Thriving While Others Hunker Down
Yes, the news on the economic climate continues to be grim. Yes, costs
must be brought in line to ensure the enterprise remains afloat. Yes,
this presents an opportunity for you!
Some "less fortunate" firms have decided to slash customer feedback
programs. This is YOUR OPPORTUNITY to pave the way to excel in the
current environment, positioning your firm to come out the other side
stronger than ever (and stronger than your competition)! First, I can
understand the need to drop customer feedback programs when they provide
little to no value to the organization. However, when your customer
feedback program (such as what is delivered by Customer Centricity)
provides concrete results including reinforcing what you do well,
identifying opportunities for improvement and defining pragmatic action
plans to improve the customer experience and operational performance,
these programs become "table stakes" for remaining in business. Not to
mention the fact that you remain "front and center" in the eyes of your
customer as they acknowledge your continuing efforts to seek their input
as you (together) navigate these tumultuous waters.
In this spirit we share the first article in a two-part series on:
Customer Feedback for Short Term Impact!
Tough Business Environment? Try Customer
Feedback for Short Term Impact! (Part 1 of 2)
By Cedric Nash
Most business managers would agree on the value of systematically
collecting and using customer feedback. Few would argue that it's not a
good thing to know as much as possible about your customers' perceptions
and attitudes regarding your firm's products or services. So why then
don't more firms make the effort and relatively modest investment to
systematically monitor, measure and act on customer feedback?
Some smaller firms simply don't see the need. They feel that their
informal mechanisms and personal contact with customers provide a stream
of feedback. Other firms understand the potential value but aren't ready
to make the commitment to both regularly gathering customer feedback and
following through with appropriate actions. And they realize that a
sporadic effort, or one with no commitment to follow-through, can
actually be worse than none at all because false expectations are
Yet another reason is that feedback management programs are often viewed
as investments with long-term ROI horizons, taking years to deliver
quantifiable value to the firm. And in tough economic times they get
pushed aside by more urgent budget priorities. This is a
misconception. While it's true that gathering and managing
customer feedback does indeed deliver great strategic value when done
systematically over time, even beginning the process can deliver
tangible and significant short term benefits. This two-part article
Reinforce relationships with your most valuable, core customers
For many businesses, the 80/20 rule applies when it comes to customers.
80% of revenue/profits come from 20% of customers. This 20% is the
critical core of your customer base and you need to do everything
possible to retain them when acquiring new customers may be difficult.
In other words, you need to ensure that they are completely, 100%,
satisfied with your products/services, ideally to the point of being
willing to recommend you. And if you find that any of them aren't, you
must take quick action to address the source of dissatisfaction.
So how do you do this? If you have a "customer feedback" program or
"customer experience" program in place, chances are you already measure
and know the current satisfaction/loyalty levels of your core customers.
But if you don't, starting such a program can quickly deliver actionable
information about your customers' satisfaction and loyalty levels. And
if done with the right tools, you can easily segment the data from your
"key" customers and focus your efforts on this critical core. Where
problems are identified, you have the ability to reach out and correct
them. So concerning your core customers, the result of initiating a
customer feedback program has multiple near-term benefits:
You get solid data indicating the satisfaction/loyalty
levels of key customers at a point in time.
For already satisfied customers, you've just provided
further evidence that you value their business and respect them
enough to ask for their feedback.
For dissatisfied customers, you have the ability to
identify them and directly reach out to them to "Save" them before
they leave you for a competitor.
Create a positive customer experience simply by asking for
What if you could contact all your customers in a non-sales mode,
demonstrate how you value and respect them, and also portray your brand
in a positive manner? In other words, create a positive customer
experience that you control. This is an immediate by-product of
initiating a survey-based customer feedback program. With a carefully
crafted and branded online survey, you are creating a positive customer
experience at the same time you are gathering vital data about your
customers. Each time you do it (assuming reasonable intervals), you
reinforce the notion that you value your relationship enough to ask for
feedback. You can also create even more value by sharing some of the
survey findings with customers and explaining how their feedback
influenced your product or service decisions. It's a real show of
respect to close the loop this way, and it reinforces the collaborative
nature of your relationship. Some survey tools make this easy to do.
This portion of the article presented some of the near-term benefits of
Customer Feedback Management programs. More will be discussed in the
next edition of this newsletter.
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.
Serving Those (Still) In Need
On Monday, March 2, 2009 the First Baptist Church of Hudson, NH will
again be sending a team to Biloxi, MS to work with Habitat for Humanity
to help rebuild the Mississippi Gulf coast. This area was ravaged during
Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. Nearly 267,000 homes in the Gulf
Coast area were either destroyed or damaged in the storm.
Much has been done, but there still remains a great need. At its peak,
FEMA placed 44,000 trailers in the area to shelter storm victims. As of
June, the last 7,000 occupied trailers were closed, sending hundreds of
poor desperately hunting for affordable housing. Katrina's devastation
has dropped off the national media radar screen, but we have not
forgotten. Rebuilding the infrastructure of the Gulf Coast is an ongoing
process and there is still a great deal of work to do. Habitat for
Humanity currently requires 1,000 volunteers a week in areas along the
Each team member has been deeply affected by previous trips and once
again, we are thrilled that we can be a part of this project. You can
play a part too, by praying for the team, which is made up of: Ellie
Cropley, Al Daigle, Bri Daigle, Torre Daigle, Pastor Jim Harrington,
Clarice James, Mike Ledoux, Bruce Mostrom, Terry Mostrom, Tony Rice,
Jayce Stella, Jessica Surro and Craig Bailey. Please pray for our
protection, safe travel, good health, and ability to bring much needed
relief to those who need it.
We are also seeking financial donations. The cost of the trip will be
approximately $5,000. Your tax deductable donation can be made securely
Thanks for your support.
+ Thriving While Others Hunker Down
+ Tough Business Environment? Try Customer
Feedback for Short Term Impact!
+ Serving Those (Still) In Need
If you have received this newsletter from a friend
and would like to subscribe:
here to subscribe
View previous newsletters
More Satisfied Customers
Check out what some
recent customers had to say about their experiences with Customer
"Customer service has
always been of the utmost importance to the continued success of Soil
Away. I have been looking to get my company to next level and to find
someone to objectively identify the existing obstacles to our success.
Thankfully, Customer Centricity addressed these real-life concerns.
I also want to thank Craig for the extra time he spent interacting with
my staff. He turned the presentation of findings from the Customer
Service Assessment into a very user-friendly experience that illustrated
in very tangible ways the true value of excellent customer service. It
is very important to our company that we satisfy the customer's real
expectation with each visit.
Overall, I was impressed with Customer Centricity and the very
professional, efficient, and reasonable services provided. Thanks to
Customer Centricity, customer service will remain a top priority of our
company as we plan for our future success. I would gladly recommend
Customer Centricity to anyone looking to improve the experience for
Soil Away, Inc.
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