Effective Practices

A perspective on what we’ve seen work in consumer and small business segments:

There are many approaches to effective surveying, but we thought we’d share a few examples of what works for a few clients who have a large volume of consumer and small business interactions.

First: Gather the right data at the right time

The most likely time a consumer will change their probability of recommending or purchasing again is during or immediately after an interaction with your company. Luckily, that’s also the time when it’s most feasible that the company can still change their opinion by saving the customer. We can conduct surveys at those times so you can react in time.

Many surveys gather a lot of data but do so infrequently. A best practice that has emerged in recent years involves collecting smaller amounts of information more frequently. Why does this work?

  • Higher response rates
  • Less irritating – saves customer’s time
  • For complaints, more likely to still be salvageable
  • Easier to digest and distribute the information

Another best practice is asking a question about whether the consumer would recommend the product / service to a friend or family member. The theory is that it’s one level of satisfaction if they will buy the product again, but completely a higher level of satisfaction must exist if they would recommend the product to someone they know. Although long practiced, this question was popularized in the book The Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld.

Second:  Understand the data to get meaningful insights

We translate the results of the that “recommend” question (see above) into a “Net Promoter Score™”, which was popularized in the book and is now an industry-standard. The Net Promoter Score™ is immediately understandable by a wide variety of audiences, and, through our experience, it is powerfully motivating.

  • Quantify hidden customer churn costs of policy and practices
  • Monitor online store / web store satisfaction / improvement opportunities
  • Monitor trends over time and in relation to actions
  • Identify opportunities to improve

Respond effectively

Reporting and analysis should also align with human motivational factors. For example, do the surveys have a robust design that allows teams, products and processes to be ranked on satisfaction? Does it allow for both collaboration and intra-organizational competition? Can the surveys be gamed? How easily can the results be shared?

  • Proactively identify and save customers that are about to churn (abandon)
  • Combine with segmentation data to optimize investments in customer experience
  • Calibrate actions to facts and data
  • Use the power of the entire organization to improve customer loyalty by using appropriate incentives

Distribute the Survey Data Appropriately to Get Results

While many customer service problems can be categorized and distilled into information that is ready to be put into action by executives, that distillation process loses information that would be helpful to other employees. For example, let’s say a Lexus dealer network survey came back with a prevalent issue of cars ‘not being clean after servicing.’ The regional directors get the message out and the dealers become vigilant about what they think that means: window cleaning and vacuuming. However, what the service team in Dallas might not know is that their dealership has an issue with one mechanic who gets grease on the inside of the door – but that’s not mentioned in that distilled version. Distilling information is great for upper management – it’s a necessity. However, different people need different information depending on their role.

Brandocular helps provide the tools that help you:

  • understand what the factors are that drive customer retention
  • give the organization the right information to improve customer retention
  • differentiate between policy issues, product issues, service issues, and human issues
  • track how changes impact the above varying factors
  • continuously assess performance
  • assess and prioritize investments