The average customer is better informed and more discerning than ever before – and they expect great service. Tom Peters was spot-on when he wrote “…superb service is becoming a requirement for survival in our fast-changing, quality conscious, ever more competitive markets”.
Happy customers keep returning
Customers are the life-blood of your business so you need to give them what they want. Happy customers keep returning and can act as powerful advocates. But how do you keep them happy? Make informed decisions based on genuine insight and understanding of what your customers want. Too often, decisions are made based on assumptions. And let’s be clear, unless your decisions are informed by customer feedback, they’re based on assumptions.
Use feedback to make informed business decisions. If feedback shows customers are frustrated with your service desk IVR – improve it. If feedback shows customers want clearer assembly instructions – provide them.
1. Listen to the right customers
Customer characteristics can vary enormously, especially for highly market-segmented companies. If you’re listening to the “wrong” customers you’re likely to draw the wrong conclusions. Listening is more than just hearing. Customer perceptions need to be contextualised and this can only be achieved by asking the right questions. Ask ‘why?’ as well as ‘what?’. Use open-ended questions as well as rating scales, so that customers can tell you how they feel in their own words.
2. Ensure business buy-in
Customer feedback programmes are a passing fad in some companies; in other companies, they fizzle out because of a lack of commitment to act upon feedback received. To embed customer feedback in the fabric of a company, you need senior management ownership and buy-in.
3. Focus on the bottom line
There’s a direct link between customer satisfaction and financial performance. Make this connection and you’re sure to gain senior management commitment.
4. Understand the customer experience
Measuring customer satisfaction doesn’t provide insight into why the customer was satisfied or dissatisfied. To achieve this, you will need to understand the customer experience.
5. Measure the right things
The customer experience is comprised of a series of touchpoints. It’s important that you identify these and measure them, as well as measuring the overall customer experience.
6. Link Customer Experience to internal process measures
The touchpoints referred to above correlate to internal processes. Are these processes working efficiently? How are these processes measured? How effective are hand-offs between different processes? Many businesses operate in silos and fail to consider the overall experience. For example, a company’s sales and support departments might give you very different messages leading to frustration and dissatisfaction. Take a holistic view that considers the customer experience delivered by all customer facing functions.
7. Data analysis
Unless feedback data is correctly interpreted, results can be misleading. Consider response rates and sample size; be wary of drawing conclusions from small data-sets that are statistically unreliable. Consider the quality of the data being analysed and how it was sourced. For example, data gleaned from Social media can be unreliable. Also, when was the data collected? Opinions collected at the point of experience are 40% more accurate than feedback collected as little as 24 hours later; customer engagement in real time also yields 10-12% more responses
Bringing it all together…
Your customers could be a vast, untapped resource: a source of insight and innovation that can help you refine and improve your product and service offerings. They can help you keep in touch with changing trends and can provide you with the reassurance that you’re heading in the right direction.
But first, you need to understand them.
About ViewPoint customer feedback solutions
ViewPoint helps organisations to radically improve the quality of their services. Our interactive feedback technology engages with consumers, patients, employees, and any other stakeholders, to understand their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the experience they encountered.
Our unique smiley face surveys attract, engage, and encourage users to leave their thoughts. Four reasons feedback kiosks are the preferred feedback collection method:
- Lower cost customer survey solution
- Suitable for all environments
- Reliable and always on
- Highly accurate insights
Find out more about how real-time surveys can help you assess customer and staffing issues, monitor improvements, and compare departments to deliver the best service possible.