Why Ask Customers to Take Surveys When Software Can Sense So Much: Imagine This

After decades in the Customer Experience (CX) industry, the leadership team here at Activus Connect has never understood the rationale for asking customers (who are likely calling in because they have a problem or issue to resolve) to spend even more of their time taking a survey at the end of the call.

The best experiences are those which require the least amount of customer effort, and lead to the most positive outcomes possible.

Imagine a world where conversations at scale created increasingly valuable data leading to increasingly positive conversations, and predictive insights that make it possible for a brand Ambassador to call a customer back saying they’ve taken care of an issue that the customer didn’t explicitly mention?

It’s time for brands to move up to the next level of awesome service, forgoing traditional approaches, and opting in to super-smart, technology empowered platforms that support sincerely caring, talented, experienced humans serving as Ambassadors who aim to delight and leave a lasting impression on customers and entire communities.

Let’s look at the vast difference between surveys and sentiment.

Do surveys serve a purpose? Yes. Are they the best way to learn about and act on what customers truly feel? No.

Surveys take the easy way out. When a company sets up a web application that pushes out a question as customers start the abandonment process, for example, and ask “Why are you leaving?” that company could be ruining their reputation and turn off prospects and customers forever.

Surveys do not address the gap between what people say and what they believe and how they behave.

Active user data is any type of data that is gathered when the customer knows he or she is being tested, and is the opposite of passive user data, where the customer has no requirement to respond to specific questions or polls.

Why is the distinction between active user data and passive user data so important?

It is because behavior changes between a customer who knows they are being observed versus a customer who does not.

At Activus Connect, we are using state-of-the-art software on our platform that detects everything from tone of voice to keywords, senses levels of frustration at the beginning of each conversation and combines that with customer information provided securely to our ambassadors.

There is no need to ask a customer to spend time taking a survey when the contents and context of each conversation can be captured and analyzed, and fed back to the Ambassador along with ongoing training and coaching, and when the outcomes for each conversation (renewed their subscription, added more services, expressed thanks, etc.) are also captured and made part of a “big data” equation that generates reports showing which behaviors work best – improving overall quality over time.

We are investing in “sentiment” not “survey” approaches, and our customers and their customers love it. We are capturing authentic information and feelings and turning the aggregation of experiences into genuine insights on products, services, actions and interactions.

We are leveraging sentiment analysis tools from our partner CustomerView, whose AI platform is integrated into ours, and uses natural language processing, text analysis, computational linguistics, and biometrics to systematically identify, extract, quantify, and study subjective information. Sentiment analysis no longer requires customers to do the heavy lifting, and no longer relies on imperfect information. In this more natural way, we understand what is truly happening and how we can continually improve (using Conversational Behavioral Analytics) to support excellent experiences – elevated experiences.

Finally, we are constantly educating and coaching our Ambassadors to actively and creatively determine customer issues the customers may not yet realize they may have; for example, if their set-top box may require a software upgrade or even an equipment replacement in a few months, a sharp Ambassador can be prompted to mention this on the call, or in a call-back.

In this scenario, instead of asking a customer who may already be under stress to take a survey, that customer is shown gratitude for their business, and given an opportunity to allow the cable company to go beyond addressing the issue of the moment.

It is the collective moments brands can create with this new generation of CX – combining the best people with the best platform and best practices – that will deepen loyalty and grow customer relationships for years to come.