Recently, we had the chance to listen to some calls at a client’s contact center. This client has a high percentage of positive responses from their post-call survey, and all of the calls we heard ended with the customers saying that yes, they were satisfied with the quality of their service that day. Still, we ended our listening session feeling a little disappointed. What was our problem?
Our problem was that the Voice of the Customer (VoC) was not truly being heard. A true VoC program measures the customer experience rather than management’s interpretation of the customer experience in order to understand if the customer is actually being served. An organization shouldn’t simply record calls, it should analyze risks, preferences, and customer behavior in order to find ways to improve the patient experience. By listening to customers and anticipating their needs, an organization can make healthcare better.
Despite best efforts, our client wasn’t quite capturing the true voice of the customer. For starters, the phrasing of the question asked doesn’t tell us much. Of course customers thought highly of the quality of service, the agents they spoke to were very polite, kind, and friendly. But at the end of the calls, the agents never actually resolved the customers’ issues. Receiving quality service differs greatly from receiving effective service, and it’s important to ask the right question in order to get an answer that reflects the reality of a call.
Asking only one follow-up question and having the agent ask that question can also be ineffective in really listening to the voice of the customer. Since the agents asked the question, customers might have felt uncomfortable giving a negative answer. Or even worse, we could hear the tone of the “yes” given and understand it was really a “no.” One customer answered with, “I guess so.” That is less than a glowing review. Still, the agents marked the “yes” box for each of those calls, contributing to the idea that this contact center does not have a customer service problem.
Listening is hard in any relationship, but it’s important to go beyond hearing the words that the customers are saying and instead work to truly understand what they want and need from your organization.
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