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Is it time to automate customer satisfaction surveys?

With automated customer surveys, organizations can get data in real time to improve their marketing, sales and customer service strategies. And AI's role is still growing.

Over 40% of companies run formal voice of the customer programs to obtain feedback, context and insights directly from customers. The results aim to improve everything from agent performance to customer satisfaction to revenue.

CX leaders gather customer insights through various methods, including focus groups, one-to-one discussions, website statistics, social media and surveys. While nearly half of companies use standard surveys, one third use AI-enabled surveys to gather feedback, according to Metrigy's "Customer Insights and Analytics: 2023-24" global research study.

To automate the delivery of post-interaction surveys, organizations typically use communications platform as a service. Still, AI plays a role in a few ways. It can track when trends emerge from responses in real time and automatically add new branching questions that determine the cause. AI can also read through open-ended responses and draw conclusions.

The role of customer satisfaction surveys in contact centers

Not every contact center uses surveys, but the most successful ones do. They send surveys broadly and after each interaction to gauge feedback on products, services, branding, marketing programs, etc. -- anything the company wants.

Contact center leaders evaluate all the responses, and over 60% of those who gather customer feedback act upon it. Most leaders then share feedback with employees. Other actions that leaders take include the following:

  • Adjust business strategies for marketing, sales and customer service scripts.
  • Ask customers to write reviews or provide referrals.
  • Add, increase, remove or reduce technologies that align with either positive or negative feedback.
  • Evaluate employee performance metrics, and coach agents with specific customer feedback to help them improve KPIs.
The role of customer feedback surveys in the contact center

How do manual vs. automated surveys differ?

In past years, customer service agents manually mailed or emailed feedback surveys. In other cases, they verbally asked questions after a call or transferred calls to a third party to conduct the survey, which added 30 seconds to three minutes after each interaction.

Modern organizations gather survey-based customer feedback in a variety of ways, but they are typically automated in the following ways:

  • Voicebots -- or voice-based assistants -- to automate survey questions at the end of phone calls.
  • Text message links sent to customers' cellphones for brief surveys after service calls.
  • Email links to electronic surveys following a voice, text or self-service interaction.

Organizations also offer incentives to boost their response rate, which has increased from 5%-15% five years ago to 44% now. Shorter text surveys have increased response rates, as well as the incentives ranging from gift cards to discounts for future purchases.

4 benefits of automated customer surveys

Automated surveys add measurable value to contact center agents and managers, as well as the business overall. Four key benefits of automated customer surveys are the following:

  1. When an organization adds a voice of the customer program, it sees revenue, customer ratings and employee productivity increase, while operational costs decrease.
  2. CX leaders can use feedback to gauge employee performance. They can recognize employees' achievements, use the feedback to coach agents on how they need to change or promote high achievers based on customers' feedback.
  3. Half of organizations add customer feedback to automated workflows, so they can use the insights immediately. For example, they can automatically reach out to customers to resolve issues or automatically incorporate feedback into online agent training.
  4. Automated surveys can show in real time what customers like and dislike about products and services, identify which employees are doing the best and worst jobs and help CX leaders decide which customer-facing technologies to use.

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