Continuing our series of Geckoboard customer interviews focused on KPIs, goal setting frameworks and dashboards, we speak to Matt Bryant, Customer Service Manager for COBB Tuning.

Matt tells us how COBB Tuning maintains a consistently high CSAT score with a large volume of tickets and how their dashboards have kept the team pulling in the right direction throughout the Covid crisis.

Tell us about your role and COBB Tuning

I’m Matt Bryant, Customer Service Manager at COBB Tuning. We run a luxury automotive business which provides software to tune top tier performance cars as well as hardware such as exhaust turbo chargers.

I’ve been with the company about six years, I started out as a Customer Service Rep and worked my way up, making those jumps has been really enjoyable.

We implemented Zendesk about six years ago and over the years we’ve added several third party add-ons. For what it's worth, I think Geckoboard is hands down one of the best systems currently integrating with Zendesk. It’s fantastic, genuinely. It is exactly what we needed, it provides core information and it's so user friendly. We take that to heart, because we are creating software ourselves. Geckoboard makes it so easy to see where we are at.

How do you use your dashboards?

When we’re in the office we have an open plan setup for the Support team. Originally we used Call Suite to display our call metrics on a big TV on the wall, visible from our desks.

When we moved to Zendesk and opened up more channels for customers to contact us it no longer worked for us so we started looking at different options. We wanted something that was visually accessible, and for everyone in the office to be able to see when something is going on and when they should take action.

I also wanted the information to be available to the other C suite members so that there would be transparency. I wanted them to see what we do, and how efficient we are. It was also important to me that everyone would be able to access the dashboards themselves on their own computers without needing a Zendesk login. Geckoboard ticked every box.

With all of the data sources Geckoboard has available, it's just plug and play.

We were up and running within seven or eight minutes. It allows me to put the information I need at the forefront.

I also think the pricing structure is incredibly fair.

What metrics are your sharing on your dashboard?

We have CSAT, first response time, calls taken per agent, agents online, people in the queue, and current wait time. We use the latter two as actionable metrics. If we ever have three or more calls in the queue, it’s all hands on deck. Everyone gets on the phones, including myself, to get those calls handled because if somebody is taking that time out of their day to call, we need to make sure we help them as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

We also track the number of emails in agent inboxes to see how many emails each agent has queued up. If some members of the team have a higher number than others it allows us to see if they need help.

How has your dashboard improved the way your team works?

We use the Zendesk Enterprise suite so we're using chat, phone and email. We have around 10,000 unique tickets every month with a Support team of only 14 people. Being efficient and not getting bogged down is very important. One of my big objectives is to minimize context switching. This is where Geckoboard comes in, showing all our metrics in one place is much easier than poking around in Zendesk. For providing an overview of the current situation Geckoboard knocks it out of the park.

Geckoboard performed a dashboard review for us and suggested cleaning things up - like removing the clock and making sure we are only sharing actionable data there. I think that's really important, because if you have too much in front of you it's like you're watching like The Matrix, where you have 15 different screens with so much data you just can’t take it in.

Recently some of the team at work have been choosing to downgrade from 2-3 screens to just a single display because it helps them to stay focused. I think that’s similar to how Geckoboard works. You distil your metrics down to the few numbers the team really needs to focus on.

One of the beauties of Geckoboard is I don't have to do anything, it just works all the time and it's always there. No need to log in or export the data when I need to share it. This is really important because our days can be so busy.

One of the really cool perks that I have been able to introduce with Geckoboard, is showcasing our customer satisfaction reviews. Everybody can see the positive feedback that we're getting, and that really helps because occasionally you'll get an unhappy customer who you just couldn't help, and that can bring you down. Seeing good satisfaction reviews come through helps lift everyone's spirits. It’s really nice being able to have that on the dashboard right in front of you for the whole company to see.

What are your most important metrics?

CSAT is paramount. We have a benchmark of 95% for our group and we usually sit around 95-96%. We measure CSAT for the entire quarter to see how we’ve been tracking. We also follow up on every single bad review that we get. We have a good response rate on our satisfaction surveys, around 15%, which is relatively high. Reviewing the past 24 hours of reviews is part of my morning schedule - just like getting my coffee! If there's something we could have done better I’ll discuss it with the agent and we'll try to recover it. If we totally dropped the ball on something we offer a refund or a gift, because at the end of the day we don't want to burn bridges. Word of mouth is everything, it's more powerful than any other marketing tool and it doesn't come cheap.

First response time is our other key metric. We always want that to be under 24 hours at an absolute maximum, it’s normally below 12. We want to be responding as quickly as possible but we’re careful to reply with personalized responses rather than generic template answers. If you get back to somebody incredibly quickly and you provide a really fantastic comprehensive answer, they're going to be blown away. It feels the standard these days is to be waiting 45 mins just to talk to someone on the phone. When you strive to be better it just blows people away and really inspires that loyalty to the brand because they know that you're there to help them every step of the way.

Are there any Customer Support metrics that don’t work for you?

Other companies look at how quickly they can resolve tickets (First Contact Resolution Rate) with as few responses as possible. In the automotive performance industry that doesn’t work. A lot of the issues we get are very complex - we’re trying to diagnose electronics or software. We can't always resolve a problem the very first time so it’s not a good metric to focus on.

NPS doesn't provide immediate actionable data, it's just a number. I've learned from going to conferences that when it comes to data you can gather anything and everything. But what do you do with it? For us, CSAT and First Reply Time are two very actionable metrics that surface issues we can immediately address.

At the end of the day, everything boils down to how fast can you get back to somebody and if your response was appropriate.

Do you have a CSAT goal?

With all the data we hold we know what's attainable and what would be overreaching. I’m constantly referencing what other companies are doing because I think it's always worth assessing how the industry is operating. I'll occasionally look at the benchmark studies that Zendesk provides and that's a nice ego boost for us. The studies show that within the software realm, on average companies have a monthly average of 96% CSAT with 300 tickets. Ours is 95%, but we’re achieving that with an average ticket volume of 10,000 per month.

Being able to scale what we have done and maintain that quality is really important to us. We want to be personable, we want our customers to have a great experience, because we are car enthusiasts too - the fact that we're still able to do that at the scale we’re now working is pretty amazing.

What we’ve found is that you can’t really get CSAT much above 96%. There will always be some people you just can’t make happy. It doesn't matter if you send them a free product, if you buy them dinner, it doesn't matter.

There's also always going to be a small proportion of people who select the wrong satisfaction rating by mistake. It happens all the time so it wouldn’t be realistic to set our CSAT goal at 97-98%!

I also look at how long we spend on a ticket. I have a time tracking app within Zendesk and it tracks how long we spend on each ticket. I'll occasionally use that to figure out if I need to do training in a particular area. If we find someone always spending an exorbitant long time in comparison to everybody else on a particular type of ticket the tool helps us to identify this and help them out.

But all we really care about in terms of whether we’re winning or not are our CSAT score and First Reply Time. Everything else just feeds into that as building blocks and training tools.

How does Geckoboard fit into your team's workflow?

Every Friday, we have a Support meeting where we all come together to recap the week. Different team members have different specialties. For example some people specialize in Nissan, others in Porsche. We come together to share the developments in our specialisms so that everybody's on the same page. In addition to that, I share all the metrics with everybody so they’re always top of mind.

Bringing Geckoboard into our workflow, so that it’s on everybody's screen, is great for awareness of our metrics. They're always referencing the dashboard and seeing the metrics, knowing that when 3 calls come in we all need to jump on the phone.

Do you have any go-to resources for learning?

I think Zendesk probably has one of the best conferences I've ever been to. They're incredibly exciting and really inspirational. However, there's so much there that you really have to pick and choose what you want to focus on each year.

First Round Review has been a really instrumental resource for us. We have a leadership meeting that allows us to come together to talk about the challenges we face as managers and directors. We bounce ideas off of each other and the First Round Review has provided some really fantastic articles - everything from entrepreneurs starting-up, to human resources, personality management, and conflict resolution.

Finally, how has Covid-19 affected COBB Tuning?

We've been incredibly fortunate to have seen record sales and inquiries every month since Covid occurred. With everything going on, we were anticipating a really hard time but it's been the exact opposite. For us, we can't keep anything on the shelf, so our procurement team has been the most taxed during all of this. Our Support team has seen inquiries spike about 10-15%. We were averaging about 7,000-8,000 tickets prior to Covid and now we're up to 10,000-11,000 per month. That’s unique inquiries via chat, email, and phone. Having Geckoboard there to be able to highlight these changes has helped us manage workflow and redistribute resources. Our dashboards provide the transparency for everybody to know exactly what's going on.

Everybody's working from home right now. The only people that we have on site are our warehouse and production staff. Our customer support team, wholesale team and dealer team are all using Geckoboard from home with a sharing link. We all have multi monitor setups so the team will either have it as a dedicated window on one screen or have it open in another tab.

We’re already a very closely knit team - our passion for cars bonds us together - but Geckoboard keeps people connected, which isn't something that you would normally associate with this sort of KPI tool!