“Did you fail to put in a process that prevents agents from receiving vulgar and obscene comments?” is a question that was included in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys eBook and self-assessment located in our resource library for contact center leaders. Take advantage of our knowledge and experience accumulated over the past 20 years since inventing post-call IVR surveying for call centers. The eBook and self-assessment includes diagnostic questions that will help you to identify any of the many problems that will undermine the value of your customer experience measurement program.
Why is this a problem?
Every day in a call center is filled with surprises from “customers saying the darndest things”. Many of the things that you hear on calls are funny like the caller who wants a new washing machine because the lid keeps hitting her on the head or the guy who thinks there are signals from deep space that are making his electric meter spin faster than he is using electricity. You probably have some good customer comments hanging up in your center. If only customers were only funny or slightly kooky, but we all know that there are rude and downright vulgar customers.
While you have techniques and guidelines for your agents to employ when a customer is becoming “not-at-all funny”, shall we say, the same should be true for your customer experience measurement methodology. Many programs allow the customer to leave a comment in relationship to one or more of the survey questions. The comments are then shared with the agents, often on his or her individual performance scorecard.
Receiving constructive criticism from the survey scorecards is extremely beneficial. Hearing the customers’ own words makes a much larger impact than hearing the same information from a coach or team lead. But when comments are presented verbatim, the opportunity for constructive feedback to turn to destructive is not only possible but will occur.
It is not uncommon for customers to use crude and tasteless words when leaving a comment on the survey. Such expressions seem to be easier to say to the survey system than directly to the agent during the call so the occurrence is more frequent that most would think. Another vulgar comment type is related to race. Agent accents too often provide fodder for rude comments on the survey. Race-based comments are definitely more free-flowing in the survey environment compared to speaking directly to an agent. Such comments are terribly hurtful and should not appear on scorecards. Finally, another group of comments that we see are not rude, but definitely inappropriate. Customers may leave their phone number for the agent when expressing how attractive or “hot” the agent sounds. Doing one’s job should not open him or her up to unwanted advances and suggestions from customers.
The solution may sound obvious but your customer post-call IVR survey (or email survey) must include a process to identify and correct the use of vulgarity, racial comments and graphic suggestions or advances made by responders. There is no benefit to anyone from reading survey comments that include such offenses. As an employer you also have a legal obligation to protect your employees from such offenses. The Survey Calibration process used by Customer Relationship Metrics eliminates the crude and tasteless terms without changing the sentiment of the comment. You must include a Survey Calibration process within your in-house program if you have one. Without changing the results or the underlying message, all programs should have a Survey Calibration process that includes this type of audit and subsequent alteration if needed.
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