We all measure customer satisfaction. So why is it so hard to drive it up?
Mats Rennstam gives a few pointers.
Most companies already measure customer satisfaction on an enterprise level, but the problem with this is it does not get acted on.
Asking customers what they feel when they hear your brand name will not help us drive change in the contact centre. Instead you need to be able to link the feedback to a recent call to your centre and break it down to agent or, as a minimum, team level.
Feedback to the agent
When doing automatic post-call surveys and feeding back the results to the agents directly, we have seen dramatic improvements in first-call resolution (FCR) and customer satisfaction.
Yes, there is an element of competitiveness but also (and quite often for the first time in their contact centre career) an agent can actually see that they are making a difference.
They can also experiment with the way they handle customers and see what effect that has on their scores; for instance, if they make an effort to sound happier and more upbeat on calls and that translates into better customer satisfaction scores then they are going to repeat that behaviour.
Sharing the results down to the agent level helps create a self-developing and learning organisation.
General satisfaction develops general behaviours
Asking about general satisfaction is actually a more useful tool for identifying problems somewhere else in the organisation. If customers rate your agents highly and all your performance metrics are good, especially if they hold up when benchmarked, then you know that it is the product or another area of the business that is at fault.
Breaking customer satisfaction to the team and agent level
One of the major bonuses with breaking down customer satisfaction to team and agent level is finding the most effective agents, as opposed to just efficient, and then being able to replicate their behaviour.
The difference between quantity and quality
Previously the most productive agent has been seen as the best but when that view is complemented with customer satisfaction data and the behaviour the agents demonstrate, a different picture of who is best appears. And this is something we must address quickly because data from the Bright Index suggests our industry is getting a worse at delivering customer satisfaction, not better. Even if this trend is being driven by an increase in customers’ expectations, rather than deterioration in service, it still shows that the industry must do more.
Employee satisfaction and engagement
Of course we want happy staff but although general satisfaction affects their behaviour, it is how engaged they are with the customers that affects customer satisfaction and loyalty.
First-call resolution (FCR) and hold time used to be seen as the top customer satisfaction drivers.
From our customer satisfaction surveys carried out in parallel with monitoring delivered service levels; we see that an additional 30 seconds hold time has little effect on satisfaction but only a small dip in agent engagement sends it through the floor.
The key metric here is engagement but to drive that you need to measure the three key drivers of motivation and engagement.
Employee satisfaction metrics
The most relevant employee evaluation metrics are:
Linking the metrics
By measuring the key metrics simultaneously a new world will open up. As soon as you see a movement in one area you can go back to the other two to see what caused it, because they are intrinsically linked. If in addition to this you also break down the results to a team or agent level you will have a very powerful tool helping you, for example:
- find out how far you can turn down your service levels without affecting customer satisfaction
- find the most effective agents as opposed to the most efficient
- find correlations; what drives sales, FCR, customer satisfaction, etc?
Pulling it all together
Measuring performance in parallel with employee engagement and customer satisfaction will make you feel like someone has switched on the light in a dark room.
Read Mats’ last article – what to measure and manage in your call centre.
Mats Rennstam is Managing Director at Bright UK Ltd (www.brightindex.co.uk)
Tel: 0208 892 95 30