Taking Control of Customer Satisfaction

This article originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of Unified Communications magazine

Customer loyalty is always paramount, but even more so given the stiff competitive pressures brought by the current economy. To effectively manage customer relationships, businesses must take control of customer satisfaction. Accomplishing this requires that businesses shape and guide the customer experience and understand the impact of customer satisfaction on the success of the business.

Effective ways to reach this goal include capturing and properly analyzing the right calls, soliciting customer feedback, providing timely coaching and guidance, and making process adjustments when necessary to help ensure customer loyalty and commitment to a company’s products, services and brand.

Gaining true insight into customer satisfaction can be challenging, but it can be one of the most powerful means for controlling and improving customer satisfaction and boosting business performance. There are several tools that can arm a contact center to measure and manage customer satisfaction, including quality management recording solutions, speech analytics and automated post-call surveys.

Quality management tools record calls based on business rules – flagging calls that are most valuable to the business, for example. Quality evaluation forms integrated within your quality management tool can be created to rate agent performance based on customer satisfaction indicators, such as first call resolution, agent attitude, and transaction accuracy and efficiency. Incorporating speech analytics further automates the process of indentifying at-risk customers by looking for key words that indicate issues with a transaction – effectively listening to every call without listening to every call. And, a company can gain insight into the customer’s attitudes and intentions through automated post-call surveys, which solicit direct feedback.

Each of these applications has value of its own, but can be even more powerful when combined. Let’s take a closer look into how these technologies can work together to help businesses take control of customer satisfaction.

Using Recording Tools and Automated Post-Call Surveys to Boost Satisfaction

Contact centers can use a number of applications to measure success in customer satisfaction. Some implement a recording solution and have an evaluator listen to and score a selection of calls. Others engage their customers directly through automated surveys, capturing the “voice of the customer.” These approaches work even more powerfully when combined, providing a measure of customer satisfaction from both internal and external perspectives.

This combined approach allows companies to gain insight into survey results by listening to calls that trigger specific responses. For instance, by listening to a call that was evaluated by a customer through an automated post-call survey, the evaluator can understand the individual circumstances that led to the survey response, and take action to adjust a process or agent behaviors. Contact centers can also use a history of survey results to look for patterns or trends that result in positive or negative responses.

The voice of the customer is a critical component and key business metric for many enterprises, but not easy to measure through standard quality management evaluation methods. Surveys can help complete the picture of performance and provide extra insight when they are tied back to quality management evaluations. For example, comparing internal evaluation results with customer satisfaction scores adds a critical customer satisfaction rating to the overall performance analysis and may help point to relationships between areas such as best practices, agent behaviors, call handling metrics and customer satisfaction.

Speech Analytics —Don’t Miss a Critical Call

Speech analytics is a valuable tool for helping contact centers automate their quality management process and improve customer satisfaction. 

A key benefit is that speech analytics tools automate the otherwise intensive and manual process of analyzing conversations, and then unlocking valuable insight into the customer call. Using speech analytics, very large volumes of conversations can be reduced to key conversations by automating the process of searching, identifying and categorizing those calls that should be reviewed.

Search criteria for uncovering customer risk factors would be key words that indicate compliance to legal or corporate standards, or mention of a competitor, to name a few. The contact center can even categorize calls into key issue areas such as product, service, billing or delivery, based on key words or call routing patterns. Through key word searches, speech analytics can identify the calls of interest, allowing the organization to investigate customer behaviors, and help them take the appropriate steps to mitigate the found deficiencies or conversely promote positive behaviors and best practices.

In summary, quality management recording solutions, automated post-call surveys and speech analytics work well together to provide organizations with a complete measure of customer attitudes and intentions, and the insight to make improvements in customer satisfaction. Most importantly, these tools help companies take control.

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Edited by Tammy Wolf