7 Steps for Implementing a Closed-Loop System

With so much riding on each interaction with your brand, you can’t afford to leave a negative customer experience unresolved. Research shows that it takes about 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. In fact, a study by Lee Resources reveals that 91% of unhappy customers won’t return to your brand at all. That’s where a closed-loop system comes in!

Bain & Company defines a closed-loop system in “The Ultimate Question 2.0” as, “the ability to identify and resolve individual customer issues and larger organizational patterns and trends based on those issues while communicating solutions back to customers and employees.” This system is comprised of an inner loop (the ability to identify and resolve individual customer issues while communicating solutions back to customers and employees) and the outer loop (the ability to identify and resolve larger organizational patterns and trends based on individual customer issues while communicating solutions back to customers and employees.”

And though closed-loop systems have been around for a while now, they are still just as vital to you customer experience (CX) program! Looking to get started with or revive your approach? Check out these seven tips.

Getting Started with a Closed-Loop System

1. Get Executive Buy-In

Customer experience is an investment, and for your program to have a positive impact—and succeed—you need buy-in from your executive team. For best results, we’ve found that closed-loop pilot programs focused on a few locations usually are the easiest for executives to get behind. With fewer locations, it’s easier to prove the efficacy of the program without straining your brand’s resources too much.

2. Prioritize Initiatives

Implementing a closed-loop system is a marathon, not a sprint. No matter the size of your company, setting up your program will take time. As your program matures, look for the easy wins to gain credibility and prove success within your organization. Once you’ve found your stride, gradually move on to more complicated issues.

3. Harness Existing Business Knowledge

Identify employees with an understanding of your organization’s operations, and empower them to resolve customer issues as they occur. Your employees know your business and are in a unique position to help your customers and quickly close the loop on customer issues.

4. Commit to Faster Resolution

As technology advances and the customer experience evolves, consumers expect more and more from your brand. Expectations have risen to the point that that 42% of consumers said that if they contact your brand for support, they expect a response within 60 minutes. Resolve customer issues in a timely fashion, and your customers will reward you with repeat business and brand advocacy throughout the years.

5. Increase Organizational Agility

Don’t get too comfortable with the way things have always been done in regard to your CX program. Treat every customer issue as you would if you were a small business, and resolve it as quickly—and personably—as possible. Customers want to feel special, and the quicker you’re able to adapt to individual customer issues, the more you’ll be able to reduce customer churn and ensure organizational success.

6. Make Individual Contact

Your customers don’t care about the size of your business; they care about how your brand treats them on a personal level. Study your brand’s customer journey, gather feedback, and identify ways to increase the amount of personal contact during the process of resolving a customer issue. A simple note or phone call can have a profound impact on the success of your program.

7. Empower Your Employees

As mentioned earlier, your employees understand the way your organization operates better than anyone else. This knowledge puts them in a unique position to understand customer issues and know the right solution for resolving the problem. Have faith in your employees and give them the autonomy they need to address customer issues on a case-by-case basis and resolve them as efficiently and personably as possible.

closing the loop on customer issues with a closed loop system
An in-depth look at an effective closed-loop system

The Value of Closing the Loop

Closed-loop systems are one of the most effective ways to not only reduce customer churn, but prove the financial impact of your brand’s customer experience program. One client of ours implemented a closed-loop system that helped them identify nearly $23 million in potential revenue.

Other studies have found that closed-loop programs help retain customers, which can increase company value (up to 30%) and increase profits (up to 125%).

You can learn more from InMoment expert Jim Katzman about the value of closing the loop in his article here.

Leveraging a InMoment’s Resolve to Close the Loop

InMoment’s Resolve simplifies the tracking of customer experience cases, allowing businesses to rescue those at risk of churn, identify and understand larger trends, and quickly get to the root cause based on customer and front-line employee perspectives.

Resolve helps managers take quick action on issues that arise in an effort to keep customers for a lifetime. It empowers time-pressed location managers and case workers to monitor, track, prioritize, and resolve customer experience cases with in-app communication, while offering insights into overall program success.

Resolve also:

  • Accelerates understanding of root cause
  • Incorporates VoE with VoC for a 360 degree view
  • Enables quick resolution
  • Empowers organizational change

If you want to reach out to our experts to learn more about Resolve, you can leverage the chat bot on our website, or schedule a conversation here!

3 Staff Motivation Challenges & How to Combat Them

Anytime you enter a retail store or dine at a restaurant, we bet you have some very definite expectations, one of which is to have a pleasant interaction with the staff. And as the world’s most successful brands know, in order to meet that expectation they need to provide both staff training and staff motivation to make that happen.

Employees, regardless of the products or services they provide, are the ones setting the tone for their company and brand. They are the ones on the front lines interacting with customers each and every day. And when employees are fully engaged and satisfied with their job, it shows. They become passionate advocates who positively affect the customer experience. The reverse is also true: When employees are not satisfied, they become liabilities to your brand.

The question is, then, “What is the critical element to helping employees engage in their work?” It’s called motivation, and you can’t have engagement without it.

Areas of Staff Motivation to Keep in Mind

Staff motivation can be a huge challenge for even the best location managers. With so much to manage during every operating hour, a manager’s ability to inspire and motivate employees is limited—but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Managers can greatly improve staff motivation by keeping these three areas in mind:

1. Focus: Ensure that employees are focusing on the right things to drive a positive customer experience.
2. Communication: Make sure communication is grounded in the customer experience.
3. Visibility: Keep the customer experience front and center in employee’s minds.

4 Strategies to Drive Staff Motivation for Location Managers

Location managers can master these key areas by implementing some simple and effective strategies in order to drive staff motivation in order to deliver a continued exceptional customer experience:

Strategy #1: Be Generous With Praise

It’s one of the easiest things you can give, not to mention it has a phenomenal cost-to-impact ratio. Praise every improvement you see in your team members, both in one-on-one situations and in front of their peers.

Strategy #2: Make Your Ideas Theirs

Don’t tell your staff what to do. Instead, consult with them in a way that helps them arrive at correct conclusions on their own. For example, ask, “What do you think about trying this?”

Strategy #3: Don’t Criticize or Correct

No one enjoys hearing that they did something wrong. Try an indirect approach to get people to improve, learn from their mistakes, and fix them. Ask, “What will you do differently if that situation arises again? Why?”

Strategy #4: Recognize and Reward

Give a shout out to top performing employees. Run contests or internal games with a simple incentive and keep track of results in an area that everyone can see. You can also leverage InMoment’s Moments, a motivational tool that helps everyone from frontline staff to executives to gain insight into real-time customer feedback, understand the role they play in the customer experience, and take action to improve experiences.

When you display Moment’s in the workplace, you can showcase location-specific feedback, allowing employees to see the state of the experience at their location. That means that when employees are called out by customers for the awesome work they do, they will see it, and so will their team members! This level of recognition gives staff members a direct view into their big-picture impact on the customers and the business, which creates additional motivation to perform in their role.

How Moments Helps Encourage Motivation from Frontline Staff to Executives

Moments empowers users to socialize and share customer and employee feedback, gain insights, and quickly take action to drive experience improvement while fostering a customer-first business approach. Here are just a few of the benefits:

InMoment's Moments helps to increase staff motivation and engagement

Increased Visibility: Deliver high transparency to anyone from frontline staff to location managers, all the way up to executives on incoming customer and employee feedback through a curated data feed of comments published through filtered saved views tailored to users.

Instant Insights: Access experience feedback analytics that provide clarity into customer sentiment, themes and trends, NPS score, and more.

Organizational Engagement: Quickly distribute and socialize customer feedback and get the organization engaged with your customer experience program with an intuitive mobile application.

Improvement from Individual Verbatims: Armed with the right data, users can quickly share feedback with others, create a case for comments that need following up on, add a comment to a collection of similar feedback, and promote experience improvement by rewarding employees for positive feedback.

Case Management: Easily create a case for an experience(s) requiring followup through an integrated case platform. Users can track experiences and respond to feedback through the Moments mobile application and respond to feedback, and mark a case complete or invalid. Plus, users can view actions taken on any given experience for a historical record.

Digital Signage: Showcase filtered experience feedback views on a monitor or television to create a more customer-centric culture within an office environment (we even have Moment’s on display in every common space at InMoment HQ!)

If you take care of your staff and implement the above strategies, you’ll be well on your way to providing a great work environment. In turn, your locations and overall brand will continue to deliver an exceptional customer experience and benefit from return visits, active brand advocacy and loyalty, and, ultimately, an increase in revenue. And isn’t that what every business is looking for?

How Financial Services Brands Can Grow Share of Wallet with Their CX Program

Financial services brands are facing more complex challenges than ever before, especially when it comes to customer experience (CX) and growing share of wallet. Additionally, the added stress of today’s economy and the fall out of a global pandemic makes finance an even more sensitive topic for customers than usual, making the experiences brands even more pivotal. 

Luckily, there is good news for brands even in these troubled times—if they play their cards right, they can use their experience programs to not only create great experiences for customers, but also grow their business simultaneously.

There are four key business goals finserv brands can accomplish with their CX programs (we talk about them in our latest eBook here), but today we are going to focus on just one: growing share of wallet. 

The Importance Share of Wallet (and How Your CX Program Can Help)

Growing your share of wallet can be achieved by growing your customer base (acquiring new customers or expanding the financial institution’s geographic or product/service footprint) or by capturing a greater share of current customers’ financial wallet with additional products and services. 

Growing wallet share means more than just maintaining the customers you already have—it means understanding if they are also utilizing services from your competitors, which services, and why those customers are going elsewhere. With this knowledge, you can make changes that help you go from being one of a few brands a customer utilizes to the only brand your customers trust. 

Being your customer’s one and only has some major implications for your bottom line. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, if your brand is one of only two a customer uses for a given purpose, the difference between being their first choice and being their second choice can mean that “half of each dollar you could be collecting from the customer is going to your competitor instead.” 

With the right CX program, however, you can narrow that gap. Here are two specific examples of how experience tools can be leveraged to grow wallet share:

CX Benefit #1: Acquire More Customers

Customer acquisition is one of what we at InMoment like to call the four economic pillars of customer experience return on investment (ROI). Why? Because it’s absolutely key to making sure that your CX efforts (along with marketing campaigns, promotions, and more) are paying off.

Understanding the effects your actions as a brand have on different customer segments is crucial, as it allows you to further target your initiatives. You can then acquire more of that type of customer, then quantify the value of those new customers for your bottom line.

For example, an InMoment client sought to capitalize on acquisitions by optimizing its surveys to find new types of customers. By targeting respondents between the ages of 18 and 35 with specific questions, the company was able understand this demographic and what drove it so that this intelligence could be included in the brand’s expansion initiatives.

The practitioners who ran this initiative were then able to prove its worth by tracking the new customer acquisition, increases in unique customers, and market share growth that it generated.

CX Benefit #2: Understand How You Measure Up

Equally important to acquiring more customers is understanding what your competitors are doing that convinces those individuals to choose a brand other than yours. Understanding competitive differentiation in terms of brand, experiences, and product and servicing offerings can inform the organization on target audiences, competitive customers who are most vulnerable, and how to position the organization’s product and servicing offering in the most attractive way. 

With competitive perceptions, a financial institution may find a specific opportunity to attract competitive customers who may not be happy with the digital offering available with a current provider. An institution may also spot a chance to attract customers’ attention with a specific product offering targeting their defined needs.

For Financial Services, Intelligence Is Key

There are plenty of other benefits a CX program can bring to a financial services brand, but they all have one thing in common: intelligence.

With an experience initiative that is able to collect data from anywhere and everywhere, apply powerful technology, and give you access to experts who can guide you on your journey, you gain the kind of intelligence that helps you make informed decisions about your experience. And when you make informed decisions, you can truly delight your customers and transform your business. Sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it?

Want to learn about the other three business goals financial services brands can accomplish with their CX program? Read the full eBook here for free!

Survey Design 101

When gathering accurate and useful data, how the data is collected is just as important as the results it yields. Reliable insights are discovered when the questions are fair, unbiased, and relevant to the participants. This is why the design of the survey can ultimately determine the survey’s success.

What Is Survey Design?

Survey design is the detailed process of creating surveys that optimize the potential results that can be collected from a well-made questionnaire. Decent design takes into account the kind of questions, the quality of questions, the flow and organization of the survey, and the possible biases or conflicts of both questions and participants.

Though creating a questionnaire may seem simple at first, it can be a complicated and tedious process. Questions can be asked in different ways, both in form and language. How much context or detail is provided can sway a participant’s opinion. What questions are presented first will likely influence the questions posed later in the survey, which can impact results. 

5 Steps for a Seamless Survey Design

Consider the following survey design best practices that have been narrowed down to 5 essential steps. Depending on the topic or purpose of the survey, some steps should be taken into account more carefully than others.

Step #1: Identify the Survey Purpose

First and foremost, identify the purpose of the survey so that you can include the most relevant content in your survey design. It’s helpful to have an overarching purpose, and it’s even better to have multiple objectives that outline the details of your main goal. If you aren’t sure what your objectives should be, start asking some brainstorming questions to solidify your goals and establish a plan:

  • What is the demographic you are targeting?
  • What do you hope to discover by distributing this survey?
  • What kind of questions does this type of topic demand?
  • Do there need to be personalized questions at any point?
  • How will the answers be compiled and transformed into useful data?
  • What is your business or organization prepared to do based on the responses?
  • Who in your organization needs to be involved with the creation of the survey?

Knowing the objectives also helps you structure the survey correctly. It’s best to include the right sections within the survey outside of the actual questions. Some standards sections to include (which are often separated into different blocks for online surveys) are:

  • Introduction: The introduction needs to convey the purpose of the survey, provide instructions, set expectations for how long the survey will take, encourage honest answers, and reassure participants that their responses are secure.
  • Screeners: This section should ask questions that ensure that participants fall within the survey requirements for your objectives. This can include some appropriate demographic information, someone’s position in the company, or any other relevant information.
  • Content Questions: This is the main portion of the survey that features the most focused and topic-relevant questions.
  • Demographics: If you didn’t include demographic information in the screener section, add one after the main questions.
  • Redirect: After the questions and having participants submit their final answers, redirect them to a thank you page of some sort.

Understanding the ins and outs of the main purpose will not make the design of the survey better, but also keeps every question intentional and focused. Plus, if you completely understand the objectives and have a solid plan, you’ll be able to act on the results easier.

Step #2: Come Up with Questions

The most extensive part of the survey is often creating the actual questions. If you’ve planned according to your objectives, it’s easier to determine how many questions are needed and how long the questionnaire will be. Depending on the feedback you’re looking for, certain types of questions will be more beneficial than others. The most common options in surveys include the following forms.

  • Open/Close-Ended Questions: Open-ended questions allow for free responses that can completely vary but give more detailed answers, which will result in more qualitative. Close-ended questions only have so many variables and combinations, which will lead to more quantitative answers.
  • Multiple Choice: One of the most common types of questions, this format offers limited responses but also keeps things simple for participants and straightforward data.
  • Scale Questions: Scales are a great way to get multi-dimensional data while offering a measurable and simple set of options. Compared to multiple-choice, this offers much more range for more accuracy since they measure both which direction someone leans as well as the intensity of that leaning.
  • Slide bars: Similar to scale questions, bars help participants indicate to what degree they feel, think, or prefer one thing over the other on a more granular level. They also provide an interactive element to the survey.
  • Ratings: Rating questions are a great way to offer a range, but specifically for satisfaction about an activity, a product, an experience, a company, etc. Make sure these questions aren’t leading if you want authentic answers.
  • Multi-Select: One way to get more detailed data out of multiple-choice questions is to allow participants to select more than one of the multiple options (depending on the nature of the question, of course.) If you’re attempting to measure what kind of activities participants would like to see in the office, you can allow them to check multiple activities rather than just one.
  • Personal/Demographic Questions: These questions answer more specific questions to the individual and should be left until the end of the survey (see step 4).

Step #3: Refine Survey Questions by Eliminating Bias Factors

Biased answers are a top concern when it comes to surveys. The best results reflect the true feelings of participants without influencing answers one way or another. Remember: people take the path of least resistance, so simple, clear, and thoughtful questions work best. These are common pitfalls to watch for if you’re trying to figure out how to create a balanced survey.

Question Wording

The language used to create questions can yield different results, like the words “assistance to the poor” getting more support than “welfare”. Also, longer questions tend to be more confusing and more easily misinterpreted. Simple wording with clear, short questions helps the customer to answer more accurately.

Answer Order 

Sometimes the order of the answers provided affects results. If a survey is over the phone or in person, people struggle to remember multiple answers and sometimes choose either the first or last answer that they hear because that’s what they remember easiest.

Medium of the Survey 

Make sure that the form of the survey makes sense for the target audience and topic that you’re surveying. Things change between telephone, online, email, and in-person surveys.

Sensitive Subjects 

People don’t always want to share information about sensitive subjects and answer dishonestly about it. Consider your phrasing and reassure participants that responses are secure and confidential.

Social Pressure

Similarly, sensitive subjects that are either politicized or contentious sometimes lead people to not answer truthfully if they worry about social repercussions. Don’t use prestige bias where you associate a topic or answer with one group, i.e., describing a point by associating it with a trusted authority and then asking someone to agree or disagree with it.

Close-Minded or Non-Exhaustive Questions

The available answers need to allow respondents to answer as truthfully as possible. When the list of answers in a survey does not accurately reflect or fit all the potential answers of a consumer, the data can be skewed. For example, if you ask, “Do you ALWAYS exercise in the morning?” If someone almost always exercises in the morning, but not every day, they will put “no” which disrupts your data.

Open or Close-Ended Questions 

Does the survey want qualitative or quantitative data? Also note, too many open-ended questions can lead to burnout for the customer, so be mindful of how many questions you include in that format.

Length of Survey 

Speaking of burnout, length is one of the leading factors for survey completion and accuracy. The longer a survey is, the less accurate the results will be and the more likely the customer will not finish it.

Leading Questions 

Leading someone to answer in one or another doesn’t survey people’s sincere opinions. For example, asking a customer “How enjoyable was your visit with us today?” instead of “Rate your visit with us today” suggests to the customer that they at least enjoyed their visit a little bit and discourages honest answers. The first question is biased and leading.

Number of Questions per Page 

If there are too many questions on a page, the customer may mix up the questions and answer the wrong ones, or simply get overwhelmed and stop taking the survey. Take advantage of white space, and if you’re doing a survey online or with a program, don’t make the participants scroll for too long.

Branding 

Deciding whether or not the survey design should reflect the company’s brand or if it should be a blind survey. This usually depends on the purpose of the survey. If, for example, a company is looking for competition information, removing its brand would be wise.

Step #4: Have an Intentional Question Sequence

The order of the questions matter. Many people opt for a “funnel” sequence where the questions are more general, then specific, and then general again. 

  1. Broad at the Start: These questions will usually warm up the participants to the survey topics and help them familiarize themselves with the formatting and flow of the survey.
  2. Details for the Majority: The middle portion makes up most of the detailed questions that require more focus or deliberation.
  3. Personal Questions at the End: Any necessary or useful personal questions should be saved for the end, which eases participants out of the deep-concentration section and offers more closure.

There are other approaches and sequences to consider, but the funnel approach is fairly universal for most topics. Keep the questions concise and order them logically—people may get easily frustrated if the subjects bounce back and forth too much. By not jumping around excessively, you also prevent accidentally providing too much context for future questions, which can influence the responses given.

Along those same lines, listing more specific questions first can influence a question, too. If you first ask if someone enjoys their position at work and then follow it with a broader question about their overall work satisfaction, the first question will likely influence how the second one is answered.

It’s also important to remember that personal questions work best at the end. Studies show that too many personal questions in the beginning can make some respondents feel anxious about their demographics; they usually feel most worried about their own demographics affecting results. These questions are usually easier to answer and offer more of a cool down, encourage unbiased responses, and create a sense of resolution for participants.

Step #5: Test Out the Survey Design Before Distributing It

Finally, if you really want to perfect your survey research design, test, test, test. Even if you believe that the first iteration of the survey is a masterpiece, it’s essential to test the survey with a focus group or via pretesting. This helps ultimate biased questions, catches misinformation, and prevents wasting time and resources on an ineffective questionnaire. Testing should consider:

  • How long the survey takes
  • Confusing questions
  • Repetitive questions
  • Leading questions or wording issues
  • Missing questions or spelling errors
  • Miscellaneous problems that arise

Survey Design Is Easy with InMoment

Reliable data is the key to sincere, realistic, and effective improvement within a company. Businesses with this kind of feedback can make informed decisions that directly impact the people, clients, and consumers of your organization.

Now that you are prepared with persuasive survey design skills, you can optimize both the quality, design, and effectiveness of your survey with InMoment. Our XI intelligent platform allows you to easily put together an intuitive, clear, and sharp-looking survey. Discover just how simple it is to use InMoment for all your survey design needs.

How Quick Service Restaurant Brands Can Drive Profitable Guest Experience Programs

Many restaurants, including quick service restaurants (QSRs), are highly impacted by online reviews. As of last year, close to 214 million reviews have been posted to Yelp, and 45% of consumers say they’re likely to read a business’ reviews there before visiting. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds (64%) of people now Google a business before visiting—and a whopping 94% say a negative review has caused them to avoid a business altogether.

Negative reviews (and word of mouth) can clearly cause quick service restaurants to lose some guests before they even walk in the door. So how can they stop those reviews before they’re even posted? With a proactive guest experience program that allows them to gather valuable guest feedback and then take the necessary action they need to attract new diners, satisfy regulars, and turn any potentially negative experiences into positive ones.

With this goal in mind, InMoment gathered the three most important steps quick service restaurants can take to achieve better guest experiences in our new eBook, “How Food Services Brands Can Evolve Guest Experience Programs.” Here’s a short preview of what you’ll find inside.

3 Steps to a Future-Proof, Revenue-Driving Guest Experience Program for Quick Service Restaurants

Step #1: Create Operational Consistency

Operations are a critical part of your organization. It is also where many food service providers begin their overall quest to improve the guest experience and help answer questions like:

  • How do I create a consistent experience between locations?
  • How do I encourage and enforce positive behaviors in staff?
  • How do I understand the overall experience guests are having with my brand?

Taking an operational approach is exactly what it implies: it helps food service providers understand where to make operational improvements that result in consistent experiences: clean bathrooms, tasty food, friendly service, and more.

When implementing an operational approach, look for solutions that help provide actionable guidance for employees and program managers with solutions like Integrated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) and Customized Action Planning.

Step #2: Optimize Individual Experiences

Once you have mastered the art of operational guest experience, it’s time to take the next step and tackle a more experiential approach. Operational approaches focus on creating a consistent experience for all your guests.

An experiential approach focuses on creating and optimizing a positive experience for each individual guest and answering questions such as:

  • How do I understand the experience every individual guest has with my brand?
  • How do I communicate with guests about their experience in a way that works for them?
  • How do I turn negative guest experiences into positive ones?
  • How do I incorporate employee feedback to improve the guest experience?

To truly optimize experiences, make sure you’re using a solution that allows you to listen to customers and respond to their individual experiences. To do this, you need to have a guest experience solution that allows you to listen to customer feedback on any and every possible channel, including:

  • Review sites
  • Social media
  • In-App feedback
  • Third-party delivery reviews
  • Direct survey feedback
  • Microsurvey feedback
  • Employee feedback
  • Call center data
  • Video feedback
  • Loyalty program data
  • And more!

You can learn more about customer listening best practices in our eBook here!

Step #3: Innovate for Lasting Relationships

With the amount of competition in today’s food service market, creating loyalty with your guests is more important than ever—and the final step in completing your journey from an operational, to experiential, a truly innovative and relationship-based guest experience program.

Ensuring brand loyalty requires creating a high-quality, consistent experience at every touchpoint to answers questions like:

  • How can I engage the guest in a friendly, authentic way?
  • How can I give the guest the ability to customize their experience to their specific needs?
  • How can I demonstrate awareness of the guests’ situation and acknowledge their needs?
  • How can I create an experience for the guest that is perceived as a personalized experience?
  • How can I remember the guests’ preferences and anticipate their changing needs?
  • How can I incorporate guests’ feedback into my business?

When building an innovative, relationship-based guest experience program, look to integrate with loyalty and brand apps, meet guests on their terms, and understand the broader market landscape with tools like multi-touchpoint support and competitive benchmarking.

Guest Experience Is the Differentiator for Quick Service Restaurants

To sum it all up: Restaurants that consistently create high-quality, consistent experiences will separate themselves from their competitors. Want to learn about how the approach we laid out above has helped InMoment clients to gain a reputation for excellent experiences and drive loyalty? Check out our eBook here to read about cutting-edge guest experience solutions and real stories from our world-class customers.

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At a Glance: 3 Employee & Customer Experience Program Use Cases for Financial Services Brands

Financial services brands know that customers take their money seriously, so many of them leverage employee and customer experience programs to understand what their customers need, then create experiences that build trusting, positive customer/brand relationships. However, these relationships aren’t the only things experience programs can support for brands.

In fact, many financial services companies use their customer experience programs as a primary tool to influence key business outcomes. Looking for a few real life examples of how brands have done this? We’ve compiled a quick list of inspiring stories from our finserv clients. Check them out below: 

Three Financial Services Customer Experience Program Use Cases

Use Case #1: Empowering Employees

A global senior wealth management firm was able to utilize its CX programs to gather information from up to 150,000 clients annually. The data was tied to client asset information, allowing all portal users to view the opportunities and risks by customer segment. Timely and integrated reports allowed different employee groups to utilize this information, proving that experience initiatives truly empower all employees regardless of where they fall in an organizational hierarchy. 

To get even more specific:

  • Financial advisors were able to identify and save at-risk client relationships, pinpoint opportunities for growth and potential new business, and leverage both the survey process and their own results to market themselves to prospective clients.
  • Field management was able to prioritize its coaching based on financial advisor survey results, manage key client relationships (in excess of $2 million dollars) at their branch, and foster peer coaching by pairing advisors with different strengths and weaknesses.
  • Senior management was able to quantify the impact of customer satisfaction on revenue and profit, as well as identify key opportunities at the firm level to improve the client experience and grow relationships

Use Case #2: Preventing Churn

A global financial services firm used its CX solutions to identify customer segments that were most at risk. This effort helped the brand prioritize retention and inspired it to invest in strategies to reduce churn.

By focusing on the customer experience, the company achieved immediate intelligence that it was then able to deliver to the team members who could make a difference, accelerating current and future operations service enhancements. The brand was able to identify the key variables that most impacted loyalty for various customer segments, paving the way for initiatives to enhance the end customer’s service experience.

Use Case #3: Combining CX and EX

One retail financial services firm struggled to retain its members. With customer demand hot on the rise, this fast-growth firm found it difficult to listen and respond to those individuals, but with retention at stake, it got moving on its experience initiatives.

The firm launched more transaction-based listening programs to gather real-time customer feedback and serve as the collective core of its updated CX program. In addition, the brand launched employee feedback programs and a customer relationship survey that would both help it view overall customer health and cross-reference customer and employee perspectives.

This new program launched using greater mobile engagement, text analytics, and case management to close the loop. Within 18 months, the firm expanded the number of products/services per customer household by 16 percent, resulting in a 4 percent increase in loan share of wallet. The brand also increased its customer base by 31 percent and identified specific areas for improvement and expansion based on customer feedback. Wow!

There’s More Where That Came From!

Each of these use cases is incredibly inspiring, but the good news doesn’t stop there. In our latest eBook, we lay out four specific business goals that financial services brands can achieve with their experience programs. You can check it out for free on our Resources page, where you can also find a collection of customer stories that describe how industry leaders make a difference with their experience programs!

Click here to read “The Top 4 CX Business Goals for Financial Services Brands!

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Interviews Aren’t Dead: How B2B Companies Can Learn More from Their Buyers

B2B purchasing decisions are complex. They’re financial. They’re political. But more than anything—they’re unpredictable. While B2B firms have more systems in place than ever to predict sales outcomes, they’re still blindsided when prospects choose another vendor.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! To avoid this fate, it’s critical to have a process in place for exploring, analyzing, and improving the buyer experience—win or lose. You might have already guessed it, but I’m talking about buyer interviews.

Using the Right Listening Technique

There’s no one right way to collect feedback. It depends on the audience, the timing, the circumstances, and ultimately—what you’re trying to learn. Whether you’re sending SMS surveys, analyzing social reviews, or conducting phone interviews, it’s about using the right listening technique for the situation to get the best results.

Following the methodology below, our own customer experience (CX) program (Elevate) is successfully getting feedback from upwards of 90% of closed sales opportunities in our best months—and the insights are invaluable.

Here’s what we’re doing and why we think it is successful. 

Building Human Connections

For our post-opportunity listening post, we’ve found that interviews are the most effective way to engage buyers. And the intelligence we glean from these “buyer interviews” is impactful across teams.

Interviews can either supplement or replace a post-sales survey. I’ve found that many buyers actually prefer spending 30 minutes on the phone with me rather than two-minutes completing a survey. 

Also, the suggestion of a phone call lets the client know that we’re willing to take the time to listen—that we care, we want to learn, and we want to improve. It’s all about building that human connection, and it is a great way to get sticky with new clients and show your investment from the start. 

Buyer Interviews Process

Now, I bet you’re wondering how we efficiently scale this largely manual process!

First, we conduct dozens of interviews each quarter. The open-ended nature of an interview allows us to ask all of the right questions and follow the conversation wherever the respondent takes it. And we use the robust insights to drive cross-functional action. Across all of our listening posts, I can confidently say buyer interviews have quickly become one of our most beloved data sources. 

The Insights

Here are some of the things we’ve learned—and the teams that have benefited—by rolling out our buyer interview program:

  • Pricing (sales ops)
  • Roadmap Investments (product)
  • Messaging, Packaging, and Competitive (product marketing)
  • Demos (solution consultants)
  • Presentations (sales directors)
  • Renewal Strategy (client success)

At a regular cadence, our “Experience Improvement Board” looks at the emerging themes, chooses projects and specific actions, and assigns an executive owner. This owner then forms a “tiger team” to research and tackle the project—and reports on progress each month! 

Time to Get Started!

If buyer interviews are not currently part of your post-opportunity strategy, they should be. They will not only increase your response rate, but will give you additional intelligence and insight into what your buyers expect from your company. It’s the most personal way to request feedback and build lasting relationships, win or lose.

I’m not done sharing the successes of our buyer interview program. In subsequent blogs, I will talk about some of the questions we ask during interviews, challenges you may face in your conversations (and how to overcome them), interview do’s and don’ts, how to build your “interview team,” and what sorts of insights you should specifically try to gain from interviews.

But in the meantime, if you have questions about launching or refining your own buyer interview program, I’d love to talk to you. I’m Josh Marans, Director Experience Improvement at InMoment, and you can find me on Linkedin.

How to Eliminate Friction in Your Customer Journey

What Is Friction in the Customer Journey?

When most folks think of friction, they probably think of middle school science class. But if you’re a customer experience professional, “friction” is probably a term you’ve heard whenever your teammates talk about reducing customer churn. Within that context, friction refers to points in the brand experience that can have a long-term impact on customers’ relationship with a business. Friction may even cause some customers to quit a brand altogether.

Why Is It Important to Reduce Friction in the Customer Journey?

Did you know that the average business today loses between 10-30% of its customers annually?

Additionally, research by Carlson Marketing shows that U.S. companies lose 50% of their customers every five years. Multiply the amount of churning customers by the lifetime value (LTV) of the average customer at your organization and losing customers at this rate means losing millions of dollars!

Because of this, it’s essential that brands have an experience program in place that can detect friction, help experience professionals understand the problem(s) creating that friction, and correct them. The result is both a meaningfully improved experience and saved customer relationships. So, without further ado, let’s go over how your organization can ensure it’s eliminating friction across your customer journey.

How Can You Eliminate Friction in the Customer Journey?

#1: Understand The Moments That Matter

Like we said earlier, an important part of reducing friction is knowing about and understanding the moments that matter to customers. Brands can achieve this understanding by mapping out a few of their most important customer journeys. Learning about key touchpoints is one of the best ways to become aware of problems as they arise.

One of the most impactful methods to identify these moments and then reduce friction across your customer journey is InMoment’s Touchpoint Impact Mapping. Touchpoint Impact Mapping is a innovative way of understanding the moments that matter to customers. It is unique because it is based entirely on comment data drawn from customer feedback, ensuring a more accurate view of the customer’s memory of their experience. This creates an emotional picture of the journey that highlights what is most important to customers and also allows our clients to prioritize those moments that matter most to their customers.

Watch this video to hear how banking giant, Virgin Money, leveraged Touchpoint Impact Mapping to identify a key friction point and then improve its customer onboarding experience!

How Virgin Money Eliminates Friction in It’s Customer Journey

What’s more, once you’ve identified those high-impact moments, you can use this strategy to immediately begin solving those problems and expediently reduce journey friction. Understanding touchpoints and their drawbacks enables organizations to come up with solutions, implement them, and listen to see how they’re working. Experience practitioners can then point to those changes, and their improvements, when proving their program’s worth.

#2: Talk to Employees

Research has even shown that a highly engaged workforce increases profitability by 21%! So, getting your customers’ take on an experience is clearly important, but many brands, in their rush to do so, overlook chatting with their employees about customer journeys as well. Employees, especially frontline ones, can provide extremely powerful and eye-opening intel about your brand’s experience. How can brands access and leverage that?

The best way for brands to get their employees’ perspective is by letting them constantly submit feedback and ideas in real-time. Rather than relying on, say, an annual survey, organizations should instead utilize experience platforms that give employees a constant voice. This also further allows brands to learn about, and act upon, problems as they emerge in real-time instead of too far down the road for the customer’s liking.

Want to learn more about how employees can help you decrease friction in the customer journey and grow customer loyalty and value? Check out this infographic!

#3: Keeping Tabs on Your Customer Journey

That notion of being constantly aware of journey friction as it happens is at the heart of keeping it suppressed as much as possible. Surveys are important, but this dynamic is another reason why they’re insufficient for reducing journey friction by themselves—a constantly possible problem demands a constantly active solution. Organizations simply cannot achieve that level of awareness otherwise.

Another element of getting a full picture of your experience is leveraging data sources outside of surveys. And that’s going to become crucial in the next few years. Why? Because only 19% of U.S. Gen Z customers are likely to complete a traditional survey.

Instead of relying solely on direct surveys, brands can do this by combining survey listening with other sources of data, like your employees’ perspectives, and putting it against a backdrop of financial and operational information. This approach creates a 360-degree view of your customers and experience, an understanding that your organization can leverage to reduce friction, boost retention, and create a meaningfully improved experience.

Want to learn more about improving customer retention? We just published an entire eBook on the subject—click here to check it out!

2022 EX Trends: The Top 2 Things Employees Must Have in Their Next Job

Even if you don’t work in the HR space, you’ve probably seen the term “The Great Resignation” cross your news feed at least once (or 100 times, more likely). At the very least, no matter what department you operate out of, you’ve seen the unprecedented level of churn the job market is experiencing right now. And that might leave you wondering: what employee must haves are convincing employees to leave their old jobs for new ones?

There’s a lot to unpack with The Great Resignation, but one of the core truths playing out here is that many employees aren’t getting what they’re looking for from their employers in 2022. We dove into that in our recent 2022 Experience Trends Report (you can check out the full findings here), but we’re going to quickly cover two of those things here for you today.

What Do Employees Want from Their Employers?

  1. Supportive Culture
  2. Connection to Customer Experience

Employee Must Have #1: Supportive Culture

It may sound like a no-brainer to have an employee-supporting culture in place at your organization, but if the amount of employee churn going on right now is any indication, far fewer brands have that scheme in place than you might think. A lot of folks believe that the COVID-19 pandemic was the starting line for employee churn, but the truth is that the pandemic only exacerbated a lack of employee support that had already been there for a long time.

This is why it’s so important for organizations to invest heavily in this employee must have if they haven’t already. The best ‘employee support’ is what EX experts call employee commitment, wherein companies roll up their sleeves and dig deep to learn how they can better drive transparency, trust, and communication. Much of the churn we’re seeing with The Great Resignation stems from employees feeling that these elements were absent at their previous workplace.

Whereas the traditional employee response model has been to react to problems only as they arise, it’s become pretty clear that that’s no longer sufficient for retaining talent. Helping employees feel a human connection to their brand has never been easy, and the specs of that mission vary from company to company, but investing the time and effort into identifying what that looks like for your organization will make all the difference when it comes to employee retention. Remember; employees don’t want you to react to problems after they’ve occurred. They want to feel a bold, human connection to your brand.

Employee Must Have #2: Connection to Customer Experience

As important as it is for employees to feel connected to their organizations, workplace connections are only part of the puzzle. There’s another element here that employees are actively seeking as they look for opportunities in 2022, and that’s a connection with the customers and clients that brands like yours partner with.

On the surface, this may seem like yet another no-brainer. Employees become more committed when they see how their work makes a difference in a customer’s life. The thing is, though, is that a lot of companies have committed to illustrating that difference only to frontline employees, when the reality is that every team, frontline or otherwise, works together toward that goal. 

With that idea in mind, it’s vital for brands to find ways to let even those non-customer-facing teams know how their work contributes to Experience Improvement (XI) among customers. This contributes to employees’ sense of value at your organization and reduces the risk that comes with the siloed feeling many non-customer-facing individuals may encounter during their work. Demonstrating that link will look different at each company, but organizations need to find a way to do so now more than ever. 

The 2022 Employee Landscape

All in all, employees are seeking two major factors in 2022:  a culture that commits to them rather than just reacting to issues after they occur, and a chance to see how exactly their work matters to customers no matter how far they are from the front line. 

These tasks are by no means easy to execute on, but if you put the time and effort into figuring out how, you’ll be able to retain your talent and continue building meaningful experiences for both your employees and your customers!

5 Simple Steps Retailers Can Take to Build Stronger Relationships with Customers

Customer loyalty has become more elusive in the past few years. As customers seem to shop solely based on the best deal, it can be difficult to build customer loyalty in retail, which leaves many brands wondering if customer loyalty is even worth the effort.

However challenging it may be for retailers, developing a loyal customer base is essential to maintaining an active, healthy brand. A loyal customer is valuable to retailers in a multitude of ways. Many studies show that repeat customers are likely to purchase more frequently, spend more money, and pay a premium for a product. In addition to generating more income from their own purchases, loyal customers are more likely to refer new customers to the brand, furthering the cycle of customer retention.

As a retailer, how do you build these types of relationships with your customers? Read below for our five best tips.

5 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty in Retail

Step #1: Personal Experience

Your frontline staff play a large role in converting a customer from an occasional shopper to a brand advocate. Train your employees to go above and beyond to provide your customers with helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable service to create an experience your customers will remember. Work toward a culture of centered on employee engagement and provide your staff with regular training, feedback, and incentives to encourage consistently excellent performance. Simply put, investing in employee engagement saves you money.

Step #2: Store Experience

Is your retail store an inviting place for customers to spend their time? If you design your store to provide an appealing experience, customers will be more likely to visit your store as an activity or a destination. Your store should be clean, attractive, and easy to navigate. In addition to the physical design and layout of your store, pay close attention to your inventory. Customers expect stores to be well-stocked with high-quality merchandise.

Remember that retail purchases are intertwined with a shopper’s life, image, and identity. Your store experience and aesthetics should affirm to customers that your brand is a good fit with their lifestyle and personal identity.

Step #3: Price and Value

Retailers often mistakenly think that customers will only buy the cheapest product available, regardless of the brand or retailer. While this may be true in some markets, many consumers are willing to pay more if they feel the price matches the product’s quality. Price your products so that the perceived value is high. Sales, coupons, and promotions can also help customers feel like your brand offers a good value.

Many customers will pay slightly more to shop at a store that provides a better experience and that treats their employees well. As you improve your brand’s personal and store experience, your perceived value will increase.

Step #4: Marketing and Communication

Once you’ve fine-tuned your brand experience and product pricing, you can begin to promote customer loyalty through marketing campaigns. Your marketing and communication efforts should positively reflect your brand. As you plan your marketing strategy, prioritize brand voice and consistency across all of your channels (e.g. social media, email marketing, online advertising, and in-store promotions). If you have customers who enthusiastically promote your brand online, engage with them and encourage their behavior.

Again, consider that loyal customers will consider purchases from your brand as an extension of their personality and lifestyle. Use this to your advantage as you build customer relationships through your marketing campaigns.

Step #5: Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are a great way to incentivize customers to visit your store more frequently. Discounts and promotions that are tied to a loyalty program can help customers feel that you value their business. The data generated by loyalty programs is also very valuable. When implemented correctly, you can use this data to help customers find products they’ve purchased in the past or return an item without the hassle of a receipt. On the retailer’s side, this data can also be used to learn more about customer purchasing habits and establish net promoter score. As always, use and protect customer data appropriately and with discretion.

As you harmonize the touchpoints of your retail brand, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by improved customer relationships and a stronger bottom line. InMoment’s products are designed to help retailers create a positive brand experience and to cultivate lasting relationships. Learn more about our products and services for retailers.

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The Importance of Employee Loyalty in the Workplace

We all know that employee loyalty is important, but oftentimes we forget how employee loyalty is connected with customer loyalty and how loyal employees contribute to the success of the entire business.

“Profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer loyalty. Loyalty is a direct result of customer satisfaction. Satisfaction is largely influenced by the value of services provided to customers. Value is created by satisfied, loyal, and productive employees. Employee satisfaction, in turn, results primarily from high-quality support services and policies that enable employees to deliver results to customers.” (Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work, Harvard Business Review, 1994)

Leadership and Loyalty

There is a strong relationship between employee satisfaction and employee loyalty and between employee loyalty and customer loyalty and, ultimately, profitability. So what is the secret to fostering employee loyalty and preventing employee turnover? Effective leadership.

In fact, according to a survey conducted by Korn Ferry, 33% of employees plan to look for a new job due to being bored and needing a new challenge.

Leaders who genuinely care about their people—who are “plugged in” to their organizations and listen to their employees for suggestions on how to improve—will develop corporate cultures that naturally support the concept of the Service-Profit Chain. By no surprise, employees who trust and respect the leadership of an organization often feel more empowered and motivated to do their best, which reduces employee turnover and its costs.

Those costs, particularly when layoffs are involved, can include low morale among stressed employees, and widespread distrust of the company by employees, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2014 Work and Well-Being Survey.

Metlife had similar findings in its 2011 Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, which reported that employee loyalty was  at a 3-year low. However, the study’s 2017 findings, titled “Work Redefined: A New Age” focused  on what companies can do to inspire loyalty: “With so much change, employees are looking for more stability, protection, and a safeguard against disruption. If they can find it in their employer, they’ll show their appreciation through loyalty.”

Much of the report examines what kind of benefits inspire employee loyalty in the workplace, but even great benefits can’t make up for a poor work environment, so it’s more important than ever for leaders to embrace and implement changes that encourage loyal employees who uphold your brand’s values.

6 Tips for Fostering Employee Loyalty

These tips, which are drawn largely from the experience of customer service reps (CSRs), are widely applicable since in the end we all ultimately serve the customer.

1. Give Employees the Tools They Need

Develop tools that allow employees to quickly look up the answers to common problems, share best practices and solutions with each other, and contribute to the company’s knowledge base. Train employees in soft skills as well, like de-escalating a situation, and feeling and expressing empathy.

2. Give Employees the Time They Need

Think about voice of the customer (VoC) for a moment, and how often feedback comes from a post-interaction customer satisfaction survey, whether it’s an automated phone call or email.

Now think about how much customer service is outsourced to call centers, which work effectively in keeping calls short. One call center explained the need for time limits this way:  “Companies account for customer service as a cost center, not a profit center, and companies need to keep costs down.” Talented, hard-working employees with great people skills might be forgiven for hearing this as, “You cost us, and the only value you have is your ability to keep costs down.”

This is hardly a way to build loyalty, and the pressure to keep calls short contributes to the call center industry having the highest turnover of industries worldwide. (In a 2016 post Talkdesk, a provider of call center solutions, reported the yearly turnover as 30-45%, double or triple that of all U.S. industries in 2013.)

3. Change How You Account for Customer Service

A better way to think about customer service and build employee loyalty is to think about how many customers your employees talk with and interact with each day. That gives them valuable perspective on customer wants, needs, frustrations, and satisfaction. Think about ways to record and gather that perspective, and how you can use the data to improve your services, products, offerings, and, especially, profits.

4. Measure the Right Things

Remember that not all projects take the same amount of time. Strict time limits or quotas may discourage talented employees from taking on difficult tasks. Quality Assurance and Training Connection (QATC) reported that one company saw a significant increase in retention by designating more resources and adjusting performance expectations a little for a particularly stressful call type. Think about the knowledge and experience the company held onto by keeping those employees. (Not to mention the cost savings.) QATC’s article ends with a table breaking out the line items behind the oft-quoted cost of about $6,500 to replace a non-supervisory employee.

5. Solicit Employee Feedback

How does an employee show loyalty? Through open communication. ATB Financial, which has appeared repeatedly on Achievers’ 50 Most Engaged Workplaces list (and most recently as one of The Elite 8), encourages its employees to logon to the recruiting site Glassdoor and leave anonymous reviews of the company. The chief people officer’s response to fears that employees might leave nasty reviews? “Then we’d better get a hell of a lot better,” Lorne Rubis told the Financial Post. “I’d much rather know and have the courage, strength, and conviction to allow for the data to be free-flowing than to worry about what kind of governance we put on that.”

6. Study What Other Companies Are Doing To Build Employee Loyalty

Achievers compile an annual list of 50 Most Engaged Workplaces by looking at eight categories: Leadership, Communication, Culture, Rewards and Recognition, Accountability and Performance, Vision and Values, and Corporate Social Responsibility. A good place to discover what other companies are doing is the citations for The Elite 8, the top companies in each category.

InMoment was honored to appear as one of the 50 in 2011 as Mindshare Technologies, and we’re tremendously proud to have employees who are engaged, passionate about their work, creative, and committed to providing the highest quality of internal and external service. At the heart of our company is a phenomenal leadership team that has created a culture where people work hard, care about each other, are innovative, and fun to be around.

By constantly improving from our employee feedback, we were recently awarded the Top 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in the United States.

Ready to improve employee loyalty and satisfaction in your company? See how InMoment can help you increase employee loyalty in the workplace and boost business success.

Why You Haven’t Been Able to Take Action on CX Feedback

One of the questions I am often asked by organizations is, “how do other companies use customer feedback?” Fortunately, the answer to that question is simple: most organizations use customer feedback to create PowerPoint reports or Excel spreadsheets to track performance. Then, they might tie results to compensation or be used to coach front-line employees. These are all good uses of customer feedback, but in many cases, they lead to chasing a score versus driving organizational change.  The real question, then, should be, “how do other companies take action on CX feedback?” 

The difference between “use” and “act” is subtle, but important. Taking action on customer feedback is not necessarily a more complex question to answer, but because there are many factors at play that need to be aligned to sustain action, it is more difficult to bring action to life.  In my twenty-plus years in the CX consulting industry, I’ve found the organizations that are best at taking action with customer feedback have five things in common.

5 Keys You Need to Take Action on CX Feedback  

Key #1: Senior Level Support  

One of the challenges many organizations face is gaining the support and influence to allocate both human and capital resources toward being customer-focused and action-oriented.  Thus, the critical foundation for all successful CX programs is a senior-level sponsor who embraces customer feedback and drives a customer-focused culture throughout their team.  

The role of a senior-level sponsor is most successful when they do more than just kick off the initiative and serve as a figurehead, but instead are an active participant in the process and ensure resources are allocated accordingly. When there are conflicts of interest, it is the senior level sponsor that should redirect focus toward the solutions that best align to the customer-focused strategies and, subsequently, provide sufficient firepower to allow people to maintain that focus.

Key #2: Cross-Functional Engagement

Some organizations, I find, build teams to drive action, but those teams are entirely composed of people from a single area—like marketing or corporate strategy.  Truly successful organizations will build their teams to include individuals from customer channels, product lines, leadership, technology, and the front-line.  

This cross-functional view will provide insights into how each group operates and, thus, how they can work together to push the organization’s customer-focused initiatives.  Additionally, a cross-functional team reduces the perception that any initiative is “corporate driven” and instead helps build advocates and spokespeople for the initiative across the organization.  

Key #3: Design with the End in Mind  

Consider the projects you may be currently involved with. Do you have a clear line of sight to who uses the information, how, and why?  How many times have you delivered a report or feedback to a mass email list, not knowing if people are actually looking at what you’ve produced?

The fact of the matter is that anyone can collect customer feedback, but collecting the right customer feedback is what best-in-class organizations do. Organizations who do not know their end goal, what hypotheses they are trying to test, who is going to use the information, or how they intend to measure the success or failure will have a difficult time gathering the input to drive action within an organization.  

“Designing with the end in mind” is about more than just determining how best to capture customer feedback. You also need to consider how you are going to get the feedback out to the organization. As part of the initial program design, organizations also need to think through how to get employees the right information in a timely manner.  This is where customer feedback dashboards—customized for each type of employee—can create transparency for how they are personally performing, as well as how the organization is doing against key metrics. If people do not know where they and the organization stand against goals, they do not know if what they are doing is driving the right outcomes or if they need to course correct.

Key #4: Hold People Accountable

 In a recent InMoment poll, we learned that 72 percent of CX professionals do not feel their programs are very successful at driving business outcomes. I am not surprised by this finding based on the several Action Planning sessions I have facilitated with organizations to help drill down into specific problem areas and identify strategies to address those problems.  

Often during these sessions, the energy level and intentions to take action are very high amongst cross-functional team members.  However, once people go back to their day jobs, the action steps and strategies identified frequently fall to the wayside.  

Successful organizations will not only encourage Action Planning sessions, but also hold people accountable for following through.  Typically, this is in the form of weekly check-ins with committee members and monthly and/or quarterly updates with senior leadership to keep the momentum moving forward and to change direction as needed.

Key #5: An ROI Story

Identifying what drives the customer experience most will help point an organization in the right direction. Action Planning can help identify the potential next steps, but management will want to know the ROI of focusing on a particular action item. This is not new, but the challenge is often the quality and accuracy of the customer information available within an organization’s database. Unfortunately, this is usually where the process breaks down because organizations will find themselves paralyzed in discussions about the accuracy of the available information.

In my experience, it is virtually impossible to develop an ROI prediction that is 100 percent accurate. Let’s imagine for a moment your database is 100 percent accurate (even though you and I know it’s not). Your ROI model might have the right inputs, but how are you going to control for what your competitors do, fluctuations in the stock market, the latest news, etc.? Creating an ROI story will require you to make some concessions and accept that your ROI calculation will never be perfect.  

I recommend organizations identify which internal metrics they feel most confident in and use those to create an ROI story. This can be done in a simple manner such as taking the average customer value and multiplying it by the number of customers who are at-risk to determine the potential loss should they actually leave. Or a more complex statistical linkage analysis can be developed that factors in multiple variables and data sources to provide more confidence in the ROI calculation. The former may take an hour or so of time, while the latter a few weeks. Either approach will give you and management some indication of the potential impact of a particular action—and all things considered, it is the relative magnitude of this impact that is most important.

Not as Easy as You Might Think

To sum it up, taking action on customer feedback is something all organizations should strive for, but it’s not as easy to do as some may think. While the factors above may seem intuitive, only the best-in-class organizations actually put these factors into practice. If you are not one of these organizations, I encourage you to revisit your CX program so that you can help your organization move closer to actually take action on your CX feedback.  

Want to learn more about how you can take action today to improve your customer experience (and your bottom line)?  Check out this eBook, detailing six specific steps you can take now to gain some CX wins!

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