Do you remember what it felt like the last time you lost a customer? Surprised? Angry? Upset? And what did the unhappy customer do, at least as far as you know? Told someone else, texted, used social media to post a gripe. Then you and your team had to find a new customer! Think of the time, energy, money expended to find that “replacement” customer.
Most companies want to have a listening program in place, but don’t. There is the general thought that a Customer Experience (CX) listening process is too expensive, too complicated, takes too much time or demands too much from staff. All of this can be true if you don’t have a planned and focused program in place.
Customers who have complaints don’t know how to be heard. People prefer a safe and comfortable process; that it’s OK to voice their opinion. There is good news. Businesses that are serious about listening to their customers experiences have options when activating a productive process; beneficial for customers, employees and business.
Suggestions you can implement immediately:
- A complaint button on the home page of your website. Make it obvious.
- An inbound phone line which a live person answers.
- Comment cards made available at check out, left behind when products are delivered or installed or included in invoices mailed to customers.
These are all listening channels; opportunities where customers can actively engage with your business and share feedback about their experiences.
The most popular means for engaging and hearing from your customers is through online or mail surveys. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Surveys should be short and sweet. Make them easy to fill out which will encourage response.
- Survey content should invite a candid “conversation” while making the customer feel comfortable and safe.
- The accompanying communication to the customer, for example, an email invitation or cover letter should be personalized and from the most senior level executive as possible in your organization.
Our research recommends that a customer experience survey should be limited to no more than five questions.
Here are some survey tips:
- Ask your customers about key relationship touchpoints. Touchpoints are characteristics of the relationship the customer has with your business that are important from the customers’ perspective.
- A few questions should ask about their overall experience, including their likelihood they would work with you again and if they would recommend your business to someone else.
- Finish with an open-ended question that asks for verbatim, off-the-top comments.
If you do implement listening channels, take them seriously; be prepared to follow up quickly with the customer if an issue comes to your attention. Remember how you felt when you complained and nothing happened? Be different. Show the customer you care by taking action. A little attention goes a long way. www.readexresearch.com