Be Discerning with Post Call IVR Surveys

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"After this call, you have the option of taking a brief survey about your experience."

More and more, consumers are being given opportunities to take surveys. They are on the receipt of almost every big box retailer and restaurant chain. Technology has made it increasingly easy for companies to take a survey of customers through their IVR system. In fact, when talking to contact center managers about doing a focused customer satisfaction survey, I will often hear "we're going to use the IVR to do that."

Be careful. While IVR surveys are a great way to gather certain types of data, you need to be discerning:

  • IVR surveys tend to have built in response bias. People who "opt-in" to IVR surveys generally fall into three categories: customers who had a really good experience and want to tell you about it, customers who had a really bad experience and want to tell you about it, ir customers who like to take surveys. You may be missing a large, important, and silent segment of your customer population.
  • Depending on the system you use, CSRs can skew the response. If the survey is dependent on the CSR to ask, offer or transfer the customer, you'll likely get bias based on whether the CSR determined they wanted feedback from that particular customer.
  • Owning a nice spatula doesn't make you a chef. As with all surveys, the questions you ask can make all the difference on the quality of data you get out of it. Many companies will sell you the technology, but determining the questions to ask so you get the data you want and need requires a different expertise.

Please don't get me wrong. IVR surveys are a great way to gather data, but they may not give you the complete picture of your entire customer population. You may also find that you're not getting everything you want from the technology.

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