Customer satisfaction should be at the forefront of any customer service entity, and that includes contact centers. There are plenty of templates to be found online that will help you to determine how satisfied overall your customers are with the service they receive, but these survey results amount to nil if they don’t lead to valuable changes in your day-to-day operations and overall strategy. Read on for a guide on how to use customer satisfaction surveys to gain actionable insights for your call center.
Use closed questions
To get an overall sense of your customers’ satisfaction, develop some closed questions to include in your survey– that is, questions with predetermined answers from which your customers may select.
Results from questions like this are easy to compile and analyze, and looking at customer responses in big numbers might help you determine issues that a majority of them are experiencing so you can take action accordingly. There are, however, limitations to the authenticity and depth of such responses– you are essentially asking customers which of your presumed answers they most agree with. Which is exactly why you should…
Use open-ended questions, too
Open-ended questions are questions without pre-determined answers from which customers must select. Basically, you ask some carefully crafted questions, and customers can write or speak their answers in their own words. You may be thinking that questions like these yield results that are lengthy, varied, and difficult to compile and organize; well, you’re right. But with this approach, big numbers (i.e. statistical data) take a backseat to more in-depth answers that are perhaps lower in overall quantity, but rich in quality.
Rather than analyzing the closed responses of thousands of customers, a modest collection of thoughtful responses can give you the actionable insight you need. Unlike multiple choice (i.e. closed) responses, you don’t have to wonder and assume what exactly the customer was thinking when he/she chose that response– the customer has the opportunity to explain themselves clearly and completely, giving you a comprehensive account of their experience with your call center.
Design a question flow
Instead of just giving your customers a numbered list of closed or open-ended questions, put more thought into how these questions are sequenced. Just like your IVR system is designed to allow customers to “flow” through different sets of prompts based on their previous selection, your customer satisfaction survey can be organized into tiers or paths based on the answers that are selected.
Begin with a broad, closed question like “How likely would you be to recommend our service to a friend?” with selections ranging from “highly likely” all the way down to “highly unlikely.” Based on how the customer responds to this, they can be directed toward subsequent questions set that begin to dig down into the reasons why.
Thusly, you will receive not only global, compilable, analyzable mass data based on the initial broad tier of closed questions, but you’ll also receive increasingly specific feedback about particular features of your service.
It may seem like a lot of work, but if you’re trying to figure out how to use customer satisfaction surveys to gain an overall sense of customer satisfaction along with specific, actionable insights, designing a system of tiered questions is the way to go.
You’ve got data. Now what?
Equally important to the way in which you collect your customer data is how you actually use it. You took the time to design your surveys, and your customers took the time to answer your questions; what a shame it would be for this goldmine of information to go to waste. Some companies, like surveygizmo, hold weekly meetings to analyze the overall results and read customer comments together.
Be sure to involve representatives from all levels of your call center (agents, supervisors, managers) and other relevant stakeholders.
If you’re working with a large staff, you can have employees break out into small groups to sift through comments and select the ones that are the most insightful toward making worthwhile changes, reconvening for another large group pow-wow at the end.
Involving agents themselves has the added benefit of increasing “buy-in” from them on company policy and improving customer satisfaction. Once you have determined problem areas, brainstorm potential solutions together and come up with an action plan that includes concrete changes in policy or procedure to exact the necessary change.
Note: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Focusing on just a few key improvement areas will yield better results than trying to change many things at once. Be conservative, yet consistent, in your implementation of changes.
Don’t use customer survey data to reward and/or punish agents
Agents whose livelihood is threatened or enhanced by survey data are understandably likely to manipulate the results. At best, agents may be tempted to offer customers perks or discounts that fall outside of company policies. At worst, agents may pressure their customers to rate them highly.
In any case, giving agents a reason to pump up their scores can result in biased, unreliable data.
The challenge of how to use customer satisfaction surveys to gain valuable feedback for your company is entirely undermined in such cases.
Companies and customers do not always share the same perspective of the customer service provided by a company. To close that communication gap, thoughtfully construct your customer satisfaction surveys and use the results to make meaningful, lasting changes.