Customer Surveys Improve Customer Service

Achieving the highest-quality customer service is an exercise in vigilance. Having the best people, cutting-edge technology, and time-tested protocols is certainly helpful. But true excellence requires continuous measurement, tracking, and research.

Surveys are one of the best methods of securing information regarding how customers perceive your company’s service. Often, though, surveys are biased: Many customers complete surveys only if they have had a bad experience—and although that sort of feedback is certainly helpful, it does not paint a complete picture of the situation or provide accurate data to use and react to.

Also, surveys typically take time to compile, and by the time you receive the data, the time frame to react may already have passed, and a solution, if necessary, might not work in the long term.

You can avoid these problems by selecting a survey tool for your customer service representatives and contact center agents with the following characteristics:

Agent anonymity – This refers to the agent not being aware that the caller will be part of a survey about the call. The caller chooses to participate prior to the call interaction with the live agent. And, following the call with the agent, the caller is immediately transferred to the survey. This reduces the chance for an agent bias based on them knowing they are being monitored. With an agent-anonymous survey, the agent cannot influence or bias the survey in any way through voice inflections or changes in service based on the caller’s interest in taking the survey.

Interactive – Interactivity makes the survey easy and more likely to be completed. Some surveys that currently exist rely on agent interaction and direct input by the agent. By being automatic and interactive, the caller drives the process through a speech application where the survey can immediately adapt based on the caller’s responses.

Short – Customer surveys are important, but the customer’s time is even more important. Keeping it short—under 1.5 minutes– will increase the number of participants as well as the validity of the survey results.

Qualitative and quantitative results – Numbers and ratings can give you only so much information. Listening to the actual customer voice—his tone, vocabulary, and inflections—enables you to get a fuller understanding of his sentiments.

Real-time access to results – Being on top of the information allows managers to react quickly and adjust methods as necessary. In this age of information, data that are a week old can be worthless, since things can change so quickly.

Surveys are one of the easiest and most efficient ways to secure customer intelligence, which is one of the most important—and overlooked—business advantages in the contact center.

Todd Strubbe is president of Omaha, NE-based automated contact center solutions provider West Interactive Corp.

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