For honest feedback, there is no better source than the customer. Listening to the Voice of the Customer (VoC) is essential to understanding where your contact center is succeeding, and where there may be room for improvement. Through a combination of surveys, questionnaires, and other methods of feedback collection, you can learn a great deal about the productivity and efficiency of your contact center, and take steps to address any issues which are identified. More importantly, you can be certain that this feedback is accurate and relevant, because it’s coming directly from the end users of your product or service. When it comes down to it, these are the people who determine the ultimate success or failure of your business—so you better listen to them.
There are a number of different survey approaches, each with their own particular strengths and weaknesses depending on which metrics you want to focus on and the type of data you want to collect. These survey options range from “single-question” surveys like NPS or CSAT, to surveys based around open-ended questions which encourage more detailed responses from customers. Generally speaking, you want to capture a customer's feedback as soon as possible after their interaction with your business. In doing so, you give yourself the best chance of receiving honest, accurate feedback, which isn’t affected by time passing. In some cases, of course, you may want to track how customer satisfaction develops over a longer period of time, in which case, you should space out the surveys across consistent intervals like six months, one year, two years, etc. after the initial interaction.
There are multiple avenues to explore when it comes to collecting customer feedback. Regardless of which approach you undertake to collect feedback from customers, there are a few generally applicable guidelines to ensure that you get the most relevant insights from your chosen approach. As noted above, delivering survey requests in a timely fashion after the customer’s interaction with the business is advisable if you want honest feedback. Furthermore, surveys should be short and sweet, with some visual representation of a customer’s progress through the survey. Questions should be aligned with the goal of the specific survey, what kind of data do you want to capture and why? In a case where you wish to track customer satisfaction levels over a period of time, you should keep your questions consistent from one survey to the next, as this will allow for the most accurate tracking of satisfaction trends over your chosen timeframe.
Surveys are the go-to tool for call center leaders who want to gather targeted customer feedback quickly and effectively and, as noted above, they come in many shapes and sizes. Below, we’ll discuss four tried and tested customer survey approaches in a little more detail.
Net promoter score (NPS) is a measure of how likely a customer is to recommend your product or service to a friend. It is an excellent survey for tracking customer experience and loyalty, allowing you to derive a lot of information from one short, easily-answered question. The results of a NPS survey will go a long way to determining what’s working in a business and what needs to be improved. It’s also been noted as one of the most important indicators of growth, revenue, and the overall health of a contact center.
As the name suggests, customer satisfaction (CSAT) score is used to measure a customer’s level of satisfaction with a service, product, or overall experience. For a contact center, the focus of a CSAT survey would be the level of service provided and whether or not the customer is sufficiently pleased. As illustrated in the graphic below, there are two methods of calculating CSAT score and determining the percentage of customers who are satisfied.
Customer Effort Score (CES) measures the amount of effort a customer needs to exert in order to interact with your business. This metric might refer to transactions, resolution of service issues, onboarding, or any other kind of interaction with the business. For example, if a customer is being transferred from department to department on a call, or is forced to switch between channels of communication to get any response at all, this will negatively impact CES. Exact phrasing of the survey question may differ, but CES is usually calculated by taking the number of respondents who agree that the interaction was easy, dividing by the total number of responses, and multiplying by 100. CES is a strong indicator of lifetime value, loyalty, and referral likelihood, as well as a useful tool for identifying flaws in UX, self-service channels, and the overall customer experience.
If you’re seeking more detailed feedback from your customers, open-ended questions are the way to go. When we speak about “open-ended” questions, we are referring to survey questions which cannot be answered with a simple yes/no response. These questions give customers a greater level of freedom, encouraging more personalized, in-depth responses than you would get from the “single-question” surveys like CSAT, NPS, or CES. Be careful, however, as this unrestricted freedom could potentially overwhelm the customer. Make sure the survey is short and the questions are simple, and include a progress bar to indicate how far through the survey the customer is. The data gathered from an open-ended survey may take longer to analyze due to the increased complexity of the responses, but it can be extremely useful in identifying problem areas and highlighting customer issues.
Customer feedback is an invaluable tool when it comes to assessing agent performance, so it’s vital that contact center leaders understand how to collect this feedback in the correct manner. Blindly throwing surveys at customers without any real planning or intentionality will yield data, sure, but whether or not this data will be useful is another story. By identifying the purpose of the survey, selecting the right type of survey, and deploying it at the correct time, you can ensure that the feedback you receive is relevant and actionable. To learn how you can use Scorebuddy to not only comb through the data, but make improvements based on your findings, request a free demo today.