Gathering and Using feedback
Choose the right roadmap to encourage feedback and accelerate its interpretation
At one of our CX Afterworks, I had a nice chat with Pedro, a newly appointed Customer Experience Director in a global company. He quickly shared that he was feeling a bit overwhelmed. He’d started his new job with great enthusiasm for his mission: improving customer experience and raising the level of customer satisfaction. But he quickly discovered that his tools were just a set of NPS surveys, all done on different systems with only one report, every quarter. It would take him years to put together all this data, and consequently, any action he’d recommend or set up could potentially already be outdated!
Pedro’s story reminded me of key-notions we believe in at CXB HUB:
Improving customer experience first requires a research phase, the “listening” phase. Experience is the memorized feeling a customer will have after a service delivery, and one of the most important levers for a good experience is the perception that the service was delivered with empathy. Which is why it is more than essential to dig into the various emotions of our customers, uncover some trends, and understand what really is at stake for them.
Nowadays, in Western societies, the expression of individual ideas is highly valued and so is “the right to have a unique perception”. Our millennials are exceptionally sensitive to this right to uniqueness, they refuse to be classified in sociotypes and want to be treated as they feel, as a unique person, at that very moment. The result of this phenomenon is a difficulty to predict behaviours and expectations because they change all the time.
Consequently professionals need to constantly adapt their practices and ways of handling situations – thus, here are 3 big ideas that always drive our actions.
We need to actually listen to many people, in order to reinforce our understanding and some predictability. And yet, we have to remember that people are fed up with answering feedback forms and wary of data mining. Shifting to short and personalized questionnaires is a great way to show our customers we care about their time as much as their opinion.
We need to react very quickly to any bad experience feedback, turn it into action and let the customer know that his feedback has allowed us to get better. Setting up processes such as “Close the Loop”, that make it visible to customers that we care about their feedback and find it valuable. But to implement those processes, we need to revisit our internal organization and adapt it, supported by agile managers, giving them the ability to empower front line staff a lot more. And if the feedback is good, communicate with the team and congratulate them.
We should trust employee feedback as much as customer feedback. Through the course of our projects, we’ve seen employee expectations increasingly match customer expectations. Furthermore, many studies now correlate our observations: that a good employee experience and a good customer experience are intertwined. Therefore, we believe any employer will benefit from listening to his employees and taking action from their feedback - employees have a lot to say about customers because they interact daily.
What roadmap for Pedro?
Keeping these 3 ideas in mind, it was easy to brainstorm with Pedro and help him set his roadmap:
1/ Assess the feedback and managerial culture in the company: why and how we want to listen to stakeholders is proper to any company, and it would be a mistake to not adjust to the internal culture and past successes.
2/ Choose a relevant platform or feedback system to speed up the “listening-acting-informing” process. At CXB HUB we are passionate promoters of Qualtrics for companies like Pedro’s needing to process a big amount and complexity of data. In some cases a simple google survey and excel dashboard could be sufficient in a first stage, but as soon as you are global and get several hundreds of data per months, you need a platform system.
3/ Prepare/Train managers to involve their team members in a sophisticated and trustful improvement and innovation process, both on soft skills and service quality. The platform is the enabler, the organization is the house of innovation. Without change management, no useful action would be taken in the long run.
4/ Finally demonstrate the positive impact of this new insight management process, in terms of customer satisfaction, employee engagement and business improvements... And get some funding to streamline these processes and improve customer and employee experience on a wider scale!
Flavio Cimbalo, Senior Consultant, CXB HUB