Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

The Importance of Capturing Customer Feedback

June 19, 2013

Hard data. We love it for its precision, its finality, its adherence to the scientific method. But both quantitative and qualitative metrics are needed when improving the contact center experience because statistical data only goes so far.

“The problem is that statistical significances have nothing to do with practical or economic importance,” noted Erna M. Hall during a recent webinar, "How to Lead in Your Field with Next Generation Call Center KPIs," hosted by ContactCenterSolutions and Telax, manager of call center services for the city of Regina. “Statistical significances get things wrong about 90 percent of the time.”

What captures better customer perceptions is voice of the customer data, the data that happens in the margins when customers interact with customer service agents.

The problem is that this data is not empirical, so managers who bring such data to the attention of upper management often get the brush-off due to its un-actionable nature.

The trick, according to Beth Middleton, who handles project management and professional services for Web-based contact center solutions provider Telax, is transforming customer data into empirical data by creating a framework for counting it.

“When we start seeing numbers on paper, it makes it more real,” Middleton said.

When responses are categorized and collected, they can be generalized into a pool of data that then can be given to management in the form of a graph or chart. This soft data then becomes hard, empirical data that is much more likely to drive organizational change.

There are a number of easy ways to accomplish this using modern contact center technology, according to Middleton.

One essential tool is the call classification functionality built into modern contact center software. It lets agents input what customers are saying relatively easily, and this front-line data can be collected for empirical evidence.

Making it easy for agents to input notes also is a useful way to capture this data. Through scripting, opportunities for agents to input notes can be highlighted during customer interactions.

These notes also can be searched and collected by modern contact center software, she said.

A third way to get voice of the customer data is indirectly by seeing what agents are doing with their time when not on the phone. Thanks to modern software, this now is possible—and it can bring insight into the issues that agents are actually engaged with.

Call recording and screen capture is another technique for capturing data, noted Middleton.

“There is a wealth of information that we can get from that stuff,” she said.

Edited by Alisen Downey