Vocalabs Newsletter: Quality Times


In This Issue:

VocaLabs' Expanded Professional Services

By Peter Leppik

VocaLabs is now offering an expanded array of professional services, to help our clients take advantage of our years of expertise about survey technique in the customer service environment.

Our new services include:

  • Survey Design: create a custom survey questionnaire and consult about the appropriate survey process to meet the client's business goals.
  • Survey Review: provide recommendations about an existing survey to improve the quality of the data and better meet the client's needs.
  • Process Action Review: examine the business processes a client uses to turn survey data into improved customer service, and make recommendations for a more effective process.
  • Data Analysis: In-depth analysis of survey data to generate specific recommendations for improving customer service.

For more information please contact me via e-mail or at 952-941-6580x201.

Latest SectorPulse Results

By Peter Leppik

Mobile Phone Satisfaction

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 March 31st, 2007. 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 14th quarterly report. This was a good quarter for the industry, with all four companies posting gains in caller satisfaction. In fact, three of the four--Cingular, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless--earned "A" grades on this key benchmark. Sprint, however, lagged far behind, earning only a "C."

Over the longer term, there was a significant increase in industry satisfaction between the beginning of 2004 and the beginning of 2006. During 2006, however, there has been no significant change, and this quarter's good performance simply returns to the levels from a year ago.

Last quarter we also noted a significant drop in customer loyalty scores. Our new report shows customer loyalty rebounding, though company and industry scores are still below the long term average. It may be that we're seeing a seasonal effect, with customers buying new phones (and getting locked into new contracts) during the holiday season, combined with a larger scale decline in loyalty.

Financial Services

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

There wasn't a lot of movement in Financial Services scores this quarter, and most of the grades were "C's" and "D's", indicating below-median scores. Only Bank of America and Washington Mutual managed to score "B" grades: Bank of America earned a "B" in Call Completion, and Washington Mutual earned a "B" in Caller Satisfaction.

We've been gathering data on Wachovia for several quarters, but because of the limited data on the company we have not issued any letter grades. Wachovia has generally scored well on Caller Satisfaction, though, and its Satisfaction benchmark this quarter was in the "A" range.

Customer Service Surveys: Practical Techniques

By Peter Leppik

There are still spaces available for VocaLabs' first interactive workshop on May 2-3 in Bloomington, MN.

The program is built around designing, running, and analyzing a live survey of a customer service operation. We'll begin on the first day by taking a management directive, translating it into survey goals, then designing customer service metrics and writing a survey to measure callers' opinions.

Then, while the survey is running in the afternoon, we'll discuss survey methods, statistics, and some situations which sometimes arise when trying to measure customer service quality in the real world.

The second day is devoted to analyzing the survey results. We'll start with a look at the high level service quality metrics, analyze the sources of error and bias in the survey, and look at benchmarking the results.

From that point, we'll develop specific recommendations for improving the caller experience. We'll look for both small tweaks to the existing systems, and also consider what kinds of major new initiatives would help.

Finally, we'll use the lessons learned in this small survey project to develop recommendations about how to do a better survey the next time.

It promises to be a valuable workshop for anyone interested in learning how to design, administer, and analyze customer service surveys. Registration is $1,395 per participant. Please contact me if you're interested in registering, or if you want to be kept informed about future workshops.

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