Customer Feedback

Why you should not use survey findings to make operational and strategic decisions

“Are you afraid to use your post-call IVR survey findings to make operational and strategic decisions?” is one of the questions that were posed in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys eBook and self-assessment. The eBook and self-assessment includes diagnostic questions to uncover many of the problems that Customer Relationship Metrics have come across since inventing post-call IVR surveying in contact centers almost 20 years ago.

Why is this a problem?

The purpose of asking customers about their experience and collecting mountains of data every year is to help you to improve and to grow your business, right? Leveraging the feedback that the customers provide can be the best way to identify and quickly remedy process breakdowns as well as capture process improvement ideas. Who better to ask where the pains lie than the end user?

One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is by not asking the right questions. Often when companies implement a post-call survey, they get so focused on keeping it short that they don’t take the time to ask themselves what they genuinely need to learn. For example, if the survey is so short that it only asks ‘was the agent courteous?’ and ‘would you recommend this service to a friend?’, what are you really going to learn by asking? More importantly, how will you leverage the responses to help improve and/or grow the business? What happens when the percentage of responses to one of those questions begins to shift heavily towards ‘no’? Where are you going to turn in order to determine why they are responding with no? How many man-hours are you going to waste trying to guess about the cause of the issue? So in this example, you definitely do not want to use the findings to make operational and strategic decisions. Continue reading

Marketing Attacks Ambush the Customer Experience

marketing attacks ambush the customer experiencePreventing marketing attacks from ambushing the customer experience

The concept of guiding patronage behavior can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece and in the print media back to the 1600s. I’m sure you’ve felt the impact of an effective marketing campaign and can personally attest to the success of such efforts on shaping behavior. You might also have had feelings of discomfort from marketing attacks. Did you pre-order the new iPhone 5s? Did you put a Furby or a Slanket under the Christmas tree? Have you agreed to try the DirecTV NFL Ticket? Have you gone to movies on opening night? Our behavior has been influenced to feel a need for many things, some things that may appear crazy to others, even to ourselves in retrospect.

A Blockbuster Flop

This is all well and good (and necessary) that Marketing is out there developing new customers, but the reality is that the customer experience must be positive in order for Continue reading

How to know when survey participants request to be called back?

“Are you unaware of a survey participant’s request to be called back?” is one of the questions that were posed in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys eBook and self-assessment. The eBook and self-assessment includes diagnostic questions to uncover many of the problems we have come across since inventing post-call IVR surveying in contact centers almost 20 years ago.

Why is this a problem?

You want your customers’ opinion on their experience with your organization, right? (I mean, if you are reading this, being more customer-focused has to be important to you.) What happens when a customer completes one of your surveys and requests a return contact?  Think about this for a minute – a customer answers the survey questions and during an open-ended comment asks to be contacted to discuss their experience further. Their scores are all high, in the delighted range, so what could they possibly need to discuss? When they provide their contact information and request to be called, what happens to that survey comment? Does your process notify you that a customer has verbally requested to be contacted? Does it escalate into a call queue for someone to follow up? Is an email sent to a designated group of agents, notifying them that someone wants to be contacted? If your answer is ‘I’m not sure’ or worse yet ‘No’, do you think that is a problem? That could be one of your most profitable and highest referring customers that left that request. Continue reading

3 Things That Truly Matter to Customers (But Don’t Tell Them)

what do your customers really care about?Original post found at ICMI

“I could care less.”

“That is your problem.”

“Better you than me.”

“It sucks to be you.”

These quotes are typical comments, some of which are often more colorful, that may be found in customer comments. You are reviewing customer comments, aren’t you? But when you see these comments, they really don’t give you any insight into why they were said. And most of the time, customers don’t understand the real reason they said them; the underlying reason that matters to you, that is.

I have something in common with 125 million people worldwide, but most of us don’t like to talk about it. We suffer from psoriasis. Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the U.S., and according to the World Psoriasis Day consortium, affects 2 to 3 percent of the total world population. Because of this faulty issue in my body I have to inject myself every few weeks with a TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor-alpha) blocker that binds to TNF-alpha and helps block the process of inflammation in the skin. Remember all of this, there will be a test later. Continue reading

Do all of your customers receive the same survey?

“Do all of your customers receive the same survey?” is one of many questions that is included in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys eBook and self-assessment. Constructing the eBook and self-assessment diagnostic questions was due to an unyielding passion and purpose. The purpose is to help others leverage customer insights to improve their desired outcomes (loyalty, sales, cost control). The passion is to leverage what works, scientific evidence, and to eliminate dysfunctional practices.

Since inventing post-call IVR surveying for contact centers 20 years ago, it has been a personal crusade to end survey malpractice and make lives better for those that are committed to service excellence. Please join me in this crusade by commenting on articles on our blog and sharing it with your fellow customer experience and contact center colleagues.

Why is this a problem?

We are too young to have heard Henry Ford say that you can have any color car that you want, as long as it’s black, but we’ve all heard the quote. Our lives are now filled with the ability to customize almost everything. We all expect choices and are disappointed when there are few. As I sit on a plane writing this, the flight attendant just told my husband that they only have two kinds of beer – Budweiser and Miller Lite. Probably because he doesn’t care for either kind, he refused to believe that they only have two choices. It took a small argument to get her to go to the galley to verify that this was true. Good to know that they do also have Heineken (another issue that she claimed that they didn’t), but still, there are only three choices when you’d expect five or six from a world with hundreds of kinds of beer.

Customers interact with your contact centers to ask about one of many products and services. You plan for this by cross-training your agents and you have a unified desktop environment to provide a knowledgeable agent to the callers. With all of the variety in the world, why is the implementation of a customer feedback program designed to fit every call or customer interaction? Think about the information you are collecting in your surveys. There are a set of questions (hopefully more than 3) which are designed to capture the customers’ evaluation of the service interaction. Continue reading

Do you have reasons that cause you to throw out surveys?

“Do you have a list of reasons that cause you to throw out surveys?” is a question that was included in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys eBook and self-assessment. There are many barriers to success for your customer experience measurement program and it’s helpful to avoid the common things we have seen over the years. The eBook and self-assessment includes diagnostic questions to uncover issues I have come across since inventing post-call IVR surveying in contact centers almost 20 years ago.

Why is this a problem?

When you ask the customer to evaluate your service you are telling the customer that ‘we value your opinion’. If you genuinely value their opinion, why would you throw out their opinion just because it wasn’t what you wanted to hear? Doesn’t that mean you really don’t value their opinion at all? Continue reading

Have you failed to implement the Survey Calibration process?

“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

Customers are Monitoring Calls for Quality Purposes Too

“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

Why isn’t your customer experience program a top priority?

importance of customer experience to the organizationYou 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

Does your current post-call IVR survey prevent collecting multiple customer comments?

“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

Do you think a 1-5 scale is the best?

“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

How to safeguard against customer experience inconsistencies in your call center

agent tenure customer satisfaction customer experience consistenciesHave 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

Does your VoC program take a shortcut and skip Survey Calibration?

survey calibration VoC programsIf 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

You aren’t alone with the struggle to extract actionable insights from your CX VoC program

customer experience post call IVR surveys VoC programsJoin 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

Post-call IVR surveys: the key to call center process improvement

post call IVR surveying the key to process improvementThe 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

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