Like many businesses, you've been able to successfully launch your new CX solution, and you might be feeling like you have everything you need to wow your customers: You have multiple channels of feedback flowing into your CX tool, you now have the ability to keep your finger on the pulse of customer sentiment and expectations in real-time, and all your dashboards are blinking away.
But - what's next? As you'll soon find out, the feedback you’re collecting doesn’t mean much if you’re not sure how to put it to work. What's more, as your CX insights sit untapped, you could be putting customer relationships at risk.
By taking steps to understand and internalize customer opinion, you can seize an opportunity to drive real change within your organization.
At a time when 42% of companies don’t even listen to their customers, it’s a powerful way to set your brand apart by creating a stand-out experience.
In this article, we’ll look at the five things you need to do to action your feedback, so you can delight customers every time and see real financial gains from your CX program.
Get everyone on the same page
Brands with truly impressive service are consistent. Their return customers know that no matter who they talk to in the organization, from contact center agents to sales floor associates, they’ll have the same great experience. What’s their secret? In large part, their success comes from having a corporate strategy surrounding customer relationships that’s based on insights gleaned from CX feedback and that everyone in the organization knows inside and out.
When creating a customer relationship strategy for your organization, consider the following points:
- Communicate a clear path forward: Have a crystal clear vision that’s filtered down through the company. Make sure all team members at every level in the organization understand exactly what steps to take when addressing customer issues.
- Don’t chase a score: A score can be a quick way to see where you stand, but what matters most is that you have a deep understanding of what customers expect and how to make them happy. Rather than focusing on the score, use the feedback you’re receiving, including keywords and score correlation, to actually design and implement processes and procedures that will lead to better results.
- Use action-based incentives: To reinforce this approach amongst your team, implement incentive programs based on actionable items. Using metrics like time to resolve an issue or the percentage of customers who confirmed the issue was addressed and resolved rather than promoting a target survey score will shift employees focus on resolving the issue vs. chasing a score.
Take full advantage of VoC analytics
When companies request feedback, 70% of consumers will take the time to provide comments, both negative and positive. You should look at that feedback as your golden ticket to better understanding and satisfying the people who matter most to your business. When working with VoC insights, consider these tips:
- Celebrate successes: While it’s tempting (and necessary) to pull out all the negative customer feedback and act on it, the positive comments are just as valuable. Celebrate your wins by sharing positive comments on the company website, social feeds and other channels. Your customers will feel important and valued, and you’ll help fuel a culture of positivity and excellence.
- Identify key themes in feedback: The best way to get a high-level understanding of VoC data is by having a tool or engine that categorizes customer comments into easy-to-find topics and themes. This makes it quick and straightforward to identify problem areas and create processes or action plans to remedy them.
Action your dashboard
You may be looking at the trending issues you’ve identified and thinking: now what? Where do we start? When it comes to acting on key insights from your CX dashboard, here’s what we recommend:
- Pick one issue and act: Although it may be tempting to overhaul everything on the list, the most realistic approach is to go step by step. Find the lowest hanging fruit and act. Once that goal is achieved and the process is predictable and repeatable, move on to the next.
- Understand feelings, not just thoughts: Look back at how you phrase the questions you’re asking and consider how tweaking the language can enrich your understanding. Using emotionally charged questions can help you discover how your customers truly feel about a topic; for example, asking “Are you proud to own or use our brand?” rather than “Do you like our products or brand?” Display these emotion-rich metrics on the dashboard so there’s no confusion about how customers are feeling at any given moment.
- Use an action planner: Link priority metrics and topics to an action planner to boost communication and collaboration internally. The planner will also allow you to clearly see and track trends when your plans are successful. All of this boils down to ensuring your dashboard is as insightful and actionable as possible for your team.
Close the loop on complaints
In a competitive market with ample consumer choice and information, your customer experience has to go above and beyond if you want people to really take notice. Service has to be fast, consistent and, above all, personalized.
When it’s impersonal, 71% of customers today express some level of frustration with their experience.
Tailoring your experience to each individual is a powerful differentiator. And it should extend to every touchpoint, including when things go wrong. When remedying customer dissatisfaction, consider these important points:
- Follow up on all customer complaints: Pay attention to every customer issue and provide a personalized remedy, even when the complaint is minor. If a truly exceptional experience is your goal – and if you want to retain customers at a time when loyalty is hard to come by – this step is necessary in every instance, not just on a case-by-case basis or when you have time.
- Collect feedback on the resolution, too: A remedy is only effective if it actually works for the customer, restores their faith in the brand and keeps them coming back. Always ask your customers if you’ve fully understood their needs. Track this metric and act if trending declines. This will help to improve overall customer satisfaction.
Keep learning and growing
One of the really exciting things about a CX tool is that it gives you the ability to make ongoing, incremental changes for positive impact. Here are some ways you can use your customer insights to fuel continuous improvement:
- Identify root causes: By looking at long-term rolling date ranges, you can pinpoint specifically when and where issues arise.
- Regularly review trends: Analyzing trends on a quarterly basis (even if nothing has changed) can help keep employees engaged and motivated.
- Predict and plan for the future: Not only can you look at historical data and trends to identify strengths and areas for improvement, you can also look to the future. Predictive analytics uncover what will happen if you keep on doing things the same way and determine if results will get better or worse based on industry trends.
Brands that make customer-centric experiences a part of their company culture bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors. For those brands, the goal isn’t to chase a score or metric. It’s about using that information to actually drive improvements.
In order to be truly customer-centric, everyone in your organization – whether customer-facing or not – needs to live and breathe customer satisfaction. Paying attention to customer needs and improving their personal experiences one-by-one and step-by-step will ensure they keep coming back. Once you can achieve that, the financial gains will speak for themselves.