Top 10 Best Practices for Optimizing Post-Call Interaction Surveys Using IVR

Charlie DanoffAugust 12, 2020

Contact centers around the globe have been inundated with questions about the COVID-19 pandemic from customers who are experiencing unprecedented stress and uncertainty. Those customer questions are being answered by agents who might be working from home for the first time. Some companies have even been taking employees from other functions, such as bank branch employees, and having them answer calls.

Amidst all these changes, do you give those customers the chance to tell you about their experience with your agents? If not, how do you know how the customer felt about the call? Was the agent insensitive to his needs? Was the customer making irrational demands that your agent handled with grace?

There also are common situations you may want to understand. For example, you may know the customer paid her bill, but it’s also important to know if she appreciated the service she received from your employee, or if she was frustrated.

At Verint, we recommend listening to customers in the contact center with a post-call interaction survey that uses natural language interactive voice response (IVR). If you’re not familiar, an IVR survey allows customers to leave feedback using the buttons on their phone or their voice immediately after talking to an agent while the experience is still fresh. In addition to learning about your customer’s experience (CX), it can also help improve that experience by promptly addressing a customer need if they were unhappy.

It’s always been important to listen to your customers, and that is especially the case now. As Anjali Lai, senior analyst with Forrester, a leading research firm, wrote, “Treat your employees and customers as your North Star. Show customers how you are genuinely looking out for their well-being—even if that requires reexamining your own habits and tactics of business decision making.”

We’ve created 10 best practices for optimizing your IVR surveys to improve customer experiences, increase revenue, and decrease costs, because the first step to improving contact center performance is to gather better experience feedback. The first five appear below—stay tuned for the rest that we’ll publish soon.

  1. Ask for open-ended voice feedback

Ask more than just quantitative questions in your survey. While numerical ratings are important, it’s difficult to understand why the customer gave you a low rating if you don’t allow them to explain in their own words.

  1. Make the instructions simple and capture feedback while it’s fresh

There are multiple ways to deliver your survey. We recommend either:

  • Asking customers if they’d like to leave feedback at the end of the call. If they say yes, agents can direct them to the IVR survey; or
  • Provide a recorded message at the beginning of the call letting customers know that if they stay on the line following the call, they will have an opportunity to leave feedback.

Don’t ask people to press a button at the beginning of the call to do a survey at the end. They shouldn’t have to decide this before they have even interacted with an agent. Also, don’t ask for a customer’s number to call back later—again, you want the feedback while it’s fresh.

  1. Keep it very brief—ask fewer than 5 questions

Your customers are taking time out of their busy lives to give you valuable feedback. Don’t give them survey fatigue by asking too many questions. Apply smart techniques such as branching based on responses to keep it brief. If you want to get more in-depth, choose a different method such as email or SMS.

  1. Rotate your surveys

You may be thinking right now, but I have more than five questions to ask! That’s OK!

You can rotate questions across your customer base. Ask some customers questions A, B, C, D and E, others A, F, G, H and I, and so on.

  1. Make sure survey questions are not just about the agent

Understanding how people felt about the call center agent is important, but the agent is part of your team—your brand—and you should also ask about your company’s products, services and/or processes.

Examples include:

  • Did (company name, the product or service) meet your expectations?
    • A product could be WiFi internet for a cable company or clothes for a retailer
    • A service could be technicians setting up your electricity or attendants on a flight
  • Would you recommend the product or service to others?
  • How easy was it to get your issue taken care of?
  • Did we solve your issue on this call?

The exact wording of those questions may not work for your context, but thinking along those lines may generate more questions that create more useful data for your business to improve the customer experience.

Thanks for reading! Please keep an eye out for part two coming soon with five more tips for IVR survey best practices.