Loading...

Follow PeopleMetrics - Customer Experience Blog on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

The following is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

Ten-plus years ago, market research firms offered what was called customer satisfaction tracking, or CSAT for short. Usually on a quarterly basis, they would utilize large telephone interviewing centers for a week or two, calling customers and asking about overall satisfaction levels (usually not most recent experiences). This required a lot of manpower, technical equipment, and overhead.

When VoC software platforms emerged, everything changed. PeopleMetrics and others in the industry could now offer the same type of customer satisfaction programs at a third of the cost of previous methods—and deliver results in real time through our software. Suddenly, a client could take immediate action on customer feedback, rather than waiting six to eight weeks on CSAT survey results.

CSAT programs quickly became a thing of the past as VoC software platforms took over.


Everyone Wins with VoC

Continuous Conversations

Today, companies get more for their money with VoC. With the ability to send immediate feedback, engage in dialogue with the company, and see quick results, customers have benefited as well. Ideally, companies also have more money to spend on higher-value activities. It’s a win for companies, a win for customers, and a win for shareholders.

Better Relationships

Perhaps the most important win is reduced hostility between customers and companies. Asking a customer for feedback immediately after a recent experience creates a new touchpoint of its own. The experience the customer has when they give you feedback influences their perception of your company—plus, no one likes receiving a phone call at dinnertime, as was often the case with CSAT tracks.

Empowered Customers

Now the customer is in charge of whether they want to provide feedback and how they want to provide it. They can fill out an email survey or provide feedback via text, they can offer unsolicited feedback on a social review site—and they can do it all at three in the morning or at six in the evening at their convenience.

The Customer Is In Charge!

Compare this approach to how market research firms operated: they called customers according to their schedules— whenever their call center employees could work and whatever time period the survey was in the “field.”

Switching from CSAT to VoC

If you’re still collecting customer feedback through a quarterly generated tracking program via telephone interviewing, it’s time to think about the benefits you can gain from VoC—both for your organization and for your customers, as well as for your shareholders.

Here is a quick guide on the differences between traditional CSAT tracks and VoC:

  CSAT TRACKS VOC
COST:  Very expensive 1/3 cost of CSAT tracks
REACH:  Sample of customers All customers
PRIMARY MODE:  Telephone Online
RESULTS:  Weeks Real time
TIMING:  Periodic Continuous
RESPONDENT EXPERIENCE:  Intrusive - on our time Easy - on the customer's time
ORGANIZATIONAL REACH:  Primarily market research Entire organization
INTERVIEWER BIAS:  Yes - results in inflated CSAT scores None - results in more accurate CSAT scores

This is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD. 

Click here to download the book.

Thinking about switching to VoC?

Contact PeopleMetrics:

About the Author

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The following is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

Market research was developed a century ago to measure the effectiveness of advertisements and products. Today it’s used in similar ways—to figure out competitive positioning, determine the optimal price for new products, or to decide on the most effective advertising strategies (to name a few). 

However, market research and Voice of the Customer (VoC) are not the same. In fact, certain key principles of market research actually hold back VoC and the value that some companies get out of their VoC programs. Let me explain.

Lesson #8: VoC is not the same as market research, but they're converging | #ListenOrDie - YouTube

Market Research vs. Voice of the Customer (VoC)

Market Research

Market research is generally focused on getting an answer to a specific strategic question, so studies have a distinct beginning and end. Market researchers usually reach out to a small sample of customers for feedback, then focus on aggregate results and trends.

Communication is one-way—customers are asked what they think about a certain issue, but there is no further communication beyond that. Results of market research studies often are only seen by the market research team and study sponsor – not the rest of the organization.

Voice of the Customer

VoC, on the other hand, focuses on continuously gathering feedback about recent experiences from all customers (not just a small sample). Unlike market research, communication is two-way, enabling companies to follow up with individual customers about their feedback in real-time, ask additional questions, and try to resolve the issue.

If you’re using a software platform in conjunction with your VoC program, feedback comes in continuously in real-time, and is immediately shared with everyone in your organization, including the people on the front lines who are facing customers every day.



Merging the Best of Both Worlds

Somewhat surprisingly, VoC and market research are coming together. The reason? VoC programs, with their continuous flow of real-time feedback from every customer (not just a sample of customers), are becoming the single source of truth for customer feedback, for both customer experience and, in some cases, market research teams.

Market research budgets are being tightened, but the strategic angle of market research questions never really goes away. To solve this, market researchers are taking advantage of VoC’s continuous flow of real-time feedback from every customer and inserting market research questions into VoC surveys for a limited period of time to get quick answers before “swapping out” for new questions.

Combining market research questions with VoC efficiency gives you an instant advantage. VoC is able to provide incredible value by delivering fast answers more affordably than if a separate market research study were commissioned.

Rather than spending $100,000 for one point-in-time market research study, consider getting continuous feedback throughout the year.

This is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD. 

Click here to download the book.

To learn more about how to get the best of both worlds, contact us:

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

 

P.S. What did you think of this blog post?

   
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The following is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

Customer service (CS) is critical for delivering a great customer experience (CX). All too often, these terms are used interchangeably, but they are not synonymous—CS is not the same as CX.

Customer service is part of the overall customer experience, not the entire customer experience. It is vital to understand the difference between CX and CS as you implement Voice of the Customer (VoC).

CX is not the same as customer service. Know the difference. | #ListenOrDie - YouTube

CX vs. CS

Customer experience is the sum of all experiences, interactions, or touchpoints a customer has with a company.

Customer service is employees at a company helping solve a customer’s need in some way, usually (but not always) around a problem or a question.

CX is holistic and covers a wide number of touchpoints. Some of them are CS oriented, some are not. A complete VoC program includes all touchpoints, including those that are product or digitally oriented.

Understand the difference with touchpoint mapping

At PeopleMetrics, we use an exercise called touchpoint mapping to help our clients distinguish between CX and CS. When mapping out key touchpoints, we note which ones are CS oriented and which ones are not, but are still an important part of the customer experience.

For example, let’s say a customer is getting broadband internet services installed at her home. Key CX touchpoints might include:

  • Visiting a company’s website to check out pricing (not CS)

  • Calling the company’s 800 number to ask questions (CS)

  • Going back to the website to purchase (not CS)

  • Having a technician come to her home for installation (CS)

  • Experiencing the service by watching videos on YouTube, downloading music, etc. (not CS)

  • Calling billing to ask questions about her first bill (CS)

 

If you run through this valuable touchpoint mapping exercise at your organization, I bet you will find that many touchpoints that are key to the overall customer experience include more than just customer service.

Be sure to distinguish between customer service and customer experience in your every day communication so that your team and broader organization understand the nuances and view CX holistically.

This is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD. 

Click here to download the book.

 

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

P.S. What did you think of this blog post?

   
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The following is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

As we discussed in Lesson #5, NPS is important to include in your VoC program, but if you’re running a transactional VoC survey, you need other ways to measure the most recent customer experience alongside NPS.

Here are 3 ways you can measure the most recent customer experience alongside NPS:

  1. Ask how satisfied the customer was with their last experience. This question can be made more contextual by adding specific dates for their last experience: “During your visit to Hotel X on July 28 through July 30, how satisfied were you with the experience?”

  2. Focus on customer effort. You can ask, “How much effort did you exert to solve your issue during your call on January 12?” The more effort a customer expends on resolving their issue, the more negative the customer experience.

  3. Ask the customer about their overall experience during their most recent visit. You can use a scale from delighted to disappointed.

Lesson #6: You have to use NPS, but you should also include other measures of CX... | #ListenOrDie - YouTube

Imagine customer experience as a bank account

If customer experience is a bank account, every negative experience is a withdrawal. The only time you will know the account is at zero is when you try to make a withdrawal and it’s declined.

You need to continuously know when withdrawals are being made so that you can prevent the customer experiential account from hitting zero and that customer leaving you.

You must combine NPS with an individual measure of the customer experience in a transactional VoC survey. If you ignore customer issues from recent customer experiences, eventually your NPS will take a nosedive.

Make sure that you catch each withdrawal and then redeposit goodwill by following up with the customer and making things right. The sum total of your customer experience is worth more than you think. Do not leave out measures of recent experience in your transactional VoC surveys.

This is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD. 

Click here to download the book.

For more about measuring CX in transactional surveys (plus a bonus checklist), complete the form below:

 

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

P.S. What did you think of this blog post?

   
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The following is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

An important metric in any successful VoC program is NPS, or Net Promoter Score. You should know a lot about NPS before you begin VoC. This is why this lesson is so early in the book.

NPS is well known across industries, in companies of all sizes, and throughout executive boardrooms. In fact, NPS is regularly reported in some quarterly results, and it has become the de facto standard for how well companies are doing with their customers.

The concept of NPS was created by Fred Reichheld, the author of The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth.

NPS has become so popular, and so widely used, that it truly has become the ultimate question in the VoC world. It’s important to keep in mind that NPS is a straightforward question that measures your overall relationship with your customer based on the bundle of experiences they have had with you over time.

Lesson #5: You've got to know and use NPS, even if you don't like it | #ListenOrDie - YouTube

NPS 101

Why is NPS so powerful? For one, it’s simple to calculate and understand. NPS is a single question that asks the customer, “How likely are you to recommend (company) to a friend, colleague, or family member, on a scale of 0 to 10?”

Zero means that the customer is very unlikely to recommend the company, whereas a 10 means that their recommendation is very likely. Customers who answer with a number from 0 to 6—called detractors—are subtracted from the promoters, or those who answer with a 9 or 10.

For example, if eight out of ten customers answered with a 9 or 10, then 80% of your customers are promoters. If 5% answered with a 0 to 6, they are unlikely to recommend your company, and that 5% would be subtracted from your promoter total of 80. Your NPS is 75.




Customers who answer with a 7 or 8 are categorized as passives. Passives don’t figure into the NPS calculation but are important to consider as well.

Learning from NPS

NPS allows you to draw insights by comparing promoters, passives, and detractors. Are promoters more likely to buy your new product or expand their relationship with you? What do you need to do to move a customer from being a detractor to a promoter? NPS allows you to dig into these questions and many more.

NPS is also easy to understand, with the score represented as a single number falling anywhere between –100 and +100. Because that simple score grabs the attention of executives, NPS will build VoC credibility and focus within the organization. And because it’s a common metric across industries, it also provides you with the opportunity to benchmark your NPS compared to other companies in your industry or other industries.

Using NPS Despite Its Flaws

NPS is not a flawless metric. It can provide excellent insight into the overall relationship you have with your customers, but it falls short in measuring how well the most recent experience went. Used as the only metric in transactional VoC surveys, valuable customer experience feedback may fall through the cracks.

NPS also presents limitations during telephone surveys—especially when the telephone survey uses an interactive voice response, or IVR. 

Perhaps the biggest flaw in NPS is that it’s a lagging metric. It asks the customer about their cumulative, overall opinion of the company. This feeling builds throughout the customer’s past experiences but does not always indicate the customer’s future actions and intentions.

Better Together

Rather than going to war against NPS (which plenty of people like to do; do a web search on it sometime), simply keep its limitations in mind.

This is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD. 

Click here to download the book.

For more about NPS (plus a bonus checklist), fill out the form below:

 

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

P.S. What did you think of this blog post?

   
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The following is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

The true “voice” of your customer is the unique words they share with you each time you ask them “Why” or “Please tell me more about that” in your survey. There is gold in each comment that customers share with you. The question is this: how do you best mine for that gold? Enter text analytics.

But first, let’s take a step back. No matter how you are listening to customers (solicited, unsolicited, verified, observed), the data you will ultimately collect will be one of two types: structured or unstructured. Let's dig right in.

Lesson #4: Text analytics is more than a VoC feature; it's an absolute must-have | #ListenOrDie - YouTube

Structured Feedback

Structured customer feedback is the most common, the easiest to deal with, and super important in spite of this lesson’s title.

Let’s consider an example. A typical question in your transactional (solicited) survey might be, “How satisfied were you with your most recent experience at Hotel ABC on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being very satisfied and 1 being very dissatisfied?”

When customers provide their answer to this question, it comes in the form of a number—in this case, a 5 would indicate very satisfied with the most recent visit to the hotel, a 1 would indicate very dissatisfied, and so on.

Almost any VoC software platform can easily analyze these data and create graphs to aggregate and compare the responses: Maybe 30% of respondents were very satisfied, 35% very dissatisfied, and so forth.

For example, consider this graph, which is easily rendered based on structured responses:

What’s not easy is unstructured customer feedback that often follows a structured question.

Unstructured Feedback

Unstructured feedback is key to understanding why those satisfaction levels are what they are.

Continuing with our earlier example, the next question in the survey might be “Please tell us why you feel that way.” This is prompting the customer to type in open-ended (unstructured) comments to explain their level of satisfaction with the experience.

A customer might type in something like “The front desk took too long to check in,” “The room was dirty,” or “The people staying in the room next to me were loud and I didn’t get any sleep.” 

And these unstructured comments are not just for solicited, transactional surveys. Unstructured customer feedback is key to unsolicited feedback as well, especially social reviews. Visitors to review sites like TripAdvisor can write entire paragraphs of open-ended feedback on their recent experience.

Unstructured feedback is incredibly valuable because it indicates why people feel the way they do. Without it, CX professionals would be lost. How would they know what to do to fix problems without context?

A Unifying Framework

I have introduced a lot of terms regarding types of feedback. The ones you need to know as a CX professional are solicited, unsolicited, structured, and unstructured.

The following is a unifying framework that gives examples that I hope will make this clear:

Making Sense of Unstructured Feedback

The question then becomes this: how do we make sense out of these unstructured comments from customers?

Unlike structured data, which are easy to display graphically or in tables, each piece of unstructured data is different—unique to each customer who took the time to provide it.

There are two options to handle unstructured feedback: humans or machines.

Humans (Open-Ended Coding)

Humans are the most expensive method to make sense of unstructured comments—often prohibitively so, because not only are they expensive knowledge workers, but also the effort doesn’t scale. 

An approach to unstructured data analysis made popular with market researchers is called open-ended coding. Here’s how it works.

A person is tasked with reviewing a small sample (one hundred is common) of open-ended customer comments and the goal is to identify major “themes” from these comments. They create what is called a “codebook” that contains a handful of major themes (usually five to ten). Then usually another person reviews the remainder of the open ends, one by one, and assigns one of the major themes to each comment. We are talking about thousands of comments in some circumstances and days or weeks of work. The result is that unstructured comments become structured!

Then market researchers create a report that quantities these comments—such as 43% of people mentioned Wi-Fi as a problem, 16% mentioned the spa as an issue, and so on.

The human approach is virtually impossible to scale. For PeopleMetrics’ larger clients, we send out more than 20,000 surveys a week, which results in thousands of open-ended responses. In a given day, even the best human coders might be able to handle a few hundred comments.

Machines (Text Analytics)

Machines, on the other hand, can scale infinitely. All sophisticated VoC software platforms will have a text analytics module available. Let’s dig into the value that text analytics provides.

Using a computer algorithm that identifies common themes or topics by scanning and grouping customer comments, text analytics provides an unprecedented ability to make sense of and take action on large volumes of unstructured customer feedback. Here’s how it works.

Wi-Fi could be a topic, but some customers might call it wireless internet. Others might say only internet or speed of internet or web access. After a little tuning by a human, the machine quickly learns to identify all those terms as Wi-Fi.

The next step is that the machine is trained to understand customer sentiment for each comment. One customer might say, “I love this hotel because the wifi is so fast.” Another customer’s comment could be, “wifi, there was nothing fast about it, so frustrating.” The machine then assigns a sentiment score for each comment related to given topics, usually ranging from –1 to +1.

Then text analytics organizes all topics in a visual display, often in the form of a word cloud. If you’ve seen one, you already know that the size of each word reflects how often the topic is mentioned. Its color indicates the sentiment: red usually indicates negative, green for positive, and yellow for neutral. The image here shows an example from a telecommunications company:

Text analytics can quickly identify trends in real time and at scale. This allows you to identify and get in front of major problems immediately!

By contrast, human coders might take weeks to notice that, say, the telecommunication company's pricing is an issue, as in the earlier example.

Still need convincing?

If you’re still concerned about the difference in accuracy between open-ended coding and text analytics, let it go!

Consider the trade-off between greater accuracy on every comment and the ability to spot key trends in real time that will help you improve CX!

In reality, if you don’t have a quick, accurate, and affordable way to process your unstructured customer feedback, collecting it in the first place is a pointless exercise. Text analytics represents the present and future. Without it, you are not getting all you can out of your VoC program.
 
This is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD. 

Click here to download the book.

 

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

P.S. What did you think of this blog post?

   
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The following is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

The best VoC programs are squarely focused on integrating all types of customer feedback related to the customer experience. The result is that VoC becomes the single source of truth for all experiential customer feedback. And a key part of making this happen is your VoC software platform.
 
Every company that is serious about being customer-centric and listening to customers must invest in a VoC software platform that helps them collect customer feedback, quickly understand what it means, and act on it. It is an absolute must.
 
In Lesson 2, I introduced the primary types of VoC feedback—transactional surveys (solicited feedback) and social reviews (unsolicited feedback).
 
Now I will expand on both of these and introduce a couple of additional types of feedback that are specific to understanding the customer experience: verified and observed feedback.
 
Solicited & Unsolicited Feedback
 
Solicited Feedback
The core of most VoC programs, solicited transactional surveys reach out to customers during or immediately after an experience. They are primarily distributed via email or text. No matter how the company solicits the customer feedback, it is something that companies directly request, therefore the term solicited . 
 
As introduced in Lesson 2, relationship surveys are also solicited and are often used as part of a comprehensive VoC program, although they are not transactional and focus on all your active customers rather than those who had a recent experience.
 
Unsolicited Feedback
Customers are increasingly volunteering feedback directly to the company or indirectly through social review sites. Unsolicited feedback is primarily thought of as social reviews, but can also include calls to a company’s contact center to complain about an issue; or feedback through the “contact us” feature on a company-supplied app or website. 
 
All of these means are unsolicited, in that the company did not reach out directly asking for feedback from the customer. Out of all the unsolicited feedback channels, social reviews are the most powerful and need careful attention (see Lesson 29).
 
Verified & Observed Feedback
 
Verified Feedback
Verified feedback comes from experts, commonly called mystery shoppers or quality assurance professionals, who are hired to assess the experience that a company provides its customers. While this is not true “customer” feedback, it provides an important evaluation of the customer experience. 
 
Here’s how this typically works. At a hotel, quality assurance (QA) professionals pretend to be a typical guest and have a checklist that reflects all the touchpoints a real guest might experience. 
 
For example, how fast was the check-in? Did the person at the front desk greet the guests by their name and smile? How long was the line? Was the bed made? Was the rug clean? Did the bathroom’s soap dispenser contain soap? Did the remote control have that paper band on it that supposedly indicates it’s clean?  Answers to these questions provide a surrogate for the quality of the customer experience, because the QA professional is acting as a customer! 
 
Another type of verified feedback often used by a hotel might come from people within a company. These inspectors travel from company headquarters to each location to check on compliance with safety and brand standards. Specific standards might include anything from signage to uniforms to freezer temperatures. The goal is to create a consistent customer experience at every one of their locations. 
 
This is all “verified” feedback because it is provided by experts. RizePoint is a PeopleMetrics partner and provides the best software in the quality assurance and brand compliance space. I highly recommend RizePoint if you are looking to include verified feedback within your VoC.
 
Observed Feedback
Your company might also consider a fourth type of feedback—observed. Some customers won’t complain no matter how unhappy they are. It’s only their behavior that gives away their true feelings.
 
Consider a restaurant experience in which a customer doesn’t say a word, but when the server collects the plates, a dish with no food eaten goes back to the kitchen untouched. Or consider a company that purchased a CRM software product and their salespeople rarely log on to use it. Or consider a coffee shop whose lines are so long that customers abandon the line and leave the store before purchasing. 
 
Analyzing and predicting consumer behavior (also called Big Data) also falls into this category. Collecting and organizing such observed feedback and behaviors requires integration with operational systems and your VoC software platform. It’s often a heavy lift, but the benefits are well worth it.
 
The Single Source of Truth
 
For you to have a single source of truth around customer feedback data, you must implement a system of record, which is typically called a VoC software platform.
 
The good news is that advanced VoC software platforms can bring all types of customer feedback together under one roof, providing a single, comprehensive source of truth about an organization’s true, start-to-finish customer experience.  This provides unprecedented opportunities to improve the customer experience. You are living in the right time to deliver exceptional customer experiences!

This is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

Click here to download the book.

 

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

P.S. What did you think of this blog post?

   
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The following is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

As noted previously, the term VoC is frequently used to describe the measurement of the customer experience; so is the term customer experience management (CEM). A consulting firm mentioned in the introduction, Forrester, coined a third term: customer feedback management (CFM).

In this book, you’ll see VoC more than any other term, though you can use each of these terms interchangeably. So, what is CX measurement or VoC? Let’s start with what it is not.

As I mentioned in Lesson 1 and will dive into deeply in Lesson 8, VoC is not market research. Market research provides answers to a specific question and provides those answers in the aggregate. And in providing these answers, market researchers often wisely take a small sample of the overall population, which is less expensive and faster than surveying all customers.

Market research methods are great for solving the right problem, and I am a big fan, but it’s not VoC and it’s not the optimal approach to customer experience management.

Market Research vs. VoC

Consider a telecommunications company whose business model is signing up customers for a one-year contract for various wireless services. One month in, a customer feature disappears, such as transcription of voicemail to text. New customers may see the change as a bait and switch, while those close to renewal of their contract may think about switching to another carrier, and they begin to flood social media with complaints.

Market researchers might not ever know about the problem, since they usually survey a sample of their customers and may do so only once a year, if at all. So a company with 100,000 customers might hear from 500 customers total and only if they happen to have scheduled a market research study during that time frame.

VoC, on the other hand, provides daily customer feedback that allows the organization to discover that the feature was a favorite in real time and that customers value it as part of their daily experience. VoC is about continuous, real-time feedback. In this example, VoC would reveal negative customer sentiment immediately, allowing the telecommunications company to course-correct.

VoC allows customer issues to get identified and resolved before they require a separate study by market researchers!

Different Purpose, Different Audience

Without a doubt, the job of market researchers is important; it’s just very different than VoC. Plus, the findings from a typical market research study aren’t typically shared across the entire organization, and there’s no expectation of follow-up with individual customers providing the feedback. In fact, customers who provide feedback for market research are anonymous.

What’s interesting is that, in some companies, the head of market research is also responsible for VoC! In Lesson 8, I discuss how this actually makes sense and how market researchers are using VoC to get answers to pressing questions in super-short time frames and tight budgets.

So What is VoC?

Okay, so CX measurement (VoC) is not market research. Then what is it?

Simply put, it’s the process of collecting and acting on customer feedback that was collected during or shortly after a recent experience. And customer feedback is usually identified, not anonymous.

Here's a quick guide on the different types of feedback ranked by their level of connection to VoC, from most to least:

  • Transactional surveys provide solicited customer feedback about their most recent experience (also referred to as CEM or CFM, as noted earlier). As the name implies, these surveys reach out to customers during or soon after an individual experience (e.g., visit to store, call to contact center, visit to website).

    These surveys are not anonymous, and customers often have an expectation that the company will follow up based on negative feedback provided. This is primarily the type of feedback I am referring to throughout most of this book.

  • Social reviews provide unsolicited customer feedback about a recent experience and are key to a comprehensive VoC program. Gathering feedback from social review sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google Reviews is an essential VoC task. This feedback is especially important in business-to-consumer (B2C) industries, such as hotels and restaurants.

    Similar to transactional surveys, customers often expect the company to respond, especially if the social review was negative.

  • Relationship surveys, as the name implies, help companies gauge the strength of their relationship with customers and are often used to get VoC off the ground. Relationship surveys are usually sent to every customer who’s had an experience with the company in a given period—for example, in the past six months.

    Questions on a relationship survey will probe into overall customer feelings about a company based on a series of cumulative experiences, rather than a specific or recent experience. They also can include questions about customers’ experience with competing brands and identify gaps compared to these competitors.

    Relationship surveys are a great way to start a VoC program by getting a baseline on where you are today. These surveys will also help you ask the right questions for the touchpoints that really matter to your customers and are usually well worth the investment!

  • Market research surveys seek anonymously provided, solicited feedback, typically from a small sample of statistically relevant customers, on key strategic questions. For example, which advertising messages resonate best with a specific audience, or what is the optimal price for a new product?

    Market research surveys are usually one-off, meaning that once a company gathers the necessary data, they move on to their next study.

  • Focus groups are a popular way to gauge customer opinion, but they tend to have little or nothing to do with VoC. They are conducted with eight to ten people in a room with a one-way mirror. A moderator asks the group about something specific, such as whether they would consider using a new product, and the responses are recorded as a form of unstructured, qualitative feedback.

    Online focus groups are another way to gather qualitative feedback from customers. These are similar to in-person focus groups, except customers join an online forum to provide their opinions. 

This is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

Click here to download the book.

 

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

P.S. What did you think of this blog post?

   
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The following is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

Listen to any company in almost every industry, and you’ll undoubtedly hear phrases like customer-centric and customer-focused touted as top priorities. But what does that exactly mean? When leaders of a company fail to explain or provide specific examples of what it really means to be customer-centric, employees often see these words as little more than corporate platitudes. I often get feedback from our clients’ employees who say they don’t know what it means to be customer-centric and certainly don’t know how to practice it.

Here’s the deal. Companies feel obligated to go on record as being customer-centric. It makes sense. Which company is going to publicly announce that they do not care about customers and what they have to say? But the reality is that becoming truly customer-centric is about more than developing vague marketing statements. The more important question is this:

“As an organization, what can we do today to put the customer first?”

And to really make this really real, each employee at a customer-centric organization should ask themselves this question:

“What can I do today to create a better customer experience for our customer?”

The reality is that becoming truly customer-centric is more than developing marketing statements—it is a fundamental shift in a company’s mindset to focus on the customer.

The best way I know for companies to actually become more customer-centric is to consistently listen to the customer. Period. It starts and ends there. In fact, as the title of this book implies, I believe that the choice is simple—either listen to your customers or die. It sounds a bit dramatic, but it is true. Ask RadioShack, Blockbuster, BlackBerry, Kodak, and any other companies that were once on top and then stopped listening to their customers.

Becoming Customer-Centric

In my business, and throughout this book, I recommend accomplishing customer centricity by using an organization-wide, customer listening program called Voice of the Customer (VoC).

VoC gathers customer feedback during, or soon after, an experience. Then customer feedback is delivered to the people within the organization who are responsible for improving the experience and immediately resolving any issues identified by the customer. Resolving customer issues immediately increases the likelihood that you will retain customers and reduce churn. This is a marked departure from when all customer feedback lived in the market research department and was often confined to a handful of people within the organization. More on that in Lesson 8.

Here’s the key point for now: when customer feedback reaches those who interact with customers every day (usually called the front line or operators), and they are empowered to act on this feedback and save potentially lost customers, a CX mindset is extended to the entire company. Your company begins to become customer-centric!

Customer Touchpoints

VoC also makes it easy for customers to be heard no matter how they choose to interact with your company. I refer to these interactions as touchpoints throughout the book. VoC tells you which touchpoints are going well (a hotel’s spa, for example) and which are not (perhaps the hotel’s in-house restaurant or front desk service). Much more to come on touchpoints later.

The Benefits of Customer Listening

Here’s some gold early in the book—if you remember only what follows, you are already ahead of the game regarding customer listening. Regular customer listening enables your company to be more customer-centric by:

  • Immediately resolving individual customer problems as soon as possible before you lose that customer and/or they spread negative word of mouth (often through social media). Reducing customer churn and increasing the chances that a customer will provide a positive social review (or reducing the chances they will share a negative one) are two major business benefits of customer listening programs.
  • Understanding, at a strategic level, how customers feel about the various touchpoints, so you know where you are strong and where you need improvement.

  • Improving the touchpoints that aren’t working, starting with the ones most likely to cost you customers or entice them to share negative feedback on social media.

This is an excerpt from Listen Or Die by Sean McDade, PhD.

Click here to download the book.

 

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

P.S. What did you think of this blog post?

   
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

After months of brainstorms, meetings, late nights and deadlines, I am thrilled to announce that my first book, Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold, will be available for purchase on Amazon starting Tuesday June 19th, 2018.

Listen or Die is a culmination of my 20+ years of CX experience boiled down into 40 quick lessons. These easy-to-use best practices provide CX leaders with the tools needed to build exemplary Voice of Customer programs that deliver ROI, turning customer feedback into gold.

"Many companies collect customer feedback, but very few act on what they hear. Listen or Die provides some great advice for closing the gap."

— Bruce Temkin, Managing Partner, Temkin Group

A book for CX leaders

Listen or Die is written primarily for CX professionals in enterprise companies who are in charge of listening to customers. It is also relevant for anyone who is interested in CX or wants to learn more about how customer feedback can be used to drive business results.

Entrepreneurs looking for a crash course on how to best listen to customers and use that feedback to improve their business will benefit from the book as well. 

"Moving VoC past data to a listening path that engages your organization and improves customer experiences is key. In this book, Sean McDade provides a game plan for how to embed this inside your organization."

 Jeanne Bliss, Best-selling Author of Would You Do That To Your Mother? 
and Chief Customer Officer 2.0

This book will guide you no matter where you are in your VoC journey. If you plan to lead a new VoC program, you'll learn how to start it. If you've been collecting customer feedback for a year or so, you'll get strategies for ramping it up. If your VoC program is more mature, you'll find out how to make it ten times more effective.

My goal is for you to find answers to at least some of your burning questions, including those you didn't know to ask.

I can't wait to share this book with you!


More information:
 

Listen or Die will be available for purchase on Amazon starting Tuesday, June 19th, 2018. 

Complete the form to receive an email notification when it goes on sale:

Sean McDade founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and he is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

 

P.S. What did you think of this blog post?

   
Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview