Increase Customer Satisfaction


CSAT360 presents the story based on its discussions with Patrick Ferdig, VP – Global Customer Service, Nintex

Back in the spring of 2014, Nintex, the global standard in workflow automation, chartered a course for a new service experience for all of our customers ranging from mid-market to enterprise-size organizations.  At the core of the strategy was a clear concept: if Nintex were able to reduce the effort required by their partner network (1,100+ partners today) and customers (6,000+ worldwide today) to resolve an issue, customer satisfaction and loyalty would increase.  However, we needed to start with a baseline of where we were.

To do this, we recreated our CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) survey to focus on effort behaviors utilizing a low effort approach for our surveys.  We continued to ask Nintex customers the question: “How would you rate our service?” but added new ones including:

“How much effort did you have to put forth to get your issue resolved?”                      Nintex

“How would you describe your online experience?”

“Did you try to self–serve before you opened a support ticket?”

We also modified the way that we looked at the results.  For example, most Customer Service and Support organizations will ask the customer the infamous question: “On a scale of _ to _, how would you rate our service?”  We ask the same question, but we look at the results differently. Rather than just an average, the Nintex team wanted to know the percentage of customers that gave us high scores, and most importantly, the percentage of customers that gave us low scores (Top Box / Bottom Box).

The results of the new surveys were remarkable.  We were able to quickly identify that more than 30% of our customers said that it took “more” or “far more” effort than they expected whereas only 20% of customers said it took “less” or “far less” effort.  We also learned that more than 70% of the customers who open support tickets try to self-serve.  We also learned that even though the average “service” score was acceptable, there was a lot of opportunity to improve when we looked at the Bottom Box results.

Over the next couple of months, Nintex leveraged the survey results to revamp the way that we thought about support.  We moved effort reduction from a concept to a competency.  We revisited all of our internal and external tools, processes, self-help strategies, training, and KPIs to focus on effort reduction.  In doing so, “effort reduction” became imbedded in our DNA.  It is what we do today.

Over the course of the next six months, Nintex saw significant improvement in our core KPIs including CSAT and NPS (Net Promoter Score.)  Agents and managers started looking at the “effort impact” in all decisions being made. New recommendations to remove effort were made from all levels within the support organization and tools were tested and continue to be developed.  We hired a Customer Experience Manager whose sole focus is effort reduction.

So how exactly do we know that focusing on effort works?  It’s simple; we listen to our customers.  If you were to look into the overall improvement in Nintex CSAT and NPS scores over the course of the last nine months, most readers would be shocked.  We have seen an average improvement of 40% across all KPIs with within the support organization, and we’re confident that this improvement will continue.

Our confidence is grounded in the fact that everything we’re doing is driven by the effort impact.  Effort reduction drives our priorities, our focus, and our overall strategy.  At the end of the day, we know that effort is a leading contributor to customer satisfaction and more often than not, it is the leading factor customers use when making the conscious decision if they will remain loyal to a company.  Nintex believes that we owe it to ourselves, our partners, and our customers to make every interaction with us as fast, easy, and delightful as we can.


Patrick Ferdig Bio

With 20 years of experience in customer service and support for global software and technology companies, Patrick Ferdig is Nintex’s VP of global customer service and a recognized expert in management techniques to increase productivity, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and revenue.

Prior to Nintex, Patrick served as global operations program manager for Microsoft, where he led the performance of three outsourced call centers supporting the Xbox product lines, resulting in a 275 percent increase in volume within three months. Before Microsoft, he was vice president of global service operations for MUSIC Group, leading cross-functional operations and designing a global service strategy that increased customer satisfaction by 45 percent within six months and reduced annual costs by $1.1 million.

Patrick also previously held executive-level customer support and operations management positions at Avalara, LOUD Technologies Inc., vCustomer and Revonet.


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