For Internal Relationships
Concerning relationships with those inside your organization, namely your employees, call center agents, management team, etc.
For all I know it may increase 500% over the next few years but I am not certain, and neither is anyone else, despite what analysts might project.
That brings me to three reasons why you should not be part of this growing trend, but not for the reasons you might think.
Reason 1: The data is all wrong and can’t be trusted.
You’re right, it is. In fact, studies have revealed that 6-20% of all of the data collected is wrong because of one main reason…the customer. Yep, just as you suspected, the customer doesn’t accurately follow the directions to complete the survey.
Most commonly, customers completing surveys are told to use specific scales for performance ratings. Sometimes they flip these survey scales which most often results in lower ratings.
The second most common mistake is that customers being told to evaluate the call center agent that just helped them, decide to evaluate a different agent instead. This results in an uproar of dissatisfaction when you attempt to use the results for performance improvement. Afterall, who is going to tolerate being held accountable for someone else’s performance.
But these problems are correctable by implementing a Survey Calibration process. So if you don’t like accuracy, or don’t want people to be treated fairly and you like litigation then don’t implement Survey Calibration or better yet, just don’t survey.
Reason 2: Only very happy or very upset customers participate in post-call surveys.
Talking with Dr. Jodie Monger, the inventor of real-time post-call surveying in call centers, she mentioned that this can occur when certain factors are overlooked in the project design.
Regardless of this, I have to stop and think about the numerous studies on customer experience research which state that emotion is very important in loyalty, recommending, or bad mouthing. Therefore, I sure would want to know what is causing customers to be incensed or delighted. Wouldn’t you? I can think of no better time to capture emotion then in real-time. Then the emotion captured can be transformed into business intelligence which drives future real-time delight.
So if you are not interested in knowing in real-time why customers recommend your product / service or are complaining about you, then don’t survey your customers in real-time.
Reason 3: The call center agents will game the system.
Agents are all out to cheat the system, correct? Really? Truth is, some will, while most won’t. The key is not to make it easy. If you are not aware of the pitfalls and don’t close the gaps, then you will for sure have cheaters. Not implementing audit checks, is opening the door to failure.
If it’s worth having it’s going to take hard work. If the effort is not present then never survey your customers in real-time in your call center. On the other hand, the call centers that have implemented real-time survey programs with Survey Calibration and other best practices are displaying a competitive advantage. That may change your mind.
The old saying is true, “Good news travels fast, bad news travels faster.” When it comes to your customers, tales of a bad experience spread like wildfire. You better believe that an unhappy customer is telling everyone they know about their ordeal. Family, friends, colleagues at work, strangers in line at the grocery store, anyone who will listen will hear their tale of the terrible customer service experience they had with your organization.
To add more fuel to the fire, within minutes, the incident is posted on their Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter for all the world to see. Who knows? Maybe they become one of the millions who create groups to spread the evil word about your company. Essentially, this customer has turned into a terrorist to your company, a terrorist to your brand, destroying all that you have worked hard to build. Sound a bit dramatic? It’s not. We’ve seen this time and time again.
Let’s look at new customers first. Your very first interaction with a new customer is a vital point in a budding relationship. A great first impression helps build a halo effect, where the positive experience with the contact center “bleeds over” to create a positive impression of the entire organization. The same can be said with existing customers. Existing customers stay loyal because of the nurtured, good customer experiences they’ve had thus far each and every time they’ve engaged with your contact center. For either of the two, one bad experience with any of your agents could sour the relationship and potential relationship, forever.
So, what’s a major factor in long-term customer retention? Consistency. Consistency is key in creating advocacy. How can you ensure you are being consistent with your service? Here are some steps that will increase your customer’s satisfaction, advocacy, and ultimately, your company’s bottom-line:
Step 1: Train consistently. New-hire training is your company’s first opportunity to communicate to your new employees the company’s vision for its future and how their job fits within this vision. Explaining to new employees how their performance will be assessed is a key first step in aligning company vision to individual priorities. Educating each new employee in the same manner on company policies, products, services, and how to use the resources available to them to reach and exceed expectations will ultimately determine whether customers experience consistency across their interactions with you.
Step 2: Set consistent expectations for performance. The contact center is among the most measured segment of any organization. We collect dozens if not hundreds of metrics about every contact center agent; measures of efficiency, compliance, quality, customer experience, etc. With all of those metrics, it is all too simple to send contact center agents a mixed message about what is important and what is a top priority. If your company’s aim is to satisfy and delight your customers, the performance expectations you communicate to your contact center agents must perfectly align with this focus.
In all stages of the customer lifecycle, new and budding or existing and nurtured, you want to ensure you are delighting your customers each time they contact your organization. In today’s social and economic environment, it’s vital to grow tulips, not terrorists. Consider consistency, your magic beans.