Vocalabs Newsletter: Quality Times


In This Issue:

Customer Service Survey Workshop

By Peter Leppik

Interested in getting the most out of your customer service surveys?

In the spring of 2007, VocaLabs will kick off a series of practical, hands-on workshops on how to use surveys to measure the quality of customer service. The first session is tentatively scheduled for two days in May, 2007, in the Twin Cities.

We'll be covering a variety of topics including:

* How to write a good survey (or improve the one you've got)
* Avoiding sampling bias
* Pros and cons of different survey techniques
* Making the most of survey data
* Using surveys to help improve customer service quality

This workshop is for anyone who creates or uses surveys in a customer service environment.

We'll send out an announcement when we finalize the date, venue, and price. Because of the interactive format we're planning to use, space will be strictly limited. If you're interested in attending, send me an e-mail and I'll put your name on a list to get first crack at registering.

'Twas the Day After Christmas

By Peter Leppik



Hello, this is Jennifer calling from Santa's Workshop, and we're conducting a post-Christmas satisfaction survey. Do you have a few minutes?

Uh, sure, I suppose.

Thank you. First, can you tell me how satisfied you were with your overall Christmas experience this year? Were you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

Uh, I'd say I was somewhat satisfied.

Next I'm going to ask about your experience with just the gifts you received from Santa. These are the presents which said "From Santa" on the tags, and not gifts from your parents, siblings, grandparents, or friends. All things considered, how satisfied were you with your gifts from Santa this year?


Is that somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied?

Very dissatisfied. Very very dissatisfied.

How satisfied are you with the number of gifts you received from Santa this year?

Uh, somewhat satisfied.

How many gifts did you receive from Santa this year?

Let me think. Three? No, two. No, three. Three.

Did you send Santa a wish list this year?

Yeah, and I didn't get anything I wanted.

Okay, we can talk about that in a moment. First, how satisfied are you with how well the presents you received from Santa matched what you had on your wish list?

Oh, super-duper dissatisfied. Awful. Terrible.

So that would be "very dissatisfied?"


You've indicated that you're not entirely satisfied with your Christmas experience this year. Can you please explain what it is that you're dissatisfied with?

Well, I put on my wish list that I wanted the Commando Nuke-em Rocket Launcher with extra Real Exploding Ammo. I even put it on my list three times to make sure I'd get it. You know what I got? My Little Pony. Surfer Barbie. And a tube of strawberry lip gloss. Lip gloss! I can't blow up small animals with lip gloss!

I see. I don't have access to your Naughty or Nice record, but it could be that there was a mistake in the North Pole Fulfillment Department, or it could be that Santa decided that you didn't deserve a rocket launcher. Would you like me to file a request for someone to investigate and call you back?

No, don't bother. I'm still trying to live down the garage fire incident.

Okay. Finally, do you have any other comments you'd like to pass on to Santa's Workshop?

Yeah. Next year, just send coal. Lip gloss! Eww!

Why is Good Service Hard?

By Rick Rappe

No sane business sets out to provide bad customer service. So why do complaints persist about poor service, broken automated systems, and nightmarish runarounds when consumers try to get help?

Take speech recognition. Companies persist in deploying speech systems without adequate--or even any--testing, and insisting that customers be forced into self-service even when that might not be appropriate. These decisions create the illusion of short-term cost savings, but almost inevitably are more expensive in the long run.

When it becomes clear that customer service is poor, there's often the temptation to throw money and technology at the problem in search of a quick fix. For example, many companies invested money in call recording technology only to find that it is very resource intense and expensive to monitor even a small percent of calls. Speech analytics is a new technology which analyzes the recordings looking for angry voice tones and key words like "cancel my account" in order to drill down to specific problem calls. Time will tell if this is an effective solution, or if there aren't more cost effective ways than paying for recording technology that didn't fix the problem, and then paying for more technology to fix the fix.

A common thread running through all these problems is executives with no real direct experience with customer service issuing mandates on how to run a contact center. Customer service is fundamentally about human relationships, but the human element can get lost when decision-makers don't focus on why customers call, what they want, and how to best serve their needs.

VocaLabs is Moving!

By Peter Leppik

We're moving our offices. Our phone number won'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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