How to Make Your Post-Call Survey Results More Accurate


How to Make Your Post-Call Survey Results More Accurate

By Michael Stanford  |  April 17, 2014

The post-call customer survey omits the most important question.

I have home Internet service with Charter Communications (News - Alert). It is rated as one of the fastest ISPs in the U.S. Even so, I have relatively frequent service outages – around once a month.

When the service goes out, I always call the customer service center to let them know I noticed. After pushing past the automated attempts to deal with the call without a human, an agent answers quickly. My usual experience with Charter agents is good. They are courteous, helpful and, well trained. After each call I am routed to a customer satisfaction survey. This is good.

Unfortunately for Charter, this survey almost certainly yields misleading results, because it never asks if the issue was resolved. This may make sense from Charter's point of view if it is using the results of the survey to rate the quality of its customer service. But customers aren't primarily interested in that. Their answers to the survey will reflect how they feel about the service (or lack thereof) they are paying for.

The first time through the survey, I answered all the questions with a 5 on a scale of 1-5 where 5 is excellent. The agent was courteous, knowledgeable, and well trained. But the agent was incapable of resolving my problem, which was a service outage. So I remained a dissatisfied customer. There is no way to convey this to Charter in the survey. From the results of the survey, I look as happy as a clam. So if I am interested in letting the company know that it has a dissatisfied customer, my only recourse is to rate the customer service agent with ones instead of fives. Presumably plenty of people do that, yielding survey results that are misleading to Charter.

The way to fix this is obvious. Put yourself in the customer's shoes. Ask first the question that is most important to him or her: "Was your issue resolved?" Once they get that off their chest, they will be able to answer the questions that are of more interest to Charter, the ones concerning the quality of their call center training.

Michael Stanford (News - Alert) has been an entrepreneur and strategist in VoIP for more than a decade. (Visit his blog at

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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