Tip: Ask Customers How They’re Feeling When Submitting Support Tickets

how are you feeling?One of the many great tidbits that Kevin Hale dropped at UserConf 2012 was that Wufoo asks their customers how they’re feeling when they submit support tickets. It’s a simple idea, but we thought it was a fantastic way to get some further insight when answering tickets, so we gave it a try. Here are the results of that experiment.

Options

The options we gave people (which I believe we appropriated from Kevin) were:

UserVoice custom field emotional state
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Although there are certainly more emotions in the universe, that seemed to cover the basic range.

Insights

Our support team got the most out of negative emotions. Having a quick indication of angry or frustrated folks helped them use extra care with people who really needed it.

Statuses also helped clarify emotions that may have been unclear. “I thought a customer was upset because they were being so curt,” says Claire Talbott, Customer Support at UserVoice. “But they had set their emotional state to ‘Excited!’. Turns out they just had a very…direct…writing style.”

These fields have also been useful when monitoring for trends. For example, when we announced that we were giving money back to our customers, we saw a spike in “Excited!” people. If we see a huge spike in “Confused” folks, we’ll investigate if any of our recent changes fouled up our user experience.

Response rates

We assumed very few folks would bother to fill out this field, but a surprising 19%-25% filled it in. The majority have been “Confused” or “Frustrated” – common emotions when contacting any helpdesk – but we were pleasantly surprised to find that many were “Excited!” as well.

Thankfully, only a very small number were “Angry”, “Panicked”, or “Worried”. Rest assured, those folks got very tender care.

“Emotional State” vs “How are you feeling?”

Kevin named his field “Emotional State”, but we felt that “How are you feeling?” was a little more human…so we experimented with both. The difference in response rate was negligible, so go with whatever feels natural to you!


This is an easy field to add in most helpdesks (here’s how to add a custom field in UserVoice) and a great additional piece of information. We recommend you give it a try!

Feelings photo courtesy of Wrote

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