Customer Satisfaction – who are you really trying to make happy?
In our last blog, we discussed the true definition of a “profession”, the general level of customer care, and how we in the industry deal with call center metrics (link to this blog). In this discussion, we would like to continue this critique and explore CSAT’s – customer satisfaction measurements.
“We want to make our customers happy!” Everyone says this, I think most truly believe in it, and some attempt to instill this throughout their corporate culture. Of course, to find out if you are succeeding you must measure it – right? Welcome to the Holy Grail of customer care: the CSAT!
Companies today measure customer satisfaction from a myriad of angles: from the old school surveys, to employing marketing research firms, to utilizing sophisticated algorithmic software that scrapes the internet. It’s commendable: let’s find out what our customers think.
There is, however, one huge problem I see time and time again across far too many companies who “measure” customer satisfaction: once you find out, what are you going to do with it?! If you don’t have an empowered process in place, enterprise-wide, which can affect the changes needed to make the required improvements … then do not even bother.
If the packing of your shipped items is poor, how are you going to fix it? If your IVR is driving your customers crazy, who is going to change it – and to what? If your website is considered “clunky”, how are you going to get a decent, user-friendly version rolled out?
Customer experiences transcend just about every department in your company. And, most likely, every department is led by a different person focused on their primary roles burdened with resource issues, budgets and other executive-driven directives. So - the mechanics of your corporate structure, the politics, and the lack of empowerment simply make CSAT chasing an exercise in futility.
This is when the tail starts wagging the dog. Grasping for straws, the measurements and metrics start to conform to a “scorecard” that tells the story everyone wants to hear: our customers are happy, we are doing well, we are steadily improving. Provide a result, and you can spin any survey, any number to what you want.
I do not believe, in these situations, peoples’ intentions are to be deceitful. I do believe, however, that many are pressured into a corner – and believing they are doing the best they can, look for ways to reflect their hard work and dedication within a system that handcuffs them.
Like I have said previously – customer care, in general, across every industry is lacking with very few exceptions. The biggest factor is the lack of leadership in organizations to properly assess THEN empower their organization to improve to and maintain a high level of true customer satisfaction.
Operating a business today in our age of technology, information and globalization is tough. Absolutely. Trying to balance all the levers of operations conscientiously with challenging margins and stiff competition is an incredible task. But - c’est la vie.
You do not need the links and the statistics on the importance of making your customers happy. It is an investment in your future. Find out how to make your customers happy, and simply do it. Mean it. It is that important.
About the author
CEO, Apollo blake
Mark started his career in call centers as an agent over 20 years ago, then held increasing positions of responsibility in operations, training, quality and regional directorship culminating in the co-founding of Apollo blake in Mauritius. Mark has worked closely with small/start-up, medium and Fortune 100 companies throughout his career to develop and deliver superior customer service solutions across all channels of communication: voice, email, live chat and social media channels. He holds a BS in Engineering from the United States Military Academy, West Point.