Are you familiar with the principle behind Customer Feedback applications? It’s very simple: a customer is asked to answer an automated voice questionnaire following contact with a call center agent. The aim is to collect customer feedback in “real time”, and it’s easy to see why this type of application is attracting increasing interest from companies keen to continually improve their products and services.

Despite this interest, the actual use of this type of approach is still low in France compared to other countries. This is a pity, because very often the obstacles to adoption are based on preconceived ideas and erroneous assumptions. Here are some of the most common.

  1. Customers will not wish to answer questions.

FALSE. Customers willingly agree to answer a short questionnaire, limited to a few questions, when invited to do so by a call center agent at the end of the processing of their request. With this type of approach, the questionnaire can be seen as an extension of the “customer experience” linked to the handling of their problem. In fact, this produces far better results than a more “robotized” approach, where a voice menu first asks the customer, even before he has given the reason for his call, whether he would be willing to answer a satisfaction questionnaire.

  1. Advisors will only refer customers following a “good contact”.

FALSE. In practice, call center agents quickly realize that there is just as much, and often more, to be learned from “difficult” calls as from “perfect” ones. They also know that customers distinguish between the problem they are experiencing as customers of the company, and the efforts made by the caller to solve the problem with the means at their disposal. Naturally, this is also reflected in customer feedback from questionnaires, which can be both “negative” for the company and “positive” for the call center agent. Whatever the contact center, there is always a strong correlation between the performance of call center agents and the rate of customer feedback they provide.

  1. There’s a risk of customer fatigue

FALSE. First of all, not every type of call should give rise to a request for feedback. If a customer calls with a simple, immediate request for information, there’s no point in calling again. Secondly, questionnaires should be short and to the point (no more than 5 or 6 questions). Finally, questionnaires are dynamic and automatically adapt to the customer’s case, profile, reason for calling, etc. What’s more, each question asked depends on the answer given to the previous question, so that each customer is questioned on a subject of interest to him or her.

  1. Customers can’t check compliance with processes, but quality auditors can.

TRUE. However, if a process is well respected, that doesn’t mean it’s effective in the eyes of customers! In fact, you need both an internal AND an external view of service quality. This is the enormous advantage of a Customer Feedback solution: to be able to analyze and calibrate internal quality assessments against customer perceptions.