Dr. Jodie Monger
“Do you agree automating the process for callers to participate in post-call IVR surveys will prevent agents from cheating?” is a question that was included in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys eBook and self-assessment. The eBook and self-assessment includes diagnostic questions for you to uncover problems in your program that I have come across since inventing post-call IVR surveying in contact centers 20 years ago. Many of the misunderstandings have become false truths, and this question is part of a topic that is widely misunderstood.
Why is this a problem?
Automated is not the same as fool-proof. Dictionary.com defines automated: to apply the principles of automation to a mechanical process, industry, office, etc. Nowhere in that definition does it state that doing so will create a perfect, fool-proof process. In this case, automated means customers answering ‘yes’ they would like to participate in a survey when prompted by the IVR at the start of the call will then be transferred to complete the survey once the agent disconnects. Sounds fool-proof and simple enough, right? Not so much. Continue reading “Will automating the transfer to post-call IVR surveys prevent agents from cheating?” »
You probably made your customer experience program a top priority five short months ago when you sat down to make your New Year’s resolutions for your contact centers. Let’s do a gut check…did the priority to better your customer experience program fall by the way side just like your resolution of a smaller waistline? I’m sure that your intentions were noble but the hectic day-to-day of running your contact centers can easily get in the way of your long-range goals. There’s still time to redirect your focus back to your goals.
According to a recent CustomerManagementIQ survey, nearly 76% of the customer management executives and leaders rated customer experience a ‘5’ on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being of the highest importance). Could those executives and leaders be your competitors? It’s very likely. All the more reason customer experience and a revision of your Voice of the Customer (VoC) program should be a ‘5’ on your list too. Once customer experience is your highest priority and you are ready to get to work, where should you start? Who owns the customer experience?
While in my opinion everyone should own the customer experience in some way, for the purpose of this piece let’s focus on how the contact center contributes to the customer experience. Think about how the contact center is responsible for many of the touch points and has influence over many other touch points. So the contact center can own the voice of the customer. The easiest place to start in building a customer experience program from the ground up, or revamping your current one is with post-call IVR surveys. Continue reading “Why isn’t your customer experience program a top priority?” »
“Are you terrified that agents will try to cheat the process?” is a question that was included in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys e-book and self-assessment. The e-book and self-assessment includes one bonus question so you actually get 26. After 20 years experience designing and operating post-call IVR survey programs in contact centers, I have compiled this book to help others. Many of the questions are ones that I have been answering for years. Read and then share the ebook to help others in your company or in the contact center industry so the common mistakes can be eliminated.
Why is this a problem?
It’s because all contact center agents are out to get you! Is this one of the nightmares that wakes you up late at night? I hope not. However, I can’t believe how many contact center leaders worry that agents will cheat the post-call IVR survey process. The feeling is too common among managers, and it does not need to be. Continue reading “Are you afraid contact center agents will try to cheat your survey process?” »
The reasons why you can’t afford the contact center of tomorrow may not be for the reasons you think. It used to be that anyone who could type and was nice, was perfect to sit in a call center seat. Well, it’s not 1980 anymore and we have contact centers now. The archaic mindset of thinking that these are very simple jobs and therefore do not warrant higher education or provide a greater wage than the minimum is just not the case anymore. If you say it aloud it doesn’t even make sense, “I want to hire a multi-tasking problem solver, who is also empathetic, talented, and committed but I only want to pay them $10/hour.” See? Crazy. The contact centers jobs have become more and more complex with each passing year but the mindset hasn’t changed. Continue reading “Why you can’t afford the contact center of tomorrow.” »
“Does your data collection system prevent conditional branching?” is one of the questions in the eBook and self-assessment 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys, the compilation of the mistakes I have seen in the twenty years since inventing the post-call IVR survey methodology for contact centers. Take the self-assessment to determine where your program has weaknesses. The data collection system conditional branching as one of the self-assessment items is what I talk about in this article.
Why is this a problem?
The question that seems to hit the heart of this topic is to think about the collective group of your contact center’s calls and ask “does one size fit all?” If the majority of your calls are ostensibly the same, you do have a one size fits all scenario. I have not seen many customer service centers where that is true, despite what people think internally. This fact typically comes out when I lead the measurement design portion of our managed service programs. As soon as you think about the different kind of calls, the attributes that need to be measured begin to deviate from the one-size-fits-all list. I generally have to invest a lot of effort trying to reign in a client’s purported differences to identify a core set of service criteria across call types. Eventually we do come to a solution that will allow me to collect the data needed to drive their desired outcomes. Continue reading “Does your data collection system prevent conditional branching?” »
A 15-person conference call to discuss your Voice of the Customer (VoC) program is a great example of a cluster you-know-what. Have you been on a conference call that is supposed to let all the departments weigh in on collective issues about the VoC customer program that turns into 90 minutes of your life you’ll never get back? Do you ever get anything accomplished with the management by consensus plan? When did our professional lives change from an army of forward-thinking leaders into a stagnant committee of followers? Are people getting too politically correct? Is there even such a thing? Continue reading “This is a Voice of the Customer Cluster You-Know-What” »
Contact centers are staffed with nice people who easily become punching bags. These people are ready and willing to answer questions and serve internal (in addition to external) customer needs. If you say jump, these kind contact center agents simply ask, how high? It is becoming more widely accepted that the contact center is the customer hub of any business. The people in contact centers selflessly serve the needs of the customer and report the customer experience data across all business units. But we know that the contact center does not always get the respect it so rightly deserves. Far too often the benefits the contact center delivers to the business as a whole is overlooked. But contact center professionals do not have to take punches. You can hold our heads up high and (in a nice way) battle back. Here is your chance to “get off the ropes”!
If you need to get off the ropes, here is a great opportunity for you to leverage your trusty post-call IVR survey. By collecting a statistically representative sample of customer interactions you have a stronger backbone because of customer experience data. And the more data you have (good, clean data that is), and the more you mine that data for customer insights, the stronger your backbone becomes. In the contact center you have powerful information and the rest of the company’s success relies on the collecting, mining and the distributing of this customer data. You don’t have to actually punch your way out, let the data do it for you. Ding! Round one of this boxing match just went to you in the contact center. Continue reading “Why contact center leaders feel like punching bags and how to fight back” »
When you think of a typical salesperson what comes to mind? Do you immediately conjure up visions of multi-colored flags, ‘zero-money down’ signs, and some sleaze-bag car salesman telling you to buy the over-priced lemon of your dreams? The term, salesperson, quickly makes us imagine this derogatory image, something that we do not want to be associated with as our career label.
Let me challenge your normal reaction to the word ‘salesperson’ with one of my favorite quotes from Robert Louis Stevenson, “Everyone lives by selling something.” Think about that for a moment. When you’re at the hair salon and he or she is discussing the option for highlights or the hair care products, this hairdresser is selling, right? If you are a marketer you’re hoping to ‘sell’ your audience with your subject line and convince them to open your email and look at your message. And even as a parent, you are ‘selling’ your six-year old on those healthy green beans (or at least trying to). But I bet if you asked that hairdresser, marketer or parent if they worked in sales their answers would be a resounding “No”. In fact, only one in nine people in the US are designated as being in sales, but most everyone is. Continue reading “Why selling in service contact centers fails and how to fix it.” »
“Does your current post-call IVR survey prevent you from collecting multiple customer comments?” is one of the 26 items outlined in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys e-book and self-assessment. There’s a bonus item to make the total 26. Answer the diagnostic assessment questions to uncover issues with your own post-call survey program. You can even use it to build a program that exceeds all expectations. Customer Relationship Metrics has documented the common mistakes we have seen since inventing and providing post-call IVR surveying programs in contact centers 20 years ago. To fulfill one of our missions to better the contact center industry, we freely provide the insights we have learned to everyone.
Why is this a problem?
The act of “collecting” customer feedback with a post-call IVR survey is not extremely difficult. This is part of the problem. It is not uncommon for contact center managers to fulfill the requirement to have a customer feedback tool by activating some software module to collect the data. Turn it on and the data starts to pour in, right? Like every other area in your contact center, you have too much useless data accumulating. Well, that is true and there are 25 other points in this self-assessment to stop garbage data coming from your post-call IVR survey program. Continue reading “Does your current post-call IVR survey prevent collecting multiple customer comments?” »
How many of you are using post-call IVR surveys in your Voice of the Customer (VoC) customer experience programs? Good. Even if you are not, this will be of interest to you because they are in your future. In the contact center industry, you never want to say “never”. Now, how many of you believe that your surveys are well-executed customer satisfaction measurement tools that deliver more answers than questions? Ok, still a few of you left. Finally, are you using your post-call IVR surveys to be an internal auditor that helps you to identify policy and process problems that negatively impact the customer experience and the employee experience? Hmm…anyone left?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s hard to create that perfect post-call IVR survey program. Only the most skilled craftsmen know how to write questions from a customer experience perspective so they garner actionable insights. Then you must test to find the proper length so you know how many survey questions your customers are willing to answer. Then you have to work hard to get buy-in at all levels so that they develop an ownership to make the organization more customer-centric. Do you think this is enough? Continue reading “Is your post-call IVR survey program an internal auditor?” »
“Do you think a 1-5 scale is the best?” is a question that was included in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys e-book and self-assessment. The e-book and self-assessment includes 26 questions because we threw in a bonus. The questions are designed to provide a diagnostic that can be used to uncover many of the problems that have been created with post-call IVR surveys since I invented them in contact centers almost 20 years ago. Many of these questions I have been providing answers to from the very beginning, so please share the ebook with your colleagues, we need your help to stop some of the madness. Continue reading “Do you think a 1-5 scale is the best?” »
Have you ever been disappointed going to a restaurant based on a friend’s recommendation but the great food and service they raved about, and you expected, was just the opposite? I don’t know what’s worse, having the bad experience or lying to your friend so their feelings are not hurt.
Unfortunately, the same disappointment happens in contact centers too – customer experience inconsistency is the bane of our existence! In a perfect world the customers call in, reach a knowledgeable agent, and have their issue resolved promptly and professionally. Done. But, there is no worry in that. It’s the not-so-perfect world that we fear – the customers who have the opposite, disappointing and unexpected experience. Continue reading “How to safeguard against customer experience inconsistencies in your call center” »
If your data goes directly to the reporting platform from collection without survey calibration then expect your final Voice of the Customer (VoC) program to be riddled with erroneous information. Every post-call IVR survey needs to be evaluated in a survey calibration process because there are always occurrences of the customer not answering the questions correctly or a different agent being evaluated than the one to which the survey is attached. Across the programs we administer, there are hundreds of surveys each month that need to be adjusted to ensure the results are accurate. “I know you want me to review agent A, but I’m actually upset with agent B so I want to tell you about what he said to me when I called last week.” If one inaccurate survey makes it onto an agent’s report card, it’s easy to see how the trust in the feedback program will be undermined. Continue reading “Does your VoC program take a shortcut and skip Survey Calibration?” »
“Do you have a rule to keep the survey very short?” is a question that was included in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys ebook and self-assessment. The ebook and self-assessment contains numerous diagnostic questions to help you to identify many of the common mistakes companies make when implementing post-call IVR survey programs. Twenty years ago when I invented post-call IVR surveying in contact centers, surveys that were too short was not the common problem like it is today. Continue reading “Do you have a rule to keep your post-call IVR surveys very short?” »
Recently two highly-publicized customer expectations lawsuits have been in the news; one for Anheuser-Busch misrepresenting the alcohol content in a variety of its beers and the other with Subway’s foot-long sandwiches for coming up short. In both cases the customer expectations were clearly set and advertised (Subway’s $5 foot-long sandwich deal and Anheuser-Busch light beers with the alcohol content of higher calorie brands). In both cases, expectations were so blatantly under-served that customer dissatisfaction went through the roof, the customer experience went in the toilet, and now both brands are dealing with multimillion dollar lawsuits and a serious image problem.