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Customer Service and Satisfaction
There are three critical elements that we have identified to help us place our customers at the center of all that we do:
the voice of our customers through a journey-based survey approach to recognize and acknowledge the moments that matter.
every WM team member in a culture of customer advocacy by providing actionable insights based on our customers’ evolving needs.
the way we make decisions by focusing on each step in the customer’s journey and implementing changes that improve their experience.
Through this approach to gathering feedback, we have learned that our customers value and expect partnership, reliability, and trustworthiness. We are taking action on these components to strengthen our customer experience and brand through improved technology, communications and continuous process improvement.
Please refer to the Operations section of our Data Center for our Customer Service and Satisfaction metrics.
Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores
We send surveys to customers in all major lines of business who receive solid waste and recycling service. Each month, a randomly selected group of commercial, residential, roll-off, and manufacturing and industrial customers receive surveys.
In 2019, WM began measuring Net Promoter Scores (NPS). NPS poses a simple question: “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” This enterprise-level metric measures customers’ overall sentiment about a brand versus their perception of a single transaction and is used as a benchmark to evaluate and improve customer loyalty. NPS has been widely adopted by more than two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies. This metric is an essential step for WM to continue to show our public commitment to customer satisfaction.
Since WM started tracking NPS, we saw an all-time high in 2020 of 50.2. We believe much of this was driven by our customer-centered response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the goodwill earned by continuing to provide an essential service. We predicted our 2020 numbers would not be sustainable. In 2021, WM, like other companies, attempted to navigate new, post-pandemic challenges and still meet the changing needs of our customers all while integrating the acquisition of Advanced Disposal. As a result, we leveraged our surveys to gain more insight into our customers’ needs and their perception of the changes we are making to better serve them. WM has continued to track Overall Satisfaction (OSAT). Similar to NPS, OSAT saw a decline in 2021 but we are confident our efforts to address inflationary costs and labor challenges will lead to improvements in 2022.
Post-Contact Survey (PCS)
WM gathers feedback from customers following interactions with our customer service team, whether customers contacted us by phone, email or online chat. Every customer service agent receives 10 to 20 surveys per month, doubling the number from 2020. Customer insights are used to coach and develop employees, quickly identify emerging trends from customer input and evaluate and improve our internal processes.
WM used our PCS results in 2020 to help us react quickly to our customers’ changing needs throughout the pandemic. In 2021, our customers validated their appreciation for empathetic customer service agents who showed urgency and made customers’ experiences easier. Our PCS data allows us to also identify situations that our customers find challenging and take action to improve those interactions, from our service, to our communications, to our self-service options.
WM partners with a third party, BPA, to validate the quality of call, email and chat interactions. Interactions are randomly selected and graded against set criteria to provide confidence that we are fulfilling our quality requirements, with an overall goal of 86%. Every customer service agent receives at least four evaluations per month. We use evaluation feedback to coach and develop employees. WM continually assesses our criteria to ensure it aligns with our customers’ expectations gleaned through our PCS program. Like we do with PCS, we use the review of these interactions to assess customer and employee responses to changes we make in our environment.