Apply feedback data to improve CX and your business
As you continue to improve customer experience for your organization, it’s not uncommon to become overwhelmed by the latest and greatest methodology, best practices, and countless expert recommendations available. Should you adopt new technology? Is it time to evolve some processes around customer-centric ideals? Is it time to refresh the journey maps and the critical touch points?
In searching for answers to these questions, you’ll quickly realize that it’s a full-time job to sort through the glut of material on collecting and acting on customer feedback, increasing satisfaction and loyalty, choosing the right CX technology, and determining the most effective ways to gain support from execs, etc.
How can you simplify the goal of your job as a CX professional and maybe get back to basics on why you do what you do? One way is to remember that the whole point of running your enterprise feedback program is to improve customer experience and make a contribution to strengthening the business overall. To make this possible, you must develop processes that allow you to act on survey and other feedback channel data. Plain and simple — improvement is an outcome of action.
Gathering feedback is a cost. Acting on it generates positive change and financial returns.
Many companies fail in the action part of the feedback loop because they do not consciously design follow-up processes, believing that just presenting feedback data will drive people to act. It often does not and definitely should not be left to chance. What a waste of your efforts in collecting the feedback in the first place! Each action should have an owner and a process responsible for responding to and monitoring it.
The good news is that if you simply focus on the following four improvement loops, you will have covered the bases. As you collect feedback across channels, don’t forget that the data should be used to drive improvements in individual and account relationships, in streamlining processes, and in putting you at a strategic advantage.
The goal of your feedback program is to take action in four ways:
- Address individual customer issues: Use feedback data (transactional and relationship) and social data to identify customers at risk. Build workflows that trigger direct, human response when low scores appear. Contact them quickly to address their issues to ensure they do not reach out to the competition. Note that B2B suppliers should look beyond individual issues and aggregate feedback across the account to provide a view of the customer as a whole.
- Engage and reward your happiest customers: It’s easy to focus on unhappy customers because they’re the proverbial squeaky wheels demanding your immediate attention. But on the flip side, be sure to develop processes that contact and reward very satisfied customers for sharing their input as well. These are your frequent repeat buyers and best advocates.
- Identify and improve processes: Gather all feedback and performance metrics for the key customer-facing processes to identify the key drivers of satisfaction and dissatisfaction affecting the largest customer value. Even small changes such as tweaking call scripts or eliminating steps to make an online purchase go a long way in improving CX.
- Highlight and initiate strategic change: What are the key drivers of purchase, retention, and advocacy and how do you compare with the competition? Expand this research to companies/customers that fit your ideal customer profile but are not buying from you to identify your competitive gaps. Use this data to inform your strategic investments.
So to return to the original questions around how and when to evolve your feedback program, the best advice is to “start with the end in mind.” The end, of course, is better CX and a more successful, even beloved business. If there are aspects of your program that don’t affect these improvement loops, perhaps they should be re-evaluated.