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Mystery Calling: Improve CX with Phone Survey Software

Customer Experience

Ensuring an excellent customer experience can be tricky but an effective guide can help.


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Delivering positive customer experiences across your entire customer journey is a must for any organization. A good CX can work as a key differentiator for your brand. Even though most customer interactions are taking place over a digital medium, telephones and phone survey software still have a major part to play when it comes to understanding your customers. That means your contact centers’ CX needs to be on-brand.

With the global contact center market size estimated to hit $40,000 million by 2025, there need to be certain techniques to gauge effectiveness.

Customer experience

Gauging your contact centers’ performance

Research by Ipsos shows that 48% of customers whose contact center experience was poor were unsatisfied with how their issues were dealt with. Acquiring customers is far more expensive than retaining your existing user base, and contact centers can play a key role in customer experience and retention.

Generally, businesses can rely on the following avenues for measuring their Contact center performance:

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CX surveys

Voice of the Customer (VoC) or CX surveys are conducted directly with your customers. Phone survey software is an effective channel for surveying people about their customer experience. IVR or CATI surveys can be triggered immediately after a key interaction (like a purchase). At the hands of a skilled interviewer, phone surveys can provide actionable insights into your operations as well as your business strategy.

Operational metrics

These metrics are used by almost all contact centers to objectively measure critical attributes like waiting times, average handling times, drop-off rates. These are detailed metrics, but they don’t shed any insights into the content of the call itself, which is why they need to be augmented with other methods to gauge CX.

However, improving on these metrics does play a critical role in improving customer interactions at your contact centers, which in turn improves customer experience.

Call listening

Again, this is a process that is in place in most contact centers. Typically a person in a supervisory capacity (Quality managers or team leads) listen in to calls in progress. Advanced CATI survey or Phone survey software allows supervisors to take over seamlessly in the middle of an ongoing call, which can help in training new agents.

Mystery calling

Mystery calling has been around for quite a while now as a way for companies to measure their customer service. A ‘monitor’ or an ‘observer’ poses as an ordinary customer with an issue to gauge how your contact centers respond.

With omnichannel feedback management available, the scope of mystery calling has expanded to measuring customer experience along your customer journey.

Why is mystery calling an effective tool for tracking CX?

Mystery calling via phone survey software brings several advantages to your customer experience tracking efforts.

  • Mystery calling can help gather objective feedback in great detail about contact center metrics (Waiting times, transfers, etc.) as well as agent behavior. You also get a subjective view about the same, giving you a holistic picture of your contact center CX.
  • Benchmark against competitors wherever possible.
  • Detailed CX analytics and insights into agent behavior.
  • Allows observers to experience your contact center customer journey 
  • Measure CX, organizational efficiency, and adherence to norms

Mystery calling typically works in addition to other cx measurement methods. To be truly effective, one needs to use these methodologies in a symbiotic manner. A VoC program designed to understand drivers behind desired customer outcomes can leverage phone survey software for Mystery calls. Observers can record the conversation along with taking notes about the process.

Creating an effective phone survey software program to measure CX

As we’ve mentioned before, to get the most from mystery calling, you need to use it within a customer experience program. For a typical customer experience program that takes advantage of CATI/IVR you would need to:

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Implement a feedback mechanism

Mystery calling and phone feedback, in general, involve highly detailed questionnaires. Survey questions should focus on attributes of your organization that are most important. These factors can be identified through previously conducted feedback surveys. 

To measure compliance with organizational protocols, observers need to gauge agent behavior on an individual basis. 

It’s also important that feedback is tied to your customers’ profile and with operational metrics like call length, day of the week, IVR routing process, time of day, etc.). You can read more on how CATI Surveys can help improve customer experience here.

Put some thought into sample design

Sample design is directly dependent on your budget, and organizations need to be judicious with their resources as a representative sample plays a key role in determining the accuracy of the insights you get.

A few factors that you need to consider for sampling design: 

  • Number and location of your contact centers.
  • The number and type of scenarios which you’re going to test. These can be dependent on the time of day as well.
  • The size of the contact center, and the number of agents you’ll be needing.
  • Whether you may need to perform competitor calls to gauge response and effectiveness.
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Profiling customers and scenarios

Profiling for scenarios as well as customers allows businesses to optimize their customer journey. Data from phone survey software can help build these profiles and scenarios and ensure their accuracy.

Regular customer feedback through multiple channels will be required for creating holistic profiles. These can help identify areas where challenges are expected to occur. Mystery calling is particularly useful in determining how your improvements in CX and customer satisfaction are faring in key areas. 

Mystery calling helps figure out whether your omnichannel customer journey is a seamless process or one that is disjointed and needs work. Customers often tend to start their journey on one channel and move on to another, which is a factor businesses need to consider while framing scenarios.

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