Gauging Customer Satisfaction Accurately
November 01, 2007
Most customer-facing companies agree that the ultimate goal of the call center is to ensure…and boost…customer satisfaction. After all, satisfied customers buy more, stick around for life, tell their friends about their happy experience, and cost less to keep happy than prospecting new customers does.
But are your customers happy? Would you know if they weren’t? How do you tell if they are? Some studies show that there is a vast gulf between the percentage of companies who THINK their customers are happy and the percentage of customers who actually ARE happy. (The numbers are quite comical, actually.)
So…before you decide to make your customers happier, you need to figure out a way to find out how happy they are currently. Stands to reason, no?
Research from the UK Contact Centre Operational Review (5th edition – 2007) finds that the ability to gauge customer satisfaction accurately is seen as crucial to the future of the contact center.
Key strategy-related findings from the report, based on in-depth interviews with over 200 UK contact center operations, show that:
52 percent of survey respondents said that accurate measurement of customer satisfaction was “absolutely vital to their future success”. The next highest-rated trend scored only 19 percent (workflow optimization).
“Improving customer satisfaction levels” is seen as being the most pressing managerial issue, being even more important than “cost reduction,” “increasing revenues” or “achieving performance targets.”
Respondents state that, on average, 73 percent of customers give maximum customer satisfaction ratings (for example, “10/10,” “very satisfied,” etc.).
The report’s author, Steve Morrell commented:
“The need to measure and improve customer satisfaction was easily seen as the most important future trend, getting more maximum scores than every other trend added together. This indicates that many other issues, concerns, and trends within the contact center are being viewed in the light of customer satisfaction. For example, “I’m concerned about staff attrition” really means “I’m concerned about how staff attrition is impacting upon our performance and thus our customers’ satisfaction.”
“This growing and sustained focus upon customer satisfaction makes us believe that the UK contact center industry is heading in a positive direction, for the customers, the businesses and for the contact centers themselves. However, without the necessary investment and support from the wider business, including the tools to understand when and why customers are satisfied or otherwise, this strong desire to become customer-focused cannot become reality.”
The UK Contact Center Operational Review is a study of the performance, operations, technology and HR aspects of 211 UK contact center operations. The data are segmented by vertical market, contact center size, activity, and location where relevant.
For details (including a free Executive Summary), visit www.contactbabel.com/ukor.htm
Tracey Schelmetic is Editorial Director of Customer Interaction Solutions magazine. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
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