Using Feedback to Drive Customer Loyalty
by CallidusCloud CX Guest Blogger, Daniel Newman
Everyone in my company knows I drink Dunkin’ Donuts coffee every morning. I love the taste. I love the loyalty program. I love that I can place my order by mobile and have it hot and ready right when I walk in the door. There is literally no way I would stop somewhere else for caffeine on my way into work. That is called customer loyalty.
The digital transformation has forced the customer experience (CX) to the forefront of every company’s priority list. And when it comes to CX, there is clearly no shortage of customer feedback to be had. From social media to chat bot records—and from verbatim surveys to old-school focus groups—today’s businesses have an ever-present flow of customer feedback at their fingertips. So why are so many companies falling short when it comes to this bedrock of customer engagement?
Like anything in the digital transformation era, both culture and vision play a huge role in determining how well companies can adapt to this new age of data action—and reaction.
The following are a few ways you can begin making the most of customer feedback with the goal of creating customers for life.
Build It into Your Culture
We’ve all had those experiences of calling a customer service line only to be treated dismissively by the service agent. For me, it almost always leads me to look for another place to shop. That’s why a commitment to the customer needs to be part of every employee’s job duty. Company culture has never been more important than it is right now, in today’s digital transformation. For any company to develop an effective feedback and loyalty program, all employees—from customer service to the tech team, and from the CMO to the CEO—need to be equally committed to responsiveness, CX, and the importance of building a positive customer journey. Take a page from Amazon’s playbook, Jeff Bezos requires every employee to work one shift, himself included, in the customer service department every two years. The customer comes first in Amazon culture.
Get to the Root Cause
It’s not always easy to get to the root of a specific customer’s concern. It can be easy to brush something off as a tech glitch or a service agent with a bad attitude. But was that really the problem? Take time to do a root cause analysis to see if there might be holes in your workflow, fulfillment, or other processes your customers are using daily. If the complaint has popped up more than once, it’s not likely a coincidence.
Respond Quickly—Every Time
No one likes sending their concerns into a digital black hole. How frustrating is it to send feedback—especially a complaint—and never receive a response from the company. For me, it makes me feel like I’m not important—the company doesn’t value me—they couldn’t care less if I move on to another provider. For this reason, it’s important to establish clear guidelines on how your team will respond to every piece of feedback—from web form to chat bot to social media comment—and in what timeframe. Be sure to track, measure, and improve your responsiveness over time. After all, analytics aren’t just useful for getting to know your customers—they’re useful for seeing how well your company is responding to the feedback it receives.
Remember: Action Must Always Follow
There is no point in collecting feedback if you don’t have a process to address it. To make it easy for your support teams, create automated workflows and approval processes to quickly route feedback to the appropriate support staff. But don’t stop there. Have them follow-up with the customer to alert them when the issue has been resolved.
Don’t wait until a huge group of customers complain about something to fix it. Part of making meaningful use of analytics—especially real-time data-streaming—is being able to spot trends before they become major issues. Doing so with help minimize the damage to your overall CX, and will let your customers know you care.
Honor Your Brand Ambassadors
They say the best way to keep a marriage strong is to treat your partner the same way you did when you met them. The same thing is true for keeping your relationship strong with your customers. The most loyal of the bunch are essentially a free ground-level marketing team for your company—able to sway friends, families, and co-workers over social media shares and dinner table conversation. Do not neglect them! Establish clear and direct ways to honor their loyalty—not just through points and coupons, but by tagging their customer profiles so customer support teams can proactively acknowledge their tenure. And, empower your customer support agents to make exceptions for those customers to keep them close and satisfied.
Lastly, know the difference between loyalty programs and actual loyalty. Punch cards and free coffee are nice—but at the end of the day, the reason I keep returning to my favorite retailers is that I like their products—and I know they really care.
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