Customer Experience Management is Essential to Your Business

I want to connect to a company and understand their beliefs.

They sent me a new one! This company really rocks.

Company policies matter to me. Are they paying their employees? I’ve heard bad things.

I want them to fix my shoe issue and do it right.

I STILL haven’t heard back from company A. I am so frustrated!

These are customer comments I found this morning on various retail shopping sites. I read them in my search for a new winter coat. I did wonder, when the reviewers only had positive things to say, if some of them were real people, as opposed to paid employees. Ultimately it didn’t matter. There are enough clothing companies out there, so I kept shopping until I found reviews on the few coats that I liked and felt right.

Yes, I said felt.

Managing the Customer Experience

Customer experience today has a lot to do with feelings and emotions. It’s not just about the product, or pricing, or place, or promotions.

For businesses, this means managing people’s experience and dealing with massive amounts of customer feedback about your company, products, and services.

With feedback coming from everywhere online (online reviews, social media comments, customer feedback surveys, among others), businesses can more easily and instantly gain access to “Voice of the Customer” data and use this to measure and optimize the overall customer experience. Through customer experience management, you can spur innovation in all key touchpoints where customers have interactions with your company.   

When customers share their story, they’re not just sharing pain points. They’re actually teaching you how to make your product, service, and business better. Your customer service organization should be designed to efficiently communicate those issues.

– Kristin Smaby, Being Human is Good Business

Listening to the Voice of the Customer

You must first listen to the voice of the customer in order to more accurately understand and measure the customer experience.

How do customers feel about your company? What do they really think about your products and services? And what do they think you should do in order to do better next time?

Answering these questions is no longer just an option in today’s customer-empowered world. To succeed in driving loyalty, you must understand customers better, map and analyze their interactions with your business, and determine their feelings, mood, sentiment, and opinion about your brand.

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You can do this by collecting, managing, and analyzing customer feedback. And, thanks to the Internet, feedback today happens to be ubiquitous. Long gone are the days when you filled out customer cards and used those to share suggestions for a business’ improvement. Today’s customers share blog posts, write online reviews and ratings, and generate unprompted conversations on all kinds of sites and apps. 

The most successful, customer-centric businesses use these sites and apps and feedback channels as tools for learning more about their customers, connecting with them, and responding to their needs. Through customer experience management, businesses are also able to better understand how they are performing, and they use Voice of the Customer data in order to share insights to various departments and foster operational and service improvements where needed.

I contacted your company with no response. Why? You didn’t send the correct color jacket. I wanted a green one not blue. I am not happy with this green jacket.

If you have a program in place to deal with unhappy customers, listen to feedback, acknowledge and apologize for customer service mistakes, and make improvements based on Voice of the Customer data, you can turn negative reviews around and strengthen your brand reputation in ways that make a positive impact on your bottom line. By listening to feedback and managing the customer experience, you can also turn your harshest critics into loyal customers, or at least customers that are no longer dissatisfied.

Ignoring feedback and not paying to the customer experience, meanwhile, can damage your company’s reputation and drive future customers away. Surfing the internet, those who come across a review like the one above will think, I don’t want them to send me the wrong color. I might as well look elsewhere. 

While this might seem like obvious advice, it is the follow-through that matters. Don’t just listen to feedback or collect data; act on the insights you gain and work quickly to resolve issues and trends with the customer experience.

Several studies demonstrate that churn is due to poor service. For example, a Pitney Bowes survey of American and European businesses finds that slow customer service is the most common reason for changing a supplier (51 percent of respondents), followed by late delivery of a service (37 percent), and lack of concern for customer needs (30 percent). Studies of the U.K. utilities market reveal that market share of incumbent suppliers is influenced more by service performance than by price position relative to competitors.

– A.T. Kearny, How to Create an Entirely Different(iated) Customer Experience

Enterprise Feedback Management 

Today, the Customer Knows Best

Technology has changed the way we do business. This has happened quickly, especially in the past ten years. With the change, we have seen that customer habits have changed as well. Gone are the days where the company dictates the customers’ needs. Today, the customer knows best.

You must respond to the customer’s challenge and deliver. Luckily, there are online review and customer feedback management software companies able to implement solutions for measuring and optimizing the customer experience.

A 2011 American Express Survey found that 7 in 10 Americans are willing to spend more with companies that they believe provide excellent customer service.

Without listening to feedback and managing the customer experience, however, you cannot provide excellent service. It is only when you understand how customers think and feel that you can truly address their wants, needs, and expectations.

Developing meaningful (and profitable) customer relationships

Long-term commitment to your customers is not something the marketplace has spent time focusing on in the past. Many companies used to want profits and sales and customers quickly, without attempting to develop relationships and foster customer loyalty.

However, with a little time investment and the right tools put into place, you can begin to turn that outlook around. Developing meaningful trust-based relationships with customers allows them to become long-term loyal advocates who have an emotional bond with your company or brand, and who share the same values as you. Loyal customers will stay true to you and even bring fellow consumers with them if they feel that bond.

Through customer experience management, you can more effectively inspire loyalty and create an emotional bond with existing customers. 

Customer Experience Management is Essential

Although it might seem like a huge undertaking, managing the customer experience is a worthwhile strategic venture. Your profits and shareholders will thank you. So will your customers, whom you’ll be in a great position to retain and grow with, maybe even for their lifetime.

Beginners Guide to Net Promoter Score and System

How likely are you to recommend me to your friends on a scale of 0 to 10? 

On the internet, everyone eventually comes across online customer reviews. Some reviews are slanderous while others are posted seemingly by obnoxious cheerleaders touting a company’s products.  

Most of us, regardless of what we truly tell others, read the comments and base our opinions on those reviews.  Despite our lack of relationship to those people giving the feedback, there’s always a part of us that heeds warnings or gets excited based on another’s perception of a company, product, or service.

Wow, this customer LOVES her new boots. They are cute. I want them, too!  

or

Boo.  Those people are terrible, they don’t take care of anyone! I can’t believe they did that.

Which brings me to the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology.

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What is the Net Promoter Score and System?

What is Net Promoter Score? How can it help my company?  Does it even matter what some random person thinks of my business?

It all comes down to customer experience and how your company strategizes around delivering it. 

The Net Promoter Score and System is a management tool that is used to determine the loyalty of a company’s relationships with their customers.

It’s a great way to determine which of your customers are willing to stand for your product, as well as to more easily and accurately measure the customer experience.

The function of NPS is to calculate a score and generate quantitative insights needed to better your business. Positive customer feedback and a high Net Promoter Score equals happy customers and higher profits. The bottom line? The NPS is a great indicator of business success.

The Net Promoter Score and System was created years ago by, and a registered trademark of, Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix. The concept is fairly simple. You need reliable feedback from your base customers to keep their business. Therefore, you request feedback from them so your company can then make decisions based on customer needs or satisfaction levels. You then establish a questionnaire that creates beneficial responses so you can develop long-term relationships and loyalty with your customers.  

HOW LIKELY?

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely would you be to recommend our product to your friends?

This simple question is how you measure your Net Promoter Score.  This question is the beginning of the feedback loop.  This simple question creates a score for your company to then better your business, to then open up questions to the customers.

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The Net Promoter System uses a 0 to 10 scoring scale. The breakdown is as follows.

Promoters

Those respondents who give you a score of 9 to 10 are customers called Promoters. They are the loyal customers. Their responses alone generate referrals for new customers. These are the customers whom others will read online and feel inspired by. 

I must buy this exciting new product, too!  Look how happy these people are, and they love the amazing customer service that they are getting. I must try this company! I’m in! 

Promoters remain loyal and generate new business for your company in the long run by sharing positive feedback and recommendations to others. They can potentially do the advertising work for you. These are the people we want to follow up with to learn more about their experience with the company and continue doing the work well.

Passives

Those who give you a score of 7 to 8 are labeled Passives. Passives are exactly as they sound. They are the middle-ground customers. They weren’t unhappy with their experience or product but are not completely committed forever. They are the customers who got what they wanted but could easily walk away if another company came along with something that was a little more sparkly and shiny.

Detractors

Customers who give you a score of 0 to 6 are Detractors. These are the unhappy folks. They generate negative feedback and are not likely to come back. Their reviews reflect badly on your business reputation and can discourage anyone from using your products or services. 

Negative feedback from the Detractors should be used as a resource. Why? Because it gives you an opportunity to improve your business. Instead of letting the negative slide by, analyze the kind of feedback you’re getting from Detractors and implement needed changes to deliver better customer experiences.

Calculating the Net Promoter Score

To calculate your Net Promoter Score, take the percentage of Promoters minus the percentage of Detractors. Passives count towards the total number of respondents, thus decreasing the percentage of Detractors and Promoters and pushing the net score towards 0

Promoters: 40%  

Detractors: 16%  

Net Promoter Score: 24

With your score now generated, the company can then turn around and generate more free-form customer feedback using open-ended questions to determine the next steps.

By isolating individual aspects of the customer experience, like customer service, product, packaging, purchase process, etc., you can more easily identify areas that need improvement.

Acting on insights you gain from the NPS methodology helps activate your Promoters as well as recover Detractors.

Loyalty

Retaining customers and creating lifetime loyalty is one of the most important goals of every business. Loyalty brings repeat business and future earnings while minimizing the cost of customer acquisition.

By using NPS to drive loyalty, you can create relationships with repeat customers who are willing to recommend your business to their friends. You can also direct your attention to Detractor-related issues that need to be resolved immediately. Addressing your respondents’ feedback and concerns can put your company at the top. You can become an industry leader with a community of loyal customers and Promoters. Those Promoters then generate new customers themselves.

Connecting with customers through the Net Promoter Score and System can help you make great decisions for your company as well as improve customer experiences. By knowing your score, you can gain a better understanding of where your current customers stand, as well as create changes as needed. The NPS is a reliable metric that can enable you to be the best at what you do. 

Enterprise Feedback Management: Understanding The Need

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Understanding enterprise feedback management is essential in today’s economy.

If your need is to increase company profits and retain customers, and you already have provided a quality product, then managing your customers concerns with a overall system is where you are obligated to focus next.

Today, Enterprise Feedback Management systems are used by diligent businesses in many different sectors such as travel, retail, health industries, financial services (such as brokerage and bank institutions), manufacturing, etc.

The list of businesses now using such a system for collecting data could go on forever as it is not limited to one field.

These industrious companies know that customer demands are paramount with the voice of the customer in today’s market.

A powerful Enterprise Feedback Management system will have a powerful impact across your entire business.

The goal is to direct informed information to the employees all the way to executive leadership.

By tracking the feedback from customers and understanding what their needs are, you can provide a healthy operation.

What is customer feedback and will you buy my dishwasher?  

Your first thought might be:  yea yeah,  customer feedback. I really don’t want to hear people complaining about my amazing product.  This sounds like it isn’t worth my time.  What does it matter in the long run to my company?  People’s comments don’t really matter.  It is too much work anyway!

From your personal life, you know firsthand that it matters.  

If you are online looking for a new dishwasher to buy, you can’t help but scroll down through the reviews to see what other customers thought of your intended dishwasher purchase.  You do a quick online search and see that Sally S.  thought this was the worst dishwasher ever made in the history of dishwashers.  John T. said his new dishwasher exploded spewing water all over his brand new kitchen and Bob Smith said his dishes were never clean.  I am guessing, like me, you are going to continue shopping for another model and company.  Regardless of the lower price, regardless of the amazing sale, this dishwasher is not worth your time or money.  

The customer feedback was effective for you, the consumer.

On the other side of that review is a company hit hard by unhappy customers. Your new model dishwasher isn’t selling so well.  Your profits are plummeting quickly and people aren’t looking at the other older models you have to offer either.  You are tanking in sales in what feels like an overnight change. Your huge warehouse is full of unwanted dishwashers. Stores are sending you the unwanted model back on top of it all. It is a complete disaster. Yes, indeed, the customer feedback was effective.

Customer feedback is how your customer feels about the product, your service, or the company.

It is their personal opinion about their experience with you. As you now know, it can be super effective in changing the trajectory of your profits. With the rapidly multiplying types of media we have available today, this feedback can be found everywhere you look and can be shared way too quickly. It isn’t just on your company website anymore, it is now on social media, store sites, blogs, etc.  

You have grandma posting on Facebook and her granddaughter tweeting.  There are even companies without a product designed only for reviews such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Reviews, etc.   

Comment cards in the store are a thing of the past.  

Instead, I am going to instagram and post a disturbing photo of the dishwasher mess all over my kitchen. I won’t forget to caption my post with your business name on it either.     

I hate my terrible dishwasher from  YOUR COMPANY!

How can you and your company manage all that customer feedback?

So what can you do in this sea of internet chaos? You could spend every minute of every day trolling the internet looking for your name to spot up in random places. You could hire (and pay) a team of employees to maintain all of the comments or you could find another way to handle the onslaught. Ultimately, having a system already in place is a simple solution. A way to condense it all down and have it all in one space ready to pull up at any moment. 

You must Stay on Top of it All

This where the need for Enterprise Feedback Management comes into play. Instead of killing yourself by becoming a blob on the computer or paying a hundred employees for this simple task, you can have the work done for you. Enterprise Feedback Management is a system of software created for companies to collect and use all this valuable information.  This tool is able to hunt and gather for you. The best feedback manager is designed to be used by multiple departments or users in an organization.  You can quickly receive the information on your timeline too.  The information can be gathered when needed (think hourly, monthly). You are also able to get a concrete number evaluating the overall review accumulation.  

This is great…

However, with this new insight into the effectiveness of comments and feedback, you must now stay on task and know what is happening with your reputation and product.  Passive companies are no longer successful companies. Standing by and watching is not an option.

Know thyself, Know thy Customer

Who is your targeted customer? Knowing who you are directing your services towards and their perception of your product helps with outcomes now and in the future. Without knowing the voice of your customer, you are working in the dark. The voice of your customer is a term that describes your customers feedback about their experiences with your products and services. It helps focus on customer needs and expectations.  Thus, again, allowing you to improve your product and or customer service needs. Happy customers mean happy profits.  

Happy profits equate to a prosperous company.

Use that feedback

All companies that are using an Enterprise Feedback Management system are given the opportunity to improve.  These management systems are designed to stimulate large quantities of feedback or responses from your customers. A plan on implementing change with the feedback given is the next step needed. A successful plan will rely heavily on what happens with the customer feedback after collection. Taking time to consider how this customer interaction is dealt with must happen within the company itself.  Your results must be properly analyzed to help you hone in on those needs. This implementation must also happen within reason.  You need to consider your company size. If you want to develop effective change you need to delve out appropriate responses to individual departments. However, if your company is small, this undertaking might include a much simpler plan. You want to consider your customer needs and use the software in the plan to balance those needs required. Once this has been developed, the information is collected, and you now have to capability to analyze the responses with purpose. This follow through is essential. Using the invaluable information is where the change happens.

Even the good ones matter

Yes, yes, the positive reviews must also be analyzed. This great feedback enables you to continue doing your business well. Here you have the opportunity to develop a loyal customer. Following up with the positive reviews creates a relationship with that customer. These positive customers are also leaving those glowing feedbacks on your reviews for the world to see. This positive outcome brings potential customers to you. They advertise their happiness and create more business for your product. And because you followed up with them, they are likely to come back becoming a loyal customer. Loyal customers remember your excellent service and caring.

So, what about all those despondent customers?

The complete view you are able to receive by getting all kinds of different reviews in one systematic method allows you to know your customer. This is the gift of an Enterprise Feedback Management system, you are able to focus on what the unhappy customers are responding to in their disgruntled responses as well. These negative complaints can be your best assets for making your company great. They are an opportunity, not just a drag on resources. Once you receive the negative review, you are able to follow up with that customer and find the critical problem areas.  Sometimes, turning a negative customer into a positive one. People want to feel connected to a business. They want to like the company they are purchasing from and feel that the company actually cares. If you are able to follow up in a manner that is beneficial, it will matter. The negative reviews round out the whole picture.

It is Easy and Helpful

Enterprise Feedback Management gives you the opportunity to listen to your customers. By understanding their needs more effectively, you are able to serve them. You can utilize this tool to make needed improvements and impact your overall profitability.  

How to Calculate NPS Score

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The Net Promoter Score (NPS) acts as an indicator of the satisfaction of your customers. Scores range from -100 to 100 and measures the willingness of customers to recommend your brand and services to others. The score can be used to gauge overall customer satisfaction and a foundation of a measurement framework to improve satisfaction. Here’s a breakdown on how to calculate NPS score.

Calculate NPS Score
Customers are surveyed on a single question, using a 0-10 rating scale.

How likely is it that you would recommend this company’s product or service to a friend or a colleague?

Based on their rating, respondents are grouped into three categories as follows:

Promoters
Promoters provide a rating of 9 or 10. They generally like the company and its product and service offering. Typically, they are repeat buyers and will fuel organizational growth, refer others and remain loyal to your organization.

Passives
Passives give a rating of 7 or 8 and are generally unenthusiastic customers. Though they will not speak negatively about your organization through word-of-mouth, they also are not likely to promote your products or services. They are especially vulnerable to competitive offerings.

Detractors
Detractors give a score equal or below 6. They are generally unhappy with the organization, its products or its services. They can impede organizational growth and damage your brand through negative word-of-mouth.

NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents that are Detractors from the percentage of respondents that are Promoters. The score should fall between -100 and 100. The higher your NPS score, the more satisfied customers you have and the more promoters you have.

NPS can give you a foundation to work on to improve and provide a good customer experience. High scores indicate a healthy, growing business, while a lower NPS can be an indication of customer loyalty issues and customer dissatisfaction.

How to Increase Net Promoter Score?
It’s important to have close the loop in an NPS eco-system. Employees should follow-up with all detractors, and doing so can lead to improved scores in the future. It’s also important to follow-up on Passives because they can easily switch to a competitor. Determining what the underlying issues are with and for that customer, and working to find a solution can easily improve your NPS score and overall customer satisfaction.