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Matching the Survey Channel Makes for Better Customer Service

As the number of customer service channels continues to expand surveying consumers about their customer experience becomes more complex. Which channel is best for customer outreach and follow-up? What’s the best means for consumer outreach to elicit a complete response? The best answer is to give consumers a feedback channel that matches their individual needs.

We have observed that most consumers prefer to respond to IVR surveys using the same channel as they do for company contact. Being sensitive to customers’ channel preferences tells you a lot about how consumers like to communicate, and the best ways to reach them.

The Telephone Still Rules

The reason for customer contact is what dictates the contact channel. As a 2017 report from The Northridge Group shows, the telephone is still the dominant service channel, especially for time-sensitive issues such as billing, but phone use continues to decline. Fifty percent of those surveyed in 2015 said they prefer they prefer using the phone, but that number dropped to 43 percent in 2017.

The big challenge with telephone support is wait times, which is a universal complaint for consumers, followed by the challenge of navigating the automated customer service system. As a result, we are seeing a growing preference for online chat (23 percent), web self-service (5 percent), text messaging (4 percent), and mobile self-help (3 percent). At the same time, 55 percent of customers find web self-service portals hard to use.

Part of the reason phone service remains the most popular is people prefer human interaction. To shorten time-to-response for incoming phone calls, more companies are adopting call-back functions to eliminate long wait times. Automated call-back and improved scripting tools for agents are making call center response more efficient, shortening response time and reducing call center staffing requirements.

For less urgent issues, most consumers prefer to do their own research and find the answers to their own questions. Seventy five percent of consumers surveyed said they prefer self-service as a fast and painless approach to address service issues, and 67 percent said they prefer self-service over talking to a company representative. Ninety-one percent said they prefer to use the customer knowledge base, and 40 percent call the service center only after they have searched for their answers online. Not surprisingly, Millennials are less patient than Baby Boomers are more likely to call if they can’t answer their own questions.

Match the Survey to the Channel

When consumers do have to contact a company, their preferred method of contact according to research by DMG Consulting is, in order of preference, via email, phone, text, online chat, and social media. However, when receiving correspondence from companies, email is preferred over telephone 60 percent to 21.4 percent. For sales transactions, web self-service and email are preferred over calls and text.

When surveying customer satisfaction, acknowledging the customer’s preferred channel is important. For web queries and email queries, using web and email surveys will typically yield a higher response. For call center queries that clearly have a higher priority for the consumer, responding with telephone IVR surveys is the preferred strategy, demonstrating that their opinion also has a higher priority for the company. It’s all a matter of reaching the consumer in the right context.

When you survey is as important as how you survey. To maintain continuity you should contact customers as soon as possible, showing the same degree of urgency as the inbound query. For telephone queries telephone IVRs sent shortly after the call center contact yields the best results. Not only does a return call with an IVR survey demonstrate the same degree of urgency to provide customer satisfaction, it also can provide more immediate feedback to escalate problem calls. If the customer satisfaction is low, a response can be immediately flagged for follow-up using real-time transcription technology and keyword analytics.

To match survey channels effectively requires a unified view of the customer and customer interaction. This includes the nature of the customer contact, the channels used, and the successful (or unsuccessful) result of the interaction. If the customer prefers email or chat, for example, following up with a phone survey is more likely to discourage response. Online channels offer more convenience where phone survey in response to email queries can be viewed as disruptive.

The best way to capitalize on the right customer service channel is to follow a few simple guidelines:

  1. Always use a survey method that matches with the communication medium chosen by the customer.
  2. When possible provide consumers with a choice as to their survey channel using a mixed mode strategy.  
  3. Use survey methodologies that deliver real-time survey data. This will provide richer and immediate insight into the quality of service and customer experience.
  4. Process both closed-end and open-end data in near real-time. It’s the best strategy to leverage data for closed loop recovery.

Consumer channel preferences will vary based on the issue at hand and customer demographics. Customer service questions, for example, are often best handled by phone for urgent matters while sales and product queries are usually handled via email or online. Interacting with customers and consumers on their own terms is the best means to improve survey response rates and promote customer loyalty.

Omni-channel CX is Incomplete Without IVR

Can you have a successful omni-channel CX without IVR?

The short answer is No.

I recently attended a large customer experience (CX) conference and it surprised me how many companies believed they have mechanisms in place to monitor their omni-channel CX. Many of these companies have call centers that field hundreds of thousands of calls a year and they have never considered IVR surveys to measure their customers’ call center experience (although many use email surveys to measure the call center or agent). I will be the first to admit that IVR research has the stigma of being old fashioned – my company has been doing it for almost 30 years – but that doesn’t mean IVRs can be ignored or that there aren’t some exciting new things happening with IVR surveys.

omni-channel CX starts at the call centerThere are exciting innovations in the IVR world. Speech-to-Text has come a long way in recent years. We now have an 88-90% accuracy rate using an out of the box survey model and it can get higher with tuning. Why is this important? Well IVR open-end comments are the longest compared to other methodologies. Some studies show that they are seven times longer and more comprehensive than web and SMS comments. This means richer comments, more insights and more data to feed into your text analytics.

There also is an increased need for redaction technology. We are seeing our customers in the Finance, Healthcare and other regulated fields using redaction software to remove Social Security Numbers, Banking Number and any other PII (personally identifiable information) from the transcription and open-ends. This means companies can be sure of security compliance since employees can listen and read transcribed open-ends without having to worry about uncovering sensitive personal information.

Another innovation is that IVRs now include a sentiment score that measures the emotion of the respondent when he or she left the open-end response. This score is another data point to help you decide which comments to listen to and how to setup alert.

However, one of the most exciting innovations in applying IVR to measure omni-channel CX is the ability to present real-time feedback. Consider this example. A customer requires a service call at their home. After the installation the technician leaves and the customer receives a phone call using a voice-enabled IVR with a short survey about the installation experience. If the customer leaves an open-end response that there was an issue with the service call, the Speech-to-Text transcription technology and IVR analytics can pick up on the customer’s dissatisfaction and issue an alert. A Customer Service Representative can then look up the customer’s information based on the generated alert, call the customer immediately and resolve their issue. With real-time sampling and reporting customer response time can be reduced to less than 30 minutes.

Without the right IVR system in place to gain customer feedback, the customer journey is incomplete. You need to learn as much as you can about the customer experience to make omni-channel marketing truly pay off.

Is Voice Driven Data Capture Part of Your CX Strategy?

Customer experience (CX) research has been experiencing dramatic evolution in the last decade which has, in turn, changed CX strategy. In recent years customer satisfaction research has been turned upside down by the rapid evolution of the digital customer experience. The historical norm of siloed customer satisfaction survey projects reported on a monthly or quarterly basis has evolved into real-time omni channel data collection spanning the entire customer journey, from acquisition to long-term client retention and value growth. Further, there is a new demand to integrate all employees into CX reporting and motivation. Every employee in the company has an opportunity to enhance the customer experience, which has driven CX vendor to deliver multi-level reporting that integrates analytics spanning survey, social data, operational data, etc.Customer Response is key to CX strategy

The goal today is not to simply report on a customer satisfaction metric, rather it is to make customer satisfaction an integral component to company strategy and employee motivation.

To achieve this goal, CX vendors must look for best of breed solutions throughout the customer journey. One such solution is the Voice Driven Data Collection™. Voice Driven Data Collection utilizes telephone and mobile devices to maximize the opportunity to capture both quantitative and qualitative data within a omni channel environment by converting voice response into actionable data.

The premiere survey methodology for capturing voice driven data is IVR surveys. IVR offers a flexible survey methodology for mobile consumer enabling voice and keystroke-driven input. Statistics show that IVR surveys tend to provide the highest response rates in outbound survey methodologies, and they offer the ability to gain insight immediately after a consumer interaction with a call center. What this means is that a broad demographic population can provide survey data response that reflects a more accurate representation of the consumer’s experience with rich quantitative and qualitative data.

More importantly, IVR surveys uniquely enable an ability to capture responses through open ends, the actual voice of the customer, providing actionable attitudinal and ideation insights to understand the “why” of consumer CX measurement. This ability to capture consumer voice is particularity important when considering the dramatic decline in open ended data associated with web, mobile, and text surveys.

Integrating IVR survey data collection is a key component to making the Voice of the Customer actionable in today’s CX strategy.

Four keys to better measure call center CX

Customer support call centers continue to be one of the most influential customer experience (CX) touch points in your customers’ journey. Designing and executing customer experience call center CX feedback systems should be one of the highest priorities in any enterprise CEM solution. Unfortunately, for many brands a one-size-fits-all methodology has been used to develop survey and feedback systems to interview call center CX is driven by CX survey and feedback systemscustomers about their experience following call center interactions. Our experience suggests that the survey methodology and system design needs to align to the unique aspects of customer care call center management.

Here is a list of four key considerations to keep in mind when designing call center survey feedback systems:

1. Acquire customer experience quickly. The best data from customer care and call center service interactions need to be acquired within minutes after the termination of the call. Best of breed solutions use an instantaneous, event-triggered system to engage a consumer who has opted in to a survey. This event triggered surveys offer the highest response rates and the most concise feedback on call center CX.

2. Sentiment data is king. Consumer sentiment is recognized as a key indicator of customer experience and an important metric for customer care. Many vendors wait to measure sentiment in post engagement text analytics processing. Voice driven data collection systems using IVR and speech-to-text models can measure consumer sentiment scores in real time and monitor for keywords and phrases enabling alerts to be delivered for direct intervention by customer care representatives.

3. Integrate operational and research data. Strong analytics are key to managing agents’ performance and making insights actionable. One way of enhancing call analytics that is often overlooked is integrating survey data with operational data. The seamless integration of survey and operational data, including agent ID, is critical to generating comprehensive analytics that can render actionable insight. Survey data system should integrate through API into the call center data allowing seamless integration on the front-end rather than requiring post survey manual integration of operational data.

4. Open-ends are critical to making NPS actionable to the brand. Qualitative insights drive ideation that enables the brand to take action to make measurable improvement in NPS scores. Unfortunately, mobile and text survey have had a direct negative impact on the quantity and frequency of consumer open ends. The only survey methodology that has consistently delivered rich open end data is IVR surveys. Consumers tend to give open end responses that are 3-7 times longer than other survey methods. In addition, with speech-to-text technology these voice open ends are more actionable and cost effective than ever.

Why call center IVR surveys of customers is on the rise

Market pundits have predicted the decline of call centers as a critical component of consumer care.  In reality, call centers continue to be the single most important component of consumer care in the digital age. Research shows 69 percent of consumers are more satisfied using the phone to acquire support across most industries, something you could test with your own call center IVR surveys.  Further, at a cost of $1.00 per minute, Call Centers represent the single most expensive customer care system cost by a large margin.Conducting a call center IVR survey

Because of the volume of consumer contacts and their relative impact on consumer satisfaction, call centers have always been considered a critical touch point in the customer journey for all customer experience CX research.  Further, multi-modal surveys have been used for post call center surveying, but IVR surveys have been the dominant and preferred survey method. New trends in customer research will further expand the use of call center IVR surveys for post call customer care.

Call center operations are beginning to integrate speech to text technology as a scalable method to review and analyze the performance of agents, and coaching agents to enhance success metrics. Speech to text captures the customer exchange and transcribes it to make it easier to analyze and dissect call outcomes to assess agent performance. This technology will enable call center management to better understand the causes of successful and failed customer care calls.

What the technology of transcribing actual consumer call recordings will not provide is a clear understanding of the impact customer care and service call successes and failures have on the customer’s relationship to the brand. This can only be achieved by an effective and broad-based post contact survey methodology.

IVR surveys continue to offer the preferred survey methodology because it offers nearly instantaneous post call or service contact, extremely high participation rates, a mobile friendly platform, and the ability to gather quantitative and qualitative feedback, including insight into brand affinity. The qualitative data acquired by IVR surveys has dramatically improved and is more cost effective with the integration of similar speech to text technology. Now you can transcribe survey open ends and integrate such data for text analysis and ideation research in near real-time a fraction of the cost of manual transcription.

As call center innovation grows so does the ability for customer experience research to measure the attitude of consumers and score their experience to measure the impact on consumer brand affinity.

 We can help you get more from speech to text IVR surveys – learn more.

Call Center Silos Are Eroding Omnichannel Success

Call center siloes limit VoCEven though they talk to customers via telephone, email and chat, the most siloed operation in your customer service operation is your call center. Historically, call centers have been segregated from other parts of the organization concerned with voice-of-the-customer (VoC) issues, which is odd since no other group works directly with more customers every day. Collecting and, more importantly, sharing customer experience (CX) data should be one of the primary responsibilities of the call center.

Why are call centers siloed from the rest of the organization? There are a few obvious reasons:

  1. Telephony partners often have a stake in controlling the feedback related to their platforms.
  2. More call centers are being outsourced, which makes it harder to integrate call center reports and findings.
  3. Call center business processes including workflow and software, differ from other VoC groups making it more difficult to integrate call center data.

Despite these obstacles, call centers are front and center when it comes to assessing CX and customer satisfaction. The data they gather as part of the omnichannel experience can help make or break your brand.

CX Success Relies on Collaboration

According to Gartner more than two-thirds of marketers say their companies compete on CX and more than 81 percent expect to compete mostly on CX by the end of the decade. However, to succeed, CX has to be built around collaborative processes that engender positive customer outcomes. As Gartner Analyst Augie Ray states:

…in a world increasingly built around collaboration, CX outcomes tend to diminish when marketing or any other single department attempts to lead and execute CX alone. CX leaders need to partner and collaborate with other departments to make improvements throughout the entire client life cycle.

No one group listens to the customer more closely than the call center. Call centers tend to be the single, most impactful operation affecting net promoter scores (NPS), which means they have a huge impact on CX.

Aberdeen Group reports that best-in-class VoC users get 10 times the annual revenue of their competitors. Mastering VoC programs also contributes to the success in other ways:

  • 55 percent of VoC leaders have higher customer retention rates.
  • 23 percent see a reduction in customer service costs year over year.
  • 292 percent experience greater employee engagement rates.

Call centers are at the forefront of VoC data gathering, generating more qualitative and quantitative transactional data than any other CX group. Ignoring call center findings and failing to incorporate them in CX analytics is a costly mistake.

Tapping Call Center Data for CX Analytics

Thanks to big data analytics, customer interactions gathered by the call center can be captured and incorporated into CX research. Issues such as siloed data repositories and incompatible workflows can be overcome using the latest data mining techniques, and big data analytics can accept source information in virtually any form. Cloud data repositories and other data sharing strategies also provide ready access to call center research as part of collaborative CX analytics

Once you understand the vital role that call centers can play in VoC data gathering you can break down the barriers and integrate call center CX data into your analytics workflow. It also allows you to make the most of the unique role the call center plays in assessing CX.

Establishing the right protocols for customer experience data gathering has to be part of multichannel CX analytics. You need to establish customer surveys that provide an accurate snapshot of customer attitudes. You also need to be able to process open end questions as well as multiple choice and ranked responses.

More importantly, you need to be able to process real-time data as well as historical data. To increase customer retention rates and reduce customer service costs requires immediate response to customer issues. Having a real-time data analytics engine providing immediate reports based on customer-agent conversations is the kind of big data application that can give your customer service operation a true competitive edge.

It’s time to bring your call centers in from the cold. The more closely you can integrate call center data gathering into your omnichannel strategy, the more comprehensive your understanding of customer experience will be. You also need to take advantage of the call center’s unique role as the direct channel for customer contact, using timely IVRs and real-time analytics to improve customer satisfaction.

Multi-channel CX Calls for New Closed Loop IVR Survey Strategies

Customers have come to expect more from brands as more digital communications and service channels become available for marketing and customer outreach. Today, customers can interact with vendors through their call center, their web site, via chat, via email, and using social media. This puts even more pressure on companies to assess and manage customer experience (CX).

The days of using email surveys as the single feedback channel are over. CX vendors and their customers need to adopt a blend of CX data collection tools including IVR surveys, email surveys, web intercept, and other tools that are better suited to the unique diversity of service channels. In short, single survey mode strategy is dead, accurate CX measurement requires a multi-channel survey strategy.

Accurate CX Feedback Requires the Right Timing and Channel

Customer satisfaction surveys have always been a great tool for gauging brand sentiment, but with customers using so many different communications channels, customer experience tools need to map to the same channels to get a reliable measurement of CX. Customer satisfaction studies need to be refined to accommodate best-of-breed communications channels th

at match the customer’s preferred mode of interaction. In order to be accurate, CX surveys have to be timely and delivered using a channe

l that that encourages response in order to get an accurate net promoter score (NPS).

To capture accurate customer feedback you have to understand the impact of the most recent consumer interaction. Emailing customer surveys days or weeks after an engagement gives you a less than accurate picture since you have no idea what interaction the recipient is responding to. To get an accurate NPS or consumer satisfaction score, you need real-time surveys that relateengagement to the last transaction.

For this reason survey best practices always focus on modes that offer near real-time data collection following the customer journey event.  If they are on web page, an intercept is preferred.  If they are calling into a call center or scheduling field services, a voice survey is best.  Both examples reflect a convenient and timely data experience collection method.  A survey received immediately after a successful purchase, either in-store or online, will be colored by the brand experience where a survey following a customer concern issue will be colored by the service experience. To get an accurate NPS you have to balance the nature of the interaction and the timing of the survey as well as choosing the right channel.

For example, more consumers expect companies to help them find their own answers, and how quickly they find answer to their questions affects brand perception. Fifty percent of consumers believe it is important to solve their own product and service issues, and 70 percent expect the company to have the right answers available online. If a web site search fails to yield the right answers, it adversely affects CX.

The Call Center is Becoming Complaint Central

To make this more complicated, consider that call center volume has dropped 15 percent in the last three years. However, what we are seeing is an escalation of customer service issues being handled by the call center. Lost orders, product issues, service issues, and other problems are being routed to the call center. Closed-loop surveys are likely to be colored by the reason for contacting the call center as much as the quality of the response.

To assure accurate CX feedback you need to consider both the medium and the message; the preferred channels the customers choose as well as the nature of the interaction. To level the playing field and generate more accurate, reliable CX data, choose a response mechanism that suits the channel and generates higher response rates across all channels.

Having consistent benchmarking tools will help generate a more accurate NPS. We have found that companies that use a mix of best-of-breed survey tools for each channel will gain better insight, and that for call centers voice-driven IVR surveys are the best survey tool and yield a higher response rate. Thirty-two percent of consumers have singled out telephone support as the most frustrating way to interact with vendors. Being able to respond quickly with voice-driven IVR surveys can assuage some of that frustration and with real-time transcription tools those responses can be immediately optimized for a more accurate NPS.

CX vendors and brands need to determine the right mix of channels and multi-mode surveys to get valid customer response data. Mixed-mode survey strategies that include email, IVR voice surveys, telephone surveys, and other mechanisms have to be part of the mix for successful closed-loop service recovery as part of today’s multi-channel service strategy.

Call Center CX Surveys Requires Best of Breed Expertise

The term best of breed has been overused, but the concept of finding the best solution for the problem never goes out of style. When it comes to customer experience (CX) surveying, some call centers ignore the best option available and use whatever survey solution is bundled with their call contact center platforms. When you consider the potential value of reliable call center CX surveys, you want to make sure you have the best and most versatile customer survey tools available that can deliver actionable data in real time.

We are seeing a growing trend in call centers to integrate CX data collection and data processing as part of an overall enterprise customer CX management strategy. In an era of increased specialization, it’s becoming more challenging for call center vendors to deliver end-to-end solutions since call centers can no longer be siloed from other enterprise platforms. Adding CX data collection to call centers means managing every touchpoint, including assessment after the call. No vendor can excel at every aspect of customer contact, so using and end-to-end solution provider means you may be missing data collection and analysis opportunities along the way.There is real tiem value in call center CX surveys

Call Center CX Perception is Far from Reality

There has always been a disconnect between the quality of service that call centers think they provide and what the customers true experience. According to a study by Clarabridge, 62 percent of organizations take pride in their call centers as a competitive differentiator, and 80 percent believe they offer “superior” customer service. However, 90 percent of customers say they are dissatisfied with customer service and only 8 percent characterize their call center experience as “superior.” The only way to correct this disconnect is with better CX data.

The importance of call centers as contributors to CX also continues to grow. DMG Consulting expects that the number of call center seats will increase 24 percent by 2020. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 20 percent of companies will dedicate employees to monitor and guide neural networks to augment intelligence for analytics. Many of these neural networks are being created specifically to deal with customer service and call center concerns.

Clearly, call center CX data collection, data mining, and data analytics are playing a more important role in shaping customer experience, so to gain the best results requires the best call center CX survey and data gathering tools.

Call Center Platforms Are Not Geared to CX Research

This is where adopting best-of-breed call center CX surveys and data collection tools makes a real difference. Most of the call center technology providers such as Genesys, Verint, Nice, and InContact include survey data collection as part of their overall offering, but their data collection tools and data processing are not versatile and are hard to adapt to modern CX solutions. For example, some of the most common survey shortfalls in call center platforms include:

  • Inflexible solutions that don’t adapt well to custom requirements;
  • Single-mode email programs regardless of the service channel medium;
  • Very slow implementation;
  • Lack of integration between survey data and call center operational data;
  • Lack of real-time reporting and transcription for faster response;
  • Costly implementation of API to enhance data integration and real-time sample management; and
  • Lack of CX survey best practice consulting.

Creating and managing customer surveys in the call center is a specialized discipline that requires specific expertise and customizable tools.

Voice-driven IVRs are Ideal for Call Center CX Surveys

As experts in CX research for the call center, we continue to see the voice-driven IVR proving itself to be a versatile CX measurement tool:

  • It represents the preferred survey mode for call center consumers of any age or demographic.
  • It is user friendly with voice response rather than menu choices.
  • It provides 100% representative of a call center consumer.
  • It delivers the largest volume of open ended, qualitative data.
  • It is immediately actionable – using real-time transcription, automated systems can flag concerns that need immediate call center attention.

Most importantly, using voice-driven IVR surveys gives the customer a voice they feel will be heard at the same time it provides the call center with real-time, actionable CX intelligence.

In the age of specialization, it pays to employ best-of-breed tools to measure CX in the call center. Call center CX surveys should not be an afterthought. You need to adopt a best-of-breed IVR survey strategy to get the best results.

Voice Surveys Deliver Actionable For Brand Insight

Customer Experience (CX) management continues to be a top strategic initiative in board rooms around the world. In KPMG’s 2017 analysis of Customer Experience Excellence they found that out of 257 brands, the top 25 brands (based on CX rankings) achieved double the revenue growth of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies. That’s why more brand leaders rely on IVR voice surveys.

Measuring CX is more predictive of customer satisfaction than any other form of customer interaction giving you a 30 percent more predictive insight of overall satisfaction. Maximizing customer satisfaction by promoting positive customer journeys also has the potential to increase customer satisfaction by 20 percent, providing a revenue lift of 15 percent and lowering the cost of customer services by as much as 20 percent.Call Centers rely on voice surveys

Note that it’s the entire customer journey that defines CX, not just the call center, so to optimize that journey you need to deliver a positive and consistent brand experience. That brand experience begins very early in the sales process and spans multiple channels and points of contact. Your brand lives and dies by CX so by the time the customer reaches the call center brand impressions are already established. That’s why call center interaction is ideal for gathering qualitative CX data to help refine the customer journey. The challenge has always been capturing call center interaction and quickly converting it into a form that makes insight actionable. That’s where IVR voice surveys with real-time transcription prove invaluable.

In our last blog, we talked about automated transcription, leveraging Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) models. Recording customer calls “for training purposes” or to gauge customers’ brand perspective has little value unless those recordings can be converted to text format that can be readily incorporated into analytics and business processes. As we have noted in the past, manual transcription is time consuming, costly to produce, and cumbersome to read. By the time a call transcript is generated, the opportunity to shape CX and reinforce the brand experience is gone.  Automated Transcription using ASR models provides a near real time ability to transcribe voice data (including IVR voice survey open ends and call center voice recordings) with high accuracy and very low cost.

Real-time transcription and analytics, on the other hand, can drive real-time response.  There are any number of advantages to using AVR for real-time call center transcriptions:

  • It provides a real-time record of the call center exchange, including customer sentiment.
  • It delivers immediate insight into issues that require an immediate response, such as a product failure or service issue.
  • It delivers immediate call center feedback to correct problems and for use in case management and training.

Today, ASR has become highly sophisticated. Our own studies show that ASR delivers more than 90 percent transcription accuracy, and that there is virtually no difference in text analytics coding accuracy (i.e. identifying similar codes from open ends in voice surveys). Couple highly accurate ASR with new analytics technology and you have a powerful tool that can shape the brand experience in near real-time.

Qualitative data will continue to be essential for measuring CX and improving call center operations. What we are starting to see if ASR technology delivering qualitative data for analysis in real-time, which significantly shortens reaction time. The end result is better customer support, an improved brand experience, and ultimately an increase in revenue.

Every Customer Touchpoint Is a Branding Opportunity, Even IVR Surveys

Major brands make a big investment in deploying CX and VoC IVR surveys that reach hundreds of millions of consumers every year. Have you ever stopped to consider the impact those IVR surveys can have on your brand? Sure, following up with customers and prospects shows you care about their opinion, but what does that interaction do for your brand?

We are seeing a new trend among CX practitioners – using the content and design of IVR surveys to enhance and support corporate branding. Today’s consumers expect an experience that reinforces brand association at every touchpoint. In fact, brand loyalty and affiliation often is a primary motivator for survey participation. Surveys are part of the brand experience and should be designed to support the brand as well as data gathering.

When you consider that the cost of a branding campaign can run to tens of millions of dollars, using the CX survey experience to reinforce brandbranding campaign includes IVR surveys awareness offers an attractive opportunity to support branding initiatives. For example, a typical CX survey may require 3-5 minutes to complete, and many brands will interview millions of consumers a year. This means uninterrupted opportunities to engage the consumer during a survey equal to 3-4 million impressions with a brand experience equal to approximately 4M minutes per million interviews. Wow, what is that worth in pure brand advertising placement?

However, to be successful, CX professionals and marketing need to work together. The survey needs to yield insight as well as delivering a brand message, and too much focus on branding will defeat the purpose of data gathering.

To promote survey participation, the brand message has to be delivered in a manner that is innovative and catches the participants’ attention. Pinpoint believes that each mode of CX survey offers a unique opportunity to create a brand touchpoint using images, voice, and brand language embedded in the survey that promote brand interest as well as gathering customer data.  We believe IVR voice surveys offer a unique ability to leverage voice to enhance the brand experience.  (Contact PinPoint for samples of branding IVR surveys)

PinPoint has developed a best practice for designing surveys to maximize brand experience. Some of these best practices include:

  1.      Leveraging an executive or thought leader as the voice of the business to promote brand recognition and emphasize the importance of listening to the consumer.
  2.      Incorporating branding terms and language that build brand association.
  3.      Designing the survey to focus on the journey touchpoints.
  4.      Creating questions that elicit a more constructive dialog with the consumer.
  5.      Utilizing language that motivates the consumer to provide qualitative data that drives ideation exportation.

Customers reach different “moments of truth” in the CX journey, and innovative survey design coupled with best-of-breed survey modes, like IVR voice surveys, can be deployed at strategic touchpoints to both reinforce and assess recent experience with the brand.

CX surveys offer an untapped opportunity to enhance the brand relationship, and CX practitioners need to view CX surveys as an extension of brand marketing.  Contact us for a free consulting meeting to discuss how to get more value from customer experience research.