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Customer Experience 5 – Engage

Whilst most organisations measure customer satisfaction the majority fail to engage their customers and change perceptions.

We recently contacted over a hundred customers to ask them about B2B sales and marketing performance. The high performing organisations in our study ALL collected customer experience feedback in a systematic manner. Their client feedback showed that levels of satisfaction varied from poor to very satisfied. Why was this?

Perhaps they did not act on the feedback?

It seems not, 73% of high performers did communicate results internally as a basis of engaging their workforce.

The benefits of such an approach are numerous, including;

• it will build a sense of responsibility toward customers
• you can recruit the right people with the right attitude
• people will feel encouraged if you reward ideas that challenge the status quo
• empowered people will often make good customer decisions
• shared learning and good practice will raise the bar
• celebrating success engages employees further

Almost all (83%) claimed that they implemented actions to improve performance as a result of the feedback.

Perhaps they focused on the wrong problems and failed to really change the experience for the customer??

Perhaps. In our experience, organisations can fall into the trap of doing “stuff” just to be seen to be busy. The activities they do sometimes lack the necessary rigour required to identify the root cause of the problems, as a result the actions have little impact on the customer experience.

Maybe they have changed and the customers dont notice?

This is a key point. Either their new approach is not sufficient or they fail to tell customers about it. With only 26% of the high performers in our survey communicating externally there appears to be much room for improvement. Opening the door for much richer dialogue with customers will ensure you clearly understand and focus efforts accordingly.

Think on, when was the last time you changed your perception of an organisation when their new approach surprised you. Had you known they were better would you have gone back and purchased earlier?

The very highest performing organisations in terms of customer experience will systematically use feedback, opinion and measures to drive improvement.

There are a number of benefits to closing the loop effectively;

  • Closing the loop with customers will help them to feel that their views have been heard. It will encourage participation in future surveys.
  • Communication across all customers (subject to direct marketing preferences) rather than just those that have taken the survey will keep engagement levels high.
  • If you take the opportunity to tell them how you are improving and how you plan to improve further in the future this will generate positive perception
  • By making commitments for improvement this adds focus and incentive to internal resources and creates greater inertia.

Lots of organisations may claim that they improve but perhaps for results they need to tell customers about the changes! Do you?

TOP TIPS FOR OUTSIDE IN THINKING

1. Communicate the customer feedback widely in your organisation to help them understand and engage in improvement

2. Close the loop with customers to create motivation and changes to their perception.

Also in this Customer Experience series :

Stage 1 – Strategic Alignment

Stage 2 – Listen

Stage 3 – Understand

Stage 4 – Focus

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