Metrics of the Day: Contact Quality & Customer Satisfaction

Contact Quality
Contact quality is another classic metric that is both a common and critical customer-centric performance metric in all contact centers, regardless of industry, function and size. Its ability to be utilized as both a high-level, center-wide metric, as well as an individual agent performance measure, makes it a favorite measurement of the top performing centers.

Contact quality is typically assessed via the monitoring and recording of agent interactions with customers, with quality assurance specialists or supervisors rating the contact using a comprehensive evaluation form that features key criteria that the center feels contributes to a quality interaction from the customer's perspective. Each criterion is usually assigned a numeric value by those conducting monitoring and weighed based on its impact on customer satisfaction and the center's goals and requirements.

Customer Satisfaction
Studies continue to reveal a direct correlation between customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, corporate revenues and employee morale and performance. For these very specific reasons, it is one of the most critical metrics for any contact center.

Yet, while all companies claim to have an awareness of the importance of customer satisfaction and a strong focus on customer-centric practices, not all go about measuring customer satisfaction in the most precise and most consistent ways, nor do all have an effective process in place for analyzing and acting on the findings.
While there is no standard method for calculating customer satisfaction, there are certain common practices and processes that enable leading centers to not only effectively and efficiently keep tabs on just how much customers like, or dislike them, but also to proactively make key improvements before customers take their business elsewhere.

A leading trend in customer satisfaction insight is to survey customers immediately after the interaction occurs, when the experience is fresh in the customer's mind and before problems can escalate. Top centers typically do this via IVR-based post-call surveys, similar to the type mentioned above in reference to first-contact resolution. Callers are asked a series of questions about their interaction with the agent, their feelings about the organization and their plans to continue doing business with the company. They are asked to rate each question on a numeric scale (often 1 to 5) for easy customer satisfaction calculation. Many surveys also feature one or two open-ended questions prompting for more detailed customer feedback.

Today's advanced IVR survey apps can be programmed to recognize when a customer gives an abnormally low overall rating, and to send an alert to the center manager or quality assurance team. The system can capture (via CTI) the caller's identity and link it to the actual recording of the call in question for complete analysis of the interaction. After reviewing the survey responses and the call, the manager can quickly call the customer to "repair damage," and ideally, restore trust and loyalty.

Of course, not all customers contact the center via phone: thus, IVR-based surveys alone are insufficient for holistic customer satisfaction measurement. Progressive centers also gauge the satisfaction level of who have chosen to interact with thee company via email or chat. To do so, they send a survey similar to the IVR-based one to these customers via email, or program the survey to pop up on the customer's screen upon completion of an online interaction.

You can learn more about forecasting accuracy and other imperative contact center metrics by watching our recent complimentary webinar - Critical Metrics for Standardizing your Contact Center.


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