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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.

Improved ASR Technology Makes IVR Voice Surveys an Essential Call Center Resource

Call center customer experience (CX) continues to be a critical component for both customer retention and brand advocacy. To improve customer service, call center operations continue to focus on acquiring and analyzing voice data to measure the CX experience, drive agent coaching, and improve call center operations. The customer’s voice has become even more powerful in shaping CX thanks to improvements in ASR (Automated Speech Recognition) technology which is powering IVR voice surveys.

ASR is shaping CX and call center operations, providing immediate speech-to-text auto-transcriptions from IVR voice surveys that are more accurate than ever before. Using today’s ASR technology, we can collect and process data from IVR voice surveys with a base accuracy between 84 and 90 percent using an untuned model, and even greater accuracy with a tuned model. And with ASR technology, voice transcriptions are delivered in near real time, as opposed to multiple days, and the cost of auto-transcription is a fraction of manual transcription.IVR voice surveys ideal for call centers

Consider the possibilities of having a real-time call transcript at your fingertips. Integrating auto-transcription with text analytics gives you a new layer of qualitative data that can be mined in various ways.

For example, real-time text analytics allow you to code and analyze voice data enabling post call review and closed loop escalation of call data and open-ends to respond to critical customer needs. You also have new potential applications for improving call center operations, including auto-transcribing call survey open-ends and the auto-transcription of agent customer call center recordings for training and coaching. Accurate call transcripts powered by the latest ASR platform provides a rich store of qualitative data for agent coaching and case management response review, as well as CX analytics.

It’s clear that speech-to-text has become an essential tool for every progressive call center.

The goal of every company is to improve CX, and for many customers call center interactions are the most influential experience, a defining experience within their journey. Using voice data and transcribed text together provides call center operations and CX practitioners with a new and powerful set of tools to drive innovation and improve CX.

Want to learn more about how speech-to-text technology can improve your call center operations? We recently completed a study assessing the effectiveness of voice-to-text for qualitative analysis and will be happy to discuss our results. I look forward to our discussion, contact me

Wanted: Better Qualitative CX Data

If you want to understand the customer experience (CX), you need both quantitative and qualitative CX data. Quantitative research is certainly valuable, especially leveraging rating systems like Net Promoter Score (NPS) where metrics can be tied to revenue growth. However, to get to the “why” of customer behavior you need more, and better qualitative CX data.

As CX expert Bruce Temkin points out, to understand the customer experience you have to ask the customer directly. You can’t take the human experience and translate it into numbers. Once you convert CX into numbers you have lost what the customer is feeling, which means you cannot design an experience that connects with customers. You need to use voice, video, and other means to capture the qualitative customer experience and apply it to CX.

IVR Surveys Deliver More Open Ends

We have seen a growing trend from CX leaders who want to capture and analyze qualitative customer insights, which means more demand for one-on-one data capture and open-end responses in surveys. Recently, for example, we attended a CX conference supported by Forrester where the CXO of Ford Motor Company indicated that acquiring and analyzing open-ended customer data was one of his top priorities. The challenge is finding the best means to conduct those surveys and make qualitative data actionable.

IVR voice surveys deliver more CX data
IVR voice surveys deliver more qualitative data

As shown in the graph, our research shows that IVR voice surveys outperform other survey modes including web, mobile, and SMS. IVR voice surveys not only have a higher frequency of open-ended responses, but generate more and better qualitative research data. IVR voice surveys acquired four to six times more open-ended data (based on a character count per open end) than other survey modes. This means that by using voice surveys you are getting more open-ended responses and more in-depth responses to drive insights and ideation.

From Qualitative to Actionable

Of course, gathering consumer responses is only the first step. Processing and mining this CX data in a timely fashion that provides near real-time insights is key to maximizing its value.

The fastest and most cost-effective technique to make voice open ended data actionable is using real-time transcription. Using ASR speech-to-text auto transcription provides written text that can readily be analyzed for sentiment using key words and phrases. Using real-time auto-transcription also can generate alerts for closed-loop response; an ideal solution for customer service call centers.

Open-ended voice response can give you a more accurate barometer to assess customer sentiment. Voice driven IVRs have been shown to give deliver substantially higher response rates, which indicates deeper consumer engagement. And technology such as real-time speech-to-text transcription can make that qualitative data actionable, flagging problems for immediate attention and providing meta data that creates emotion and sentiment scores for each response.

If you need more qualitative consumer CX data and really want to listen to your customers, consider using open-ended voice IVRs. They are your best tool to gather more accurate emotional response CX data, and you can readily convert voice to text for a more accurate picture of sentiment analysis.

If you want a copy of our latest research showing the performance of different types of qualitative research tools, just drop us a line and we’ll be happy to share the results.