“Have you failed to implement the Survey Calibration process?” 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 examine your post-call IVR survey program against the many problems I have come across since inventing it for contact centers almost 20 years ago. Honestly, this item is one of the very most important items on the list.
Why is this a problem?
Simply said, Survey Calibration is a process within any survey program where the data is sanitized to ensure accuracy. Don’t think data scrubbing, think data integrity. By conducting Survey Calibration you are ensuring that the survey is linked to the correct agent and that the comments validate the scores that the customer gave. This allows contact center agents and all internal stakeholders to feel confident in ownership and actions taken based on the information. With Survey Calibration you can legally and confidently coach, promote, or terminate (let’s hope not) contact center agents based on the scores received because they are the ones who earned/deserves them. Continue reading “Have you failed to implement the Survey Calibration process?” »
“Do you think any survey is better than no survey?” 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 a bonus so you actually get 26 questions. The questions are an accumulation of more than 20 years of experience designing and operating post-call IVR survey programs in contact centers. Many of these questions are ones that I have been providing answers to for years. So do everyone a big favor and share the ebook with others in the contact center industry, we need your help to eliminate some of the ignorance about post-call IVR surveying.
Why is this a problem?
While this mindset is not uncommon in companies around the globe, it is not a very productive one and could end up costing you millions over time. And, more than money, it costs people a lot of mental stress. How many times have you tried to explain survey results with the pain of anxiety in your stomach? Continue reading “Do you think any survey is better than no survey?” »
“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 only angry people participate in post-call IVR surveys?” is one of the 26 questions included in the ebook 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys (there is a bonus question included). The e-book and self-assessment includes diagnostic questions, like this one, to uncover many of the common mistakes people make in their post-call IVR survey programs. I never thought that after inventing post-call IVR surveys I would have to spend so much effort to overcome the misinformation that abounds about them. Please share the ebook with your colleagues so they can learn from the mistakes of others.
Why thinking this a problem?
If you think only angry people participate in post-call IVR surveys you would be terribly mistaken. And if you had a post-call IVR survey program where this happened, it is direct evidence of a massive program design flaw. It was unintentionally built to capture only the angry. Continue reading “Why only angry people participate in post-call IVR surveys” »
I bet your parents are like mine and love to share their call center experiences because they feel close to you when they deal in your world. It turns out that my mother has been dealing with a banking issue for some time now and has been assigned an agent to call directly. At first she thought she was fortunate to have a direct contact in a sea of 1-800 numbers and endless mazes of automated services but as she’s telling me about this, it’s clear that it’s anything but great.
We all can see that the bank is trying to provide a better customer experience by building a one-on-one relationship but my mother cannot understand why she’s in a silo where no one else in the bank can offer much assistance. Her agent is currently on vacation and no one else in the bank can help because her customer record hasn’t been updated with progress notes. She is unable to resolve the banking issue with another agent and is not happy with the idea of waiting until her agent returns. We can see how the bank is in desperate need of several process improvements but we are not “normal” customers. In their effort to satisfy, they have actually caused much dissatisfaction for everyone who falls into this coverage gap. Continue reading “Are your customer processes built on good intentions but fail operationally?” »
Customer experience data is powerful if you know how to unlock its valuable insights and make it actionable. If your organization wants to gain employee and company engagement, and create customer-centric environments, then it is critical to use survey calibration in your Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs.
When you are looking at specific customer experience performance metrics for call center agents, and you are sifting through piles of post-call survey scores and customer comments, you start to see that customers aren’t necessarily answering the questions correctly. It’s not uncommon to see that even though a customer was asked to rate one agent, they may opt to give a comment about another customer interaction entirely. I can’t tell you how many times when reviewing client data I see, “I know you want me to review Tom, but I’m actually upset with Mary so I want to tell you about what she said to me when I called last week.” Continue reading “You cannot skip Survey Calibration in your customer experience VoC programs.” »
Culture. A popular buzz word across corporate America; but what does it mean and why is it so important? Hofstede, Namenwirth and Weber defined culture as “A system of values and norms that are shared among a group of people and that when taken together constitute a design for living.” Based on their definition, in order to be successful, you need to start with the core foundation of the enterprise – the office culture.
Take a minute and think back to a time (whether at work or in your personal life) when you walked into a room and could immediately feel the tension in the air. Now think of a different scenario when you walked into a room of people who were smiling, interacting with one another, possibly even laughing. Which room would you rather be in? Continue reading “How much does office culture affect customer satisfaction?” »
So you use skills-based routing for your call center, but your organization doesn’t think it’s necessary to apply the same principles to social CRM to be successful? Sure, the marketing department may be responsible for promoting products and service offers online, but it’s a big stretch for them to handle complex customer service issues on your social service channels.
We’ve talked about the importance of not ‘chasing the smoke’ that clutters social customer service channels so it is worthwhile to also focus on which internal departments are responding to the customer comments. You want to maximize sales opportunities by directing those comments or inquiries to those with sales training. If there are posts with a question about a return, it is likely that the call center is best to effectively handle the issue for a speedy exchange. When social media customer interactions are managed correctly and promptly, it’s an experience that enhances the relationship for the customer and is, therefore, a big win for the company. Continue reading “You need skills-based routing for social media interaction management too.” »
Unless you’ve been actively hiding from all forms of media for the past year, you’ve heard about business intelligence. A Google search of the term yields 108 million results. So what is Business Intelligence? Business Intelligence is the practice of using Big Data to gain insight and drive change within an organization. A pretty broad definition, right? How do we do Business Intelligence at Customer Relationship Metrics?
Much of the work we do with/for our business partners is based in call centers. Call centers have been dubbed “the center of your universe” for very good reasons. Terabytes of data on the customer experience are collected each year, from customer email addresses to compliments, product quality issues, questions, wish list items, consumer behavior, online presence and preferences, etc. There’s not a better place in an organization to be if your slice of heaven is data, data and more data! But much of the data collected in call centers is “raw”, unstructured, in a hard-to-use format, and/or disconnected from other key data points.
What Customer Relationship Metrics does in Business Intelligence engagements is use a completely hosted reporting and data aggregation tools to bring disparate and largely unrelated data sources together into a platform where analytics are then possible. Analytics provide business partners with a means to identify relationships and to prioritize metrics in terms of capture and analysis, in what manner existing data can be best leveraged, and in many cases conducts the analysis that reveals opportunities, bottle-necks and risks within the organization that when rectified, result in top-line growth and bottom-line savings by improving the customer experience.
The organization depicted below is falling below their Call Resolution goal for the year. An analysis of resolution performance (from a customer perspective) revealed that the second largest department (in terms of call volume) is performing 15% below goal. This department accounts for approximately 33% of all calls and therefore represents the largest opportunity for improving the organization’s call resolution performance. This department is also lagging on the KPIs first call resolution, repeat call resolution, service level, and average handle time. This additional insight reveals that this department is experiencing failure in delivering resolution not only on initial contact but on any further contacts customers deem necessary to attain resolution. The repeat call problem, combined with above average handle time makes the issue of non-resolution a very costly one.
An analysis of customer comments about non-resolution revealed the following:
- 22% of customers complained that agents did not seem to care about the customer’s problem or expressed no desire to help the customer.
- 11% of customers indicated dissatisfaction with the amount of time they had to wait to reach an agent.
- 40% of customers perceived that a specific line of company products were lemons (requiring multiple repairs for the same / a recurring problem due to product quality).
- 27% of customers reported dissatisfaction with the company’s resolution to lemons Continue reading “What is Business Intelligence?” »
Every year around this time I find myself reflecting on the months that have passed and what I wish I would have done, not done, done better or done differently. At the risk of appearing like a new-year’s-resolution-gym-rat that is rarely seen past February, I’ll share my list of 2012 professional resolutions to include dumping reports that aren’t used, carving out creative time, looking for best practices in other industries that I can apply, and focusing on preventing the damage caused by not leveraging customer sentiment.
1. To focus on the things that matter. We all have a “to do” list that we likely dread looking at because of its sheer volume / length. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as scratching an item off the list, even if you know it’s not the most important item, or even a value-add item, right? In 2012, I resolve to minimize the number of tasks on my to do list by only including the items that offer insights into the business, add value to my customers or provide direct benefit my organization. The things which are likely to fall off the list in 2012 as a result? Reports that no one looks at, reports that people look at yet do nothing with, and presentation decks that are so repetitive month to month that even I get bored creating them, etc, etc, etc.
2. To be even more militant about customer sentiment. The business partners that I work with often hear me use the phrase “the quantitative data tells you what is happening, the qualitative (customer comments) tell you why.” Customer sentiment cannot be ignored without foregoing the value that is needed for an organization to differentiate itself from competitors. Everyone has customer conversations but they are not analyzed. Many have customer feedback programs that do not include explanations from the customer about the numeric score given. And still more have customer explanations that are not analyzed. Customer Sentiment Analytics is on my list again for 2012, but with an even higher point of focus. This one should definitely be on your list! Continue reading “2012 resolutions for a better working me (take any that you need for your list!)” »
In business we frequently see a very reactive approach when it comes to customer complaints or comments. If someone tweets something about a product problem you may tweet them back to try and resolve it on a singular level. But shouldn’t you proactively tweet out a solution to your followers that may be experiencing the same issue but haven’t yet come to you with their comments?
Have you seen the proactive push versus the reaction to customer comments? Think about the mega super store that had a typo in the discount of their weekly coupon. They of course realized the mistake as soon as the coupon was printed in the paper because angry customers were calling the company’s call center to say that they were turned away.
Do damage control with those calling, of course, but it doesn’t end with instructing your agents about how to handle the affected callers. Take the negative customer sentiment and be proactive with a strategy to generate positive sentiment. Alert the frequent shoppers of the company with an email about the error, tweet about the issue and push the explanation and resolution out through social media channels. Continue reading “Do you have a social media strategy to nowhere?” »
It’s that time of year again when nearly every news program highlights the ‘must-have’ gifts for this holiday season. One of these items is on the list to Santa and after quite a few sold-out stores I found the $49.99 thing. It was hard to tell the quality based on how it was packaged, but I bought it anyway in the name of Santa and jingle bells.
As the elf, I need to assemble the gifts before wrapping so it would be ready to go on Christmas morning. Honestly, I was shocked at how flimsy the parts were on this must-have item. It also requires the more expensive D-batteries. So here I am with this cheapo thing that cost 50 bucks and will have a higher than average cost to operate which made me think about all those articles we’ve written this year about poor product quality, un-met customer expectations and the simple fact that things aren’t made to last. Remember the toys of our youth? My mom still has my Etch A Sketch and it works just as well as it did when I was 10. Believe me, that was a long time ago.
Our expectations for products have skyrocketed as our budgets have become tighter while the products we’re buying have never been more cheaply made. Will we as service providers be able to work effectively within this gap? How are you preparing your team for the widening product quality gap in 2012, especially what’s coming your way in post-holiday January? Continue reading “Will Santa bring You good stuff or that plastic piece of junk?” »
What’s the big secret? You sold me. Someone wanted to buy me, so there! Now that you have me, why are you trying to hide from me? Why would you put customer relationships at risk; not to mention the immense pressure on your call center agents to field the angry customer calls when we figure it out?
My home alarm company practices the avoidance principle as a customer service strategy by burying their customer service numbers so deep that no one can find them. When I got around to updating my billing information with my home security system, I went to their web site to find the customer service number. The home security section on the site had vanished without explanation. My auto-payments are still being debited and my alarm system still appears to be monitored. What gives?
After an hour of searching the internet, I discover that a competitor has taken over their home security division. I finally found the customer service number on the competitor’s (er, my new service company) web site, and by the time I made it to a live customer service agent I was told they couldn’t find my information because the data merge had not been completed. They did give me an alternate number to call, but it’s too little too late. I was never told about the merge, never given a new service number to call, never told how the merge might affect my service or the contract I had with my former company. You can imagine the conversation with the contact center agent. Continue reading “Emerging customer retention model: hide your contact center information.” »
The other day, I got the $64,000 question (more like a million than dollars nowadays) from a client — why was their best-selling product not selling so well anymore? For years it had been their cash cow because of its ease-of-use, long lifespan and consistent price point. My client was scratching his head because, in his mind, nothing had changed. The call center was still taking the same volume of calls and they hadn’t had any recent agent turnover, so on the surface there was no reason as to why sales had fallen off a cliff.
The answer is always with your customer and often takes some outside eyes to take a different approach. So we dug deeper into the customer experience data to find out what was happening during the agent calls that was contributing to the decline in sales. Turns out that their tenured agents were consistently attempting to up-sell customers (and being a little pushy) on the accompanying products that the customers felt they didn’t need. This was causing many of their customers to sour and end the call, purchasing the product elsewhere. The analysis identified our client’s issue and with a quick re-scripting for their agents they got a steady increase in sales over the months following this small tweak. Continue reading “Does your customer experience data answer the $64,000 question?” »