Customer Satisfaction

Quality Blog Series: Focus on Systemic Issues Impacting Performance

April 19, 2016 No Comments

This is the fourth post in our blog series called, “Five Changes to Your Quality Program That Can Dramatically Improve Customer Satisfaction.”

With each post in the series, we will examine one of five fundamental changeswe recommend you make to your quality program. These are proven approaches to ensure your quality program is truly customer focused. Implementing these changes can drive significant improvements in the performance of your customer experience operations.

Here are the five changes we recommend:

 #1 Redesign the quality form to align with key customer drivers

#2 Score only output metrics and use sub-attributes to capture reasons for error

#3 Measure quality using three metrics instead of one overall score

#4 Evaluate transactions from the customer’s perspective, focusing on systemic issues impacting performance

#5 Expand the quality process to include the capture of business intelligence

Today’s installment:

#4 Evaluate transactions from the customer’s perspective, focusing on systemic issues impacting performance

In this installment, we will examine two of the primary reasons quality results are not correlated to customer satisfaction results, and why quality programs often do not result in improvements to the customer experience.

These reasons are:

#1.  Quality monitoring forms, scoring, and action plans are focused almost exclusively on agent behavior, versus evaluating from the customer’s perspective.

#2.  Quality programs do not capture systemic issues impacting the customer experience that are outside of the agent’s control.

Now, you might be thinking, “Isn’t that the right approach?  Shouldn’t quality programs evaluate agent behavior? Isn’t that what quality programs are for?” The answer is that agent behavior and performance obviously is an important component of the interaction with the customer and should absolutely be monitored, measured and managed.

However, COPC Inc. finds a majority of issues that negatively impact the customer are outside of the agent’s control. These issues are not being captured or acted upon to improve the customer experience. As a result, little improvement is achieved.

Let’s explore #1, the importance of evaluating from the customer’s perspective, as shown in Figure 1.

FIgure 1 Quality blog series 4Figure 1.

As an example, take a situation where a customer calls into a company and wants an item to be repaired for free. The agent follows the correct procedure and discovers the item is out of warranty. The agent then correctly tells the customer the item cannot be repaired for free. The agent did everything right, but the issue was not resolved from the customer’s perspective.

What COPC Inc. normally sees when conducting quality reviews is that this interaction, from the agent’s perspective, would be considered as “passed” because the agent followed the specified process and provided the customer with an accurate answer.

However, from the customer’s perspective, this interaction is most certainly not considered as “passed.” In fact, if the customer had received a customer satisfaction survey, that person would likely say they are not satisfied because their issue was not resolved. In this example, the results from quality monitoring would not align with what the customer is actually experiencing.

Our recommended approach is to score the interaction from the customer’s perspective as reflected in Figure 1. Even though the agent did not do anything wrong, this interaction should be scored as “failed” to be a true reflection of the customer’s experience.  Only then will quality results more closely correlate with customer satisfaction results.

Now let’s explore #2, the importance of capturing systemic issues impacting performance.

While the first step is evaluating interactions from the customer’s perspective, it is critical to capture all reasons for errors that occur during that interaction, including both agent and non-agent issues. Only then will you be able to identify and address systemic issues that affect performance.

Figure 2 illustrates this concept by using issue resolution as the example. Issue resolution is always a key driver of the overall customer experience. The more you know about what is affecting issue resolution, the more you can actually take action to improve it. And you can do this through the quality process.

Figure 2. Quality blog post series 4

Figure 2.

Again, while working with our clients, we often find that most quality programs focus almost exclusively on agent-related issues. This focus rarely results in significant or sustained improvements.  We find more often than not, the reasons for failure have nothing to do with the agent, yet quality programs do not capture these reasons.

In Figure 2, you will see that 43% of the interactions evaluated did not solve the issue from the customer’s perspective.  We then identified the reason for that failure. Only 22% was due to agent issues, while 78% was due to non-agent issues. Further investigation showed that company policies represented almost 70% of the non-agent issues.

All of these non-agent issues provided a potential 30-point improvement by making systemic changes. This is where we recommend you should focus your efforts to make the most significant and sustained improvements that impact the customer experience.

In summary, if you evaluate transactions from the customer’s perspective and use your quality program to capture both agent issues and systemic issues impacting performance, your quality results will better align with customer satisfaction results.  More importantly, you will know exactly where to focus to make significant improvements, generating a much greater return on investment from your quality program.

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Please check back soon to see our last post our series “Five Changes to Your Quality Program Changes That Can Dramatically Improve Customer Satisfaction,” series. We will examine our recommended Change #5:  Expand the quality process to include the capture of business intelligence.

Change #1: Redesign the quality form to align with key customer drivers

Change #2:  Score only output metrics and use sub-attributes to capture reasons for error 

Change #3:  Measure quality using three metrics instead of one overall score

Author Lezli Harrell

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