Note: This is the third perspective piece on the different ways to analyze client satisfaction data. Previous posts focused on Overall Satisfaction Ratings and At Risk Accounts.
One of the biggest drivers of satisfaction is the experience clients have with the personnel they interact with. Think about it: aggravations with products or qualms over pricing can be remedied by having someone you feel good about interacting with, someone who listens to your problems and tries to solve them. Organizations devote extensive resources to making sure the personnel that interact with their clients are professional, knowledgeable, and likeable. As such, gathering scores rating service team members is an important part of client satisfaction research.
Asking open-ended questions about the personnel can be very useful. It is important to give your clients the platform to openly share their opinions of what their service team is doing well or could improve on. It is also important to gather quantitative ratings on relevant attributes of the service personnel. When analyzed, scores for areas such as responsiveness, consultative approach, and quality of interactions can identify areas your team could improve their skillset.
After gathering a myriad of ratings for an individual team member, calculate the average for each attribute and see which areas someone may need additional training. A Relationship Manager may have high ratings for problem resolution skills and responsiveness, but lower scores for proactive approach. Consider ways to help that individual find their voice and reach out to clients without prompting (this can range from a simple “checking in to see how things are going” email to providing value-add content such as an invite to a relevant webinar).
In Year 1 of gathering ratings, make it clear that these initial results are a baseline, and track how service team members’ scores trend over time. When scores are improving, praise the personnel for realizing their weak points and improving them. If scores are trending downward, be sure to provide training and resources to your employee on how they can reverse that trend.
The baseline is not just relevant for day-to-day contacts but also management. For example, a new executive such as a Head of Service or COO should note the satisfaction scores in the first year of her new role, and track how the overall rating trends over the course of her tenure. Super users of client satisfaction research also tie in performance reviews and compensation to the year-over-year results of their study.
Scores should not be used as part of a witch hunt or to single out employees, but rather to identify areas where additional training can be provided to your employees. In the best situations, Anova’s clients are eager to receive their ratings each year, particularly looking to see if the areas they have been focused on with their customers are translating to improved scores. If the ratings are incorporated in a positive manner into your company’s culture, they can be used as a springboard for positive improvement and development.