A number of our clients use transaction surveys in addition to their relationship surveys. This is a great way to get more detail on a specific area that is critical to customers, track progress on improvement initiatives, and compare our internal measures to the customer’s experience.
It is typical that high activity areas in companies, such as customer service or delivery, have a number of internal measures. There may be internal records on how quickly phone calls are answered or on how many packages are shipped in a day. As a matter of fact, some of those measures may receive constant attention to make sure daily operations are going as expected. While this can be a good practice … there is a downside. Companies can be so reliant on their own measures, that they discount customer feedback that conflicts with the internal measures, or they may even choose to not ask customers about it at all. A classic case is when companies measure when a package is shipped from their location – the internal measurement may say it was “shipped on time.” However, the customer is concerned about “when it arrives.” If you have ever used a delivery system, you know these can be two very different things!
In designing transaction surveys and reviewing customer feedback, you will get more from the information if you are humble and try to put yourself in your customer’s position. If your metrics conflict with the customer feedback, take the time to consider the following:
• Is the survey question clear and understandable?
• Why would the customer have a different perception than we do?
• Do we need to adjust our metric to be a better match with customer’s needs?
Internal metrics are developed to reinforce the right behaviors that provide top service to customers. Let’s make sure we stay focused on the end goal – happy customers – and not the metrics that help us reach that goal.
Vice President, Client Services