The Customer Service Survey

Compliance and Customer Opinions

by Peter Leppik on Tue, 2014-06-03 14:25

Compliance and customer opinions often get lumped together when trying to measure the customer experience, since they are both generally related to the quality of the experience.

This is a mistake because even though compliance and customer opinions are related, they are looking at different elements of the customer experience, and require different tools to measure. Many programs go astray when they try to measure customer opinions using techniques for compliance, and vice-versa.

Compliance relates to what actually happened during a customer experience: were the necessary steps followed, did the employee's actions conform to the requirements of the job, and so forth. Compliance items are usually based on objective reality.

Customer opinions are more typically related to the desired outcomes: was the customer's problem solved, was the customer satisfied, did the customer feel like it took too much effort, etc. Customer opinions live inside the customer's head, and generally can't be measured without getting direct feedback from the customer.

For example, if you want to track whether a customer service representative uses the customer's name on a call (an objective compliance-related question), it's a mistake to use a customer survey for that purpose. Likewise, if you want to measure whether customers think the wait on hold is too long (a matter of opinion), you need to actually ask customers for their feedback rather than assuming a certain length of time is OK for everyone.

To help make the right decision about how to measure different parts of the customer experience, here's a quick-reference guide:

Customer Opinion Compliance
  • Related to customer's perception of the experience
  • Related to the specific events which took place during the customer experience
  • Drives business outcomes
  • Drives customer opinion
  • Measure using direct feedback from the customer:
    • Customer surveys
    • Complaints
    • Social media
  • Measure using objective records of what happened during the customer experience:
    • Call recordings
    • Video surveillance
    • CRM entries
    • Mystery shopping
    • Analytics
  • Example metrics:
    • Net promoter
    • Customer satisfaction
    • Problem resolution
    • Customer effort
  • Example metrics:
    • Customer was promptly greeted
    • Customer was given correct information
    • Salesperson provided all required disclosures
    • CSR used customer's name

It's tempting to ask whether customer opinions or compliance is more important. I believe it's important to track both, since otherwise you're only getting one side of the story.

But even more important is to recognize whether a given metric is related to compliance or opinion, and track it using the right tool for the job.

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