What Are Your Customers Really Telling You?

Excellence in customer service starts with throwing out preconceived ideas and really listening to your customers – were they angry, frustrated when they called you, did that change throughout the call, did you resolve their issue, what issues caused them to call, could this be avoided?

Customer Experience, Customer Insights, Customer Satisfaction – you can’t attend any call centre industry forum without these topics being discussed at length. The question is why is understanding customers so hard?

Do any of the following statements ring true for your organisation?

  • We undertake detailed quality monitoring and what we think will drive customer satisfaction
  • No matter what internal changes we make our customer satisfaction doesn’t improve very much
  • We have all the tools to monitor customer satisfaction – including speech analytics and automated customer satisfaction surveys
  • We spent a lot of time educating our front line team on the importance of customer satisfaction.
  • Yet… our customer satisfaction never seems to improve…

Here is the reality

Internal quality monitoring usually focuses on process compliance. Very few organisations have customer related questions in their monitoring process such as ‘what was the customer attitude at the start and end of the call’, ‘was the customer’s issued resolved’. In fact, we can rate a call at 80% quality and the customer is still frustrated!!

Most of the tools we use to measure customer experience occur after the event and ask the customer how they felt about the interaction. Once we get this information it is often hard to link it back to our internal processes and procedures. If we can’t make the link we can’t improve the customer experience.

We monitor customer satisfaction based on our perception of what will please the customer. Unless we can link what we do with how it impacts the customer a post event survey can tell us very little. Can a customer explain that the upstream billing issue was the reason they called 4 times? We need to be able to draw those linkages.

We all spend a lot of time educating our people about excellent customer service. We then monitor them on process compliance and limit how long they can talk to a customer. We send mixed messages and reward our agents for process compliance. Back to point one.

Excellence in customer service starts with throwing out preconceived ideas and really listening to your customers – were they angry, frustrated when they called you, did that change throughout the call, did you resolve their issue, what issues caused them to call, could this be avoided?

Improving your customer insights can be as simple as turning your quality monitoring into a tool to collect information about customers not processes. Start with one or two questions and see what your customers are really saying.

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