Satisfaction Survey Overload

Customer satisfaction surveys have made their way into the hearts and minds of call centers. But have customers had enough?

It's a fact that satisfaction is paramount to business success, and the best way to know if customers are satisfied is to ask them directly. Call centers do this with customer satisfaction surveys, and more and more organizations are putting this method into practice. But call center managers and executives report that satisfaction survey response levels remain low. Part of the reason may be that customers are feeling overloaded.

Satisfaction Survey Best Practices
Use these resources to learn more about customer feedback and customer satisfaction survey best practices:

This session at ACCE 2012 will help you understand survey administration options, data analysis approaches, the decision points of a survey project, and the considerations for choosing a direction that makes sense for you.

This book covers the sources and risks of "survey malpractice" and how to avoid it, and reveals how to transform customer insights into action by offering concrete examples of how to properly conduct survey research.

Customer satisfaction survey results alone are often not enough to give us the "big picture." It's important to also calibrate your survey results with actual data.

This live webinar includes discussion on the critical data to analyze and share with executives, as well as enterprise feedback management.

Today’s customer may get an email survey or a telephone call during or after nearly every transaction. You've seen this in your private life as a customer. Do you feel overloaded with customer feedback requests? The more people say no to surveys, the less trustworthy the data becomes, Judith Tanur, a retired Stony Brook University sociology professor specializing in survey methodology, told the Associated Press.

Don’t take this to mean that customer satisfaction surveying should halt. The process can be very fulfilling when customers truly feel their feedback has been heard and acted upon. But managing the survey process in a way that doesn’t tax customers is important.

Gmail, for example, was sending out repeated requests to customers to share their opinions on its fall overhaul, reports the AP. Users complained about the multiple solicitations in a Gmail forum, and the company reduced the number of times it sent customers the feedback request.

While post-call telephone and email surveys aren’t going away anytime soon (and they shouldn’t), keep in mind that there are other ways to get that feedback.

To make sure that customer satisfaction surveys are relevant and effective and that the data is best viewed and used, many organizations are turning to enterprise feedback management (EFM). EFM’s system of data collection, analysis and reporting processes and software allow organizations to centrally manage deployment of surveys can help an organization open up the dialogue with employees, partners, and customers on key issues and concerns, potentially allowing the organization to take customer-specific real-time action.

Social media is also a great channel for customer satisfaction feedback. Not only can you monitor customer sentiment and direct comments – there are free and more sophisticated fee-based monitoring tools available – your call center agents can jump into conversations when it’s appropriate and even act on feedback in real-time to improve the customer experience.

If you don’t have a formal feedback/satisfaction survey program, make sure that you’re collecting, analyzing, reporting and acting on unsolicited feedback. Many call centers focus on complaint management for this, but all feedback should be included in the effort.

Customer satisfaction and feedback surveys aren’t leaving the call center environment any time soon – nor should they, but make sure that your program is optimized by taking customer preferences and participation levels into account.

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Rose Polchin — 2:16PM on Jan 16, 2012

Great insight and thought provoking commentary on a critical process. It would appear, based on our January 2012 Quickpoll that many centers are definitely surveying their customers...the key is how often, how (what channel) and of course WHAT actions are we taking as a result.