This may be a new decade, but customer experience remains one of the most critical factors in retaining customers. In 2020 the majority of businesses (outside retail) will see 90% of their income generated by existing customers. So, it’s absolutely vital to know what your existing customers think of the service you deliver. There is no one magic solution to measuring customer experience for every industry and business vertical, but there are some key principles to a successful feedback programme:
- Clearly define your customer experience priorities before you measure them
Start with a clear set of objectives. Are you seeking to improve contact centre colleague performance? Reduce friction in the customer experience? Enable a recovery programme for disgruntled customers? Improve brand perceptions? All these are valid aims for but may impact the way you structure your Voice of the Customer programme.
- Gather feedback at key touchpoints on the customer journey
Your customer’s experience will be different depending on what stage of the journey they are at. It’s vital to know what they are thinking at every stage. For example, in insurance customers tend to be happy when buying a product, satisfied when they come to make a claim but disenchanted when they renew.
- When possible, ask for feedback through your customers preferred channel of contact
As a rule of thumb, you will get better results by gathering feedback via the channel that the customer used to contact you. If they called, ask for feedback via telephone (or SMS); if they emailed, you use email.
- Don’t be afraid to gather feedback from unhappy customers, it’s often the most valuable
Bill Gates said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. And it’s true. While most of your customers will give positive feedback, you will learn what to fix and how from customers whose experience has not been great. Moreover, by engaging with these customers and telling them their feedback has been acted on you can improve NPS by a factor of three.
- Benchmark your scores against yourself; don’t worry about your competitors
Benchmarks are hard to come by; and when you do find them there’s no guarantee that your competitor has used the same methodology, touchpoints or sample as you (all of which will skew results). It’s wisest to benchmark your own results against yourself – over time, by department, touchpoint or product – to determine the priorities for improvement.
- Never take the survey design for granted, make them easy to complete and accessible
The way you structure your survey can impact results. Make it short and to the point – to guard against survey fatigue. Include no more than two (preferably one) open-ended question. Ensure the questions flow in a logical manner. Create surveys that work as well on a mobile browser as they do on a laptop.
- Most importantly, act on the feedback while it’s still fresh. It needs to be delivered to the correct people, especially for customer recovery
Most people don’t expect their feedback to be listened to, let alone acted on. When you re-engage with a disgruntled customer you have a golden opportunity to convert them from a ‘Detractor’ to an ‘out-and-out’ brand advocate. They are more likely to tell friends and family about how you responded as a brand and deliver positive ‘word-of-mouth’. Always take advantage of this golden opportunity.