Three Reasons to Never Survey Customers in Real-time

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Three Reasons to Never Survey Customers in Real-time

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In the past few years, real-time post call surveying in the call center has increased by more than 150%, yet my advice is if you are doing it, stop. And if you are considering it, don’t do it.

For all I know it may increase 500% over the next few years but I am not certain, and neither is anyone else, despite what analysts might project.

That brings me to three reasons why you should not be part of this growing trend, but not for the reasons you might think.

Reason 1: The data is all wrong and can’t be trusted.

You’re right, it is. In fact, studies have revealed that 6-20% of all of the data collected is wrong because of one main reason…the customer. Yep, just as you suspected, the customer doesn’t accurately follow the directions to complete the survey.

Most commonly, customers completing surveys are told to use specific scales for performance ratings. Sometimes they flip these survey scales which most often results in lower ratings.

Best Practices in Contact Center SurveyingThe second most common mistake is that customers being told to evaluate the call center agent that just helped them, decide to evaluate a different agent instead. This results in an uproar of dissatisfaction when you attempt to use the results for performance improvement. Afterall, who is going to tolerate being held accountable for someone else’s performance.

But these problems are correctable by implementing a Survey Calibration process. So if you don’t like accuracy, or don’t want people to be treated fairly and you like litigation then don’t implement Survey Calibration or better yet, just don’t survey.

Reason 2:   Only very happy or very upset customers participate in post-call surveys.

Talking with Dr. Jodie Monger, the inventor of real-time post-call surveying in call centers, she mentioned that this can occur when certain factors are overlooked in the project design.

Regardless of this, I have to stop and think about the numerous studies on customer experience research which state that emotion is very important in loyalty, recommending, or bad mouthing. Therefore, I sure would want to know what is causing customers to be incensed or delighted. Wouldn’t you? I can think of no better time to capture emotion then in real-time. Then the emotion captured can be transformed into business intelligence which drives future real-time delight.

So if you are not interested in knowing in real-time why customers recommend your product / service or are complaining about you, then don’t survey your customers in real-time.

Reason 3: The call center agents will game the system.

Agents are all out to cheat the system, correct? Really? Truth is, some will, while most won’t. The key is not to make it easy. If you are not aware of the pitfalls and don’t close the gaps, then you will for sure have cheaters. Not implementing audit checks, is opening the door to failure.

If it’s worth having it’s going to take hard work. If the effort is not present then never survey your customers in real-time in your call center. On the other hand, the call centers that have implemented real-time survey programs with Survey Calibration and other best practices are displaying a competitive advantage. That may change your mind.

About Jim Rembach

Jim Rembach is a panel expert with the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and an SVP for Customer Relationship Metrics (CRM). Jim spent many years in contact center operations and leverages this to help others. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQ) practitioner and frequently quoted industry expert. Call Jim at 336-288-8226 if you need help with customer-centric enhancements.

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