Do you think a 1-5 scale is the best?


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“Do you think a 1-5 scale is the best?” is a question that was included in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys e-book and self-assessment. The e-book and self-assessment includes 26 questions because we threw in a bonus. The questions are designed to provide a diagnostic that can be used to uncover many of the problems that have been created with post-call IVR surveys since I invented them in contact centers almost 20 years ago. Many of these questions I have been providing answers to from the very beginning, so please share the ebook with your colleagues, we need your help to stop some of the madness.

Why is a 1-5 scale bad for post-call IVR surveys?

We’ve all heard the motto that ‘less is more’. Applying that thought process to your post-call IVR survey program strategy would lead you to believe that offering a 5-point scale would be better than a 9-point or 10-point scale, right? That would be wrong. The market research department in your organization may use a 5-point scale and insist that your post-call IVR survey does too. But market research and customer experience research are not the same. If you fall victim to that pressure and influence, your voice of the customer program is doomed.

To get valued actionable insights, a post-call IVR survey program needs to provide genuine customer feedback about their experience with your service or product. Using a 5-point scale does not provide the customer with enough of a range to grade their experience. Think about it like a test where a rating of one is a failure so you get zero points on the test. A rating of five is perfect so you get 100 on the test. This means that a three is 50 and a four is 75. Do you want to get a “C” if they rate you with a 4? And do you know that getting a 4 on a 5-point scale is not a level of satisfaction that equates to loyalty so you cannot count it as a successful experience? Here, your scale would be contributing to your scoring failure. The use of a 5-point scale sets up your call center agents to not be successful and this will affect morale!

As if that is not enough to convince you, it’s also important to realize that the analysis is limited with a 5-point scale. Statistical analysis is more than just reporting the percentage of 5’s and 4’s, etc. In order to build predictive models, you need to have variability in your data. The wider range of possible responses allows for a much more robust set of analytics. No analytics, action-ability is lost. Analytics should be your goal and not just summary reports of counts, percentages and means. Analytics gives you a sense of direction. Reports give you questions and headaches.

The Solution

The solution is simple. Utilize a 9-point or 10-point scale in your post-call IVR survey program in order to capture feedback from your customers that can be converted to insights. Analyze the data and make decisions based on that effective feedback to help your company grow. If you aren’t going to use their feedback to improve your business, why would you waste their time by asking for it? So when the executives get tired of reports (and they will) and want action from your voice of the customer program, put your scale on the list as one of the things to overhaul.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodie Monger
Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics (CRM) and a pioneer in business intelligence for the contact center industry. Dr. Jodie's work at CRM focuses on converting unstructured data into structured data for business action. Her research areas include customer experience, speech and operational analytics. Before founding CRM, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.


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