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Archive for April 23, 2018

How to Deliver Superior Customer Experiences

WOW customer service

First, let’s define customer experience. In essence, customer experience is the customer’s perception of how well you live up to your brand promise. If you fail to meet the expectations you have created, then that brand promise can become your undoing. With the influence of millennials and the power of social media, customers can cause more damage to your brand than ever before.

Most businesses want to create a compelling brand promise… otherwise what’s the point of having a brand? So how do you deliver on that promise? Check out these tips for building a superior customer experiences.

Listen to your Customers

Your customers are talking, tweeting, posting and livestreaming. They’re sending information about themselves and their interests into the world. Use these conversations to make meaningful decisions that improve the customer’s experience.

Active listening is the first step. At Microsoft, their social listening software pulls in about 150 million conversations each year. After cleaning out the irrelevant data, over 5 million conversations are handled personally. Ideas, suggestions and needs from customers are processed and forwarded to development teams, to be turned into product improvements. And once a product has been updated, the company circles back with those customers, letting them know. These customers, in turn, organically advocate on behalf of the brand and market Microsoft products to their networks.

The Knock it Out of the Park Strategy

Some brands simply deliver on their brand promise so spectacularly well that the standard of customer experience can only be admired. This is the “knock it out of the park strategy”. There is no brand that embodies this strategy more than Disney. They simply go further to deliver on their brand promise than almost any other company on the planet. Their guidelines: greet and welcome every guest, make eye contact and smile, seek out guest contact, provide immediate customer recovery, and display appropriate body language and thank everyone. This strategy is the hardest to implement and may be expensive to maintain, but it is the most powerful strategy and brands that adhere to it tend to stand the test of time.

The Over Deliver Strategy

If you promise a customer something and you deliver over what you promised, that is a great customer experience. The emphasis here is going that extra mile to surprise a customer with the quality of your service or product. Take Lidl for example. Lidl is a German-owned discount supermarket chain. Their products are typically sold out of their transport packaging rather than being stacked nicely on shelves. So how does Lidl over deliver? On the quality of their own brands. The competitive pricing and brand quality result in a very positive experience.

The Create the Perception of Over Delivery Strategy

Very similar to the previous strategy, but different because the under promising is more intentional than the over delivering. There is a hint of deviousness about this strategy, but if executed well it can be very effective. The aim is to promise customers less than the company normally expects to deliver so that average performance appears to be over delivering.

The Be as Honest and Transparent as Possible Strategy

This strategy involves telling customers exactly how things are going to go before it happens. By preparing the customer ahead of time, even if they dislike a situation or experience, they aren’t as likely to spread negative feedback because they were informed upfront. This is the purest strategy in the context of managing expectations. Wagamama is a hugely successful Japanese themed casual dining out chain of the UK. When you order your food the server informs you: “Because everything is cooked fresh, your dishes may be delivered to the table separately.” If that were to happen in any other restaurant, you would be fuming. But it becomes okay because Wagamama warns you as soon as you sit down. Transparency can be hugely valuable if used properly, and this is an excellent example.

Conclusion

The key lesson here is that branding and the creation of customer expectation are enormously important. Whichever one of these strategies you choose to employ, your entire organization needs to be geared up to execute on it. It only takes one employee to ruin the experience of dozens of customers and risk getting a whole host of negative reviews.

 

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How to Craft the Perfect Customer Satisfaction Survey

customer feedback survey

 

 

 

 

Let’s start with the most basic question…What exactly is a Customer Satisfaction Survey?

While they can come in many different forms, customer satisfaction surveys are used to gauge how your customers feel about your company or reveal details about an experience with your company. This knowledge is crucial and knowing how your customers feel about your product, services, and team is imperative to understanding how to grow as a company and improve customer experiences.

Why Conduct Customer Satisfaction Surveys?

If you don’t allow your customers a place to complain, you risk them doing so to all their friends, family, or anyone who will listen. And this negative feedback can break a business. It’s been said that angry customers will tell 9 of their friends about their bad experience. Regardless of the specific number, you know that you’re much more likely to talk about a frustrating experience than a mildly positive one.

How do you Create a Successful Customer Satisfaction Survey?

There are several different styles of questions that can be asked on a Customer Satisfaction Survey.

The first type is a simple Yes/No distinction:

  1. Was your experience satisfying?
  2. Did our product meet expectations?
  3. Did this article provide the answer you were seeking?
  4. Did you find what you were looking for?

The benefit of this is its simplicity. Most customers will only spend a few minutes filling out a survey so you want to gather as much information as you can before they lose interest and abandon ship.

Scale Questions

While Yes/No questions are easiest and quickest to answer, they do not provide the meaty responses that tell you how customers really feel. Almost all popular satisfaction surveys are based on scale questions.

Ask a question like “How satisfied are you with your experience?” and provide a scale. The survey scale could be comprised of numbers or you could use labels, such as “strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, and strongly agree.”

survey

 

There are many pros to using scale questions.

  • It’s pretty standard and your customers will completely understand what to do when presented with the question.
  • You can very easily segment your data to make decisions based on individual survey responses.
Open-Ended Questions

While scale questions are important, they still don’t allow for qualitative insights. In other words, they don’t get at the “why” of an experience, only the “what.”

Open ended questions allow customers to speak freely about a product or experience and allow you to gain more feedback regarding what needs improving or what is working well.

Some examples include:

  • What do you like most about our new product?
  • What changes would most improve our new product?
  • What other products would you like to see in our store?
  • Would you recommend our products to a friend/family           member?
  • Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Following Up on Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Now that you’ve got insights on your customer satisfaction levels, what do you do with the data?

Follow up with survey respondents. The most important and oftentimes most-ignored step in a successful customer satisfaction survey campaign is contacting the valuable customers that complete your satisfaction survey. Making sure your team acknowledges and thanks anyone that completed the survey is critical to ensuring that customers will continue to provide you feedback — because it’s about building trust and showing them value.

You can’t always change your methods or practices to please all customer feedback, but you can address every piece of feedback that comes through in some way. Providing a response, even if what the customer is requesting is not something you will do, is always better than no response at all.

One of the biggest mistakes is putting all that effort into data collection and analysis, and then not acting on it. We collect data to make informed decisions in order to grow our business.

Ready to get the ball rolling? Start with a simple survey and ask customers how their experience was.

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