By Randy Anderson
Like any contact center for hire, we at Taction put our reputation on the line – literally – thousands of times every day. Taction is the phone, email, and fax “voice” of customer support and sales for its clients. We know that lasting, profitable relationships are based on delivering consistently positive customer experiences. The entire company, from management to agents, feels strongly that we are a high touch and high-quality contact center, but all outsourcers say that, don’t they? We needed proof in order to ensure that we were actually fulfilling the Taction mission.
To make sure we were reaching our goals in both areas of client satisfaction as well as agent satisfaction (which is the number one indicator of end-user satisfaction), Taction turned to the Omega Management Group Corp., specialists in helping companies boost revenue and profits by implementing loyalty management strategy programs that increase customer and employee satisfaction.
Over a period of several months, the companies worked closely to create a customer and employee satisfaction program tailored to our specific requirements. The partnership turned out to be somewhat historic when, in 2006, Taction became the first and only contact center to earn Omega’s prestigious NorthFace ScoreBoard AwardSM. Launched in 2000, the award is presented annually to companies who, as rated by their own customers, achieved excellence in customer satisfaction during the prior calendar year.
Omega’s methodology measures customer satisfaction levels for companies on a 5-point scale at least twice during the year in such categories as technical support, field service, sales process, customer service, product quality, account management, and training. The NorthFace ScoreBoard Award winners are companies who, based on survey responses from their own customers, achieved a 4.0 or above out of a possible 5.0 score in any category measured.
Seeking Out the Voice of the Customer: To be included in that elite group of successful companies, Taction’s senior management made winning the NorthFace Award a top priority. That rally made it easier to focus the team on the goals of the satisfaction program and survey specifics rather than just saying “let’s raise our client survey score” without explaining the business reasons for doing so. Taction pursued the award to prove to ourselves and others that we truly do provide a great customer experience as an easy-to-work-with partner.
We educated our people on the survey questions and how their jobs played a role in the ratings our customers would give us. We were happy to see that our culture as an employee-friendly, high-quality place to work was apparent to our clients. As the survey process continued, we could use the data to see the extent to which our clients’ views matched our perception.
Taction implemented Omega’s Customer Satisfaction and Retention (CARE) program at the beginning of 2004 in order to assess existing levels of customer satisfaction with its services and staff. However, Taction was not eligible for the NorthFace Award until 2005, when it had participated in the survey for the required twelve months.
During this time, Omega conducted transaction and relationship phone surveys with our current clients along with semi-annual Web-based surveys of the entire employee population. Omega presented results and recommendations periodically to our executive team and we used Omega’s ScoreBoard display system to post documentation associated with the CARE process for all to see.
Omega also surveyed a sample of our former clients to ensure we learned about their experiences as well. This insight proved helpful and allowed us to focus more clearly on the client impact of our processes and operations in order to keep current clients from becoming past clients.
Heeding the Voice of the Customer: Based on the results of Omega’s customer surveys, there were areas of exceptional customer satisfaction as well as actionable feedback in some areas that scored lower. The good stuff:
- 100% of respondents would recommend Taction as a contact center solution
- 94% consider Taction a best-in-class solution
- 100% (with a rating of 4.1 out of 5) are satisfied with the professional attitude and courtesy of Taction’s agents.
Based on the comments provided, there were specific areas for improvement that stood out. These concerned accuracy of information provided, timeliness and accuracy of reports, and various pricing considerations. Even though these areas were still in the satisfied category, they weren’t in Omega‘s “loyalty zone” of 4.0 out of 5.0 scale.
The surveys, and Omega’s analysis, provided needed validation that we were properly focused in terms of client and employee needs and that we were allocating dollars where they were improving service and support in areas of greatest importance.
For example, on the initial benchmark survey, we found the level of employees affirming the culture and work environment to be fantastic. We also learned everyone wanted more communication about the business. As a result, we’ve made deliberate attempts to widen the channels of communication by taking such measures as increasing the number of informational meetings and letters from the president’s office to the team.
From the client survey, we learned that clients not only rated their account managers with high marks, but they also gave high marks to the reports provided. This discovery led us to shift valuable internal resources to other projects that had lower scores.
The benefits of this loyalty management program are paying off. As a result of the survey findings, Taction now can make course adjustments quickly to address any issues that arise, and can continue to stay the course in areas rated with high scores.
We wanted to work with Omega because we knew they were committed to helping their clients attain the highest levels of satisfaction from their customers and employees. We now have solid, unbiased proof, in the form of the NorthFace ScoreBoard Award, that we have fulfilled that promise.
Going forward, we at Taction plan to continue working with Omega. Client and employee surveys will continue and more client trend data will be gathered. We’re always looking for more insight into what our clients want so we can continue to deliver our Taction Value better and more consistently, one experience after another.
Randy Anderson is VP of Client Services at Taction. Taction is a provider of contact center services. Randy Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[From Connection Magazine – June 2006]