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Live in the Now: How to Get Immediate Value With Customer Surveys


Presented By: VHT

Live in the Now: How to Get Immediate Value With Customer Surveys

by Chad Hendren, Director, Solution Innovation at Virtual Hold Technology 

Customer service this afternoon took too long. 2 stars.” “Wow, you all knew exactly how to resolve my issue. 5 stars!”  

When your customer pauses their day to take a survey, they provide a personal view into your operations. All too often, these valuable insights are filed away for the quarterly marketing review, and key remarks and rankings are lost amongst benchmarks. While performance trends pinpoint how a company is generally doing, they tend to hide critical customer moments until it’s too late. 

Trends can hide the customer who hit you with a two out of 10-star rating because they were on hold for 30 minutes. That same customer who spends more in a month than most do in a year. Or at least they used to. 

A customer satisfaction survey has a lot of power when it comes to brand perception. In fact, the moment a customer clicks submit, you can save the day or further entrench customer loyalty. That’s a lot of power over the customer’s journey thanks to one document. So how can a brand begin to make their surveys powerful? Below are three tips to drive customer satisfaction with surveys. 

Create a Path for Customer Satisfaction

When using a survey, think about why you’re asking each question. What do you want to find out? And what do you want to happen next? Whatever your answer, remember you must guide the customer instead of relying on them to find a way. 

Why? A lot of options are available for a frustrated customer. They might keep trying to contact a company. Maybe they’ll go to social media and complain. Or they could go to a competitor. 

Take “Sam,” for example. After 30 minutes on hold without speaking to a representative, she rates her frustrating experience a 3 out of 10. Without navigation assistance, Sam is left hanging. So she logs onto her favorite social media channel and shouts out to the company – and all her followers – exactly what she thinks about their customer service. Just like that, Sam became a brand detractor. 

There’s no reason for that transformation to occur in the digital age. 

Automating the next right action creates a path for customer satisfaction. For instance, when Sam provides her feedback, an SMS offering an immediate callback is sent to her mobile phone. Before Sam is connected, the agent has access to all of Sam’s interactions, helping her resolve the issue efficiently. 

By engaging with customers, you are saving them time and energy. Even with a bad experience, that type of effort shows that your customers are valued.  

Use Value-Based Segmentation

The next right action isn’t the same for every customer. Infrequent buyers don’t have the same expectations as frequent. And even those frequent customers act differently – some make predictable, large purchases each quarter, others buy consistently throughout the year. 

Segmentation is everything. Guiding someone to the next right action requires knowing who is taking the step. 

Before automating every customer’s journey, however, identify the segments that have the most value to your brand. For example, people making the most purchases, having an important status like gold membership, or actively encouraging others to engage with your brand. Now, think about their preferred communication method. 

Remember Sam? Because you know she’s always near her mobile, following up with an SMS makes the most sense. But “Greg” has a few different qualities, one of which is being far more responsive to email than SMS. When there are enough Gregs in the world, it’s worth automating a different step for him. Namely, if Greg gives a bad review, an email offering callback will have better results.  

Have Context for the Contact

Creating paths for different customer segments often leads to speaking directly with a service agent. When it does, the journey should never start all over again. Neither the customer nor the agent want to be put in that situation. After all, an agent performs best when they know why a customer is calling, their account number and other information related to their survey response. 

Real-time reports provide agents context into the customer’s journey. In our experience with achieving desired customer outcomes, a good starter report includes:

- Customer history: How long have they been a customer?

- Channel journey: What channels has the customer navigated prior to routing?

- Events: What interactions has the customer previously had with the brand?

Additional contact info: Email address, social handles? 

With this information, an agent comes to the conversation with suitable background – able to resolve the issue more effectively and efficiently, and eliminating frustration. 

If used correctly, surveys provide significant value outside of the quarterly report. Companies can improve satisfaction among the customers that matter most, especially important in the digital age when loyalty is hard to grow. By applying these three suggestions, you’ll be ahead of the competition in increasing brand loyalty by being responsive to the customers’ needs.