The Voice Self-Service Customer Experience Score

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1 The Voice Self-Service Customer Experience Score Greg Borton New ways have become available that enable a company to easily calculate its Voice Self-Service (VSS) Customer Experience Score and incorporate it into overall Customer Experience (CE) initiatives. Without including VSS as part of customer experience initiatives, management is often missing a major cause of negative experiences and ignoring a large percentage of customer interactions with a company. L i s t e n i n g M e t h o d s, I n c S a n F r a n c i s c o, C A

2 The Voice Self-Service Customer Experience Score 1 The Voice Self-Service Customer Experience Score Greg Borton Listening Methods April, 2012 New ways have become available that enable a company to easily calculate its Voice Self-Service (VSS) Customer Experience Score and incorporate it into overall Customer Experience (CE) initiatives. Without including VSS as part of customer experience initiatives, management is often missing a major cause of negative experiences and ignoring a large percentage of customer interactions with a company. This paper discusses the information and approach for creating a dependable VSS Customer Experience Score. This score, and the underlying events that are the foundation of the score, can be displayed in dashboards that reveal the details of callers interactions with voice self-service, the relationships to the end-to-end call and may be added to wider-ranging solutions that expose the overall, multi-channel customer experience. In addition, this approach enables companies, for the first time, to accurately identify and calculate the impact of VSS Customer Experience on revenues, customer life cycle, up-sales programs and churn. The VSS Customer Experience Score and its underlying metrics are only one part of the insights needed to understand and optimize VSS solutions. This score informs us as to whether callers find it easy to accomplish their goals with a company in an efficient and pleasant manner. It is an indication of the impact of the VSS Different Groups of Metrics are used for Evaluating Voice Self-Service Solutions communications channel on the long term relationship, thus providing a foundation for determining how important VSS experience is to your business and your customers. Its goal is to provide a consistent measure of VSS Customer Experience that can be clearly understood. The VSS Customer Experience score is just one of the insights needed for understanding and optimizing the overall end to end customer experience when they call. The remaining three, Solution Performance, Relationship to the End to End Call and Completed Transactions will be addressed in future papers. For now, let s focus on getting the basics covered. This will take you a long way towards improving.

3 The Voice Self-Service Customer Experience Score 2 Getting the right answers when determining the VSS Customer Experience Traditionally there have been limited ways to find out how well or how poorly you are doing. Here we cover these and some newer approaches. 1. Anecdotes: We all have experience with VSS solutions. Some are great - I like them; I use them; I prefer them over agents for answers to many questions. My view of these companies is improved because of the high quality of their VSS. They have spent the time to give me a channel of support that works. There are others (here I won t name them) that drive me to screaming fits. They don t work, I have to call back several times, and when they don t work, they don t let me get to an agent. There is no question that these negative experiences affect my buying behavior and the amount of money I spend on these companies. What s worse is that these experiences are fodder for conversations at business meetings and cocktail parties. We all have such anecdotes and can make a judgment on the quality of VSS Customer Experience based on these. 2. Opinion Surveys: Another anecdotal answer is provided by a survey in Linked-In, Should Voice Self- Service be considered as part of Customer Experience. The results (summarized in the paper Should the IVR be Considered Part of Customer Experience ), based on several hundred responses, were a resounding Yes with a majority of the respondents representing end-users. 3. Log Files: There have always been log files to represent the performance of your voice self-service. These reports provide basic information on IVR prompt performance. Depending on the approach, data quality may be suspect or data may be incomplete. 4. Immediate Live Callback Interviews: A method that provides quantifiable results is an Immediate Live Callback Interview program. Here one calculates the VSS Customer Experience Score for each call and conducts interviews to estimate the impact on revenues, retention and the customer life cycle. After a caller completes their session with a company, one selects, from the thousands of incoming calls a day, a few dozen per day with varying customer experience ratings. These callers are immediately called back and a survey by a skilled analyst is completing focusing on several indicators, for example: a) How do you rate the VSS? b) Does it affect Your Desire to continue with this company? c) Are you likely to buy more from this company? d) If VSS were improved would this change your view of the company? 5. Statistical Analysis: The most accurate way to determine the VSS Customer Experience is to perform a statistical Ways to Estimate the Importance of VSS Customer Experience to Your Company 1. Anecdotal Personal Experience 2. Survey Results 3. Log Files 4. Immediate Callback Live Survey Program 5. Statistical Analysis - With a VSS Customer Experience Score, one can correlate each caller s experience to consequent transaction behaviors

4 The Voice Self-Service Customer Experience Score 3 analysis. This approach determines the impact by relating specific the customer experience scores to the transactional behavior of each customer. This works if a company has: 1. A VSS Customer Experience Score that accurately relates the customer experience of each call in a reliable, repeatable manner over time (as described in this paper); and 2. The ability to link this score with each caller s value to the company. Calculating the VSS Customer Experience Score The VSS Customer Experience Score is developed by capturing and weighting events in each caller s interactions with one or more VSS solutions across each end-to-end call. The following two examples illustrate how callers interactions with a VSS solution are evaluated to create the Customer Experience Score. i) Example 1: Instances of Menu Successes, Failures and Repeats in Each Call. A tally of each time a Menu prompt succeeds, fails or repeats is kept for each call. This data is captured across thousands of calls to Event Frequency and Patterns X = Weighting for Each Pattern Component Customer Experience Score identify the caller s experience with menus. A weighting is assigned to the experience: What s the impact of a single repeat, two repeats or three? Does the caller hang-up or transfer to an agent in an unplanned manner (when you don t want them to) because the prompt fails? Weightings are applied to the data to give a Customer Experience Score for Menu Prompts. This method is applied to other similar types of prompts data request prompts and data playback prompts ( Did you say? ) in order to quantify the caller s experience with the VSS solution. ii) Example 2: Transfers to Un-Staffed Destinations focuses on callers who successfully use the VSS, but when they are transferred to a queue for agents, they receive a message such as We re sorry, the office is currently closed and no agents are available. Please call-back between the hours of ** and ** on **. This is an ultimately frustrating experience, especially if the caller has already entered significant information for identification and verification. As in the previous example, the frequency of this event is measured across thousands of calls. A Few of the Events used to calculate the VSS Customer Experience Score 1) Menu Success and Failure Rates 2) Data Entry Success and Failure Rates 3) Database Access Failure Rates 4) Repeated Prompts 5) The Ease or Difficulty of Transferring to Agents 6) Speech Recognition Success and Failure 7) DTMF Success and Failure 8) Transfers to Wrong Skill Sets 9) Transfers to Un-Staffed Destinations 10) Failures leading to Hang-Up and Re--Dials This approach is used for a number of different types of VSS Events, as shown in the text box. As a result, a rich set of consistent and statistically relevant data is captured and can be trended over time.

5 The Voice Self-Service Customer Experience Score 4 Calibrating the Importance of Each VSS Event Component in the VSS Customer Experience Score The next step is to use the resulting sub-score for each component and apply relevant weightings to each score to result in the overall VSS Customer Experience Score. How important is a particular event in the resulting caller s Customer Experience Weight Assigned Each Component Data Entry Failure misinterpretations. Menu Prompt Repeats UnPlanned VSS HangUp Xfer to UnStaffed Destination experience versus other events. Obviously, a repeated prompt is a minor factor, at least when compared to being transferred to an unstaffed destination, so the latter receives a higher weighting. The values of these weights may be obtained using any of the same four techniques described above (Getting the Right Answers). However, what is important in trending Customer Experience, is to assign these weights such that they rarely change. Obviously, any modifications will affect the apparent trends, potentially leading to With the values and weights of each component established, the calculation of the final VSS Customer Experience Score is available. The chart below shows the weighted VSS CES as well as the scores for some of the underlying component experience events. VSS Customer Experience Score and A Few of Its Components Menu Prompt Repeats Data Entry Failure UnPlanned VSS HangUp Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Xfer to UnStaffed Destination Overall Customer Experience

6 The Voice Self-Service Customer Experience Score 5 Why couldn t I do this before? Why can I do it now? Until recently, it has been difficult and expensive to obtain a VSS Customer Experience Score. The consequence of this lack of insight is that the investment companies make to improve their VSS solutions has not been balanced, since management has not been able to understand VSS impact on corporate costs, revenues and customer life cycle. Reasons why this has been difficult include: 1. The difficulty of the obtaining the detailed VSS event data, and then processing this data to create the automatically interpreted data elements needed for the foundation of an effective VSS Customer Experience Score. 2. Supporting the complexity needed for capturing the entire VSS process across multiple IVR platforms and applications, even in a single call, and multiple languages: a. In a single call, multiple VSS platforms and applications may support the caller: the ACD, one or more dedicated VSS application, queue prompts and a separate post call survey IVR application. b. In hosted VSS environments, call segments are currently independent of each other, thus losing the end-to-end call view that is needed to support the VSS Customer Experience score. 3. Scalability versus Total Cost of Ownership, causing users to sacrifice data quality via limited sampling techniques (leading to only partial findings, poor statistical reliability and unreliable trending), or confront the high investment and total cost of ownership of high-end solutions. New technologies have solved the problems inherent in the approaches listed above. One such technology takes advantage of a non-intrusive approach that is scalable and statistically accurate. It also will work with any platform, across multiple applications and with any language. This technology was created by Listening Methods and is called Sound Analytics. With this technology one can: 1. Automatically capture all VSS events impacting the customer experience and costs. 2. Automatically quantify the impact by scoring each impact on the customer experience. 3. Automatically rank issues to address by Customer Experience score or call handling costs. 4. Provide further granularity by identifying which groups the issues impact and to what extent 5. Trend issues impacting the VSS Customer Experience. 6. Measure the performance of changes made to improve the overall VSS Customer Experience. Conclusion For many companies, Voice Self-Services solutions are an important part of their customer support portfolio. Until recently, there have been few if any options enabling managers to measure and trend the customer experience associated with the solutions. In addition, the data must be able to be linked to callers revenue, churn and life

7 The Voice Self-Service Customer Experience Score 6 cycle in order to provide meaningful insights into the value of investing in the VSS solution in order to balance it with the other possible investments considered by companies. Such measures are now available and can be implemented at a reasonable cost with little effort on the part of IT and management. Companies can and should measure the performance of one of the predominant channels of customer interaction and the impact on the overall customer experience they have with your company. Putting a company in control of its VSS Customer Experience means that management and analysts can identify issues and trends, evaluate changes in the VSS solution, estimate the ROI of fixing issues and balance the benefits of investing in VSS solutions when compared with the other opportunities available to a company. Lastly, the VSS Customer Experience Score can be added to the portfolio of other customer experience metrics used by upper management for evaluating the wider-ranging relationships with customers. About Listening Methods Listening Methods provides Voice Self-Service and End-to-End Call Analytics solutions to the marketing. Its solution, Sound Analytics TM, offers a completely new approach for revealing the customer experience and the VSS Customer Experience Score, tuning IVR solutions, identifying and trends opportunities for solution performance and experience improvements and monitoring the results of end-to-end call solution upgrades. It offers a significantly higher ROI and lower Total Cost of Ownership than that available with other solutions.

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