Over the past several decades, contingent workforce program managers have built countless metrics to understand how their program and workforce are performing. Of all the data within a VMS to build these metrics from, there is often an overlooked component that is not as objective or easy to define: the satisfaction of your customers.

The customers. One of the first objectives when building a customer satisfaction program is understanding your customers and who they are. While it may seem obvious that engagement managers are the main constituents of your services, there are other audiences with valuable perspectives that can help your program recognize opportunities and strengths. Other important stakeholders include the contract workers themselves, the suppliers and even the operators of the program (such as approvers, MSPs or reporting/systems administrators). These populations might not be the end consumer of your services, but they do play critical roles in your program’s overall success and ability to deliver its services.

Purpose. The next objective in building your customer satisfaction program is understanding your purpose. There is no shortage of metrics available, which means it’s important to be thoughtful when deciding to introduce another. In general, understanding your customers’ perceptions and experiences can provide valuable insight, but there is additional opportunity to use this initiative beyond measuring contentedness. Look for ways to drill into unsatisfactory responses to learn from those experiences. It is key to empathize with these audiences and build a stronger culture of caring and continual improvement.

Automation. The next consideration is how to automate your customer satisfaction program. Gathering subjective data like customer satisfaction requires consistent processes and methodologies. In order to effectively report and show trends in the data, you must be accurate, repeatable and scalable. This means leveraging a technology solution to get in front of your audience and bring their perspective back to you in a meaningful and structured way. Your VMS might be a good technology to start with as you explore your options. Enterprise organizations may also have access to tools like Qualtrics, MS Forms, SurveyMonkey or even Google Forms. These external tools will need to be fueled by VMS data, where much of your customer data may exist and many of your triggering events will occur. Additional automation tools like UIPath or Power Automate may help to connect these systems and processes.

Best practices. CW program managers will want to follow some survey best practices as they gather this feedback. First, follow a formal survey methodology or strategy such as the Likert Scale or Net Promoter Score approach. Second, know when your best windows are for gathering info. This may be aligned to key events throughout an engagement — post-onboarding, task completion or on the engagement’s anniversary — or use system triggers like timesheet approvals.

Next, be respectful of the respondents’ time and be concise. Understand when you are asking too often or for too much in order to avoid survey fatigue. Last, leverage knockout questions to dive deeper into less-than-satisfactory responses. If someone is unhappy, it is important to take a few more moments to better understand their reasoning. Leveraging these practices when building a customer satisfaction program will help provide your CW program with the intelligence it needs to understand your customers and how best to serve them.