Leveraging Resources

Leveraging Resources and Tools

My perspective as a customer experience leader is that implementing and improving customer experience does not always have to be a costly venture. There are many resources right in front of us that can make a big impact on customer experience. We just need to understand how and when to use them to achieve maximum results. Be sure to check out the video links in the Video and Web Resources section.

Video and Web Resources

Voice of the Employee

The most important and valuable resource available to most businesses is their employees. Employees are the foundation of all successful Customer Experience programs, initiatives and strategies. We must listen to our employees just like we listen to our customers. Employee insights should influence organizational decision-making just like customer insights influence products, services and organizational structure.

Why should we listen and take action? Employees know a lot about the customers they serve. Everything they know can be translated into something actionable. Think about it: employees know what the customers are going through. They know the product weaknesses. They know the workarounds, the inefficiencies of internal tools and processes, and the extra effort needed for them to deliver a great service or product. Not only do the employees know the customer complaints, they know what the customers have stopped complaining about. More importantly, they know when the customer has become complacent and disengaged.

When you start with the Voice of the Employee, you don’t have to wait for surveys to be designed. You don’t have to wait for customers to respond to surveys. You don’t have to spend money to get started and improvement design can begin immediately. For information on this valuable resource, be sure to check out “Voice of the Employee: The Missing Link to Customer Experience” in the Video and Web Resources section. This video explains how Voice of the Employee can help jump start a Voice of the Customer program, maximize customer insights, and transform company culture.

Video and Web Resources

Voice of the Employee

The most important and valuable resource available to most businesses is their employees. Employees are the foundation of all successful Customer Experience programs, initiatives and strategies. We must listen to our employees just like we listen to our customers. Employee insights should influence organizational decision-making just like customer insights influence products, services and organizational structure.

Why should we listen and take action? Employees know a lot about the customers they serve. Everything they know can be translated into something actionable. Think about it: employees know what the customers are going through. They know the product weaknesses. They know the workarounds, the inefficiencies of internal tools and processes, and the extra effort needed for them to deliver a great service or product. Not only do the employees know the customer complaints, they know what the customers have stopped complaining about. More importantly, they know when the customer has become complacent and disengaged.

When you start with the Voice of the Employee, you don’t have to wait for surveys to be designed. You don’t have to wait for customers to respond to surveys. You don’t have to spend money to get started and improvement design can begin immediately. For information on this valuable resource, be sure to check out “Voice of the Employee: The Missing Link to Customer Experience” in the Video and Web Resources section. This video explains how Voice of the Employee can help jump start a Voice of the Customer program, maximize customer insights, and transform company culture.

Video and Web Resources

Net Promoter System

Net Promoter Systems can be an incredible engagement tool for customers and employees alike.  You will notice I did not say Net Promoter “Score”.  Many businesses focus on the score and then wonder why customer experience and customer loyalty does not improve. The Net Promoter Score is just a snapshot in time. It’s like looking at the gas gauge in your car.  It’s an indicator of what you need to do to continue your journey or how/when manage resources to arrive to your destination on time. The value is found in the Net Promoter “System”.  Net Promoter Systems can be an incredible engagement tool for customers and employees alike.  You will notice I did not say Net Promoter “Score”.  Many businesses focus on the score and then wonder why customer experience and customer loyalty does not improve. The Net Promoter Score is just a snapshot in time. It’s like looking at the gas gauge in your car.  It’s an indicator of what you need to do to continue your journey or how/when manage resources to arrive to your destination on time. The value is found in the Net Promoter “System”.

Deploying a Net Promoter System requires a 2 question survey to be delivered to customers once a year. The questions are:

  1. On a scale of 0-10 how likely are you to recommend ABC company to your family and friends?
  2. Please tell us the reason why

The survey can be distributed and managed by low cost tools such as Survey Monkey.  Many business partner with a VOC vendor like Customer Gauge, Customerville, Medallia, etc. to deliver and manage the survey delivery and responses.  See Video and Web Resources section for more information.

I achieved my NPS Certification under Deborah Eastman who is like the sister to Fred Reichheld who founded the net promoter concept.  To use NPS effectively, businesses must keep in mind that the Net Promoter System is a tool, not the solution, and the Net Promoter Score is a measure in time, not the goal.  Instead of focusing on the score, focus on the actions that impact the score such as:

  • Take action on customer feedback.  Communicate broadly to the customer base. Tell them and your employees what the business is doing with their feedback to improve their service and product experience• Put promoters to work – they will bring in more promoters.
  • Recommit to non-responders. Why? They are in the process of moving to your competitor.
  • Convert 50% of your passives to promoters.  Passives just need a reason to be a promoter, so give it to them!
  • Convert 20% of your detractors to passives or promoters. Be strategic.  Target specific customers and make them your trusted advisers.
  • Simplify business structure and language. Make it easy for customers to do business with you by making it easy for employees to do their jobs.

Do then right things and the numbers will reflect the great things you are doing.

Check out the video entitled “Improve NPS Without Focusing On The Score” in the Video and Web Resources section to learn more about the incredible engagement power of Net Promoter Systems and how to leverage it to maximize results.

Visit the Video and Web Resources

Closing the Loop

Closing the loop is ensuring that requests, complaints, and issues reported by customers are resolved or addressed to their satisfaction.  In this context, I am not just referring to closed-loop processes for survey responses.  There are many “loops to close” in most every business.  Some examples include:Closing the loop is ensuring that requests, complaints, and issues reported by customers are resolved or addressed to their satisfaction.  In this context, I am not just referring to closed-loop processes for survey responses.  There are many “loops to close” in most every business.  Some examples include:

  • Escalations
  • Service Tickets
  • Product defect/enhancement submissions
  • Issue logs from installation, advisory boards, and customer interactions, etc.
  • Negative feedback from survey responses

Those were just a few examples. Effectively closing the loop on customer complaints, issues and requests requires customer-facing resources to follow-up with the customer in a short amount of time and let know them the status of the item.  If the item is not resolved yet, then setting appropriate expectations with the customer and then following through on that commitment is critical.  The culture of the company must place high value and priority on the customer’s need for information and status. This also requires a high level of accountability from each employee with unwavering support from their managers.

Mature organizations have a closed loop tracking system so the business learns from the issues and complaints and resolves them proactively for all customers.  This reduces effort on the customer’s part, reduces service costs, builds customer and employee confidence in the products, service and the business.

Visit our Video and Web Resources

Closing the Loop

Closing the loop is ensuring that requests, complaints, and issues reported by customers are resolved or addressed to their satisfaction.  In this context, I am not just referring to closed-loop processes for survey responses.  There are many “loops to close” in most every business.  Some examples include:Closing the loop is ensuring that requests, complaints, and issues reported by customers are resolved or addressed to their satisfaction.  In this context, I am not just referring to closed-loop processes for survey responses.  There are many “loops to close” in most every business.  Some examples include:

  • Escalations
  • Service Tickets
  • Product defect/enhancement submissions
  • Issue logs from installation, advisory boards, and customer interactions, etc.
  • Negative feedback from survey responses

These are just a few examples. Effectively closing the loop on customer complaints, issues and requests requires customer-facing resources to follow-up with the customer in a short amount of time and let know them the status of the item.  If the item is not resolved yet, then setting appropriate expectations with the customer and then following through on that commitment is critical.  The culture of the company must place high value and priority on the customer’s need for information and status. This also requires a high level of accountability from each employee with unwavering support from their managers.

Mature organizations have a closed loop tracking system so the business learns from the issues and complaints and resolves them proactively for all customers.  This reduces effort on the customer’s part, reduces service costs, builds customer and employee confidence in the products, service and the business.

Visit our Video and Web Resources

Other Tools and Resources

  • Customer and employee journey maps are great ways to help the business visualize the experience they are delivering, identify improvement areas, break down silos, and thoughtfully design a better experience.
  • CRM systems can identify continual problem areas so that they can be resolved for all customers. Utilizing this data as a critical resource reduces effort on the customer’s part, reduces service costs. It also builds customer and employee confidence in the products, service and the business
  • Interviews with customers and employees are great ways to understand how well the design is delivering the desired outcomes for your customers.

All of the low-to-no cost resources and tools above can significantly help businesses design superior experiences which keep customers coming back and referring their products and services to their networks and peers.

Get in Touch

I am eager to share knowledge and learn from other CX professionals. Feel free to connect with me through email, the social media links below, commenting on my blogs or by phone.

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