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Listen Up! Your Customers Are Talking

When it comes measuring quality, the voice of the customer is one of your call center's strongest assets. A satisfied customer is a loyal customer. If your customers are happy with your products and services, they will keep coming back... and tell their friends!

Have you ever wondered if Mick Jagger was referring to a poor customer service experience when he sang, "I can't get no satisfaction"? Okay, maybe that's just a bit unlikely. But how many of us have known someone, or have been someone, that can't wait to tell their family, friends, pets, etc. when they have had a bad customer service experience? I'm sure most of us have. Customers love to voice their opinions when they are not satisfied, as a way to warn others to steer clear of bad service. The good news is, many of those same customers love to tell others when they've had a great customer experience, as well.

Promoting VOC to Measure Satisfaction

It's no secret that the VOC (voice of the customer) is a valuable resource to the call center. We know the drill: survey, survey, survey! But also by listening to - and understanding - your customers’ needs, such as why they are calling and if they are calling in and if they are calling in repeatedly, you can zero-in on metrics like first-call resolution and quality monitoring. Take a moment here and think about your call center's process for monitoring VOC. Do you have one? How long has it been in place? And most importantly, is it effective?

If you're not sure where to start, this article offers some of the "do's and don'ts" of customer satisfaction surveys that will help get your creative juices flowing!

Of course, there's always plenty of room for innovation when developing the best way to let your customers voice their opinions. A quick pop-up survey, an automated follow-up email or a quick Q&A with an agent at the end of a call are all possible solutions. The trick is finding the one that works best for your call center.

Let's Not Forget Social Media

Many customers today are voicing their opinions of a company's products and services through social media channels like Twitter and Facebook. While social media may not replace customer satisfaction surveys, they act as a modern soapbox where customers can proactively voice their opinions about products and services directly to the company. Though companies have little control over whether customers do this privately (through direct or private messaging) or publicly, making their concerns known to the company as well as to any follower or friend that may be reading. For that reason, customer service management via social media can be a bit tricky. Before diving right in , it's probably best to get a feel for what adding social media to your center entails. However, there are obvious benefits to these interactions. Interacting with customers via social media gives companies the opportunity to showcase their excellent customer service to many other current, and hopefully future, customers. And with many CRM technology manufacturers incorporating social media functionality into their products, it will be easier than before to make use of these channels.

Agents Count, Too!

When it comes to satisfaction and quality metrics, most call centers will focus primarily on the customer. But agents count, too! Does your center have a way of measuring your agent’s voices? As noted in this article, 57.2 percent of respondents to ICMI survey said their organizations have identified linkage between employee engagement and operational efficiency. 57.2 percent also said that their organizations have identified linkage between employee engagement and a better customer experience. That certainly some food for thought for when you're measuring quality metrics.

The bottom line is, listen up when your customers are talking (or singing the blues) to help you improve quality and service in your call center. This ICMI Quick Poll shows that customer satisfaction surveys have impacted performance in many call centers. Have they worked for you? How have they helped? We want to hear your stories, so tell us about it in the comments!

Christina Hammarberg is the former associate editor at ICMI.