Is your customer survey data deceiving you?

  • To increase NPS, look at the broad scope of the customer experience.

  • Ask the right questions and follow best practices when analyzing your data.

  • Carefully consider any process change before rolling it out.

I read a recent study of a company that was losing customers in spite of getting positive feedback on their customer surveys. It seems their surveys didn’t ask customers about key areas of customer dissatisfaction. Because the surveys only asked about one part of the overall customer interaction, the company was unaware of the key cause of customer dissatisfaction. Consequently, the company had no idea their business was in jeopardy.

If you are intent on growing your business by increasing your net promoter score (NPS), reducing customer effort, or reducing operating costs, it’s important to look at the broad scope of the customer experience and to ask the right survey questions. Additionally, you need to ask the right questions to have a true sense of the customer’s experience at every step of the interaction from both reality and perception, since there are often differences. For instance, in your contact center, the following activities in the customer’s perspective should be considered:

  • What intent did I say I wanted?

When given such prompts on a call as press ‘1’ for sales, ‘2’ for billing and so on, callers often hit any combination of keys just to find a live person, making this information less credible.

  • What choices were offered?

Contact center systems often limit the customer’s selection options based on their segment, which can result in limiting your insight into the customer’s experience.

  • What actually happened?

The agent’s CRM notes often hold valuable insights, but can be difficult to effectively analyze due to the high volume of transactions, unstructured data, and the reviewer’s preconceptions.

  • What do I say now about what happened?

While many organizations collect survey data, few do anything with it. This data can be key to understanding how to create a desired repeatability, as Zappos has done to build their customer base. Once a customer wants to contact you repeatedly, you’ve created a loyalty that in turn generates profitability.

  • What is your customer telling others about you?

A recent Gartner study showed 92% of consumers are influenced by their friends’ recommendations, which illustrates why there is such a high interest in NPS.

Analyzing single activities can not only limit your understanding of the customer experience, but may give you the wrong impression to build recommendations. Following the full continuum of interaction activities gives perspective and thereby findings on how to improve customer experience, refine products and services, and increase promoter. For the most accurate results when drawing up your analysis, follow these best practices:

  • Make a comprehensive analysis across all activities of a customer interaction to provide the best context for reducing customer effort and improving customer loyalty to gain net promoters.
  • Evaluate every major step in the interaction for context and opportunity identification.
  • Analyze a large sample to reduce guesswork and promote any future expense for next steps.
  • Encourage independent evaluation from people outside of your contact center to encourage a fresh perspective without paradigms.
  • Pilot, optimize, test, and refine any customer-facing process change before rolling out to production. You can always learn more from your customers than you’ll learn from internal analysis alone, especially about their behaviors.

Are you faced with a customer contact experience initiative that has not given you the desired results? I would like to find out your thoughts and learnings, so please leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter (@lambrobert).

Learn more about AT&T contact center solutions.

Robert Lamb Consulting Solutions Contact Center Services Director AT&T About Robert