“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?” »
“This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes.” Every time you hear this don’t you want to tell that automated message: “and I will be monitoring this call for quality purposes too”? Don’t lie, you know you do it. Let it be known, your customers are doing this too.
I think contact center leaders are both the most critical and yet the most understanding customers when it comes to receiving service from other contact centers. I find myself giving contact center agents that are trying hard more benefit-of-the-doubt and I want them to be successful. Your customers are not as forgiving or as understanding.
Customers Evaluate your Service on Social Media
Unfortunately the “quality assurance purposes…” message is played all of the time and many customers know the purposes for the monitoring and recording isn’t for their benefit. They know this because they are not given the same invitation to participate in using the call for quality assurance purposes. They are not included in the process.
Until the wide spread use of social media customers had to put up with being cut out of the quality assurance process. Again don’t lie, you know they are cut out. The only thing they were able to do was ask for a supervisor and get the “policy” response or tell their small circle of friends about the low quality assurance score you earned. Continue reading “Customers are Monitoring Calls for Quality Purposes Too” »
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?” »
“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?” »
“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?” »
Join the club if you thought your company executed a world-class customer experience Voice of the Customer (VoC) program but now are struggling to identify actionable insights from the customer feedback. The primary goal is to succeed at the necessary process changes and customer initiatives to improve customer experience, so you must dig deep and ask customer experience focused-questions during your post-call IVR surveys. You get into the club by ending up with data that yields useless results. I wish there were no membership dues for this club but the cost is actually quite high. Continue reading “You aren’t alone with the struggle to extract actionable insights from your CX VoC program.” »
The only effective way to capture the Voice of the Customer (VoC) is through post-call IVR surveys, where results are able to tap into the genuine experiences customers have with a product or service. The knowledge shared by the customer, and thereby gained and analyzed by the company, can lead to powerful change for the future improvement of the business. When executed well, post-call IVR surveys are the single greatest tool at determining customer pain and propelling businesses toward positive customer experience process improvement.
Most call center managers can agree that post-call IVR surveying is important, but many surveys fail in practice, first with the types of questions asked, and second with the length of the survey. Remember our discussion of market researchers versus customer experience analysts? Continue reading “Post-call IVR surveys: the key to call center process improvement” »
You know that capturing post-call customer feedback is critical to your business. It allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of the customer, uncover problem products, agent issues, service faults and organizational barriers. Additionally, it reveals the positive in what is working, who is performing at high levels and quantifies how the customer experience translates into customer satisfaction and loyalty. If you are not getting these things, you are missing it. You may think that your customers are inconvenienced by being asked to participate in a post-call IVR survey. If done correctly, they will not be.
As you know, Customer Relationship Metrics conducts free Customer Insights to Action assessments on post-call IVR survey programs. Many of those who take advantage of this service do so because their current customer experience measurement program is not yielding information that can be used for driving process improvements inside the contact center and for the enterprise. Continue reading “The Best of Knuggets and Knuckleheads: Post-call IVR Surveys” »
Little kids get in trouble all the time, and when they’re ready to come clean they’ll often make parents promise not to get mad before they spill beans. Wanting to ensure mom and dad’s response is not unlike an agent asking for a top score on a post-call survey from a customer they just helped on a service call. But be careful, because engineering and massaging customer experience data creates bigger problems than stealing a candy bar or pushing down a sibling and confessing to a parent.
There’s a big difference between a call center agent asking a customer if they’ve answered all their questions at the end of a customer service call and asking if they transfer that customer to a post-call survey if that customer would give them a nine or a 10 rating on their call performance, i.e. massaging customer behavior. By planting the seed in the customer’s mind about the rating they should give the call center agent, they end up engineering a customer experience vs. letting the customer rate the agent honestly. Continue reading “Post-call surveys are pointless if your agents synthesize the results.” »
Too many customers are gaining fame by attacking companies because their unrealistic customer expectations were not met. The fires are fueled by our unquenchable thirst for sensational news stories so these irate customers show up on our TVs lamenting about how they’ve been wronged (in their minds) and how the big, bad company should pay. Don’t we all take pause and listen? Facebook campaigns sprout up overnight calling for the ousting of the company head in question, and tens of thousands of uninformed folks hop on the bandwagon. Before you know it, a single disgruntled customer making a fuss about a return policy is quickly splashed across all the major news stations, papers and Internet.
Does anyone stop to think that maybe this one customer is totally full of it? Do they consider that these company policies and rules are in place for a reason whether or not you feel like following them? The media sure does make it more difficult for brands and companies because they want ratings. When the media makes customers famous by sensationalizing their situations, it makes it impossible for good companies to not give in to the unreasonable demands. The media is holding businesses hostage. Continue reading “When customer service terrorists strike!” »
Voice of the Customer; a catch phrase commonly uttered in offices around the globe. But what does it mean exactly? Where does it come from? How does a business decipher constructive (and valuable) feedback from noise? It is not uncommon to hear a manager say that you need to listen to the voice of the customer (VOC), but often that’s where the initiative stops. Proclaiming the need to listen and actually listening are two very different things. So is acting on the information heard.
One of our clients focused on turning such a proclamation into action and made some changes to the internal processes causing customer dissatisfaction. The External Quality Monitoring program using a post-call survey methodology revealed that only 51.6% of their callers stated that their question or problem had been resolved on the first call. With barely more than one out of every two calls yielding a resolution, FCR was obviously an extremely costly issue for them because repeat calls have direct and indirect costs. It was definitely time to take action.
Customer experience analytics clarified a common theme from the callers who reported that their issue had not been resolved on the call. Callers frequently stated that they had to call back to check on the status of the application because the agent they had spoken with did not have a way to check. “Wait and see and call back” is not a good answer for these callers. How can this information about an issue that increases the customer effort be alleviated within the internal process(es)? After taking a hard look at the outcome of this internal process from the customers’ perspective, a strategy was developed to dedicate a specific team of representatives to support the call center agents behind the scenes. Frontline agents could not have access to the needed information but this support team had the resources to review a caller’s application, claim and status. The agent can now provide the information needed to the caller upon request and eliminate the need for many customer repeat calls. Continue reading “All you have to do is listen to your customers.” »
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!)” »
Tis the time of year when we’re all making resolutions both personally and professionally. This year, pledge to halt the risk to your organization by not effectively analyzing customer feedback and conversations. Your path is unclear and even treacherous without this necessary business intelligence. If you are not able to prove how these customer analytics have resulted in changes to your products or service strategy in 2011, then you dropped the ball last year. Don’t do it again in 2012. You just might not have the opportunity again in 2013.
Did you realize you have all of the raw data needed, so make the resolution to transform it correctly to be a better leader in 2012. Categorize and analyze the customer sentiment and proactively push the information through your organization and out to customers via the call center and social media. Be an assertive executive of positive sentiment and not a reactionary slave.
How would you leverage these customer comments? Continue reading “As the ball drops this New Year’s, don’t drop it again with customers in 2012.” »