How call centers measure customer satisfaction

OABPO Blog Team Published on June 26, 2014

Every leading call center company in the Philippines recognizes the value of customer satisfaction in gaining a competitive advantage in the industry. Customer satisfaction is driven by the excellent service and the experience people get from the agents, and in turn, it drives the loyalty of the market the contact center serves. Customer satisfaction is indeed the yardstick that tells of a firm’s success. That’s why it s imperative to know how agents satisfy customers to determine the success level the company is on. Unfortunately, not all call centers know how to measure it.

A white paper published by CFI Group suggested post-call survey as a way of gauging satisfaction. It does, after all, make sense to ask customers directly about how happy they are with the service they receive. The best way to understand the business relationship is through the consumers’ perspective, and the best time to get their sentiments is right after a call while the interaction is still fresh.


Technological advances have enabled companies to gain deep insight from reliable, targeted sources, but the effectiveness of post-call surveys doesn’t depend on technology alone. The contact center has to structure and deliver the survey in a way that would allow it to extract honest opinions and actionable data.

According to a 2007 report by the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), manual follow-up survey conducted by agents was the most common method of collecting satisfaction feedback, with 38% of contact centers using this technique. The other top choices were email or web-based surveys (34.1%), automated phone surveys (23.9%), and mailed, printed surveys (20.5%).

These methods, although popular, have drawbacks. Since they are typically carried out hours or days after the call, they can’t guarantee genuine feedback, particularly because of recall or memory lapses on the respondents’ part. And most of the time, consumers don’t bother finishing the questionnaire at all.

But that was in 2007. Now, post-call surveys are mostly automated so that companies can record, analyze, and interpret data seamlessly to pinpoint factors that are lowering the satisfaction levels and find ways to work on those. Interactive voice response (IVR) systems have been increasingly used for this activity because of the faster turnaround time and lower costs they bring. To effectively capture responses via IVR-based surveys, call centers apply the following best practices approved by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI):

1. Equate one issue per question. Instead of using only one question to find out if the agent was courteous and knowledgeable, it’s better to ask about these traits in two separate queries.

2. Focus on one goal. If the purpose of the survey is to gain honest opinion about agent performance, you shouldn’t include marketing or product-related questions.


3. Keep the survey short, ideally not lasting more than two to three minutes to keep the respondent interested.

4. Only collect feedback that matters. It’s tempting to take the opportunity to ask everything about the brand—from the product, to the service, to the reception. But again, if your goal for conducting this is just to improve agent efficiency, you should only ask questions relating to the customers’ interaction with your employees.

5. Use the right scale. Excluding 0, most dial pads only have the numbers 1-9, so if your survey asks to rank something, keep the ranking within a practical scale. Each answer should be keyed in with one press, so 1-10 rankings are not ideal in IVR-based surveys.

6. Survey results are not meant to evaluate individual agents; You should use the data to improve the overall performance of the team.

Effective survey methods can capture data that accurately reflect the customers’ experience. Once you get the information you need, you should now put it into work.

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