The Voice of the Customer in the Contact Center

Confirmit Team

Confirmit Team

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Confirmit’s dedicated teams work to deliver world-leading customer experience, Voice of the Employee and Market Research solutions. 

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Factsheet on how contact center can use Voice of the Customer (VOC) surveys to improve customer experience

The primary mission of any contact center is to retain customers, through each and every interaction. Call resolution, and more importantly, First Call Resolution (FCR) are the keys to meeting this goal. The true judge of these two metrics is – and can only be – the customer, not the contact center.

Customers whose transactions are resolved on the first call are, naturally, the most satisfied. As a bonus, the contact center reduces costs by not taking multiple calls. Various studies report that the contact center industry average for call resolution ranges between 1.4 - 1.5 calls. Improvement in the call resolution rate represents an opportunity to reduce operating costs.

Customers who do not get their calls resolved are more likely to defect than those whose calls are resolved. That means that unresolved calls have an impact on the customer’s satisfaction with the company as a whole. The reason for the impact is that unresolved calls are typically lengthy and memorable (in the negative sense). Conversely, resolved calls are often short and forgotten!

Confirmit FastTrack for Contact Centers is a customized customer feedback solution specifically designed for contact centers to rapidly improve the customer experience.  Download this factsheet to learn more or to see a full demonstration of Confirmit's Contact Center solutions.



Technology in the Contact Center

Contact centers leverage various technologies to assist in achieving retention goals. For example, a majority of contact centers use scripting applications to standardize communication. Quality monitoring, which records conversations for improvement purposes, is also prevalent.

But nothing is more fundamental to the retention goal than the Voice of the Customer (VOC) survey. This tool measures satisfaction from the customer’s perspective. Studies show that a majority of contact centers do administer such surveys. Appropriate survey design and then leveraging the results to improve the customer experience will ensure that a company derives the maximum benefit from a VOC survey in the contact center.

VOC Survey Design Considerations

It’s important to design a contact center VOC survey with the following considerations:

  • Brevity – A VOC survey should be brief. An optimal length is roughly 10 questions, give or take.
  • Clarity – The survey’s questions should be both clear and succinct. There should be no room for interpretation regarding what is being asked. Likewise, there is no need for overly wordy questions.
  • Focus – A relatively short survey benefits from a limited number of question types (and topics, discussed later). A couple of choice-based questions, several rating questions, and an open/comment question present a useful and respondent-friendly mix.
  • Consistency – A survey should always employ consistent scales for similar questions. With respect to rating questions, limit the number of scales to no more than three different rating scales. For example, use Unacceptable (on the low end) to Outstanding (on the high end) or Very Dissatisfied to Very Satisfied or Very Unlikely to Very Likely. This respondent-friendly approach will limit errors.
  • Survey type/method – The survey method also has an impact on survey design, most specifically on the scales employed. Match the scale to the survey method. An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) survey is best suited to a 5-point scale. An email survey can leverage the granularity of a 10-point scale.

VOC Survey Contents

While survey wording and scales can vary, as mentioned, below is an outline of a contact center VOC survey. It is divided into three sections for discussion purposes: the setup, the main focus (the contact center representative), and any final remarks and corporate ratings.

Situation Setup – This introductory section is comprised of a few questions that provide background to assess the customer interaction with the representative.

  • Use a choice-based question to ascertain the Customer’s primary reason for call
  • Use a choice-based question to determine the Number of Times that the Customer has called regarding the primary reason
  • Use a rating question to determine satisfaction with the Time it took to reach the contact center representative

Contact Center Representative – This section is focused on the performance of the representative. Use rating questions to determine satisfaction in the following areas:

  • Representative’s professionalism
  • Representative’s ability to identify customer needs or understand customer questions
  • Representative’s communication skills
  • Time it took the Representative to meet customer needs or answer customer questions
  • Representative’s action/response met customer needs or answered customer questions
  • Overall satisfaction with the Representative

Final Remarks & Ratings – This closing section gives the customer the opportunity to provide comments regarding the interaction as well as ratings of the company as a whole.

  • Use a general question to obtain comments regarding the contact center experience. For example – Do you have any additional comments regarding your contact center experience or the representative who assisted you?
  • Use a rating question to determine the customer’s Overall satisfaction with the company
  • Use a rating question (likelihood anchors) to determine the customer’s Willingness to continue to do business with the company
  • Use a rating question (likelihood anchors) to determine the customer’s Willingness to recommend the company

Leveraging VOC Survey Results

Once customer feedback is gathered through the contact center VOC survey, the data collected must be analyzed, both for its tactical and strategic uses.

Tactical Uses: Operational Adjustments

On a tactical basis, contact center supervisors can review customer feedback data throughout the day to determine whether immediate changes are required to improve the customer experience. This allows managers to take corrective action to coach agents and adjust processes for real-time impact. In the fast-paced contact center environment, where a single representative handles upwards of fifty calls per day, tomorrow is too late!

Strategic Uses: Quality Improvement

To use feedback for quality improvement and other strategic purposes, upper management and quality personnel can conduct more in-depth analyses of the data to discover trends, uncover issues, and formulate solutions. With an eye toward long-term improvements, the contact center is viewed holistically, and personnel development and process changes can be mapped out over time.

Recognizing Success

In addition to using customer feedback as a tool for improvement, it can also be used to recognize and celebrate success. When a Service Representative receives exceptional scores as the result of a customer interaction, management may acknowledge that employee’s success – perhaps a congratulatory letter or an appropriate award.

To sum up, a well-designed VOC survey program in the contact center provides critical support for the fundamental mission of retaining customers.
But a VOC program can only be successful when feedback results are leveraged, so it is paramount that all contact center personnel “own” the VOC metrics. Aligning bonus and recognition practices to performance as gauged by VOC metrics is an effective (best) practice to drive improvement – from Senior Management to the individual representatives who staff the contact center.

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