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Customer Satisfaction Measurement Shift

TMCnet reports, the role of today�s contact center is rapidly shifting. Expected to both support a company�s global business strategy and play an integral part in the overall customer experience, the contact center is becoming a true extension of a company�s brand, no matter its type (inbound versus outbound, internal versus outsourced, onshore versus offshore, support versus sales) or the kind of customers it deals with (internal, external or a blend of both).

Yet, the contact center still faces challenges of its own, including high staff attrition, productivity issues and operational cost containment. Performing such a balancing act only ends up putting more pressure on already stretched resources. One way a contact center can deliver and win on all these fronts is to embrace an essential business driver as a key performance indicator: customer satisfaction.

Although at first sight, customer satisfaction seems easy to understand, it can actually be difficult to define and sometimes even more difficult to measure. This article presents a general, pragmatic approach to customer satisfaction measurement, including tips and recommendations to help contact center professionals implement a brand new initiative or improve an existing program.

Businesses are increasingly coming to their senses about the importance of measuring the customer experience, as illustrated by the findings of a report entitled �Customer Experience Spending Expands� published by Forrester Research in January 2005. The industry analyst firm surveyed 176 North American firms with annual revenue in excess of $500 million.

Not only are customer satisfaction surveys the most popular activity, 54 percent of respondents also expect to increase spending in Web analytics. Why? Because to remain agile and respond to the preferences of customers in real time before they have a chance to churn to a competitor, enterprises needs to know what those customers want now, not tomorrow.

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