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One Number, NOT One Question

I wrote a blog on Net Promoter Score (NPS) last year and continue to get into discussions about it with clients and colleagues. Martha Brooke of Interaction Metrics is a great dialog partner as she’s an expert on customer surveys and actionable customer feedback. She also shares my passion for this topic. So we put our heads together to provide guidance on how to get to one number that reflects the entire customer experience.

one number, not one questionMany contact centers are in the situation of having to use an NPS or NPS-like score — and we certainly see them including the NPS question in their post-call surveys. It reflects the quest to get the most information from the customer with the least amount of their time — and to get the most insight with the least amount of survey design and analysis. All laudable goals.

Variations are emerging as people continue the search for the “silver bullet” question. For example, Delta is now following Zappos with the “Would you hire this person?” question. It is bold to assume that callers have any insights on how to hire people who will be good at customer care. Even if they had such insights, it’s questionable they could judge based on a single 3-minute phone call. As you can see, we are not fans.

Here is the newest variation…“If you called back, would you want to talk with this person again?” This question might make sense if companies used the data for intelligent routing on subsequent calls. But it will backfire if the customer says no and then gets routed to the same person in the future. Again, not a metric we would suggest contact centers use.

But here is the biggest flaw of any of these “one question” approaches: none provide valuable, actionable insights, which should be the reason for gathering customer feedback in the first place. We think the issue needs to be reframed – How do we measure customer experience with one number? It’s time to recognize that interactions and customer experiences, with all their nuances, emotions, and varying situations are more complex than one question can answer. If you fail to account for this complexity, you fail to have accurate data and actionable outcomes showing how and where to improve.

So a better approach is to consider and weight the various elements that impact the customer experience. Further, you need to make sure you derive a score and define actions across all customer interaction channels – voice, email, chat, text/SMS – while recognizing the questions can change across each touchpoint.

Interaction Metrics are experts in such things, including research and analysis that drives actionable insights. They have crafted a way to capture meaningful customer feedback and can get you to ONE NUMBER, called a Quality of Customer Interaction™ Score. It shows how the customer experience rates, based on multiple inputs, weighted by what’s most important to each customer. The QCI™ Score is unique in that it’s simple and yet takes into account multiple inputs.

So challenge yourself to think one number—NOT one question. After all, what you want is actionable insight.

Interaction Metrics offers a free trial that could be your first step in optimizing your customer survey and truly capturing the voice of the customer.

Survey Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices

Tips and Tricks for Great Customer Survey Design:

  • Ask customers to rank order the areas of your company that are most important to them
  • Use branching logic so you only ask customers about things they have actually experienced
  • Use a multiplier in your analysis to reflect what’s most important for each customer

Customer Survey Best Practices:

  • Avoid response bias, gaming, data distortion, and other errors in your participant sample
  • Make sure your sample is large enough to be statistically relevant
  • Eliminate leading, double-barreled, or assumptive questions
  • Include open-ended questions for customers to provide feedback in their own words—and then use a scientific coding technique to uncover key themes and meaning
  • Use a scale that is neutral and appropriate for the questions