Thriving While Others Hunker Down
In this edition of our newsletter, we share the second installment of a
two-part article about implementing Customer Feedback for short-term
benefit. In the
previous issue, we discussed two benefits: reinforcing key
relationships and providing positive customer experiences. We conclude
the article with the presentation of some additional benefits.
In addition, we'd like to recommend MyCustomer.com article
How businesses can increase customer confidence during uncertain times,
written by Keith Pearce.
Finally, we recently published a new whitepaper on
The Role of Feedback Management in Becoming Customer Centric.
Let us help you become more customer centric!
Contact us if we can help you with Customer Feedback Management or
any other program to help you survive, and thrive, during these
Tough Business Environment? Try Customer
Feedback for Short Term Impact! (Part 2 of 2)
By Cedric Nash
Customer 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.
Identify " Immediate Action" Situations/Opportunities
One of the nearly immediate benefits of launching a survey-based
customer feedback program (with the right tools), is that some customer
situations are typically identified which call for immediate action. If
your survey tool supports feedback segmentation and "follow-up", you can
then take direct and immediate action with these customers. These
situations tend to fall into a few categories:
Very unhappy customers who have clearly
expressed their dissatisfaction.
By openly expressing dissatisfaction in a survey, customers are
providing good-faith feedback. If you take quick advantage of
this opportunity (i.e. within days, while the survey experience is
fresh), you can often solve the problem and "convert" a customer to
fully satisfied with little effort. Being this responsive to
customer dissatisfaction is unusual and it takes some preparation,
but such a direct and rapid response shows serious concern for your
customers and can have an immediate and positive impact on the
Satisfied customers who are looking to buy more
from you (that you were unaware of).
Another opportunity for immediate action are those customers who
express or somehow indicate in the survey that they have additional
needs or would like buy more from you. By asking for feedback, you
are coincidentally uncovering new sales opportunities that you may
not otherwise have found out about for some time. This has
particular relevance in businesses using channel partners where you
may not have visibility into all sales activities.
Quickly surface problems in your processes,
products, etc., that are impacting your customers.
Most problems will eventually find their way to your attention, but
how many customers will have left you in the meantime? Asking for
direct feedback will get you direct feedback, problems and all, and
finding problems early before customers defect is like finding a
solid gold nugget.
Signal to your
employees what's really important (and being measured)
One of the major near-term benefits of initiating a feedback management
program is that it sends a very clear signal to everyone in the
organization that customer perceptions are critically important. If this
isn't already part of your business "culture", it will be once you start
measuring and tracking the feedback. It usually involves some employee
education and communication efforts, but the gist of the message to
employees is simple and clear:
Customers' perceptions of their experience matter!
They pay the bills and if they're not happy, they can easily go
elsewhere. The success of the organization is potentially at risk!
It's everyone's job! Customer perceptions affect the
entire organization, so everyone needs to be sensitive to customer
experience feedback. Some have a more direct impact on customers
than others, but it's critical to the firm and therefore everyone's
It's important enough to management that it will be
measured regularly and systematically! The firm is asking the
customers to give them a regular "report card" on critical elements
of the business (including employee performance). If problems
surface they will get management attention and will be addressed.
"Customer feedback management" or "customer experience" programs
designed to measure and quantify your customers' opinions and attitudes
are often incorrectly perceived as "long-term" efforts which don't
deliver near-term benefits. It's true that the "best of class" feedback
programs are ongoing efforts which provide long-term strategic value to
the organization. However, even getting started with a customer
feedback initiative can provide surprisingly quick opportunities to
positively influence your customers, and your bottom line. And in a
weak economic environment where customers are at risk, it's more
important than ever that you make customer feedback a basic part of your
operation. You will typically see some very real short term benefits
that will help assure that you'll be in business for the long term.
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
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More Satisfied Customers
Check out what some
recent customers had to say about their experiences with Customer
needed to move from a process-centric to a customer-centric focus. We
engaged Craig Bailey and Customer Centricity to assist us in moving in
the right direction while simultaneously controlling costs and
preserving resources. Phase I of the project was an organization
assessment and implementation plan. We are very pleased with the outcome
of Phase I and feel that the results were well worth the investment.
Much of the success of this project is due to Craig's skill and
fact that the staff responded so enthusiastically is a testament to his
ability to make them feel comfortable, ask them the right questions and
to express the intention of improvement rather than criticism.
The true proof of our satisfaction with Craig's services is that we will
be engaging him to oversee our Phase II implementation project. I'm
looking forward to our next steps and to moving forward to customer
VNA, Western Pennsylvania
About Customer Centricity, Inc.
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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
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In short, we align the resources of your organization to exceed your
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