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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: Why should we measure customer satisfaction?
Q: Is ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN customer satisfaction relevant to my organization?
Q: What makes Compechek’s “ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN” customer satisfaction studies different?
Q: What does an ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN customer satisfaction study measure?
Q: What is Compechek’s “360 degree Experience” mean?
Q: What are the qualifications of Compechek’s telephone interviewers?
Q: Should I use an agency or conduct the survey myself?
Q: What are the steps to implementing a customer satisfaction study?
Q: How many customers should I interview?
Q: How do I decide which customers to interview?
Q: How do I introduce the survey?
Q: How often should customer satisfaction studies be performed?
Q: How do I persuade people to take part & how can I maximize response rates?
Q: Do you find that customers feel bothered or annoyed by the survey process?
Q: How should I decide what questions to ASK on my questionnaire?
Q: How many questions should I have on my questionnaire? How long should an interview take?
Q: What attributes should we measure?
Q: What is a good response rate?
Q: Why is ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN customer satisfaction better than mystery shopping/calling?

Ask Listen Retain Software Questions

Q: What is an Alert?
Q: What are Automated Notifications?
Q: What is a Diary?
Q: What is Emotional Word Mining?
Q: What is a Heat Map?

Q: Why should we measure customer satisfaction?

A: The bottom line answer is that satisfied customers ultimately mean profit. Customer retention and commitment have both been shown to result from satisfied customers. It has been estimated that acquiring a new customer can cost up to twenty times more than retaining a current customer. Additionally, long-term customers have been shown to issue fewer complaints, pay higher prices and return goods less often than new ones.

Word of mouth referrals is another obvious benefit of retaining satisfied customers. Other benefits include additional sales, and return customers tend to refrain from comparison shopping the competition. Customer satisfaction starts with gaining an understanding of the things that are important to your customers as well as those things that you may not be doing so well. Without this understanding, you will be poorly equipped to effectively target areas for improvement. Customer satisfaction surveys are a reliable method of gathering the information you need to achieve this.

Q: Is ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN customer satisfaction relevant to my organization?

A: Customer satisfaction is an area that every organization needs to involve itself with – even those that may currently hold a monopoly in a certain area. The majority of customers will return to one organization based more on their level of satisfaction than because of a lack of competition. Dissatisfied customers who do not have a choice can cost an organization plenty in returns and complaints, and there is no guarantee that a monopoly in any market can survive for any length of time. The ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN method is the most reliable way to determine the level of satisfaction of your customers.

Q: What makes Compechek’s “ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN” customer satisfaction studies different?

A: Compechek’s product provides clients with more than just a customer service survey as most competitors would simply perform. The differentiating factors of Compechek’s product include the foundation of the custom customer experience survey and online reporting, but also an internal process to identify issues, track the progress on resolving client issues, and bring accountability and transparency to all levels of management via the 24/7 web based retention program. This retention program includes an internal diary process so that all management levels can be assured that each client’s resolution has come to a satisfactory close. A final communication is sent to the customer to confirm that the resolution is indeed closed.

Partnering with Compechek gives your business a competitive advantage. While your competitors wonder how their customers perceive their performance your business will know how your customers perceive your performance. Through the ASK, LISTEN, RETAIN process you will provide your customers with industry leading customer service, increasing the likelihood that they will stick with you and not defect to a competitor. Your business will have the peace of mind knowing that all levels of management will have transparency and the accountability to take ownership of customer service issues and respond to each customer’s needs as they arise. Compechek creates a streamlined and integrated customer service experience for your company.

Q: What does an ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN customer satisfaction study measure?

A: Typically the study will measure four categories which are 100% customizable to your businesses specific needs, typical categories are: Sales reps Performance, Manager’s Performance, Customer Service, and Other (targeted questions regarding specific programs, initiatives or mandates).

Our customer satisfaction studies measure the level of your customer’s satisfaction with various services and product attributes. In addition, we measure how important these various service and product attributes are to your customers; so that you can see in which areas your performance is having the biggest impact. In many cases, we also survey your customers about services or products they will need to meet their future business objectives. This data allows you to plan for future product/service offerings.

Q: What is Compechek’s “360 degree Experience” mean?

A: Compechek’s unique ASK, LISTEN, RETAIN product provides clients with a total view of the customer service experience. This process allows companies to drill down from nationwide performance levels to individual salesperson performance on up to 30 questions in four different categories. Once the data is collected the transparent information of issues, negative comments, and keywords become visible to all levels of management. The transparency of Compechek’s 360 experience tool allows individuals and management teams to take ownership and accountability for customer service issues. This process once performed becomes an ongoing tool to re-ASK, re-LISTEN and continue to RETAIN customers and maintain positive customer relationships.

Q: What are the qualifications of Compechek’s telephone interviewers?

A: Every Compechek telephone interviewer has passed a series of courses that increases the level of professionalism and phone etiquette before they ever contact any of your client database. A sample of the education that they must pass through include: LISTENing Skills, Time Management, Effective Customer Skills, Business Communication Skills, Dealing with Unhappy People, etc.

Q: Should I use an agency or conduct the survey myself?

A: What benefits does using an outside agency bring to my survey?
Agencies offer a number of advantages, particularly for organizations without their own research departments. An agency will have more experience, greater statistical knowledge, specialist software and resources in the form of field or telephone interviewers and data entry mechanisms. They may also be able to benchmark your data against other organizations. Moreover an agency will provide your survey with the important assurance of independence, and should guarantee the confidentiality of your respondents.

Q: What are the steps to implementing a customer satisfaction study?

A: We usually follow the approach below:

  • Meeting to discuss your business strengths, weaknesses, current trends (sales, customer defection etc.)
  • Questionnaire development
  • Letter sent out to value clients indicating a 3rd party Research team will be calling to hear their input and feedback
  • Data collection
  • Managers login and passwords distributed for 24/7 access to customer data collection
  • Notifications and Alerts begin as disengaged clients are discovered completed
  • Corrective action is taken the resolve conflicts on identified issues of concern
  • District, Regional, National management watch activity of local management via diaries
  • Scores are reviewed by management for all stores, districts, and regions
  • Comparisons are made from PREVIOUS results
  • Each client issue has been brought to a complete close and the client has been notified of actions taken and assures that the issue is closed from their perspective.
  • Repeat the process in X months, to ensure the 360 degree experience continues

Q: How many customers should I interview?

A: The nature and size of your customer base will need to be considered when determining an appropriate sample size. For instance, where a large homogenous customer base exists, it would make sense to conduct a minimum of five-hundred customer interviews. This number will increase, however, where the customer base is more diverse. With the same size customer base, but with diverse subgroups, a sample size closer to two-hundred interviews for each subgroup may be considered.

Q: How do I decide which customers to interview?

A: 3 Methodologies:

When determining the sample from which to work, a three-tiered approach is generally recommended. Top Clients and Clients with High Potential are the two specific categories into which most businesses already separate their customer base. Random Selection is the last of the three tiers. In order to assist you with a determination of the most appropriate customer segmentation to apply, we will walk you through the process during the discovery meeting. This can be a very complex process that will likely involve several individuals from within your organization in order to validate and verify customer data, and we offer assistance in order to obtain the most effective and meaningful results in this critical step.

1: Random Selection
The chosen sample must reflect the population as a whole. In order to achieve this, random, or probability, sampling should be applied in order to ensure that every customer has an equal chance of being interviewed. To apply systematic random sampling, an entity would begin at a random point in its customer data base and choose the ones to be interviewed based on the desired overall percentage of those it wishes to include. For instance, if a company has a data base of 2,000 customers, it could sort that list in a non-traditional way (e.g., not always alphabetically), and select every tenth customer on the list until it reaches two-hundred customers for a ten-percent sample. Where the organization wishes to apply the two other tiers, it would divide that same data base into the subgroups and select the customers to be interviewed in the same way.

2: Top Clients
Using the 80-20 rule, where 80% of your business comes from 20% of your business, many clients choose to isolate their PRIORITY clients and focus more attention on their Customer Service levels. These top clients will feel special (as they should) that the business is so appreciative of their business, that the company is taking special efforts to ASK and LISTEN to their needs and/or concerns. This is a great way to build two way appreciation for this type of higher sales volume business relationship.

3: Potential Factor
The last grouping is looking at the current database of clients and identifying which clients have the potential to turn into a Top Client. The surveys can be used to identify what is in the way of these high potential customers purchasing more products or services from you. Often there is something very simple that can be identified, such as the competitors’ sales rep visit weekly while your rep does not. This kind of information is highly valuable as you can make quick business decisions and strategize how to take this potential into a real Top Client.

Q: How do I introduce the survey?

A: If you are planning to conduct telephone interviews respondents should be prepared to expect your call by sending them an introductory letter detailing the purpose of the research, and reassuring them that their confidentiality will be protected. Use this introductory letter as a means to promote that this these surveys are being conducted because “WE CARE” about your opinions and “WE WANT TO KNOW” where we might be falling short of your client’s expectations. A great marketing tool to build better relationships with your valued clients.

Q: How often should customer satisfaction studies be performed?

A: For organizations with a medium to large customer base, we typically recommend conducting quarterly customer satisfaction studies. The benefits of conducting surveys every 90 days are that the clients can see quick reactions and changes to issues as they arise. On the flip side, if the client feels that nothing has been done to address a previous issue that was brought to light, then 90 days is still within reason (although not preferable) to quickly react to make up for the initial stall in addressing these important client concerns. As well, returning to the same clients with another survey starts to build confidence in the customer that your company is for real, that your company truly cares about their perceptions and this is a standard practice of your company.

Q: How do I persuade people to take part & how can I maximize response rates?

A: Advance notification to your customers is the best way to persuade them to take part. Giving them a heads up allows them an opportunity to agree to participate. To maximize response rates, telephone interviews are recommended. (Compechek will make three to five attempts to contact a customer before considering the survey closed.) For both of these things, an accurate and up-to-date data base is required.

Q: Do you find that customers feel bothered or annoyed by the survey process?

A: While there will always be some customers who are annoyed by the process, overall most people appreciate a chance to be heard. Surveyors must treat the customers with respect and behave as though those customers are their own. Negative responses are immediately communicated through the ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN process.

Q: How should I decide what questions to ASK on my questionnaire?

A: Compechek staff will help you focus on specific targets. Don’t worry if you can’t clearly identity and write out your questions. This is common. We will assist you in this area, and we don’t create the survey until you’re confident the survey questions you’ve given us are what you need to make decisions and grow your business.

Q: How many questions should I have on my questionnaire? How long should an interview take?

A: Typically, the more involvement you have on a regular basis with your customers, the more time they will be willing to spend answering questions for you. In business to business markets, the general rule of thumb is not to exceed thirty questions or ten minutes. The questions themselves should include more questions geared toward satisfaction with a few control questions being included as a method of classification.

Q: What attributes should we measure?

A: Determination of the service and product areas to be measured should start with an organization looking at what is important from the perspective of its customers, but also the factors that play into the specific products, service, and the industry that you serve. This is another area where the discovery phase will be beneficial and where more than one hundred attributes can be assessed as to the value of their inclusion. Such attributes may include overall satisfaction, technical knowledge, professionalism, and customer response times. Customers should also be provided with an opportunity to give input on what they consider to be important.

Q: What is a good response rate?

A: Response rates vary greatly dependent on your type of customers and their level of involvement with you. With Compechek’s repeat attempts to reach the contact in combination with the proprietary ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN system, our telephone interviews response rates of 80%+ can be obtained.

Q: Why is ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN customer satisfaction better than mystery shopping/calling?

A: Mystery shopping measures a completely different set of criteria that has been established by the company, and does not accurately reflect the feelings of real-life customers. For instance, a customer may make a purchase based on emotional reasons which lend an air of irrationality to the purchase. A mystery shopper cannot possibly reproduce such a purchase, and that will skew the results of the experience without providing results that reflect an actual buying experience.

Additionally, because an organization will set the terms of the mystery shopping experience, it may overlook criteria that a real customer will apply to the situation. For these reasons, a customer satisfaction survey should not be considered interchangeable with a mystery shopping expedition, even though the latter can be valuable under certain circumstances.


Q: What is an Alert?

A: An Alert is a notification to local management of a less than expected experience encounter with one of the customers that have been interviewed in the latest Customer Satisfaction Survey. The ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN program will create an alert in one of four ways.

1: If the customer acknowledges that an issue that was identified from the last round of surveys is still not been brought to satisfactory resolution in their eyes.

2: If a customer completes as survey and the end result score percentage is below acceptable tolerances,

3: The customer has used ‘negatively charged emotionally’ words in their word for word comment dictation by the interviewer, for example, an alert would be triggered if the client used the word “terrible” in their open ended commenting, and finally

4: If one of Compechek’s highly skilled and trained to LISTEN interviewers had a feeling that their was a pending issue behind the answers that were provided by the customer during the interview questions. Compechek gives the interviewer the power to create an alert based on their experience in customer service standards.

Q: What are Automated Notifications?

A: An Automated Notification is a response to an alert as noted in the previous FAQ. There are a total of 5 automated notifications that are both internal and external.

Internal Notifications – Local Management and Upper Management as required:

E-mail Notification #1: Once any of the above alert enters the ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN system an e-mail is sent to the local manager to identify a possibly disengaged client. This notification triggers the need for the local manager to enter the web based system to see the details on what the alert is all about.

E-mail Notification #2: When an alert reaches a specific # of days without being viewed by the local manager a second e-mail is sent again to the local manager but also to the district manager. This begins the accountability factor as now two levels of management are now involved in this single alert, ensuring that action will begin to take place.

E-mail Notification #3: Once an alert has been brought to a close by local management, an e-mail is sent to District manager stating the complete history of the issue which includes all the entries in the DIARY to show what was done to RETAIN the client.

External Notifications – Local Management to the Client:

E-mail Notification #4: When a new alert is created, the local manager will send an e-mail to the client to state that his issue has been heard and local management will be looking into it further.

E-mail Notification #5: When the alert is closed, the local manager will send an e-mail to the client summarizing the action taken to rectify the issue and see if there are any other issues outstanding from their perspective.

Q: What is a Diary?

A: The Diary tracks all activity that stems from an Alert being identified within the ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN system from Alert Identification to Issue Close with full resolution. Sample diary activity would include: Every entry is date and time stamped, date that the Alert entered the Installer Retention Program, all automatic and manually sent e-mails, any diary entry posted by any manager role/level and include in the entry which manager level posted the comment, date and time stamp when ALERT moves to the next level, i.e. from NEW to IN PROGRESS, from IN PROGRESS to OVERDUE, from OVERDUE to CLOSED.

Q: What is Emotional Word Mining?

A: Emotional word mining is the ability for the ASK-LISTEN-RETAIN system to filter through every comment recorded during the Customer Satisfaction Surveys and highlighting those special words that had been identified at the setup phase of the interview questions. The system will isolate words in the following categories and display them in these unique reports; 1: Positive Words, i.e. Excellent, Quick, Professional, 2: Negative Words, i.e. Late, Never, Slow, 3: Keywords, such as words that would help identify comments dealing with special projects, mandates or areas of focus, i.e. Drivers, Delivery, Accounting, 4: Neutral words, this would be the balance of all comments that didn’t fall into any of the previous 3 sections. This allows management to review ALL comments in an efficient fashion and be able to really LISTEN to what the clients are saying!

Q: What is a Heat Map?

A: Heat Map is the graphical demonstration of the distribution of scores broken down into three levels. For example, scores over 90% would be represented on the graphical bar in red, scores between 70-90% would be represented on the graphical bar in orange, while the balance of scores under 70% would be graphically represented in yellow. Each color would consume as much of the graphical bar as their percentage of the overall scores. For example, if 40 of 100 scores were 95%, then the red bar would be represented by covering 40% of the graphical bar.