Today, many companies get nowhere near enough from their customer surveys and their work with customer feedback in general. Often, this is because the connection between customer insight, platform technology and humans is not good enough. It’s a shame because it doesn’t have to be this way.
When we help companies improve their customer experience, we often deal with companies that are ready to take the next step in the professionalization of their customer feedback setup or companies that think they get too little from their existing setup. Most companies could get much more from the effort that they already put into their work with customer experience. However, this requires that the expectations and good intentions don’t die out along the way, and are instead realized and anchored in reality.
In particular, we see that there are three significant reasons that recur among the companies that do not get enough out of their work with customer feedback.
1. Older generations of platform solutions
Today, many companies use outdated generations of platform solutions (so-called 1st or 2nd generation solutions) as the backbone of their customer feedback program.
However, neither one large and heavy annual measurement nor many small hyper-frequent measurements are the most appropriate solution if you want to generate sustained improvements that will elevate your overall customer experience. With 1st and 2nd generation platforms, your company might not necessarily gain the right insights into the right context and at the most appropriate frequency. If you want the most out of your customer measurements and the work with customer feedback in general, it is necessary to use a platform solution that offers a combination of technology (data) and a “human touch” (insight and behavior). This is precisely what the market’s most innovative 3rd generation platform solutions do.
A platform with a human touch fundamentally ensures that 1) the right people in the company receive the right insights and 2) that the necessary help and sparring is subsequently available when the data is to be converted into insights and when insights are to be converted into new and/or altered behavior in the organization. Since the insights only generate (positive) change and value when translated to the right customer-centric behavior, it is entirely critical that there is a “human touch” with respect to the platform, which supports and guides employees in training and improving their behavior.
If you find that you also get too little out of your customer feedback setup, it is a good idea to search the market for platform solutions that don’t just collect customer feedback but also lead to measurable improvements by having the right team and competences around you.
2.Your insights are not translated into actual development
Another reason we often see with companies is that the translation of their customer insight into actual development activities and actions are disconnected from the company’s other operation and prioritized initiatives. This means that customer insights quickly “die” and never really come “alive” in the company because the employees fall back to existing routines far too quickly. The optimization of your customer experience should never be a side project; it should always be anchored in the activities of the company. Unfortunately, many companies find it challenging to use the customer insights actively in the organization. This is therefore an area where training would be beneficial. You can do this through action learning, where you practice reality. If, for instance, your customer insights show that your salespersons would benefit from starting to work with value-based selling, your salespersons need to practice this behavioral change in a real sales situation.
When you practice changes in reality, you will soon find that it is simpler to work with customer experience. This way, you can connect your customer insights with the rest of your operations and initiatives in the company on an ongoing basis. This is called training in reality, and it is one of the most effective methods for creating sustained behavioral change.
3.Competences and experience are underestimated
When customers need a better customer experience, it requires that some people in the organization do things differently. This requires both the right competences and experience for generating positive change in a company through sustained behavioral and mindset changes, which is often strongly underestimated. This results in failure to achieve the desired effect. Changes are generated by people, and therefore, it is the company’s employees – helped strongly by your customer insights – that ultimately need to do something differently. Getting started can be complicated, and therefore, you can get a lot more out of your work with customer feedback if the right human competences are there. This could consist of advice and guidance, which helps you establish the conditions for generating the necessary change. We often see that this “human touch” is a missing component from many companies’ feedback setup, which means that there is a large unused potential for change after the customer insights and initiatives are communicated.
On its own, the technological platform cannot solve problems that require behavioral change among employees, but human competences and advice can do just that. The companies that excel in this area are therefore those that are capable of motivating all their employees into providing good customer experiences because they can see that it makes a difference. At Ennova, we see that many of the global leading brands we work with are incredibly good at generating meaning, context and frameworks for the employees, which results in excellent customer experiences.
The right balance generates sustained improvements
With the right balance in the use of platform technology and a human touch, you will quickly be able to improve your company’s overall performance. By exploiting the advantages of a professional platform, consisting of data integration, data-driven insights, nudging, real time follow-up as well as guidance, and combining this with professional advice and inspiration from competent advisors in relation to generating sustained changes and improvements, you will have the best conditions for systematically improving customer experience.
And in the end, that’s good business.