In my last blog, I discussed several lessons learned from Choctaw Nation as part of our recent webinar together. This webinar gave listeners the opportunity to hear from different companies about their experiences implementing a CX program, so for those of you who missed it, I am going over each segment in a series of blog posts.
In this post, I will discuss the conversation I had with Mike Bolland of Discount Tire, regarding his company’s CX journey. As the director of omnichannel customer insights & experience, Mike is constantly looking for ways to capitalize on VoC data, and he was able to share one of the company’s innovative techniques with me: the implementation of Customer Advisory Boards.
Before I explain this technique, it’s necessary to give a little background on Discount Tire’s customer experience history. Discount Tire has had some form of VoC process in place since 2005, but they kept running into one specific problem: They knew what the existing issues were, but they weren’t sure how to continue the conversation with their customers to discover why those issues existed.
This was the genesis for Discount Tire’s Customer Advisory Board (CAB). The board started off as a group of about 20 customers who would meet with the Discount Tire team to get at the root of customer experience issues.
These boards have since become an integral part of the way Discount Tire approaches its customers, and has been even more useful since they have added InMoment’s advanced analytics to their CX efforts. They have found that their VoC program really informs the discussion in the CAB meetings, in that the insights they gain allow them to ask targeted questions and get the answers they need.
A Voice of Customer (VoC) program is vital to this process because as Mike says, “as employees of 20+ years, we can’t think like a customer.” In my own conversations with clients, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard something along these lines. The fact of the matter is that though businesses have an idea of what the customer experience issues are in their head, they do not often match up with what the customer views as the primary issues.
Using VoC and CABs in tandem is Discount Tire’s solution to this problem. With VoC analytics, unstructured feedback identifies the real issues or the “why,” which are then brought to the customer advisory board. This takes the process a step further, and allows a business to get an accurate, complete picture of the problem so they can act accordingly.
Discount Tire uses this technique consistently in order to keep tabs on their customers at the speed of business. They present new ideas and campaigns to this board as well as ask for background on existing issues. Members of the board are able to ask the Discount Tire team questions, which reveals the areas that the company could better define for their customers.
Overall, this idea of using customer advisory boards in conjunction with a VoC program creates a forum for any business to better understand their customers and better their customer experience.