BPA Featured Article

How to Keep Improving Customer Satisfaction

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC
September 01, 2017

Most of us, by now, are aware that customers today expect more from the organizations with which they do business. And, most of us are intimately familiar with how online resources and smartphones have mad consumers more impatient, faster to churn, and quicker to share their dissatisfaction with a wide audience. After all, while we may work in or be affiliated with the customer service arena, we’re all consumers ourselves.

But there’s ample good news on the customer satisfaction front as well. For example, earlier this summer, the American Customer Satisfaction Index reported that overall U.S. customer satisfaction is up for the fifth consecutive quarter. It experienced a 0.3 percent gain to 77 (on a 0-100 scale) in the first quarter of 2017. That was an all-time high for 24 years, ACSI explained.

That’s good news not only because it indicates customers are increasingly satisfied and businesses continue to improve on customer satisfaction, but also because it bodes well for business financials.

As Phil Bak, CEO of ACSI Funds, a sister company of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, recently told The Motley Fool: “Our research has shown a direct correlation between changes in customer satisfaction levels and subsequent earnings surprises, which stands to reason since the customers are the people who directly contribute those earnings to public companies.”

Mary Wardley, research vice president of CRM applications and customer experience at IDC (News - Alert), has noted the following. “Customer centricity is a driving force in organizations seeking differentiation in markets increasingly separated from face-to-face interactions such as social media, digital commerce, and other online activities. The buyers of hosted and cloud-based contact center products have an opportunity to rapidly deploy technologies that directly impact their customer-handling models to achieve the required market differentiation through service.”

Evaluating call center team members is also key to all of this. That way, call centers can make sure they’re meeting the key performance indicators that are most important to their businesses and their customers. Such evaluation efforts should include assessments of each agent. Organizations should analyze each agent’s performance relative to first call resolution, friendliness, conversation control, attentiveness, honesty, interest, professionalism, and knowledge.

That will help those organizations understand the strengths and weaknesses of individual agents. That way they can customize training to each agent. This information also will enable more informed skill-based routing.

Edited by Erik Linask