CUSTOMER SERVICE SATISFACTION SURVEY: COGNITIVE AND PROTOTYPE TEST
Kevin Cecco, Anthony J. Young
Statistics of Income, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 2608, Washington D.C. 20013
Key Words: Cognitive Research, Customer
Introduction and Background
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is committed
to becoming a more modern, customer-oriented agency.
This requires developing performance measures that
balance taxpayers’ needs with the IRS’s internal
operational needs. One prong of our balanced
performance measures is a Customer Satisfaction index.
This index is being developed, in part, from surveys
collected from taxpayers that had direct telephone
contact with the IRS.
The Customer Service organization within the IRS
currently has a manual customer satisfaction survey in
place to gauge taxpayer opinions and perceptions. This
survey is offered to a sample of taxpayers regarding
taxpayer assistance or issue resolution on several IRS
toll-free telephone numbers. In an attempt to interact
more efficiently with taxpayers, the Service has decided
to automate the process of conducting telephone
customer satisfaction surveys. The Customer Service
Satisfaction Survey (CSSS) application will replace the
current manual survey. The automated telephone
survey should be cost effective and just as accurate if
we can encourage the taxpayers to use the system and
not hang up prior to completing the survey.
Moving from the manual telephone survey to an
automated survey, the IRS obtained the services of
Andersen Consulting (AC) to complete a series of
cognitive tests. The objective was to develop the most
efficient automated survey that taxpayers would be
willing to complete.
As part of the study, several areas within the IRS
worked with AC to complete the following activities:
Expert Review — This expert review of the
CSSS application used best practices in order to suggest
revisions to improve usability of the scripts and identify
problem areas for cognitive testin