The Customer Service Survey

Developing a Curriculum

by Peter Leppik on Wed, 2006-11-15 01:00

We're tossing around a one- to two-day seminar on how to measure customer service quality. Call it "VocaLabs U," though I think we'll need a snappier title at some point.
The initial reaction we got was very positive, so we've decided that we're definitely going to put this on. In practice, that means that we now need to start worrying about the hard stuff.

Our current thinking is that we'll hold the first seminar here in the Twin Cities sometime during April or May. Why April or May? Blame a little bit of civic boosterism, since that's probably the nicest time of the year here, and I'd like people to leave with a positive impression of my hometown. I'm also hoping to keep the size relatively small, so we can keep it fairly interactive.

Probably the most challenging part of developing this seminar will be keeping it down to a couple days. Allowing for breaks and a reasonable level of human endurance, we've probably got 6-12 hours to work with. During that time, I'd like to address:

  1. Introductions, Agenda, Icebreaking
  2. Survey Theory (aka Statistical Sampling)
    1. Generalizing from a small sample to a large population
    2. Margin of error
    3. Sampling bias
  3. Designing a Survey
    1. Survey objectives
    2. Developing metrics
    3. Survey methods (live interview, IVR, online, paper, etc.)
    4. Writing a questionnaire
      1. Writing good survey questions
      2. Objective vs. subjective questions
      3. Question order, length, and methodological considerations
  4. Using Survey Data
    1. Benchmarking and trend analysis
    2. Agent training
    3. Finding and resolving specific issues
    4. Tactical vs. strategic management
  5. Practical Surveying in the Customer Service Environment
    1. Making the most of existing data
    2. Getting the best use out of your survey budget
    3. Satisfying multiple constituencies
    4. Understanding the limits of survey data

This is a long list of topics: we could probably spend an hour on each sub-topic in the outline if we want to. In addition, I'd also like to spend some time doing some practical, hands-on stuff like critiquing an actual survey script, and brainstorming solutions to particular issues that individual participants may have.

Consider this the first draft of the first draft of our seminary outline. I'm interested in hearing any other ideas for topics to include (either e-mail me or leave a comment on this blog). Measuring customer service quality is a big area with a lot of different approaches--many of which work just fine, and some of which just plain don't work at all.

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