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27 Apr 2017
Companies often ask questions that they want answers to instead of letting the customer freely talk about their experience. Without updated, real-time information on what customers think about your company, you are forced to base your questions on “old” feedback, or worse, guess what the customers think. By deciding what your customers might think with regard to, for example, price or service, you naturally run the risk of missing what’s really important to your customers. Maybe the problem lies with the product selection?
It’s common practice to define customer satisfaction through statistics, for example via NPS surveys (Net Promoter Scores). What you end up with is a number such as “7.3 of 10 recommend your company”. This may seem like a positive result, but what does the number really tell you? What is it that makes the customers satisfied or dissatisfied? With relatively simple methods —in this case by activating a function where the customer can provide open feedback in your NPS-survey —you can get valuable information along with the numbers.
It’s natural to react to the loudest complaints instead of objectively reviewing a larger amount of data on customer experience within a specific issue. A problem that a few persistent, dissatisfied customers complain about —particularly if those customers take the time to call the CEO or head of marketing —can be interpreted as being much bigger than it really is, and lead to changes that are misdirected or even unnecessary.
A surprising number of companies are missing explicit processes for identifying exactly what’s gone wrong when the customer experience is poor. This leads you to act on the symptom rather than the underlying cause of the problem. A typical example of this is a company that planned to spend a substantial amount to remedy their “customer service problem” because the customer service function had recently received numerous complaints. When the situation was more closely analyzed, it was found that the customers were generally very satisfied with the company’s customer service. The real problem was a campaign that had made the customers feel deceived. This led to a flood of calls from unhappy customers to customer service, which couldn’t handle all the issues as quickly as usual. The right solution would have been to change the campaign, not customer service.
The collection of CX data is sometimes viewed as an isolated task that isn’t necessarily expected to lead to specific measures. You may have an item in your calendar that says, “carry out customer survey,” but no followup item to identify measures to improve the customer experience based on the feedback from the survey. You measure for the sake of measuring, entirely missing the objective to actually improve your processes. This can be the biggest mistake of them all.
Make sure that you are getting the most out of your CX initiatives by taking them all the way to access truly actionable information. It’s only then that you can use that data to improve the customer experience and make a difference in your results.