WEBINAR RECAP: Why Surveys Fail to Have Impact
This material is adapted from a presentation given by John Goodman, Vice Chairman, Customer Care Measurement & Consulting, for an event hosted by Survey Magazine and Clicktools on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. You can play the webinar recording here.
Creating a Voice of the Customer that Drives Customer Experience
According to customer experience expert and author, John Goodman, there are several reasons why VOC and survey programs fail to result in positive action. These reasons range from failure to create an economic imperative for action to lack of specificity and poor packaging of results.
The good news: these failures can be avoided, of course, by following some intelligent guidelines.
- Understand your audience: VOC success requires staying in touch with your customers’ changing needs. Create relevant (not generic) surveys that allow for specific recommendations and use technology, such as SURVE or Syncfrog, to integrate feedback into CRM. This gives you the ability to respond to individual customers, identify sources of dissatisfaction, and make improvements that avoid them in the future.
- Proactively establish reliability: Build feedback loops that enable you to continually improve customer experience. This includes acknowledging that most customer dissatisfaction is not caused by employees but in fact by products that disappoint and processes that frustrate customers. Be sure to consider a mix of data when identifying problems (operational data, complaint data, and employee input), which will enable you to reliably fix issues — usually across multiple functional areas.
- Create the economic imperative for action: Simply put, involve your CFO in VOC initiatives. Once s/he and ideally, the rest of the executive team agree on and understand the value of existing customers (versus earning new ones), it should not be too difficult to motivate support and action on surveys and VOC data. There are numerous models available that allow you to calculate the cost of things such as customer dissatisfaction, word of mouth, retention, and churn. Just be prepared to have a decent set of hard numbers when getting the CFO on board.
- Package for easy understanding: Be sure to keep VOC reporting tailored to the interests of the audience (e.g. execs versus service agents) and keep it as simple as possible with data only from credible sources / systems. Stay positive by highlighting areas of potential improvement and setting follow-up meetings to address issues cross-functionally.
- Provide recommendations that support proactivity: Get out ahead of future customer dissatisfaction by communicating internally to streamline broken processes and externally to address situations before they happen, such as service outages or other unpleasant surprises. Remember that customers really do appreciate information, whether that means a simple confirmation or a heads-up about an opportunity pertinent to their product / service needs.
For a broader look at this material, please watch this webinar recording.