The Yin-Yang of Unsolicited and Solicited Feedback - Part 1

Published on
June 24, 2024

In this four part series we are going to explore the power and impact of “Full Spectrum” customer experience analysis. Let’s start with the basics of this approach.

Part I

Most of us have heard of or at least seen the symbols referred to as yin and yang, a/k/a  yinyang or yin-yang. According to Wikipedia, yin-yang is a concept that originated in Chinese philosophy, describing an opposite but interconnected, self-perpetuating cycle. Wikipedia goes on to say that yin and yang can be thought of as complementary forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts.

Why mention this particular concept within Chinese philosophy? Simply put, I think it perfectly illustrates the symbiotic value of the customer experience insights derived by unsolicited feedback (analysis of voice interactions in a call center) and that of solicited feedback (analysis of post-interaction customer surveys).

In call center environments, AI powered real-time speech analytics and its ability to alert, measure and report on 100% of live agent-based customer calls has gone from a “nice to have” to a “must have” technology. Call centers depend on this multi-faceted solution to guide agents in real-time customer conversations, alert supervisors when in-the-moment call intervention may be required, automate the quality assurance process and measure as well as report on “Voice of the Customer and Employee Experience”. Analyzing these organic conversations is also referred to as unsolicited feedback and it’s ideal for both optimizing call outcomes and assessing what transpired on the actual unscripted interactions.

Now let’s review the notion of solicited feedback which we define as any survey initiated by an organization to gain customer perspective on the experience or experiences that occurred over the course of a defined period of time. Solicited feedback, in the form of post event surveys, can ask pointed questions that may or may or not have been revealed in the course of conversations. Whether you are an average consumer, a CX vested professional or somewhere in between, we are all familiar with surveys as they have become ubiquitous to virtually every commerce, guest, retail or consumer experience we have. While unsolicited feedback from call center interactions can provide extraordinary insights as to what happened in those conversation, it cannot, like a good investigative reporter who has uncovered a revelation, ask any follow up questions to further clarify the customer experience.

Let’s bring the distinction between unsolicited and solicited feedback into practical, everyday terms. We have all had something happen to us where we relayed that experience to a family member, friend or associate who inevitably asks us the one question we cannot answer from the actual event. We can tell them with a high degree of certainty what did happen but cannot answer the question we did not ask. Being able to ascertain what happened during the interaction and then conduct deeper, probing questions to uncover the deeper root cause or sentiment is at the very heart of the value of combining unsolicited and solicited insights to paint the bigger, more complete customer experience picture. So, this brings us back to my initial analogy that combining the “Yin” of unsolicited insights and the “Yang” of solicited feedback are indeed the complementary forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts.

In Part Two of our “The Yin-Yang of Unsolicited and Solicited Feedback” we will further explore the notion of launching customized customer surveys based on outcome analysis from actual customer conversations. Stay tuned!