Are you earning that high post-call survey score?

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Are you earning that high post-call survey score?

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Or did you ask your customer to give you a high score?I have recently overheard discussions around creative ways to improve a company’s customer satisfaction ratings from their External Quality Monitoring program using a post-call survey methodology. “How can we break that 95%+ glass ceiling in customer satisfaction ratings?” “Why couldn’t the agent ask the customer at the end of each call if they have done enough for them to give them a top box rating?” Sure, it sounds straightforward. In theory, the agent would know before they hung up if they had provided the level of customer service and answered the questions that the customer wanted them to or if they needed to do more before ending the call. They could fix the problem right then and there, right? If only it were that simple. While this concept sounds like an uncomplicated fix – ask and you shall receive – it may be anything but. “Be careful what you wish for” might be more applicable to this scenario than anyone realizes.

Let’s pretend for a minute that the strategy appears to be working. Agents begin asking customers if they will get a top box score prior to transferring customers to the post-call survey. The percentage of top box scores for customer satisfaction increased from 85% to 96% since the inception of this new policy and has maintained that level for several months since. With the 95% glass ceiling broken, mission accomplished, right? However, after three months, another trend begins to surface that isn’t as easy to answer; sales are down. If the customers are happier than ever, why are sales declining? Shouldn’t sales be increasing if customers are having better than ever customer experiences with their company? What is going on?!?

External Quality Monitoring using the post-call survey methodology is designed to capture the voice of the customer. It provides an opportunity for the customer to provide not only a rating of the call, but also leave comments on opportunities and/or issues that they perceive can be improved upon. By leading the customer to rate the call with a 9 prior to transferring them to the survey, the ratings end up skewed. Most customers who tell the agent on the phone that yes, the agent had done enough to get a top box rating (not necessarily because they did, but because they don’t want to offend the agent) will likely give the agent that top box rating just because they already said they would. Based on this scenario, a customer who may have given a rating of 5 on a 9 point scale and left a comment explaining why they feel that way has just rated the call a 9 because they told the agent they would. Now what if the comment that this customer would have left could have been extremely useful to the organization? Nobody will know the insight or voice of the customer because they were led to do something and did it. Perhaps if that customer, and many more like them, had been allowed to answer honestly without any leading by the agent, the company would have been able to hear that sales are declining due to a modification that they made to the product that was supposed to be seamless to the customer; an issue that could easily be rectified if they knew about it. Now, not only does the company not know about this issue that needs to be fixed, they also have no clear idea why sales are declining. They are left to speculate which can lead to costly and unnecessary changes. Meanwhile, the company has lost out on several thousands of dollars in potential revenue because they chose to be ventriloquists instead of listening to the true voice of the customer. Yes, they achieved those great customer satisfaction ratings that they wished for; however, it’s costing them dearly.

About Vicki Nihart

Six Sigma certified and more than 15 years experience in contact center operations. Vicki leverages contact center operations subject matter expertise and deep analytic capabilities to support clients and build relationships. Analyzing and interpreting data is a passion she converts into purpose.

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  • Customers should feel comfortable giving their honest opinion. Like you say, a certain score means nothing if it’s not truly been earned by your contact center.