The Customer Service Survey

Data, Insight, Recognition, Vision & Execution

by Peter Leppik on Wed, 2010-12-15 16:02

Most companies do not do customer surveys just for the sake of doing surveys: the real goal is to improve the customer experience in order to enhance brand image, revenue, and repeat business.

In order to achieve the goals, however, a lot more than just a survey is needed.

The four critical components for a successful customer service survey are Data, Insight, Recognition, and Vision & Execution:

Data
In order to be most effective, the data collected in a survey needs to be reliable, actionable, and credible. Often, survey design only focuses on reliability (taking into account factors like margin of error and bias), but the survey data also needs to be rich enough to point towards specific changes for improvement (actionability), and also convincing to others in the organization (credibility).
Insight
Once high quality data is collected, you need to deliver it to people who can use the information to figure out specific ways to improve, in a timely and meaningful way. That means different things to different people: an executive may need to see a high level monthly report tracking performance by call center or functional area, whereas a manager or supervisor may need daily reports on individual agents.
Recognition
With meaningful customer feedback delivered to the right people at the right time and with the right context, having an appropriate set of goals and incentives will encourage people to change their behavior to provide the desired level of service.  There should be a series of goals, ranging from easy to nearly impossible, so that everyone always has a next level to strive for.  Meeting a goals should trigger both recognition and (where appropriate) financial rewards.
Vision & Execution
Finally, in order for the whole process to work there needs to be commitment from the leadership. Most people can tell when management really cares about something, and when they're just paying lip-service. The customer experience will not improve unless it is a strategic imperative, and executives are actively engaged.
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