You hear it at the beginning of each call every time you call customer service:
This call may be recorded for quality purposes. Please stay on the line for a short survey.
Everyone gets the first part of the message. Many people get the second.
If you are like most people, you called customer service because you had a problem, or a question. And like most people, you are busy. You’re life doesn’t revolve around talking to someone on the phone. At least not your bank, or your credit card company, or any of the other services you may find yourself calling during the day or night.
Once the call is over, your problem is solved, or your question is answered. All you want to do is move on to the next question or problem that you need to fix. Who has time for a survey that is just going to add some data bits to a database, right? I mean, it’s just a simple survey, right? It’s not like it makes any difference, right?
Oh sure, if you had a bad experience, we all want to tell someone about that experience. But, the agent on the phone was super helpful, right? In fact, she was exemplary. You’re thrilled. Goodbye and have a wonderful day.
But, there are people whose life does revolve around talking to someone on the phone. That agent, or customer service representative that you talked to spends six to eight hours per day talking to people just like you.
We’ve come a long ways from the days when I started as a customer service rep for WordPerfect and then Microsoft corporation. Operating system have improved dramatically. When I was doing customer support calls I had to rely on the the customer to be my eyes.
Can you tell me what you are seeing on your screen?
We’re way beyond that stage now. Now we can share screens. We can remotely control a client’s interface. We can even see a user’s phone screen if they grant permission.
There are a few ways that call centers rate their employees. In addition to tracking how long people are at work and how long they are available to take calls, one typical measure is number of calls taken. They also track how long an agent spends on each call. It’s called AHT, or Average Handle Time. Another common metric is how many calls are resolved on first contact.
But, the gold standard of how to evaluate employees is customer satisfaction. That’s why a bad review is so devasting. And I can tell you from personal experience, a bad review does get looked at. And if an agent gets too many bad evaluations, they will be given the opportunity to be successful somewhere else.
But, what about the good reviews? What about the time the agent fixed your issue in record time? What about that review?
For the agent, that review is the most important of all. In call centers I’ve worked in, each superior rated survey is not just acknowledged, but celebrated. Some call centers have a flashing light on the ceiling that goes off when someone get a 10 on a survey. Others ring a bell.
Agents that get multiple perfect surveys quickly rise to the top of the organization. They are the first to be considered for promotions, and raises. They become trainers and team leads.
Their calls are used as an example for others to show them what works and how to be successful as a customer service agent.
Here’s the hidden secret. Agents are never allowed to tell you that. Not a hint of how all important that simple 90 second survey is. But, a good survey is literally money in the bank.
So, the next time you talk to a customer service agent that does an exceptional job, take the time to answer that survey. You will be brightening their day way more than they brightened yours.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved