Voice of the Customer – Are you Getting It?

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you might have noticed that I talk about quality frequently. I’m not afraid to say that I think you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your customers’ experiences if you aren’t listening to those calls, chats, emails, etc.

There’s another side to this listening task. True voice of the customer is more than just the conversation they have with your agents. It’s also something you can catch through a post-call survey.

What is a post-call survey, you ask? This is typically an automated survey with just a few questions that are presented to the customer once the interaction with the agent is completed. It’s your customers giving their opinions to you instead of you inferring their thoughts based on the interaction they have with your agent. If done correctly, a post-call survey can give you some real insight into what will make your customers happy and keep them loyal.

Common Survey Topics and Questions:

  • Interaction with an agent. Questions are often focused around how polite, professional, and knowledgeable the agent was.
  • General product or service. Whatever your company provides, your customers have an opinion about its reliability, general quality, and how it compares to your competitors. This may also give you a good basis for figuring out your first call resolution numbers by asking how many times they have called for the same reason.
  • Net promoter. Would your customer suggest your product or service to their friends?

Common Survey Mistakes:

  • Offering too many questions. Remember they are doing you a favor by taking time to answer your questions. Keep things brief and to the point.
  • Using the wrong scale. Many people automatically ask for responses on a scale of 1-10. This is perfectly fine if they aren’t on a phone with numbers only up to 9!  Phone surveys should be on a scale of 1-5 or 1-9. (As outlined in this whitepaper, Eight Essential Steps to Get Actionable Customer Feedback)
  • Avoiding the answer you don’t want to hear. Especially when giving multiple choice options, make sure to offer answers for the full range of possibilities equally. Don’t give 3 positive choices and only 1 slightly negative option. Also, don’t only give yes or no as the only options if your customer could conceivably answer “maybe.”
  • Asking complex questions. The more direct and simple a question is, the more accurate your responses will be. Sometimes, you may need a qualifying statement before your question such as, “Think of your most recent order with us.”  The question then could be about the agent they spoke to or the speed of delivery, etc.

One of the main things to remember when crafting your survey questions is that it may take a couple of tries to really nail down the right questions. Don’t be afraid of revamping to make certain the REAL topics get covered.

Thanks for reading!

~Shanti Lall

Shanti Lall

Shanti Lall

I came to Interactive Intelligence in 2010 as an operational trainer for the Education department. For about a decade before that, I worked in a contact center, where I started out as a line-level agent taking customer service calls. I worked my way up to team lead, supervisor, and finally, project manager. I was doing quality management with a circa 1982 tape deck in a spare office with a speaker phone and workforce management in an Excel spreadsheet with about 5 billion lines of formula. Eventually we upgraded and brought in Interactive Intelligence. When I’m not training people who can relate to my former life, I’m traveling with my family.