Donna Fluss gets it right in this destinationCRM article about the non-use and misuse of surveys. She hits the very important point that “the organizations that deliver great service do something that others don't—listen to their customers and apply what they learn.” And further, she dives into the reasons most companies fail in this area: “Employees are generally not empowered to act beyond prescribed and limited processes.” Donna also lists nine characteristics of outstanding service providers. It is a very important, and very positive message about empowerment, priorities, respect, and advocacy.
But I need to add a very important, “that’s not enough.” Even if you do all of what Donna suggests, you still may fail because of organizational and technology barriers. Specifically:
- Each communication channel may require a separate evaluation, contract negotiation, and budget project.
- Integration of one or more survey systems with existing systems can be costly and take months.
- Once the integration is complete, you still may not be able to easily get the sort of reporting insight that you need to empower smart changes.
- Islands of information make it hard to analyze data and agree on priorities.
What is needed is an easy (read: cloud-based) integrated contact center platform that includes surveying. And said surveys have to be consistent across channels, so you are asking consistent questions whether after a web chat or after a phone call. Such a system has two huge benefits for companies that care about using surveys to actually improve customer service. First is that because there are no new contracts or integration projects, you are much more likely to adopt surveying. And second, with consistent cross-channel surveys, you get a true picture of how you are performing holistically, as well as per-channel.