Is the end of post-call surveys here?

Caitlin Jordan

November 21, 2019

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Post-call surveys are an industry standard when it comes to assessing customer experience. But if you are a CX leader looking to understand the level of effort customers are encountering, then relying on these sorts of surveys is the wrong path forward. Your customers have already provided all the insights you could possibly need during the actual conversations that preceded the surveys themselves: conversations that you have already spent money to capture and record.

You can now harness technology to scan all customer conversations to not only provide a more accurate effort score, but also take advantage of a far richer data set to drive changes across the organization. That’s where the Tethr Effort Index (TEI) comes in.

What is the Tethr Effort Index (TEI)?

The Tethr Effort Index is the market’s first machine-learning-based predictive effort score. TEI measures effort for each customer interaction based on 200+ variables, each representing hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of phrases, and drives faster, more accurate and more reliable insights into the customer experience than can be obtained through post-call surveys. You can learn more about TEI in this on-demand webinar.

TEI vs Post-Call Surveys

So how does TEI actually stack up against the traditional post-call survey? There are five main reasons CX organizations should consider abandoning these surveys for machine-learning scores.

comparison of surveys and Tethr Effort Index

1. Predictive power

One of the first questions we often are asked about TEI vs post-call surveys is whether TEI can predict survey scores. The short answer is yes.

But we also encourage CX leaders to think beyond the survey score and ask themselves which method predicts the things they actually care about (like sales conversions, save offer acceptance, etc.). When you look at TEI vs surveys in that respect, it becomes clear that the predictive power of surveys can be much more limited, while TEI has been shown to be a strong predictor of the actual business outcomes companies care about most.

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2. Response rate

Ask any CX leader and you will hear that post-call survey response rates are not only low, but actively declining. The average is below 10 percent. In part, this is because companies are too reliant on surveys, which leads customers to experience survey fatigue and simply ignore them.

TEI, on the other hand, has a response rate of 100 percent. Every single customer interaction that runs through the Tethr platform is scored, indicating the level of effort that a customer put forth, so no data point is missed.

3. Bias

The bias inherent in post-call surveys is well documented.  First, there is extreme response bias: of the few responses they bring in, most are either from extremely unhappy or extremely pleased customers. If you rely on surveys, that means you aren’t capturing experiences between those two extremes. Second, there’s recall bias to consider: post-call surveys rely on the customer’s recollection of the experience, not the experience itself.

Because TEI scores every interaction based on the actual conversation between rep and customer—and because there is no “opt in” for customers—recall and extreme response biases aren’t an issue.  

4. Speed

Survey responses can take hours or even days to trickle in—with companies often having to send multiple reminders and prompts (and even monetary incentives) to get customers to fill them out.

With TEI, the effort score and insights are provided in near real-time, meaning CX leaders can take action immediately after the call is concluded.

5. Actionability

The final, and arguably the most important difference between surveys and TEI is the actionability of the data.  One of the biggest complaints about post-call surveys is that they provide the “what” (often just a score of some type) but not the “why” (the color and explanation for the score).  This makes it nearly impossible for you to know where to improve.

TEI is attached to the actual customer voice, so it not only provides you with the “what” but also the “why” you need to quickly diagnose the cause of customer experience gaps, and then size and prioritize improvement opportunities.

Is TEI a replacement for the post-call survey?

One question we often hear is whether TEI is meant to be a replacement for post-call surveys or a complement to them.   

We believe that it is time to replace the post-call survey with a completely different approach—namely, machine-based listening. Surveys themselves remain valuable in certain settings. But in a post-call situation, using technology like the Tethr Effort Index removes the need to deploy a survey asking for information that you should already know.

When comparing the two, you shouldn't think of TEI as a “better survey score”, but rather, a better listening method. Just imagine a world where you don’t have to burden your customers with post-interaction surveys because the information you need is already at your fingertips!

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Want to understand what is causing high effort experiences for your customers? Request a demo to see TEI and the Tethr platform in action.

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