Customer Service Be Damned: The Tyranny of Telephone Protocols

Many companies have developed protocols that their customer service representatives must follow on every customer phone call.  

These protocols structure and script every phone call; they lay out the exact steps that the rep is to take, and out the exact words they should say.  

From the perspective of company management, these protocols constitute a form of insurance; they are a fail-safe way of ensuring customers have a positive experience, and that all of their problems are fully addressed.

However, from the perspective of the customer and the rep, these protocols frequently have the opposite effect.  Many such protocols tyrannically confine both the customer and the customer service representative, as they strip both of their mutual humanity.  Consequently, they turn off the customer and leave them frustrated and dissatisified.

Insightful Alliance offers customer experience research services to help you assess whether your customer service protocols attract or repel your customers.  For more information contact Michael Mercier at Michael.Mercier@InsightfulAlliance.com.

 

Optimize Intercept Surveys Using Our Deferred Intercept Method

If you plan on conducting intercept surveys, consider our “Deferred Intercept” method.

Many people decline to participate in intercept surveys because they are too busy at the moment they are approached.  Our “Deferred Intercept” method is a way to get many of these people to complete the survey at a later time.  Here’s how we do it.

When we intercept someone and they decline our invitation to complete the survey at that moment, we offer them a 3″ x 5″ card.  This card contains a URL and a QR-code, along with a set of instructions.  Whether they visit the URL on their computer, or scan the QR-code with their phone, they will be taken to an online version of the survey, which they can complete at their convenience.  We found that this can increase the total yield of completed surveys for an intercept study by 67%.  

To learn more contact Michael Mercier at Michael.Mercier@InsightfulAlliance.com.

Mobile Intercept Surveys Using iPads

Insightful Alliance conducts mobile intercept surveys using iPads loaded with Survey Analytics’ SurveyPocket.

SurveyPocket is a versatile mobile survey application that allows us to conduct surveys with or without a WiFi connection.  When WiFi is unavailable, SurveyPocket saves completed surveys locally on the iPad.  When WiFi later becomes available, SurveyPocket uploads completed surveys to the Survey Analytics server for storage and analysis. 

This flexibility pays off when conducting surveys in a venue that lacks WiFi.  For example, we executed an intercept study for Reebok at a running expo that did not provide public WiFi.  Lacking a connection we simply saved completed surveys locally on the iPad during the hours of the expo, and later replicated them to the server when we encountered an available WiFi connection. 

To discuss how we can help you with mobile intercept surveys contact Michael Mercier at Michael.Mercier@InsightfulAlliance.com. 

 

 

“Running Shoe Terminology” Study Applies Telephone Mystery Shopping Methodology

In its recent “Running Shoe Terminology” study, Insightful Alliance collected data using telephone mystery shopping — a variation on traditional mystery shopping.

In traditional mystery shopping the researcher poses as a customer and visits a retail establishment in order to experience shopping there first-hand.  He usually examines a particular aspect of the shopping experience.  For example, he might pay particular attention to the physical layout of the store, or the experience of finding and purchasing a particular product, or the quality of customer support.

Telephone mystery shopping is similar to traditional mystery shopping.  However, rather than visiting the store in-person, the researcher interacts with the establishment by phone.  This method is useful for studying the quality of the telephone experience, the accuracy of information provided, or evident product or brand biases.  In this particular study we called running shoe retailers around the country and posed as customers in order to examine the terminology that they used to describe the segmentation of the running shoe market.

For more information about how our Telephone Mystery Shopping Methodology can be used to generate customer insights for your product, contact Michael Mercier at Michael.Mercier@InsightfulAlliance.com.