Has the Customer Survey Had Its Day?

This is a question that I sometimes get asked. When you stop to think about the plethora of hard measures, advanced speech and text analytics deployed by an omnichannel contact centre is there still a place for the post call or post interaction survey?

The answer to this question is an unequivocal yes. Post interaction surveys remain an essential part of an organisation's Voice of the Customer programme. Hard measures and speech analytics can only tell you so much. The only way to find out what your customers think is to ask them.

For example, relying on hard measures for a seemingly simple stat like first call resolution is fraught with issues. Your CRM may show that this is the first call received on an incident, but what if the customer has had to move from being logged into your website to making a call because they couldn’t find the answer they wanted? Your CRM would record this resolved on the first call, but to the customer this would be their second attempt to resolve their query. Asking the question on a survey will reveal the true answer.

Here are the top five reasons to survey using an automated survey system:

  1. Know what your customer really thinks.

  2. Accurately measure First Call Resolution (FCR) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS).

  3. Capture authentic, unfiltered feedback.

  4. Manage performance.

  5. Measure success of service initiatives.

At Square Systems we have been providing surveys to clients for over 15 years and have some top tips when setting up a survey:

  1. Telephone Surveys Still Work. To maximise response rates make the survey relevant to the channel that the enquiry was received on. If an enquiry was via telephone, then a post call IVR survey may be the most appropriate, or possibly text if calling from a mobile. If an enquiry was online or via email a web survey may be more appropriate. However, even now we find that the best response rates come from IVR surveys.

  2. Don't Leave It Too Long. When surveying, make it as close to the interaction as possible. Leaving an hour or day means that the interaction recollection will begin to fade and you’ll get a more generalised response about how the respondent feels about the company rather than feedback on the recent transaction.

  3. Don't Ask What You Should Already Know. Customer details, such as account number or phone number should already be known to you. It's annoying for the customer to have to repeat them. Choose a survey solution that can link with your own data.

  4. Keep it short. Three or four relevant questions will almost certainly reveal all that you need to know. You will get more surveys completed if they are kept short.

  5. Comments Can Be Valuable. Ask an open question. Transcription to text in near real time will help you build sentiment analysis and quickly take further action if required.

  6. Take Action and Feedback. There is nothing worse that completing surveys and never hearing anything again. Communicating key issues and what has been done will create a virtuous circle encouraging future participation. Involve your teams in this too.

  7. Manage the Process Robustly. Involve the teams, incentivise them to participate and recognise great results. If you really want to be seen to eliminate any chance of agent cherry picking, choose a telephone survey method such as stealth mode which removes any agent choice.

  8. Choose a Survey Platform with Real Time Alerting and Reports. Alerting managers to a poor score in real time allows recovery action to be taken before a customer is lost. Having reports and dashboards available allows managers to check performance at a glance and know that the data is always up to date.

So, in short, implementing a good Voice of the Customer programme using the most appropriate means available is still the best and most reliable way of asking your customers what they really think. Surveys will remain a fundamental part of quality management mix for years to come.