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Surveying is Still the Most Effective Method for Measuring Customer Satisfaction

by Donna Fluss, founder and President of DMG Consulting LLC

The future for contact center surveying/feedback and analytics is clear. New forms of communication and social networking applications are changing the landscape for acquiring customer feedback. Web 2.0 and social software applications, including wikis, blogs, customer review sites, community forums, social networks, content feeds, content rating, Twitter and reputation management, are beginning to find their way into customer feedback programs. Leading organizations are actively utilizing both solicited and unsolicited forms of customer feedback. As a result of increased interest and many new implementations, exciting new feedback opportunities are beginning to take hold.

Even in the era of social networking, surveys are still the most effective ways to determine how satisfied customers are with a company’s products and services. For most companies, contact centers represent the voice of the customer to the enterprise; therefore, contact centers have traditionally been the primary buyers of surveying/feedback solutions.

Surveying Helps to Retain Customers

Surveying/feedback programs give organizations insights about customer concerns. Analyzing feedback on a timely basis enables companies to rapidly identify service issues, substandard processes, and outdated policies and procedures. Ideally, customer feedback should be converted to actionable recommendations to improve contact center and enterprise performance and enhance the customer experience, while also reducing operating expenses. Despite the economic slowdown, or maybe because of it, utilizing customer feedback must be a priority for organizations of all sizes. The challenge is to make customer insights actionable through change management.

Retaining customers is a top goal in good times; it is even more important in a tough economic climate. Investing in technology to gather feedback and improve service before customers broadcast their frustrations to the world is vital, especially in the era of social networking. Customer feedback is an invaluable resource for customer retention and can help organizations improve customer and employee satisfaction.

The Surveying Market

Visionary vendors are looking beyond traditional surveys/questionnaires as a means for collecting feedback. They are recognizing the reality of today’s two-way communication between customers and businesses and are transforming their offerings, responding to customers’ suggestions and technology shifts in the market. Vendors are working on enhancements and innovations including improvements to analytics to provide automatic recommendations based on feedback, new sampling algorithms, and the ability for business users to create ad hoc reports. Solutions are being designed to integrate out-of-the box with back-office and other third-party systems to allow real-time data flows between disparate solutions and to facilitate more rapid decision making. Vendors are adding support for an ever-increasing number of channels, and platform and technology enhancements are helping reduce implementation times.

Another area of innovation is the proliferation of ways for prospects to acquire surveying/customer feedback solutions. Companies can now select from several different delivery models. Users can acquire contact center surveying/feedback functionality in the traditional premise-based format, as hosted solutions, or on a managed service basis. Several vendors are offering multiple (and flexible) delivery models for their solutions.

Contact Centers Have Many Good Surveying Choices

Contact centers have traditionally been the primary buyers of surveying/feedback solutions. In fact, many surveying and enterprise feedback management vendors target contact centers exclusively, while others have just begun to tap this market and are enhancing their solutions to accommodate contact centers. Surveying solutions have improved substantially in the last few years giving contact centers managers many strong alternatives.

To learn more about the contact center surveying solutions and how they can benefit your customers and enterprise, see DMG’s 2009 Surveying/Feedback and Analytics Market Report. This Report will be released at the end of August.

About the Author
Donna Fluss is the founder and president of DMG Consulting LLC, the leading provider of contact center and analytics research, market analysis and consulting. She is the author of The Real-Time Contact Center, the Contact Center Executive and Management Briefing, the Contact Center QA Guide, and many other leading industry reports on contact center hosting, IVR, speech analytics, performance management, workforce management, surveying/enterprise feedback management, quality management/liability recording and contact center analytics.Contact Donna at donna.fluss@dmgconsult.com.