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Summer Musings #1 – Does Your CSAT Need Fixing?

Dominick KeenaghanAs we all know, business for many organisations slows down at this time of the year. Most people look to take a break of some description, and a major consequence is that much decision making gets delayed. So far, I am of course stating the obvious.

For those who are around, many use this period to “catch up” on tasks, review performance year-to-date and for future planning purposes. And, it is in this context of future planning that I would like to provide some “musings”, if you will allow me, over the next few weeks.

#1 Does Your CSAT Need Fixing?

I am going to start by highlighting a market survey that we conducted with regional contact centre managers earlier this year, the results of which, I believe have not really changed very much in the interim.

In summary, what we saw was as follows:-

For the first two charts, and looked at in a different way, the areas of focus (in decreasing importance) divide up as follows:-

a) internal call centre issues – staff and scheduling
b) “communication” with other departments – IT, senior management, etc
c) customer complaints

When we drill down to the “biggest problem” level (chart 2), it is of course staff motivation/development. Not surprising at all, I know, but a clear reminder that this is what senior call centre staff spend most of their time thinking about and acting upon, despite the importance of the other issues.

For the other two charts, the conclusion is that different call centres have different priorities, but when it comes to senior management reporting, they latter mostly want to hear that customer satisfaction (CSAT) is OK/improving and not heading in the other direction. Again, not totally unsurprising. Our experience however, from work in the field, is that CSAT practices and results (be they in-house or more usually outsourced) leave a lot to be desired, be it due to ambiguous and biased surveys, incorrect analysis or simply time-delayed procedures. In other words, senior management cannot rely on CSAT reports, and may even be being misguided.

To summarize, senior call centre staff are right to focus on staff development and motivation, as staff are the most significant operating cost/resource that needs to be managed, and effort spent here in the right type of training and coaching will almost definitely lead to more positive customer interactions – whether this increased customer satisfaction is being effectively measured or not is another question!

I look forward to your comments

Dominick


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