Is your post-call IVR survey program an internal auditor?

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Is your post-call IVR survey program an internal auditor?

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broken call center processes top of mind for leadersHow 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?

The short answer is no.  And if you’re being honest with yourself, you know you agree. I have a friend that constantly orders take-out food instead of shopping and preparing her own meals, and is always short on cash. To me, the reason for her cash flow problem is so simple. She spends almost $45 a day on Starbucks coffees and fast food which is enough to easily purchase groceries for the month with a lot left over. Has she analyzed her spending plan? No, she had never considered the aggregate impact of her behavior. The contact center leaders with low value post-call IVR survey programs are like my friend and get laser-focused on executing a task, in this case surveys, and never stop to examine what they are missing, the potential, and why they are not getting it. Ask yourself, am I doing this because this is what we’ve always done? What my manager before me did? What the ‘average’ contact center does? What is the real value of this activity?

Best Practices in Contact Center SurveyingFor the best of the best contact center leaders, their post-call IVR surveys are so much more than a glorified customer comment (or complaint) card. It is the best internal auditor they have! Their post-call IVR survey is the one of the best auditing tools for helping them to identify the gaps in processes, broken processes, and what they need to change in their customer management strategies. You would be a fool to not use this powerful customer experience tool to its fullest potential to help elevate your call center (and your business as a whole) to beyond average.

Of course if it was that easy, every contact center would be doing this, so what stands in your way? Over the decades, what I have seen as the biggest issue is the inability to know or to admit that the customer experience measurement program is a critical internal auditing tool. For the few that do not have this issue, they have mitigated a significant amount of unnecessary risk. If you need to implement a Voice of the Customer program or if you realize that your current program is a glorified comment card, now is the time to act. Now is the time to make changes to your program so it fully delivers what your senior leadership is demanding from you. What are you measuring, how are you measuring it, and how are you analyzing and applying this customer auditor insight?

Why will this be well worth your attention? Consider this, a recent Executive Priorities report from CustomerManagementIQ, a Division of IQPC, found that the “most pressing issue facing businesses and one that will continue well into 2014 is broken processes”. Furthermore, “with regard to customer management, improving process is the top 2013 priority among the decision makers” surveyed. If the most pressing issue facing you is broken processes, why do they remain broken? Is it because your current Voice of the Customer program is not effectively auditing and identifying the break points or the most pressing customer and employee facing issues?  If you did not consider your VoC as a means to help you to audit and fix these problems, then it’s time to start thinking like the best of the best. Rest assured, if you don’t your competitors will.

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About Dr. Jodie Monger

Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics and a pioneer in voice of the customer research for the contact center industry. Before creating CRMetrics, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality.

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