BPA Featured Article

Revealing the Reasons behind Customers' Answers to "How Am I Doing?"

By Linda Dobel, TMCnet Contributor
June 07, 2011

It takes a lot of guts to ask the question, “How am I doing?” It opens the door to a world of potential pain, but at the same time, isn’t it better to know what others think so you can do something about it? A lot of people think it is.


Remember the former mayor of New York City Ed Koch? He made the “How am I doing?” question his trademark, and even wrote a book with the same title. Songwriters like the question as well. Dierks Bentley sang a country song called “How am I doin” in which he says, “I did not expect for you to call,” and Anna Waronker laments “I didn’t think I’d have to work so hard” in her song called “How am I doing.”


In business, asking customers, “How am I doing?” is a great way to ensure you avoid what is often called the definition of insanity, which is you keep doing the same thing and expect better results. Of course, companies have been seeking customer feedback on some level for a long time, but the quality of the data they receive is not always as in-depth as would be necessary to really make a difference.


For companies that want to take the customer feedback process one stage further, going the third-party route may be the best solution. For example, BPA Quality’s BPABuilder.Customer Satisfaction Surveys™ go beyond the typical survey to provide the reasons behind the perceptions customers provide. The BPABuilder.Customer Satisfaction Surveys™ also provide actionable data that is intended to allow companies to not only stay on the cutting edge, but make the changes necessary to maintain a satisfied customer base.


How does the company accomplish this? First, BPA’s staff of researchers, who are trained in the art of gathering vital information from customers, works with a company to determine exactly what information it wants and feels it needs to obtain from its customer base to avoid repeating undesirable practices and escalate the things it does well. By doing this, BPA researchers form a partnership with a company so they can produce a questionnaire that truly gathers the knowledge the company needs to fulfill its goals.


As a third party, there a number of ways BPA can then implement the Customer Satisfaction Survey process: use the telephone, mail, e-mail or on a face-to-face basis. Another approach is to tie these Surveys directly to a BPABuilder.Remote Call Monitoring™ or other existing quality program, which is a way to ensure that the criteria reinforced through monitoring drives improvement in the eyes of the customer.  BPA Quality can also store, analyze and report on customer satisfactions data by matching up customer satisfaction data with internal quality efforts through the BPABuilder™ program. A custom online BPABuilder™ application can then serve as the central data and reporting area for all of a company’s customer experience data, including CSAT, QA, feedback and social media.


Taking this approach to uncovering the reasons behind customers’ perceptions is a good way to reveal the actionable data while avoiding the lament, “I didn’t think I’d have to work so hard,” even if customers’ reaction is a happy “I did not expect for you to call.”   


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Linda Dobel is a TMCnet Contributor. She has been an editor in the contact center space for more than 25 years, and has the distinction of being the founding editor of Customer Inter@ction Solutions (CIS) magazine. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by John Lahtinen