Imagine IT: How customer satisfaction boosts employee engagement

by Ashley Scrace Wendel
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3 min read
Articles

Picture this: well-stocked snacks and drinks, different beers on tap, a yoga room, regular trips to the local baseball game, and no-expense-spared camping trips.

Oh, and this is all part of a day’s work. (Yes, you’re paid for this fun.)

Well that’s the reality for one small managed services provider.

Imagine IT provide cloud computing solutions and technical IT support across the US twin cities of Minnesota and St. Paul.

And despite having a small team, their fun, productive office culture is a great example for others to follow.

“The best part of my job is getting to work each day with this awesome team of people, in an office that’s quite unlike any other,” says Kristen Ciarochi, Technical Account Manager at Imagine IT.

“We have a great time at work, but it is all with a focus on helping our clients. Keeping employees happy is key to keeping customers happy,” says Kristen.

“Motivated employees make customers happy, and happy customers make employees motivated. It is a win-win situation.

“And we know our customers are happy because of our customer feedback.”

 

From great customer feedback to great employee morale

Since their beginnings in 1996, Imagine IT have always had their sights set on improving customer happiness, but employee happiness too.

For this, there needed to be a measurement of customer satisfaction. But for a long time, that wasn’t there.

“So we found SmileBack in 2016, and our real improvements came throughout 2017,” says Kristen.

The review response rate quickly improved from an already-respectable 44% in December 2016, to a whopping 61% in December 2017.

“With this, our Net CSAT score was evident too, reaching 90 by January 2017,” says Kristen.

“Today though, it is a lot higher. Our Net CSAT Score reached its peak this year, hitting 98.8 in February. It was a great moment for the team, as it shows all of our hard work pays off.”

Today, Imagine IT have over 9,400 reviews – and counting. Aside from helping Imagine IT stand out from competitors, this voice of the customer helps shape employee engagement in the office.

“This focus on feedback has positively impacted employee morale,” says Kristen.

“When there is a negative response, it has created a desire to improve and do better for our IT partners. This assures our partners that we are a positive, hard-working team, and ensures any errors in our ways are fixed as soon as possible,” says Kristen.

Today, the team follow up instantly on negative and neutral reviews, and celebrate the (often long) streaks of positive reviews.

“It has created a very positive, focused atmosphere,” says Kristen.

Standing out from the crowd

According to a study from Walker, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.

The same report also states customers are willing to pay up to 13% more for simply receiving a great customer experience.

Reputation is certainly the focus. But is this important to Imagine IT?

“Extremely,” says Kristen.

“There are a number of similar IT service providers in the Twin Cities area, and we are on the more expensive end of those competitors – so it is very important that our partners feel that they are satisfied and getting value for their money.”

Showing that the team are better than the rest is particularly important in the current phase at Imagine IT.

“We are in a growth period, with more partners coming on board,” says Kristen.

“Being able to generate feedback reports quickly and easily, to take to meetings with potential new partners, helps us show right from the start that we are committed to offering the best service.

“Your best advocates are your current customers.”

Creating a customer-centric culture

Sharing feedback has become natural for the team, with customer satisfaction reports becoming a regular fixture in monthly team meetings.

Alongside this, the newest SmileBack ratings are always available, thanks to a handy integration from data-dashboard superstars, BrightGauge.

“We integrate with BrightGauge to give an overview of our support tickets and satisfaction rating in one dashboard,” says Kristen.

“Another way we use our customer feedback is through a workflow that sends survey results to our Microsoft Teams account, so that any time a survey is received it is posted in the SmileBack channel there.”

Kristen believes the ease of SmileBack is what helps ingrain customer feedback in the company.

“Collecting feedback with SmileBack is very simple – the clients only need to click a face and insert a comment, and it is good to go,” says Kristen.

“The insights from this really help us make informed business decisions, and the reporting allows us to spot trends, and celebrate improvement.

“We all really appreciate that. It helps us become the happy workplace we are today.”

Well, that and free beer, of course.

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