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Safeguard The Integrity of Your Customer’s Voice

It May Be Time For You To Start Thinking About How To Protect The Integrity of Your Customer Survey Data

Employee incentives can be a great way to motivate good behavior. Unfortunately, they can also lead to the opposite, particularly when employees stand to gain, (financially or otherwise) from achieving specific results related to your customer experience (CX) program.

Have you ever had an employee tamper with a customer survey or falsify customer information in order to submit fake feedback?

If you’re not sure, the answer could be yes. That means it’s time for you to start thinking about how to protect the integrity of your customer survey data. In this article, we’ll break down the issue and explore what tools and techniques you can implement to prevent it from happening to you.

How do employees commit survey fraud?

In many organizations, it’s all too easy for employees to submit misleading customer survey data. Typically, an employee will do this by falsifying customer information, such as an email address, physical address or phone number, in order to answer a survey as if they were the customer. Meanwhile, the customer is completely unaware that the survey has been completed using their profile. While some potential manipulation behavior is easy to identify, the web makes it easy to mask the identifiable data points, but we have a proven solution to help. Digital Fingerprinting can determine what device the survey was returned from regardless of IP Address masking or hopping, a typical behavior used to avoid standard detection methods. In other cases, an employee may prevent a customer from completing a survey altogether. Regardless of the approach, these acts interfere with your good intentions to capture the honest voice of the customer (VoC).

This type of behavior is classified as “identity theft” – a serious offense that involves using an individual’s personally identifying information without their permission to commit fraud. Not only is it a serious offense, it can also result in negative consequences for your business.

VoC insights are central to your CX strategy and outcomes. In fact, they’re your competitive advantage. By threatening your data integrity, manipulation by employees can completely sabotage the success of your CX program.

How prevalent is the problem?

Based on an independent ibex study, without proper tracking tools and procedures in place, fraudulent behavior can occur within up to 6% for automotive businesses when left unchecked. In fact, many organizations we’ve worked with weren’t even aware that their employees were manipulating customer feedback channels to provide false and misleading survey data.

What makes survey fraud difficult to track?

Without the proper tools in place, it’s virtually impossible to validate suspicions of survey data manipulation. Here are a few reasons why:

  • The customer often has no knowledge of their information being falsified, so they can’t report the fraudulent activity.
  • Manually analyzing raw customer data is time consuming and cumbersome.
  • Falsifying customer information, including email addresses, physical addresses and phone numbers, is easy.
  • It’s also easy to select the “opt-out” preference on a customer’s behalf to prevent the customer record from receiving communications.
  • IP address hoppers and masking tools are readily available on the internet.

Best practices for identifying and eliminating survey fraud

If you can’t be sure that your customer data is authentic, then it’s possible that your CX program is built on unreliable information, your customer relationships are suffering, and your revenue is being negatively impacted too.

Now is the time to start tracking this kind of suspicious behavior, and it begins with identifying and eliminating potential instances of data manipulation. By working with a trusted partner that has deep knowledge and hands-on experience analyzing and addressing problem behavior, you can significantly reduce instances of survey result manipulation.

From our experience working with organizations to protect the integrity of their customer data, we recommend following these best practices:

  • Enforce a zero-tolerance policy – In order to begin enforcing a strict expectation of customer data protection, you should implement or reinforce your zero-tolerance policy with respect to potentially negative behavior.
  • Identify suspicious data – Pinpoint potential red flags by tracking the following:
    • Customer opt-out rates
    • Duplicate emails, phone numbers and IP addresses across multiple customer records
    • Duplicate digital fingerprint IDs across multiple customers records (digital fingerprinting is a method of assigning a unique ID to computers that’s not dependent on network settings or IP addresses)
    • Pattern recognition on customer information to identify like matches
  • Scrub legitimate instances of duplication: Our experience has shown that approximately 70% of duplicate IP addresses are in fact legitimate places of business.

Minimize fraud and manipulation with a trusted solution

Based on these best practices, ibex offers a suite of reports that uncovers potential manipulation of customer information. Our fraud and manipulation detection package includes the following solutions:

  • National Summary Report that shows the monthly trend of potentially manipulated surveys
  • Franchise Summary Statistics for Survey Avoidance and Survey Completes
  • Supporting Transaction details that enable backtracking directly to input transactional data
  • Franchise-specific workbooks containing Survey Avoidance record details and the potential duplicate Survey Complete record details
  • Consultation or hosting of webinars to your staff on how to analyze and interpret the results, how to use the information and what to look for

Knowledge is power

Once you’re aware of where red flags exist in your customer survey feedback, you can take steps to eliminate misleading data from your results.

Organizations that implement our solution see a 85.7% average reduction in potential manipulation of customer records within four months of implementation.

By enforcing a zero-tolerance policy, monitoring suspicious activity and tapping into reporting insights, you can trust that your customer feedback is authentic. With those safeguards in place, your customer data can work as it was intended to, helping you build a high-performing CX program that nurtures profitable customer relationships.

 


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