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Business Efficiency: Survey Staff and Customers

If you’ve already decided to survey your customers and you’re reading this article to find out what else to do to increase efficiency, don’t stop there. The importance of surveying customers is obvious to most companies; however, a staff survey also is an essential part of the surveying process.

It's best to survey your customers and staff simultaneously (or at least not too far apart), because often the issues that come to light in your customer responses directly correlate to situations described by your staff.

For example, in a survey conducted for a software company, the majority of customers reported dissatisfaction with the way they were treated when they called the technical support department.

In the corresponding staff survey, several technical support representatives complained that their call times were so closely monitored that they felt pressured to give incomplete answers to one customer so they could move on to the next caller. By observing both sides of the problem, the company was able to make some immediate changes for the better.

How often to measure your customer service efficiency depends on how frequently information is updated, coupled with how available staff and customer input is. For example, you may want to automatically record the date and time of every customer service transaction in order to get an idea of the average cycle time, and of any peaks and valleys through the day.

To track resolution performance, you may want to capture this information daily. But you may want to survey staff only once or twice a year, since you are looking for process performance improvement opportunities in that case, and therefore can collect this type of information more infrequently.

A good rule of thumb is to define the frequency of measurement as dictated by how quickly you can respond and adjust or correct the customer service process being measured in order to improve the customer experience.

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