Where is Your Firm on the Feedback Management Maturity
previous article on customer feedback management, we discussed the
differences between simply collecting customer feedback and having
systematic processes to both gather and make effective use of
customer feedback. We call this Feedback Management – a
set of techniques, processes and tools proven to offer major benefits
when deployed consistently over time.
In this article, we introduce the concept of Feedback Management
Maturity. We'll define some characteristics of organizations at
different stages of the Feedback Management Maturity Curve and discuss
some approaches companies can take to move up the curve and reap the
The concept of "Feedback Management Maturity" has several implications:
1) it's a journey for any company to attain feedback management
maturity; 2) there are some recognizable stages on the way; and 3) as
with people, different firms embrace the journey with different
approaches. Some are in a rush to the top (perhaps forced by
competition), while others stay at stage 1 indefinitely. The curve
diagram above is an attempt to represent the stages that firms go though
as they seek to become truly "customer centric" by developing and
deploying mature, well-developed Feedback Management capabilities.
Characteristics of firms at different stages of the curve
What's the Value of
being high on the curve?
It's simple: the further up the curve a firm is, the stronger the firm's
ability to compete and prosper because it is better able to gather,
manage and act on strategic and tactical feedback. This provides
competitive advantage because the firm can:
Continuously improve key processes like marketing and
Deliver superior customer experiences
Attain high customer satisfaction and loyalty
(reflected in metrics)
Develop and refine new products and services over time
PROFITABLY GROW THE BUSINESS!
Firms high on the Feedback Management Maturity Curve systematically
measure key dimensions of their customers' experience and perceptions,
and effectively utilize the insights to manage the business. They
measure and manage the business to assure high customer satisfaction,
high loyalty, high retention, to develop new products to meet evolving
customer needs (which they track), etc. Over time, these firms rise to
the top tier of their industry in terms of growth and profitability.
The correlation between strong feedback management capabilities and
performance have been studied and documented by authors like Fred
Reichheld, inventor of the "Net Promoter" method for measuring loyalty,
and organizations like ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index).
Companies with the highest Loyalty and/or Customer Satisfaction scores
are invariably top performers in their sectors.
Where is your firm on the curve?
A few years ago a Gartner Group study found that while 95% of firms
collect customer feedback (in one form or another), only 10% were acting
on the feedback and only 5% were communicating back to their
constituents what they were doing with the feedback. In other words, for
the vast majority of firms in the study, the collection of customer
feedback wasn't systematic, and they did not consistently or effectively
take action based on the information gathered (including "closing the
loop" with customers). Even today, the results from most feedback
initiatives and/or surveys are treated like market research and end up
as a report filed away on the shelf. Most small and medium sized
business would recognize themselves as being in the "Getting Started"
stage of the curve.
Moving up the Curve
Clearly, effective feedback management gives companies a competitive
"edge". So how can your firm go about moving up the curve and developing
this edge for your business? Here are a few thoughts on what it
Surprisingly, going from "Getting Started" to "Getting Serious" can be
simple and affordable. There are cost effective yet powerful feedback
management tools on the market, and if you need outside help, there are
many smaller, focused firms you can engage as opposed to hiring
expensive "big name" consultants. This way you can jump start your
progress to the next stage on the curve, learn how to apply feedback
management techniques to your business, and quickly begin to reap the
proven benefits of effective feedback management.
QuestBack is an enterprise feedback management tool for gathering,
analyzing and acting on feedback from critical constituencies. With
unique ASK&ACT(TM) follow-up capabilities, QuestBack makes customer
feedback data immediately actionable and supports the implementation of
feedback management processes. The company is based in Europe and
represented in the US by QuestBack Boston LLC.
Take our Feedback Management Maturity Survey.
Learning From The
by Robert Mannal,
Managing Director of RHMinc, an IT Security Consulting firm
There is little doubt that we are currently in a recessionary period.
Some observers are suggesting that this recession will be second only to
the Great Depression in severity and economic impact.
Everyone in America felt the Great Depression. At its depths, over 25%
of the labor force was unemployed, resulting in lost homes, widespread
hunger, significant government intervention and social change. Many
companies failed. However, some companies were able to carry on and, as
a result, prospered when the economy turned around. What strategies did
these companies employ and are they applicable in today's climate?
Reviewing the literature relating to this question suggests that
customer-focusing companies survived and prospered. As one observer
"Consumers didn't stop spending during the Depression, most just
looked for better deals, and the companies producing those better deals
came out stronger after the Depression ended."
He goes on to say:
"Both anecdotal and empirical evidence support the case that
advertising was the main factor in the growth or downfall of companies
during the Great Depression."1
Other writers have come to the same conclusion, i.e., that those
companies who ignored their customers, or became invisible to their
customers, and who did not offer a perceived value-add, failed.2
Three strategies for today, drawn from the Great Depression, are:
Focus on existing and potential customers
Provide perceived, differentiated value
Keep your name in front of customers….don't allow them
to forget you
A classic Business-to-Business ad for McGraw-Hill publications, written
by David Ogilvy, poses the following:
"I don't know who you are
I don't know your company
I don't know your company's product
I don't know what your company stands for
I don't know your company's customers
I don't know your company's record
I don't know your company's reputation
Now – what was it you wanted to sell to me?"
This ad is as relevant now as it was then. It touches on the need to
maintain customer contact and the need to use customers to spread the
word about your products or services, a theme that is especially true in
today's recessionary environment.
Companies who forget to position themselves in the market, or who lose
touch with their customer base, risk being forgotten.
If you'd like to ensure that you maintain a high-level of customer
satisfaction and loyalty, give us a call. We'd be happy to discuss our
highly pragmatic programs that result in improving your customers'
experience and the operational performance of your firm.
Brands Thrived During the Great Depression" Dave Chase, October 17,
"Business Lessons from The Great Depression" October 8, 2008, Stacy
Perman, Business Week; Google Answers,
Re: Successful companies and industries during the Great Depression,
especially the answer from digsalot-ga; Wiki Answers:
What Businesses thrived during the Great Depression;
"When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Don't Skimp on their Ad Budgets"
November 26, 2008, Knowledge@Wharton.
Where is Your Firm on the Feedback Management Maturity Curve?
If you have received this newsletter from a friend
and would like to subscribe:
here to subscribe
View previous newsletters
Where is your firm on the Feedback Management Maturity Curve? How does
your company compare to others? Please take our
survey on Feedback Management Maturity. If we get enough responses,
we'll compile and publish the results in a future article.
More Satisfied Customers
Check out what some
recent customers had to say about their experiences with Customer
has been instrumental in making the Sophos customer survey program a
reality. From concept to launch, the Customer Centricity team guided us
quickly and expertly through the process. Their years of customer
experience were instrumental in analyzing critical customer feedback
allowing us to take swift and decisive action in a very short period of
time. Our organization highly recommends Customer Centricity and will
continue to leverage their expertise in our customer-facing programs."
VP Sales & Operations, Americas
About Customer Centricity, Inc.
We strengthen overall company performance through
better service delivery and management.
We boost efficiencies in front-line customer service and technical support
teams, order processing, fulfillment, field service, logistics and other
key operations functions.
In short, we align the resources of your organization to exceed your
customers' expectations in the most effective and efficient manner
See What Our Customers Say