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One of the benefits of my job is that I get to formulate driver analyses for all kinds of organizations.

In turn, this provides me with wonderful, useful insights which many people find interesting.

Today, I’d like to share the insights from a recent analysis of call and e-mail drivers of customer satisfaction.

As a bonus, I’ve included the questionnaires themselves, which you can implement in your own organization.

Add two questions

The purpose of our driver analyses is always to determine which drivers actually matter from the customer’s perspective.

For calls and e-mail, I always add two questions to the questionnaires:

  • Was your question answered in one go? (first time fix)
  • Do you think we could have avoided this contact moment? (first time right)

Obviously there is overlap between the two questions, with people answering ‘No’ to question 1 then answering ‘Yes’ to question 2.

However, the % of avoidable contact moments is nearly always higher than the % of non-first time fixes.

There are therefore additional gains to be made by optimizing services in the end-to-end customer journey.


Let’s go back to the analysis.

Besides the driver analyses, which once again showed the role played by the employee and his or her empathy to be crucial (for both calls and e-mail!), we also considered the difference in satisfaction, based on the aforementioned two questions.

Both showed customers to be significantly less satisfied in the case of a non-first time fix and also if they felt it to be avoidable.

And so there lies your win-win-win situation: happy customer thanks to first time fix, even happier customer thanks to first time right, and cost savings thanks to any call or e-mail thus avoided.

Straight to work

Then adding the open question to both questions: what could we have done to answer your question in one go or to have avoided the contact moment?

So you will very simply gain direct insights with which you can get straight to work.

By the way, I always add ‘partially’ as an answer option for the first time fix.

While many organizations then initially give me strange looks, a substantial percentage of customers will choose this option, so I would definitely include it.

And therefore add the in-depth open question once customers opt for partially instead of yes.

Reliable drivers

We now have an extremely high explained variance, using 9 questions for telephony and 10 questions for e-mail.

In other words, these questions put you in the driving seat of customer experience with these channels: you can determine the impact of the knobs and can be sure you have not forgotten anything important, from the customer’s perspective.

From my PhD (which once comprised 60 questions… 🙂 and the surveys undertaken for many organizations, I now know that the channel drivers are not significantly divergent per company or branch.

So take advantage of the following items!


  • The employee could understand my situation.
  • The employee’s answer was clear.
  • The employee explained what I could expect.
  • The employee was friendly.
  • The opening hours of the customer service line were long enough.
  • The customer service waiting time was acceptable.
  • My question was answered in the first call.
  • Do you think we could have avoided this contact?
  • How much effort did it take to get an answer to your question?
  • And of course the satisfaction question: how satisfied are you with the telephone contact?


  • The employee took me seriously as a customer.
  • The reply was customer friendly.
  • The reply was clear.
  • The reply explained exactly what I could expect.
  • I received a reply promptly.
  • I could easily find the e-mail address / contact form.
  • I could easily complete the contact form.
  • My question was answered in the first e-mail.
  • Do you think we could have avoided this contact?
  • How much effort did it take to get an answer to your question?
  • And of course the satisfaction question: how satisfied are you with the e-mail contact?

Customer effort score

Observant readers will have noticed that the customer effort score is used as a predictor of satisfaction rather than as a ‘final metric’.

The CES has a relatively strong impact on satisfaction and is therefore important.

I say relatively, because the employee and his/her empathy is 2x more important in calls and nearly 3x more important in e-mails, versus the sense of convenience.

Want to know more about Service Experience and metrics? Two online training tips!

In the masterclass Experience Metrics you will learn all about the NPS, CES and SAT and how to use the right metrics for the 5 types of experience. In the module Service Experience you will learn the metrics and drivers for service, but also how to prevent unnecessary contacts by smart data analyses and journey mapping.


# Coach me | Want to get advice for your specific situation? Book a 1-1 coaching session!
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# Teach me | Want to accelerate your organisation with experience? Check the online playground!
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All online courses have been accredited by NIMA, the Dutch Marketing Association which is part of the European Marketing Confederation.

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