customer feedback

How to Get Continuous Customer Feedback at Scale

What Does This Even Mean?

“At scale,”one of the more daunting phrases for any contact center. Whatever the initiative is, it’s so important that it’s not good enough to just work with representative samples or roll it out to specific groups. “At scale” technically means the initiative is as big as it needs to be to solve a widespread problem –and if the size of the problem fluctuates over time, so does your scale. Colloquially, however, when you see the phrase “at scale,” what it usually appears to mean is “everyone involved.”

A common “at scale” process for contact centers revolves around staffing needs. More and more often, however, we’re seeing the phrase used in connection with contact centers’ voice of the customer (VoC)processes, where “at scale” can refer to thousands of customers in multiple interactions.

While we’re parsing our words, let’s not overlook the importance of “continuous.” Your VoC efforts need to be available at all times, to whatever customers can provide relevant feedback. The data needs to be collected while it’s fresh in your customers’ minds, and a quick turnaround also gives you time to fix any issues individual customers may have.

The goal, of course, is to reach all these customers in real time and gather specific data that will allow your contact center (and, in fact, your whole business) to identify strengths and weaknesses with process, product and perception that can be addressed so your customer experience can improve along with your KPIs and your bottom line. This is such a pervasive goal that 77 percent of the businesses surveyed by the 2018 CCW Market Study on Performance & Metrics state had prioritized customer feedback.

How Can Anyone Achieve This?

However, gathering widespread customer feedback walks a fine line. You need actionable data, and you want your customers to feel valued knowing your excellent service is there for them when they need it–but demanding too much of their time and attention with exhaustive surveys can have the opposite effect of what you intend.

Luckily, one truly helpful thing about designing continuous customer feedback at scale is precisely that there’s no need to overdo it. Because if you are asking specific customers about specific interactions, you only need a couple minutes and just a few targeted questions. You’re not even asking them to change channels or put aside time for a new contact. And because of the timing, your purpose is clear: To ensure their satisfaction and improve their next experience. All of these benefits increase your survey response rates and the value of the data.

By now you’re probably wondering about the design and implementation phase. If it’s easy for your customers, it’s got to be that much more complicated for your operations team, right?

Well, no.

A solution like Plum Insight has pre-built applications that allow you to deploy surveys in both the web and voice channel so that all the customer data is collated into one report and shared with your CRM. While you can customize surveys, our survey creation tools also come preloaded with 19 question types, both qualitative and quantitative, so you can create and launch surveys within minutes. Use our tools to assess customers’specific experience and evaluate new initiatives, gauge the performance of individual agents, and even proactively trigger personalized feedback requests according to customer data in your CRM. Make your survey once and deploy it across channels, update and scale as necessary, and reach as many of your customers as you need to.

Want to see how it works?

A Real-World Example

Erie Insurance is a Fortune 500 company that offers auto, home, and life insurance products to more than four million people in 12 different states (now that’s at scale!). The company’s customer-facing claims division had for years sent customer satisfaction surveys through traditional mail, which meant the surveys had to be returned and manually processed by their staff. This process lacked an efficient way to analyze and share the data they received, which often meant their customers’ feedback remained primarily anecdotal and underused.

As a first step, Erie upgraded to a web-based process and incentivized customers to take the survey. Their response rate jumped to 7 percent, but they soon realized that having a web-only survey placed those without or unfamiliar with computers at a disadvantage. They chose Plum Voice’s tool to add an IVR survey option so that phone customers were able to respond.

The results have been above expectations. Not only has Erie received positive feedback from its customers about the phone survey, but the company gets the data each night when the voice application automatically sends it to the company’s web dashboards. In addition, instead of receiving 4,900 survey responses per year, the voice channel alone gathers approximately 1,000 per month. Actions taken based on the new survey data include:

  1. The company established a customer satisfaction index (CSI) metric and tied it to CSR bonuses.
  2. Eric can now respond to customer feedback within 24 hours–in some cases, even surprising customers with the pace of follow-up as a result of their survey comments. This streamlined response process goes a long way toward building the claims division’s customer service and retention efforts.
  3. They have been able to revamp several procedures within the claims department, such as updating training materials to encourage agents to take a more empathetic approach toward customers who have experienced a loss.
  4. Through the newly actionable data, the claims division was able to identify the most common stipulation customers didn’t understand about their coverage and to proactively share that information with the sales and training divisions in order to improve their processes.

Directly embracing the voice of the customer, continuously and at scale,can provide you with a roadmap to better understand your customers. This clarity will help you to better serve your customers and, in turn, cultivate brand loyalty. Don’t let your customers’ voices go unheard when even the scary concept of “at scale” can be so quick and easy to implement. Try our VoC solution today for free.

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