By Steve Brubaker, InfoCision Chief of Staff
We’ve all been there as a customer: You wait 45 minutes to speak with a service representative, resolve your issue and hang up the phone only to then think of something that you really wanted to say to the agent.
The last thing you would do, though, is dial back in to submit your feedback or send an email that may or may not get returned.
For this reason, customer service surveys serve a very important purpose. They offer customers a way to organize their thoughts after a customer service interaction. And if they are processed in the right way, customer service surveys can provide remarkable insight into what customers are actually experiencing during their journeys.
Let’s be honest: There are some things that are easier to say in a survey than to another person. Some people, in other words, are afraid of getting agents in trouble. But in a survey, customers tend to be much more straightforward about their thoughts and opinions.
Here are some tips that you can use to maximize the value that you get out of customer service surveys:
Always ask customers if they want a survey: This is a basic courtesy. No customer should ever have to ask for a customer service survey. A service representative should always offer a survey at the end of a conversation. It’s a way of showing the customer that you care about their thoughts and opinions, and are actively concerned about making the department more customer-centric. Plus, if you offer a customer service survey you can reduce the likelihood that the customer will sound off on social media. A survey can be a great outlet for a frustrated customer to vent or offer feedback.
Timing is critical: Always send a customer service survey right after a real-time interaction, when a customer’s thoughts will be fresh in his or her mind. A customer is much more likely to respond within 10 minutes of receiving a survey, as opposed to an hour or day later. The sooner you send a survey, the more comprehensive and honest the customer’s feedback will be.
Always offer open-ended responses: Surveys need to have more than just a number-based rating system. This data can be useful, but the real value of a survey comes in open-ended response forms. This is where customers can offer their most honest feedback. Customers will also appreciate the opportunity to leverage their own unique thoughts. It’s a way of personalizing the survey for the customer.
Create an in-house think tank: Once surveys come in, they need to be processed and read. This takes time. Consider creating a special customer service think tank, whose sole job will be to listen to customer service complaints and devise new strategies for making them happy.