Agent Motivation

Guest Post: Measuring Customer Satisfaction Explained in Fewer Than 900 Words

Having worked in call centers for over a decade, I still remember hearing the words “customer satisfaction” in the corridors, break-out areas, seeing it on the walls around the office, and hearing about it in every coaching conversation with either my Team Lead or the quality coach.

Customer satisfaction had so many different meanings across the entire call center.

To some, it was seen as a way to penalize call center agents. Every time we were addressed by Senior Management, it sounded like more of a business or financial measurement that had little to do with the customer.

To some, it brought on anxiety because we knew that if we did not achieve the goal, we would lose out on our financial incentives.

This slowly resulted in driving bad behavior across the call center, such as the manipulation of scores, which became more and more evident at the expense of the customer experience.

We began to question the coaching teams, as agents felt penalized for something that wasn’t fully explained to us, nor was it in our full control. Some of us felt “customer satisfaction” was rather a punitive measure. After all, how could something that was supposed to so delightful be dreaded?

What was creating the blockers between call center agents, team leaders, coaches and the broader organization? 

Defining Characteristics of Measuring Customer Satisfaction

Measuring: the process comparison of an unknown quantity with a known standard or quantity.

Customer: a person who buys goods or services from a shop or business.

Satisfaction: fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, needs or pleasure derived from this. The act of fulfilling a need, desire or the feeling gained from such fulfillment. 

As a business you have a person who buys your goods or services, this individual has a set of needs and expectations which through your brand promise would be met/fulfilled. CS measurement is about comparing the delivery against the standard which is known across the organization.

How to Measure Customer Satisfaction in 7 Ways

(Remember this list is not meant to be exhaustive but rather act as a guide for your call center environment)

1. Define and Set Clear Goal(s)

The process of defining or setting a clear goal/s is critical to ensure the required focus is in place. Most call center agents are overwhelmed at the amount of information and data they engage with on a daily basis, and this is worsened by the lack or absence of a clear goal/s. Below are suggested questions you need to ask when defining or setting a goal/s:

  • What are we measuring?
  • How are going to measure?
  • Why are measuring what we are measuring?
  • Why start measuring now?
  • What do we want to achieve?
  • What are going to do with the outcomes/results?
  • For how long are we going to measure?
  • Who will be lead?
  • How often are we going to measure what we measure?
  • What change management is needed to prepare the organization for the work?

2. Prepare the environment

With the goal setting step finalized, this next step involves the design a plan of action on how the goal/s will be achieved. This can be a number of initiatives, such as: training roll-out, developing measuring tools to enable the coaching teams, process improvements, or upgrading the IVR (interactive voice recorder) to encourage customers to provide feedback/perspectives.

3. Define the type of customer satisfaction survey

Every call center handles a variety of customer interactions, and engagements with a wide variety of customers who have different levels of satisfaction and expectations. The customer satisfaction measurement has to be defined in such a way that is representative of that environment. As an organization you can choose which one is the relevant one to your business from the following:

  • Customer Effort Score (CES)
    • The purpose of the Customer Effort Score is to measure how much effort a customer has to spend to get an issue resolved, a request fulfilled, purchase a product, return a product, get a question answered, resolve a complain etc. It is a great indicator of loyalty because a continued improvement on this score means your customer loyalty will improve.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
    • The Net Promoter Score is a customer loyalty and satisfaction measurement taken from asking customers how likely they are to recommend your product or services to others on a scale of 0-10.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
    • This is the most commonly used measurement for customer satisfaction. With this indicator the customer is asked to rate their satisfaction on a linear scale, the CSAT score will tell you how satisfied or unsatisfied customers are with your product or service.

What is Customer Effort Score?

4. Develop the survey layout

An effective survey layout design affects the survey responses and completion. Therefore, greater thought must be applied into the design process. This process includes the length of the survey (remember, taking into the account the survey length demonstrates great respect of the customer’s time), as well as the types of questions you’re asking your customers. These two features are equally important in the design process as the actual look and feel of the survey.

5. Select the medium

The survey medium relates to how the survey will be delivered. This could range from online delivery via email, social media, chat, and short message service (SMS). Convenience is very key in survey delivery due to its ability to influence completion rate.

6. Analyze the customer feedback collected

Feedback analyses is about finding ways to improve and optimize your customer’s experiences and increase customer satisfaction, ultimately leading to higher customer retention. Analyzing customer feedback and incorporating their insight into your product or services is a way of thanking customers for their time and saying ‘we’ve heard you’.

positive, negative, and neutral sentiment from text analytics

7. Make improvements — and repeat

Every process of analyses must be followed by action, which is where the improvements are realized by customers. Improvements do not have to be major changes that disrupt customer lives — they can be bite size changes made over time to ensure a better and improved experience for the customer.

Why Measuring Customer Satisfaction is Important

Whichever methodology you choose, remember that the scores are only part of an end-to-end process of measuring customer satisfaction; the goal is to measure the customer’s satisfaction as precisely as possible. Measuring customer satisfaction should be done consistently, as this will help your call center meet customer expectations.

This is a valuable resource to those looking to incorporate customer perspectives into their overall business.