An Introduction to… Post-Call Surveys

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Post-call surveys are widely adopted by contact centres as a tool for gaining valuable insights and gauging customer satisfaction.

This article explores what post-call surveys are, who uses them and why, alongside key benefits and drawbacks, alternatives, best practices, and more.

What Is a Post-Call Survey?

A post-call survey (also known as a post-contact survey or an after-call survey) is designed to gather immediate feedback from customers about their experience during the call.

It typically consists of a set of questions that assess the quality of service, the helpfulness of the agent, and the overall satisfaction of the customer.

Why Send Out a Post-Call Survey?

Post-call surveys are commonly initiated by departments that focus primarily on the customer experience, such as call centres and customer support teams.

The insights gathered serve multiple purposes, including:

Scoring Customer Interactions to Track Performance Over Time

This includes working out customer satisfaction (C-SAT) scores to show how well the organization is performing, as well as determining NetPromoter Scores to track customer loyalty.

Feedback Collection

Surveys provide a direct channel for customers to express their opinions and provide feedback on their experiences.

Insight Generation

Data collected from these surveys helps organizations identify patterns and trends in customer interactions, allowing them to make informed improvements.

Customer-Centricity

By actively seeking feedback, companies demonstrate their commitment to listening to customers and addressing their concerns.

Performance Measurement

Post-call surveys also help in evaluating the effectiveness of frontline agents and identifying areas for training and development.

As Jennifer Passini at NICE elaborates in our What Is an After-Call Survey? article, “For contact centre supervisors, after-call surveys are also helpful in improving overall performance for that touchpoint, as they highlight the metrics most important to customer satisfaction and areas for improvement to guide coaching and training for agents.”

What Typically Happens to the Data Collected From a Post-Call Survey?

In a proactive organization, data and responses from post-call surveys are analysed to extract meaningful insights.

These insights help businesses understand pain points, strengths, and areas of opportunity within their customer service operations.

The data can also be used to benchmark performance, track improvements over time, and guide strategic decision-making.

For some, however, post-call surveys are merely a tick-box exercise and the opportunity is lost to fully utilize these insights to improve the customer experience.

For advice on how often companies should seek customer feedback, read our article: How Often You Should Seek Customer Feedback

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A Quick Overview of the Pros and Cons of Post-Call Surveys

Here are a few key pros and cons to be aware of when running post-call surveys:

Pros of Post-Call Surveys:

  • Immediate Feedback – Real-time responses capture the customer’s emotions and experiences accurately.
  • Actionable Insights – Direct customer feedback allows for targeted improvements and enhancements.
  • Employee Development – Surveys help identify training needs and enable the growth of frontline agents.
  • Customer Engagement – Inviting customers to share their opinions enhances engagement and builds trust.

Cons of Post-Call Surveys:

  • Response Bias – Some customers might provide overly positive or negative feedback, skewing the results. This is because the mostly likely people to complete a survey are the happiest or angriest customers.
  • Limited Scope – Surveys often focus on a single interaction, possibly missing the bigger picture.
  • Time Constraints – Customers may find surveys time-consuming and choose to skip them.
  • Data Gaps – The engagement and completion rates of post-call surveys vary widely depending on factors like industry, customer demographics, and survey design. On average, completion rates can range from 10% to 30%, so there will always be data gaps.
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When’s the Best Time to Send Out a Post-Call Survey?

The optimal time to send a post-call survey is immediately after the customer interaction. The experience is fresh in the customer’s mind, ensuring that their responses are accurate and reflective of their emotions during the call.

However, there’s some debate around this, as we learnt on our visit to the ManyPets contact centre in Birmingham (UK):

“The ManyPets team have found that surveying a customer immediately after a call is not always reflective of the whole experience, as they have yet to see the agreed outcomes be delivered.

Instead, they send an email survey within 24 hours of the conversation, so the customer has chance to reflect on the whole experience – when the agent has done what they said they’d do.”

Furthermore, not every contact centre sends out a post-call survey after every call. As the findings of our What Contact Centres Are Doing Right Now (2023 Edition) showed that less than half of contact centres (38.8%) ask their customers to complete a post-contact survey ‘after every contact’, whilst a further 17.2% opt to do it after ‘every (second/ third/ fourth) contact’, 11% ask ‘around once a quarter’, and 13.9% ‘at certain points across the year’.

2023 Survey Graph Post Contact Survey Frequency
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Dos and Don’ts of Post-Call Surveys

Here’s a quick overview of some dos and don’ts for post-call surveys:

Dos of Post-Call Surveys:

  • Keep It Concise – Limit the number of questions to ensure higher completion rates.
  • Be Specific – Ask targeted questions about different aspects of the customer’s experience.
  • Use Multiple Choice – Mix open-ended questions with multiple-choice questions for ease of response.
  • Act on Feedback – Demonstrate responsiveness by making improvements based on customer feedback.
  • Test and Refine – Continually evaluate and adjust the survey based on customer preferences.

Don’ts of Post-Call Surveys :

  • Overwhelm With Questions – Avoid long surveys that can frustrate customers and lower completion rates.
  • Use Leading Questions – Ensure questions are neutral and unbiased to get accurate responses.
  • Neglect Follow-Up – Always close the loop with customers, informing them of changes made due to their feedback.
  • Ignore Negative Feedback – Negative feedback is an opportunity for improvement. Don’t dismiss it!
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Alternatives to Post-Call Surveys

While post-call surveys are a popular tool, there are several viable alternatives for gathering customer insights, including:

  • Social Media Listening – Monitoring social media platforms for customer comments and feedback.
  • Customer Advisory Boards – Forming panels of selected customers for regular feedback sessions.
  • In-App Feedback – Collecting feedback within digital applications or websites immediately after interactions.
  • Speech, Text, and Sentiment Analysis – Mining customer interactions such as calls, chat logs and emails for sentiment and feedback. Such solutions are available from 8×8, Calabrio, CallMiner, Diabolocom, Genesys, MaxContact, NICE, Scorebuddy, Talkdesk, Uniphore, and more.

If you are looking for more great insights and advice on customer surveys, then you should read these articles next:

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