Lesson #9: VoC Programs Are Not Old-School CSAT Tracks

Listen or Die | Voice of the Customer | CSAT

Reading time: 5 minutes

The following is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

Ten-plus years ago, market research firms offered what was called customer satisfaction tracking, or CSAT for short. Usually on a quarterly basis, they would utilize large telephone interviewing centers for a week or two, calling customers and asking about overall satisfaction levels (usually not most recent experiences). This required a lot of manpower, technical equipment, and overhead.

When VoC software platforms emerged, everything changed. PeopleMetrics and others in the industry could now offer the same type of customer satisfaction programs at a third of the cost of previous methods—and deliver results in real time through our software. Suddenly, a client could take immediate action on customer feedback, rather than waiting six to eight weeks on CSAT survey results.

CSAT programs quickly became a thing of the past as VoC software platforms took over.



Everyone Wins with VoC

Continuous Conversations

Today, companies get more for their money with VoC. With the ability to send immediate feedback, engage in dialogue with the company, and see quick results, customers have benefited as well. Ideally, companies also have more money to spend on higher-value activities. It’s a win for companies, a win for customers, and a win for shareholders.

Better Relationships

Perhaps the most important win is reduced hostility between customers and companies. Asking a customer for feedback immediately after a recent experience creates a new touchpoint of its own. The experience the customer has when they give you feedback influences their perception of your company—plus, no one likes receiving a phone call at dinnertime, as was often the case with CSAT tracks.

Empowered Customers

Now the customer is in charge of whether they want to provide feedback and how they want to provide it. They can fill out an email survey or provide feedback via text, they can offer unsolicited feedback on a social review site—and they can do it all at three in the morning or at six in the evening at their convenience.

The Customer Is In Charge!

Compare this approach to how market research firms operated: they called customers according to their schedules— whenever their call center employees could work and whatever time period the survey was in the “field.”

Switching from CSAT to VoC

If you’re still collecting customer feedback through a quarterly generated tracking program via telephone interviewing, it’s time to think about the benefits you can gain from VoC—both for your organization and for your customers, as well as for your shareholders.

Here is a quick guide on the differences between traditional CSAT tracks and VoC:

  CSAT TRACKS VOC
COST:  Very expensive 1/3 cost of CSAT tracks
REACH:  Sample of customers All customers
PRIMARY MODE:  Telephone Online
RESULTS:  Weeks Real time
TIMING:  Periodic Continuous
RESPONDENT EXPERIENCE:  Intrusive - on our time Easy - on the customer's time
ORGANIZATIONAL REACH:  Primarily market research Entire organization
INTERVIEWER BIAS:  Yes - results in inflated CSAT scores None - results in more accurate CSAT scores

This is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD. 

Click here to download the book.

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About the Author

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

Posted on 02-20-2019