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Using Data to Ensure Your Call Center Makes the Most of QA Survey Results

When it comes to bolstering your call center’s quality assurance program and its goals, customer satisfaction survey results can provide us with valuable information. However, survey results alone are often not enough to give us the "big picture." It's important to also calibrate your customer satisfaction survey results with actual data.

Benefits of Surveying Customers

In the call center of any organization, customer feedback is extremely valuable – and powerful. As noted in a the article, The Value of Customer Satisfaction Surveys, by asking our customers for their honest impressions of our products and services, we can get a clearer picture of what their expectations of us are vs. the quality of service that we are actually putting out to them.

As a result, the information we interpret from these customer surveys is extremely valuable to us, and of course, we want to be able to use the information to our advantage. The most valuable answers are the ones that go beyond a check mark on a page. We need three-dimensional answers – answers that will calibrate to actual customer data.

Answers in a Vacuum

ICMI has noted a trend in the number of companies that that boast high customer satisfaction in their survey scores, but when we dig a little deeper, we see that that some companies are creating the instrument for these scores in a vacuum. Essentially, this means that some centers’ customer satisfaction scores are being erroneously inflated. We propose that the inclusion of anecdotal evidence could both calibrate these scores to be more useful, as well as help centers shape the tools they use to collect them.

ICMI notes that the standard quality monitoring measures of many organizations often fall short when it comes to providing a well-rounded view of the customer experience. ICMI has found that monitoring is too keenly focused on a single channel, e.g. voice calls, when the call center is actually interacting through multiple channels on a regular basis. Organizations also tend to randomize their monitoring base – using only a small sample of the calls or engagements encountered in a period of time.

Also noted in the whitepaper, Discover Why Contact Center Quality Doesn’t Measure Up – And What You Can Do About It, ICMI research revealed that only 38 percent – a minority – of organizations bring customer feedback into their development of quality monitoring measures and scoring of agent performance.

Quality monitoring in the call center is typically a huge investment for the organization, so it important to ensure that the information harvested from the customer surveys can provide the most accurate results.

Best Practices for Data Assessment

It's important to justify your survey results with real details and examples. If given the choice to select "good," "bad," or "neutral" to describe a recent engagement, a customer may answer that his experience was "good." But is that enough? There is a significant difference between a "good" experience and a "GOOD" experience. You could consider adding an element of depth to your surveys: include opportunities for customers to elaborate on their answers. This could be as simple as including a space for them to write a few sentences next to their answers.

ICMI recommends a number of practices that will benefit organizations by helping them achieve goals for improving contact center performance and enabling greater customer satisfaction, as detailed in the whitepaper. These practices include:

  • Identify the strategic objective of the quality monitoring program
  • Determine and analyze the Cost of Quality (CoQ)
  • Assess whether your quality monitoring program captures and successfully employs customer feedback
  • Correlate quality monitoring measures with feedback on customer satisfaction
  • Share monitoring information with other business departments
  • Train agents and involve them in improving customer satisfaction
  • Develop a cycle of continuous improvement

Customer feedback is a valuable asset to call center. By calibrating your center's customer satisfaction surveys with actual data, you can strengthen its quality assurance program and goals.

*This article first appeared in the Quality Assurance & Training Connection Summer 2011 newsletter.

Christina Hammarberg is the former associate editor at ICMI.