NPS® (Net Promoter Score) and CES (Customer Effort Score) are amongst the most popular indicators for measuring the customer experience. Many organisations have embraced these scores, implemented an ongoing survey mechanism and seen some great initial results. However, often comes a time, perhaps two years into the program, when the initial customer feedback enthusiasm wears off and organisations start asking ‘What’s next?’
The questions typically come up when businesses aren’t getting enough actionable feedback from their customers, when their scores aren’t heading north anymore and, most importantly, when there is little or no connection between the customer survey tool and a positive impact on the organisation’s bottom line.
If any of this rings a bell, don’t panic. Most organisations face similar challenges and luckily, there are many actions you can take to overcome this. Here are just a few ideas to consider.
What to do if there is little or no actionable customer feedback
Review survey questions
Whilst there are many possible reasons for a lack of actionable feedback from your customers, the chances are that you are not giving your customers a clear opportunity to provide you with this feedback in the first place.
For example, you could ask all “detractors” for feedback on what could be improved with your product/service. The “in-betweeners” could give you great ideas on what it would take to become promoters. And wouldn’t it be great to capture what your brand enthusiasts love about your organisation.
Review survey mechanism
Some businesses choose to ask customers about the interaction they had with their company and link that directly to a staff member. As a result, customers are asked to score and provide feedback for an individual staff member. While that might be insightful initially, over time, it might come across as a control mechanism which doesn’t provide insights into what your customers are actually thinking and feeling. After all, it’s often not about the staff member per se, and more often about the process that lies behind it.
Therefore, the suggestion here would be to ask customers about the interaction with the company and not about the person who has served them. You’d be surprised how much actionable insight you are going to gain from being more specific about this.
What if your scores stop improving?
Review relevance of current touchpoints
If you’ve reviewed feedback from your customers and analysed and actioned it, the next step would be to look at what interactions you are actually surveying.
Are you surveying touchpoints that are of high importance with a high emotional connection to your customers, or are you surveying interactions which are too simple to elicit meaningful feedback from?
For example, you might be surveying a booking or a purchasing mechanism for your service or product. This mechanism might have been working perfectly for the past five years and, besides some initial customer feedback to shuffle around a few buttons on your website, there’s no more value to be added. If that’s the case, move on to a different touchpoint that will give you real actionable insight.
Review the customer experience loop in your organisation
What if you’re getting some great customer feedback, surveying the right touchpoints, but your scores still aren’t improving? This is the trigger for a deep dive analysis and action plan!
Challenge the organisation as to whether it’s changing the way it operates to reflect customer needs or is it rather going through the motions to churn out NPS or CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) scores every month?
The survey is purely an insight mechanism but the experience for your customers won’t change unless actions are taken and there is accountability for this.
What to do if there is little or no impact on the organisation’s bottom line
Review the strategy of your survey
Survey results might have been telling you that as you improve your call centre experience, customer loyalty improves too. But what if the customer experience scores improve without any long-term revenue impact? Executives then lose faith in the customer experience survey..
In this scenario, look for a root cause and don’t abandon the tool yet – it’s usually just a case of finding the ‘why’ at the bottom of your root cause analysis.
Next, review the strategy of the survey to get a clear understanding of whether the sample surveyed reflects the revenue structure of your organisation.
It can be quite costly and time-consuming to survey all customers and only a small percentage of customers might agree to be surveyed. As a result, the sample is not always representative of the actual customer segments and revenue streams in the organisation.
For example, if the majority of your business is B2B but the majority of the feedback is received from B2C customers who only comprise 10% of the revenue stream, the insights you’ll be getting won’t be representative.
Another common mistake is that lots of organisations survey users of their product or a service, but forget to survey the buyers. Quite often, there’s a gap in the experience and brand perception between the ones that pay for and the ones that use a service, so bear that in mind when deciding on your survey strategy.
Asking ‘What’s next’ and wanting more from your customer experience survey is a valid request. Customer feedback provides us with the basis for continuous improvement and just like all areas of the organisation, the feedback mechanism is also subject to continuous improvement. The good news is that there is plenty of help right at your fingertips.
Net Promoter, NPS, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered service marks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.