In general consumers tend to have a rather negative image of contact centers. When a need arises to get in touch with a company – many people think about long waiting times on the phone, numerous automated menus to try to figure out, and emails which disappear in the bit world and are never answered. With such negative feelings about a central customer service function, you would think companies would be eager to gather customer satisfaction data.
In contact centers gathering feedback seems to be easier said than done. Most contact center managers understand the importance of measuring customer satisfaction however the problem seems to be execution – what are the most convenient and the most efficient methods to collect customer satisfaction data? Another hurdle seems to be follow-through. The latest UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide even mentions that many companies pay lip service to listening to their customers – data is collected but improvements and/or changes are not implemented based on the feedback. This is a real shame and I think it shows lack of respect for the customers.
Nowadays everyone talks about customer experience – a part of delivering a positive customer experience is to know how customers have perceived the interactions they have had with the company and the only way to know this is by asking them. Measuring customer satisfaction requires companies first to respect their customers enough to say yes – we do care how satisfied you are and how have you perceived the experience we have provided and secondly company need to say yes – we will act upon and make improvements based on the information you provide us.
The UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide suggests that there is no single best method to measure customer satisfaction. Companies should choose a method which will provide them useful information, this could require a use of multiple methods – the Decision-Makers’ Guide explains that the more information the company has, the better understanding they have of their customers. Variety of options are available, below are some of the most common methods used today.
- Email surveys
Usually there is a time delay between the service event and when the email survey is sent. This decreases the response rates but this is a good method to use especially if the customer used email to contact the company.
- Outbound calls
These are difficult to execute in large scale but a very good method to gather in-depth feedback.
- Post-call IVR
This method provides immediate feedback after the service event, fairly easy way to gather replies to the basic satisfaction questions.
- Text messages
Another good method to get collect instant feedback, response rates are usually fairly good.
- Internal quality control teams
Customer satisfaction is determined by a quality control team which evaluates the customer satisfaction based on criteria set by the company. I would not recommend this method to be used alone – it is difficult for someone else to determine whether the customer was really satisfied or did the call merely satisfy the company’s own performance measurements.
It is difficult to manage and improve something that is not measured. Every contact center should be measuring customer satisfaction and more importantly they should be making improvements according to the feedback received from customers. Listening to your customers will provide the company tools to increase customer satisfaction and enrich customer experience. The only way to provide customers a positive experience is to listen and know your customers.
This article originally appreared on Innovation and has been republished with permission