FAQs Goals and Objectives
What are the most common objectives clients have for the customer experience?
Clients’ initial goals tend to be straightforward. For example, they want to:
- Increase their Net Promoter Score.
- Beat the competition.
- Get and give more value through customer service.
- Deliver an exceptional customer experience.
- Get actionable insights from their customers’ comments.
Over time, clients’ objectives become more precise and touchpoint-specific.
If I ignore the customer experience, what’s the downside?
Customers have high expectations for their interactions with companies and won’t hesitate to voice their displeasure over a negative experience. Companies that ignore the customer experience risk: losing customers, losing opportunities to impress their customers, losing market share to competitors who embrace the customer experience, all while increasing the risk of poor reviews and bad PR.
There are so many downsides that it’s better to have at least some objective customer experience optimization in place.
How do you measure the customer experience?
At Interaction Metrics, first, we explore your objectives. Then, we recommend the right approach based on what you want to know or would like to do.
Survey companies tend to say ‘you need a survey.” Conversation analysis companies tend to say, “you need conversation analysis.” But as a research company, we align our methods with you. Some of our methods include:
- Transactional surveys covering tech support, customer service, and more
- Comprehensive Customer Satisfaction Surveys
- Ongoing tracking studies
- Text Analysis of comments and conversations
- Customer Service Evaluations
Set a time to discuss customer experience methods here.
FAQs Customer Surveys
What can Interaction Metrics add to our in-house customer survey program?
Interaction Metrics will give you and your stakeholders the most objective, actionable data. Specifically, we:
- Vet your survey questions for neutrality.
- Optimize your survey response rates.
- Embed CRM data into your survey—and output that data.
- Place dynamic logic gating into your survey to reduce survey fatigue.
- Conduct robust analysis to pinpoint specific areas to improve.
- Give you Interactive Dashboards so you can track your progress over time.
Do you have a list of customer satisfaction survey questions?
For sure! We have a list of customer satisfaction survey questions we can share with you, which is often a great place to begin.
But what’s most important is understanding your goals. This way, we can customize questions to areas where you can take action. Too many vendors lift questions from other companies’ surveys. This rarely results in actionable insights you can use.
What are the most common survey mistakes, and how can I avoid them?
All too often, organizations copy and paste what they see industry leaders asking, but even the most prominent companies write unscientific surveys and fail to engage their customers.
Here are a few rules of thumb for creating compelling, actionable surveys.
- Start the survey process by examining the nuances of your organization’s customer experience. Brainstorm questions and methods you can use to explore those subtleties.
- Employ strategies to ensure your response rate is high enough to give you representative data and real insights.
- Ask a team unfamiliar with your survey to vet your questions for biases or a dull, run-of-the-mill approach.
- Ensure you have maximum logic gating to keep your survey relevant and concise.
- Examine your questions, formats, and scales to make sure that the answers you collect won’t be misleading in some way.
- After the data is in and the analysis conducted, set aside time to visualize the data and to find the story in the data if there is one.
- Remember that sometimes research data doesn’t yield a firm story, and it’s never good to force a story where one doesn’t exist.
This is a 1,000-foot view to get you started, but here’s our list of the 20 most common survey flaws and how to fix them.
Is there a best customer survey platform?
We think you’ll love our customer survey platforms because we include a real-time portal at no additional cost to you. Of course, the best customer software stack depends on your goals, and our software suite includes options for Alchemer, Qualtrics, Power BI, and more.
Regardless of the platform we use, our customer surveys are as turnkey as you need them to be. We write the survey questions, set up the campaigns with email invites, and run the analysis. And if you want to add depth to your survey data, we integrate additional research methods too. See more about survey software below.
How can I increase my survey response rate?
- Charities: Present a selection of charities that align with your brand; the customer chooses which organization they want to support.
- Priority Support: Offer a priority code so that the next time the customer needs customer service, they are moved to the front of the line.
- Gift Certificates: Give gift certificates to Starbucks, Amazon, or similarly popular companies.
Who should follow up with customers after a survey?
The most meaningful follow-up data will come from interviewers who understand your company but are not the face of your company. When customers talk with an independent research division, they are likelier to be open, honest, and tell you what they really think. That’s human nature.
What are the keys to doing a good follow-up call with survey respondents?
It’s essential to show that you are genuinely interested in listening. So never call a customer out of the blue. Instead, schedule the interviews in a professional, customized, and engaging way. And when it’s time for the interview, ask compelling questions, for example:
- What do you think would immediately improve Company123?
- If you were describing Company123 to a friend, what would you say?
What is the best way to follow up with detractors?
As with all interviews, schedule a time. You never want to put a detractor on the spot, making them withdraw and feel uncomfortable. The goal is to get to the bottom of things and determine the specifics of what’s going on.
So, start with an email asking for more information and to find out if they would be open to a phone call. Make sure your wording is both disarming and genuine.
The person who makes the phone call needs to have distance: they can’t be the same person the customer was working with; ideally, they are a true researcher trained in interview techniques. Ask permission to record the interview.
After the interview, send the customer a follow-up email thanking them for sharing. Include additional information on how their issues will be resolved.
Partner with Interaction Metrics to do these follow-ups; you’ll find our process is streamlined and efficient. Depending on the project’s scope, we include an interactive dashboard and other tools to keep you in the loop.
FAQs Survey Software
What are some advantages and disadvantages of survey platforms like Qualtrics and Survey Monkey?
The big box software companies provide solid survey platforms. But the quality of the data and insights you get depends on factors like:
- The neutrality of the questions you ask.
- Your ability to reach representative samples.
- Your overall methodological approach and depth of analysis.
Survey platforms alone won’t provide rich insights, but they do give you an avenue to collect data. So, be sure to strategize how you will allocate resources, i.e.:
- Who will run your correlation analysis?
- Who will determine the best metrics?
- If you are using AI for your Text Analysis, who will train it? And who will quality control it?
- Which of your teams has the expertise to tag customers’ comments and conversations?
- How will you ensure a scientific approach?
What are some of the software tools that you need to do a survey?
No matter your survey, you need a platform to host it. In most cases, you’ll also need email software like SMTP2GO and a few other tools. For platforms, there are numerous options on the market.
- Alchemer offers the ability to easily integrate current survey data right back into the survey itself and offers other useful tools but it’s very likely that to use it effectively, you’ll need to combine with a company like Digicert.
- Qualtrics is more expensive but offers tools like video interviews, and if you combine it with integration tools like Zapier, it can tie right into your Salesforce.
- On the other hand, SurveyVista integrates with Salesforce directly—so if your company revolves around Salesforce, this may be a good option.
Of course, every platform has multiple levels and updates its offerings frequently, so it’s always best to check with each company directly.
FAQs Customer Satisfaction Metrics
Is there a single best customer satisfaction metric?
The best way to measure customer satisfaction is based on your company’s goals. Here are some examples:
- Net Promoter Score could be your best customer satisfaction metric if you compare yourself with other companies.
- On the other hand, if your goal is to be the easiest company to do business with, Customer Effort Score will be most germane.
- For companies with high-value customer relationships, Competitive Edge Score is paramount.
In other words, there is not a single best customer satisfaction metric, but there is one best for you.
How is Customer Effort Score calculated?
The best way is to calculate Customer Effort Score, and the way we do it is to average all aspects of the experience that involve your customers expending energy.
- Website searches, ordering processes, and reaching a customer service agent, are all examples of interactions requiring energy expenditure.
How can I get more value from my aggregate scores?
Executives often want a single aggregate score, but actionability is always in the details. That’s why we give you one number, such as an Overall Satisfaction Rating, Net Promoter Score, or Quality of Customer Interaction™ (QCI™) Score. But then, to derive value, we segment your score by persona, touchpoint, and more.
What is the one most important thing to know about customer experience scores?
The most important thing to know about the customer experience (that’s often forgotten) is that it’s not all equal. Quite simply, the fact is that some departments, teams, and services matter more than others. Therefore, to reflect customers’ priorities, use a weighting factor. There are two ways to establish a weighting factor:
- Run a correlation study to determine what impacts your scores the most.
- Use a question format (like drag and drop ranking) that allows your customers to show your their priorities.
We have a very small customer base; what is the best way to measure customer satisfaction?
With a small customer base, surveys are usually not the best fit. Consider Customer Interviews instead. And while interviews are more expensive than surveys, if your customer relationships are valuable, it’s worth it! Some of the benefits of Interviews are:
- Interview questions are tailored to each customer.
- You’ll hear in your customers’ own words how they feel and think.
You’ll listen to themes and issues you didn’t know to ask about in ways you couldn’t have foreseen.
FAQs Net Promoter Score
What is the Net Promoter question?
The Net Promoter question asks: How likely are you to recommend Company123 to a friend or colleague? The answer scale is 0 to 10.
Does Interaction Metrics do Net Promoter Surveys?
Certainly — assuming the Net Promoter question and metric fits your objectives. But sending an NPS survey is never enough; instead, we optimize Net Promoter to ensure you’ll get actionable insights from the data.
We typically recommend Net Promoter Surveys for companies in industries where customers are likely to recommend the company to their peers, such as elective surgeons and high-end hotels.
How is the Net Promoter Score calculated?
Your Net Promoter Score is the calculated difference between the percentage who promote you (scores 9-10) and those who are your detractors (scores 0-6).
What are the pros and cons of the Net Promoter Score?
Net Promoter is a straightforward metric that’s easy to calculate and understand. Plus, the Net Promoter question emphasizes the customer’s social orientation.
But Net Promotor Score has its drawbacks, too:
- Because it is such a ubiquitous question, you might not appear to be genuinely interested in customer listening if you use it.
- It groups scores between a 0 and 6 into a single category–but there’s a difference between a 0 and a 6 that’s often worth delineating.
- For some companies, and in many situations, the Net Promoter question doesn’t make sense. For example, it’s unlikely that you’d recommend a specialty manufacturer to a friend or even necessarily a colleague.
- It doesn’t work for every touchpoint. Some touchpoints, such as website navigation or product packaging, are critical but unrelated to the likelihood that a customer would recommend you.
- Not all aspects of the customer experience are equally important. Some aspects matter more than others. But Net Promoter Score does not include a weighting factor. Read more about that here.
What’s the difference between a Net Promoter Score and an NPS strategy?
A Net Promoter Score is just that, a score. Whereas a Net Promoter strategy:
- Includes discovery to determine which touchpoints will give you reliable Net Promoter data.
- Tweaks the Net Promoter question (if needed) to make it relevant to your audience.
- Segments your Net Promoter Score by persona, touchpoint, situation, etc., so you know where to focus and for whom.
- Provides correlation analysis to identify your Net Promoter drivers.
- Analyzes the open-end text portion of your Net Promoter Survey.
- Includes a curated shortlist of additional questions to add nuance to your Net Promoter Score.
- Gives you a professional way to follow up with survey respondents to ensure actionability and complete the loop with customers.
Our customers’ Net Promoter Scores vary by region and culture. Would it be OK to explain what the NPS ratings mean in our survey?
There are many interpretations of what a score of 10 means. One person’s 10 is different from another’s. But if you let customers as a whole score without your involvement, you get an averaging of these different interpretations. Most importantly, segment NPS by region and culture and use NPS to track directional change.
Can you run a Net Promoter Survey on non-customers?
It’s an oxymoron to ask non-customers the Net Promoter question. If you’re not a customer, why would you recommend a company?
However, it makes sense that you want to know about the prospect experience, so for a science-forward perspective, try asking prospects:
- What have you heard about so far about Company123?
What words come to mind when you think about Company123?
FAQs Employee Surveys
How often should I do Employee Surveys?
Because employee engagement correlates with customer satisfaction, conduct your employee surveys quarterly or at least semi-annually. This way, if something is off-kilter, you can address it quickly.
How do I get insights while avoiding staff burnout if I send employee surveys regularly?
Here are a few ideas:
- First, keep your surveys short and themed. For example, one employee survey might be about leadership; the next could be about meeting customers’ demands. Keep a few static rating questions for longitudinal analysis, but your other questions can be topical. If your surveys are engaging, staff are much more inclined to take them.
- Consider embedding actions into your surveys so employees can see how their answers compare with their peers.
- Circulate summaries and infographics of the data so employees know their input matters.
- Provide an option for anonymity. Many employees are happy expressing themselves but don’t want to be singled out. Your anonymous protocol must be one that employees believe in and fully understand.
- Include one rating question that you use in all your employee surveys so that you have a score you can compare over time. Think carefully about this question so that years from now, it will still be important and make sense.
- To maximize survey relevance, optimize your survey logic. For instance, customer service employees need different questions than marketing managers do.
Can employees shed light on the customer experience?
For sure! One approach that has a high ROI is to tweak the customer survey so that employees are asked to imagine how they think customers are answering the questions. Then run statistical tests to identify customer-to-employee gaps.
FAQs Customer Service Evaluation
What are the benefits of a Customer Service Evaluation?
A Customer Service Evaluation by Interaction Metrics identifies your gaps, friction points, and missed opportunities – and shows you how to improve. In a nutshell, it’s a way to get more value from your Frontline Staff.
On average, our initial evaluations identify 19 underperforming areas that affect customers’ reactions. In addition to knowing how to improve, you’ll have statistically valid metrics to share with stakeholders.
How do you do Customer Service Evaluation?
First, we test a sufficient number of your calls, emails, and chats to arrive at optimal evaluation criteria (scoring rules) and protocols. We define and weight the criteria to reflect your brand and business goals. Then we take a statistically valid sample of your interactions and apply the scoring rules to each interaction.
With ongoing evaluations, you’ll have a portal and a dashboard to see how reps are performing. We can also tie in Customer Service Workshops as needed.
What kinds of goals do companies have for customer service?
The range is vast, from cost-cutting, to cross-sales, to forging solid partnerships with clients.
What role does Mystery Shopping play in a Customer Service Evaluation?
We use Mystery Shopping when you don’t have any recorded customer service calls, emails, or chats. We also use Mystery Shopping to test situations that, while unusual, may be important for you to know how they’re handled.
For instance, do you know how your reps handle angry customers? Or do you know how your reps answer customers who request a service you no longer sell? These could be vital areas to know about but difficult to find in your recorded interactions.
Another significant use case for Mystery Shopping is when we want to determine how your competitors handle their customer interactions.
FAQs Text Analysis
What is sentiment analysis?
Sentiment identifies whether the tone of customers’ comments is positive, negative, or neutral. It’s beneficial when it uncovers nuances like frustration versus anger.
But sentiment is only one aspect of customers’ comments. What customers write about, e.g., their content, is vastly more actionable than sentiment scores. A key benefit of our Text Analysis is that you’ll have BOTH sentiment scores and emergent themes (content) broken out and in priority order.
What is the value of customer comments?
Customer comments are your “survey gold”— they help you to understand how your customers and employees feel and think. But if you just toss these responses into a word cloud generator, you will miss all the meaning!
The best way to unpack comments is with our Text Analysis. In the case of large data sets, we combine Text Analysis with AI.
How do I know if AI is right for my customer comments?
AI can be an excellent fit for companies that do daily surveys and collect tons of comments.
But there are two situations where AI is generally not a solid investment:
- You’re collecting data for a single survey, such as a yearly tracking study. Or overall, you’re just not collecting very many responses.
- Your customers use specialized language, and training AI on your phrasings and terms will cost a fortune. For instance, if your customers use acronyms, codes, and incident numbers, it is often challenging to leverage the power of AI.
Learn more about when AI is or is NOT the right fit here.
When reading about AI and Text, I see unstructured and structured data; what does that mean?
Structured data is organized neatly into a searchable, ordered pattern, like a rating system where respondents give a numeric ranking or “yes/no” answers.
In contrast, unstructured data is a broader category that falls outside the bounds of rating questions and doesn’t follow a predetermined schema.
Interviews, reviews, comments, videos, audio files, social media, and customer conversations are all examples of unstructured data.
With customer experience, often the most prolific source of unstructured data is comments that answer a survey’s open-ended questions.
In junction with Text Analysis, I see the word tagging; what’s that?
Tagging is how unstructured data is categorized and quantified to reveal meaningful insights.
At a high level, tagging works because several analysts work together to build a coding framework iteratively, going through multiple cross-checks. Then, that framework is used to classify comments by their various elements in descending order of specificity.
Like a taxonomy chart that starts with ‘kingdom’ and ends with ‘species,’ a coding framework starts broadly and narrows into specific categories.