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.