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Ask the Experts – May 06

How can we better align our internal and external customer satisfaction measures?
Samarath C.

Expert Response:

In most organizations there is a great disparity between what is measured internally to gauge customer satisfaction; quality assurance, monitoring checklists etc. and what is employed externally; direct customer interviews. In general the internal quality assurance process measures our success at doing those things we feel will improve our customers satisfaction with their transaction.. The actual customer interviews illustrate what is really important to our customers. If we are going to make significant in-roads in improving cuatomer satisfaction we must align these two points of view.

Fortunately we have the ability in most call centers to do this quite easily. The first step is to compare and contrast what our customers have said is important (via direct customer interviews) and what we are measuring internally (monitoring forms, guidelines etc.). A side-by-side comparison will often yield some surprising results. For example in most situations what our customers value very highly is a resolution of their inquiry, yet our research indicates that less than half of the centers we spoke with were including resolution on the internal quality measurement sores. Many centers reward those agents who use the customer name or demonstrate good call control with high marks when monitored, but customers often cite the annoyance of hearing their name in each sentence and frustration with not being able to ‘get a word in edge-wise”.

Alignment is a critical piece of effective call center management and is all to often overlooked. For more information on alignment in call center operations see the article in September 2005 issue of ‘Customer Reach’.

How would you have answered this question? Let us know at [email protected].

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