customer surveyOutbound customer surveys can be a powerful tool for obtaining customer feedback about a company, product, service, or agent interaction.  They can provide you with real-time insight into how your customers feel, identify emerging trends, and offer comparisons in customer sentiment between different groups, demographics and geographies.

Over the last few months I’ve spoken to many companies about their outbound survey programs.  It’s been wonderful talking with so many organizations that are using surveys to capture feedback from their customers.  However, I’m disappointed that many of these same companies are not acting on the survey results that they are working so hard to capture. This is clearly a missed opportunity to provide proactive customer care as well as to improve business processes and drive better customer experiences.

It’s critical to understand that capturing the ‘voice of the customer’ is just the first step to an effective outbound survey program – survey results can identify at-risk customers as well as areas needing business improvements.  That being said, the most impactful benefits often result from leveraging survey results to make improvements to an organizations processes, personnel, and technology.  I’ve seen many companies implement what appear to be relatively subtle tweaks to existing processes based on survey findings, and yet these changes result in significant positive impact across their organization, whether in sales and marketing, the purchasing process, IT, or the contact center.

Here are four steps to building a successful outbound survey program based on the insights from Genesys customers and other organizations that I’ve talked with:

1. Properly Plan Start by clarifying the goal of your survey program, including the audience, timing, distribution, and how data will be collected and analyzed. Benchmark where you are today and set goals for where you want to be. Identify which metrics are important and create real-time analytics dashboards. Determine the precise timing for sending a survey– for example: one day after an in-home installation, or immediately after a customer contacts your support team.

2. Use Multiple Channels to Send Surveys and Capture Feedback – Outbound customer survey channels today mirror the communications channels that your consumers prefer: voice, text, email, smartphone app, and web. Sending survey requests over multiple preferred channels will increase the overall number of responses you receive.

3. Close the Loop with CustomersCreate a formal process to follow-up with customers after they provide you with survey feedback.  Many organizations achieve great success by customizing post-survey communications based on an individual’s level of satisfaction.  For example, an agent can proactively contact unhappy customers to resolve their issues and improve loyalty.  Closing the loop can be easily accomplished by leveraging analytics dashboards and integrating into your outbound dialer, marketing automation software, and CRM systems like Salesforce.

4. Analyze, Inform & Improve – Utilize analytics to classify responses, categorize feedback, identify areas to improve processes, and optimize your workforce.  Collect trends and outliers, then analyze and validate to prioritize corrections and take action with people, processes, and technology to solve customer issues and influence internal changes. Make survey feedback actionable across the organization from the C-Suite to the frontline.  Communicate regularly across your organization to ensure your actions generate a positive impact. And remember, it’s not about a one-time survey event, but the ongoing process of making adjustments based on the feedback. 

Sending a post-interaction survey after an in-home service appointment or customer support interaction can help your company quickly understand customer opinions and pinpoint areas that need improvement.  We’ve worked with companies to send a variety of different types of surveys, including Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys. 

In one customer’s case, we’ve seen response rates of over 20% when sending survey requests to customers via text message, with nearly all of the responses coming in within twenty-four hours.  Upon responding, ‘detractors’ are identified in real-time and their contact details are automatically loaded into our clients outbound dialer and queued for a personalized follow-up call by and agent.  It’s amazing to see that over 50% of detractors converse directly with agents that are specially trained for this specific scenario.  Over $10 million of churn reduction per year is attributed to the survey’s closed-loop follow-up process – Talk about impacting bottom line profitability!

Want to learn more about how Genesys can help with your outbound customer survey program?  Check out the on-demand webinar recording of Listen, Act and Build Loyalty: Best Practices For Outbound Customer Survey Programs to hear more helpful survey tips.

Lindsay Frazier

Lindsay Frazier

Lindsay is the Global Solutions Director for Digital at Genesys, bringing more than 15 years of experience across product and solutions management, marketing, operations, and business development. In her role, Lindsay is responsible for strategic plan development and commercial readiness...