Vocalabs Newsletter: Quality Times


In This Issue:

Customer Service Surveys: Practical Techniques

By Peter Leppik

Get the knowledge and skills you need to make the most effective use of customer surveys in your call center.

Whether you're beginning a new survey project or trying to get the most out of an existing survey, this two-day interactive workshop is a must. We've distilled our years of experience in designing and running customer service surveys to immerse you in the art and science of practical surveying techniques.

Our first session will be May 2-3, 2007, at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott--just five minutes from the airport, and a block from the Mall of America.

This workshop is aimed at call center professionals who want to gain a basic understanding of survey theory, methods, techniques, and analysis. The workshop material is designed to be at a beginning to intermediate level: no background in surveying or statistics is assumed, but those with some experience will benefit.

During the two day workshop, participants will learn how to:

* Create effective and meaningful survey questions
* Design an appropriate survey methodology
* Find sources of error and bias in a survey
* Design key performance metrics using survey data
* Analyze survey data for benchmarking and trend analysis

For more information or to register, please visit http://www.vocalabs.com/workshop/ or call me at 952-941-6580x201.

Latest SectorPulse Results

By Peter Leppik

Mobile Phone Loyalty

The latest quarterly results are in from our SectorPulse studies tracking the quality of customer service at major mobile phone and financial services companies.

The current round of surveying ended on December 31st, 2006. We asked members of our consumer panel who are customers of one of the companies we're tracking to make their customer service calls through VocaLabs, and complete surveys both before and after the call.

Mobile Phones

For the mobile phone industry, this is our 13th quarterly report. The most interesting trend this time around is the continuing decline in customer loyalty.

We calculate customer loyalty by asking survey participants before and after the call how likely they are to switch carriers in the next 12 months. The choices range from "Very Likely" to "Very Unlikely." The loyalty score is the average response to this question, ranging from +2 ("Very Unlikely" to switch carriers) to -2 ("Very Likely" to switch carriers).

For the second quarter in a row, all four mobile phone companies--Verizon Wireless, Cingular, Sprint, and T-Mobile--registered a drop in loyalty. For Verizon, this was the fourth consecutive quarter of declining customer loyalty. Across the entire industry, the average loyalty score dropped from 0.44 in June 2006 to 0.15 this quarter. Two companies, T-Mobile and Sprint, recorded negative loyalty; in contrast, the September 2006 report was the first time we had ever seen a negative loyalty score for a mobile phone company.

It's not clear why customer loyalty is dropping so dramatically. Consumers have long registered lots of complaints about their mobile phone service, and subscriber churn is a perennial problem. It could be that the consolidating industry reduces the differentiation between different carriers, or that consumers are getting more sophisticated about switching carriers to get the latest phone or bargain.

Financial Services

Financial Services Satisfaction

We've also been covering the Financial Services industry since the beginning of 2005; this is our seventh report on the industry. For these companies--Bank of America, Citibank, PayPal, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo--we publish quarterly statistics but base the scores on rolling six-month data.

This quarter, Caller Satisfaction grades generally declined for the companies we follow. Washington Mutual received the highest grade of "B", but that was down from an "A" last quarter. PayPal dropped from a "B" to a "C," and Wells Fargo also dropped from a "B" to a "C." Only Bank of America and Citibank maintained their grades ("D" and "C" respectively), but both were below the median to begin with.

We did not issue letter grades to Wachovia because we could not gather enough data on that company. The data we did collect was positive, however, and Wachovia's raw Satisfaction score was in the "A" range.

VocaLabs Moved

By Peter Leppik

We've moved our offices. Our phone number didn't change, but please make a note of our new address:
Vocal Laboratories Inc.
8421 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 260
Golden Valley, MN 55426

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