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White Paper Explains the Benefits of Automating Post-Interaction Customer Surveys

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October 14, 2009

White Paper Explains the Benefits of Automating Post-Interaction Customer Surveys

By Patrick Barnard, Senior Web Editor, TMCnet

Want to know what your customers really think about your service? Why not ask them?
A new white paper from VoIP contact center solutions provider Interactive Intelligence, “A Practical Guide to Measuring Customer Satisfaction in the Contact Center,” discusses the importance of post-call surveys as a yard stick for measuring customer satisfaction.

The white paper draws heavily on research from international consulting firm CFI Group, a recognized thought leader in customer satisfaction analysis and founder of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) published annually by the University of Michigan.

As the white paper points out, many organizations are moving away from manual, live surveys and are now using speech-enabled IVRs to automate surveys.

There are several advantages to automating post-interaction surveys: Most importantly, it reduces the amount of time agents have to spend on the phone with customers, thus significantly lowering call center operating costs.

In addition these systems deliver the surveys consistently – there is never any variation in how the questions are delivered or the tone that is used – thus they are inherently “neutral” in nature. The result is more accurate survey data.

What’s more, CFI Group’s research shows that customers are far more likely to complete an automated survey than a live survey with an agent, because they tend to feel more comfortable giving their opinions to a “machine” rather than a live person.

But as the white paper explains, companies need to architect these automated surveys carefully. For one thing, they need to be short – typically just four or five questions, max – otherwise customers will be less likely to complete them.

In addition how the questions are phrased, and how they are delivered, can have a major influence on how (and how many) customers respond and how accurate the survey data is. As the white paper points out, “technology alone does not assure effective post-call surveys. The makeup and delivery of post-call satisfaction surveys themselves can significantly influence the reliability (and usability) of survey data.”

It’s also important to deliver the survey to the customer immediately following the interaction – as opposed to a follow-up call. If a company waits to ask a customer what they thought of its service, there’s a high chance the customer will forget key elements of the interaction that the company will wish to have rated. As a result, the company won’t be able to get a complete picture of how effective its customer service really is.

It’s also important to know how to correctly combine the survey data with other customer data in order to get a clear and accurate picture of customer satisfaction.

A Practical Guide to Measuring Customer Satisfaction in the Contact Center” concludes with a “ten best practices” list that companies can use as guide when implementing a post-interaction customer survey program.
Readers of this informative guide will also be interested in the previously-released white paper, “Top 10 Customer Satisfaction Best Practices for Contact Center IVR Surveys.” This informative white paper, which also draws heavily on research from CFI Group, goes into detail about the best way to develop and maintain a customer survey program.

Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) offers an add-on module to its Customer Interaction Center VoIP contact center platform called Interaction Feedback that lets organizations create their own custom-tailored post-interaction surveys and deliver them automatically. The software also gives organizations the ability to manage the surveys and to compare and/or integrate survey data with other operational data to pinpoint key areas for improvement.

Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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