I’ve noticed that when I call a contact center and it asks me for feedback it is very specifically and often exclusively targeting agent-related performance/behavior. Nothing wrong in itself with that of course, giving feedback on agents is very important and we should all be glad to provide it (at least once at the same organization) to help everyone get better.
And this focus is becoming even more important as IVRs are getting more aggressive and restrictive, not just for call deflection purposes (although that is a big part of it) but I suspect also in order to direct the conversation and wear-out the customer from proceeding with what he/she really wants to do (e.g., talking to an agent).
At some point while interacting with the IVR, it asks the caller if he/she wants to take a customer survey. When the caller gets to the survey the questions usually make it clear that they want to get feedback on agents only…in other words, “don’t bother telling us about your IVR experience.” This is unfortunate, the IVR (pretty much universal now) is a very important part of the customer experience (CX) and ignoring often 50% or more of the customer’s total interaction makes for a very incomplete and distorted view of the CX.
What do I mean? Why does the IVR force me to listen to 90 seconds or more about my credit card balance, and how much I need to pay by the due date, and what my cash position is, and a host of other things that I did not request and am not interested in; and are irrelevant for the purpose of my current call.
Another example, a large US ISP and cable provider will not let most customers get through to a live technical support agent until and unless the customer agrees to have his/he modem reset first (even if it has just been reset).
Now there are some things customers can do to “trick” the IVR to get to an agent; but why is the IVR designed to put this barrier up to creating a good CX? The same company also will ask for personal identification information (e.g., home address) and then once connected to the live agent he/she will invariably ask for that information again. I have written to the highest levels of this organizational and received no satisfactory answer. The technology to quickly and securely pass the information from the IVR to the agent has been available for at least 30 years. I understand the short-term advantage of these tactics (which does not mean that I agree with it); I don’t get the longer-term plan or advantage.
Maybe AI, when it is fully rolled out in most companies, will change all of that, but unless the IVR objectives and integrated role with agents change, it won’t happen.
So we as consumers must insist that we evaluate and provide feedback on the entirety of the experience, not just the agent’s part.
What thoughts do you have about how we might do this?