Customer feedback is crucial. That’s what we’ve learned over 20-something years of working with thousands of C-suite leaders. We’ve discovered what successful companies do — and don’t do — to drive improvement. We’ve put together The Transformation Playbook with that in mind, to help you focus on what is so important — putting your customer at the centre of your business.
But where to start?
With the customer, of course!
Gathering customer feedback is more crucial than ever. Customers are holding businesses to even higher standards than they were, and those that don’t keep up with customer expectations will stagnate as customers move on to competitors.
So, what can you do in the light of ever-evolving customer expectations? Keep listening to your customers — whether their feedback is positive or negative. Identify changes in what your customer base wants and respond to that faster and more effectively than your competition.
With every issue the world has thrown at us this year, be it health, the economy, equality, climate, it’s even more important to be agile and stay ahead of the competition. Putting customer feedback at the centre of any improvement plan is the best way forward.
It just makes sense, doesn’t it? Listening to your customers and acting on what they’re telling you helps you improve so much — sales, loyalty, cost efficiency, and more.
You can use the flywheel model to attract, engage, and delight customers by viewing the customer journey as a continuous process, rather than having a defined start and endpoint.
Whatever tools you use to measure customer satisfaction, there are two important questions to ask yourself — what are your customers telling you, and are you really listening?
Setting up an area of the business that can listen to customers objectively and pass the message on to the business is incredibly valuable. That means those responsible for acting on the feedback are separate from the feedback reporting structure.
You should be encouraging feedback from all customer groups, no matter where they fit into your ecosystem. Consider both the customers who are struggling with aspects of your products/service and those who are delighted. You need to complete the picture to be able to really thrive.
While raw data is crucial for gaining insight into what your customers need, make sure you understand the complete narrative. Things like focus groups and listening tours help you see the story behind the data.
You can bring the customer’s voice into strategic planning, whether products or processes. Don’t forget to have someone from the business be responsible for making sure the feedback you get is actioned!
Analytics and reporting are crucial for becoming customer-centric, but it can take time. Use automation to save valuable time, and your employees can focus more on implementing changes.
It’s easy to concentrate on just your customers in this process, but you should think about every point that customer feedback can come. It’s not solely through official channels! Encourage employees throughout your business to listen to and share customer feedback, by using rewards and recognition.
When customers give feedback and hear nothing in return, they feel like they don’t matter. Make sure you keep them updated, whether it’s possible to action their feedback or not.
It’s important to touch on something that the majority of your customers will have at the front of their minds in light of this year’s global events —how businesses respond to important social issues. What is your business’s stance on the three significant areas of equality, sustainability, and philanthropy? Sharing your values with your customer base and showing that you’re taking action has never been more important.
Once you’ve established a successful customer feedback process, the data you’ll get from it can be priceless. Do you need to make drastic changes to the way you do business, or will just a few tweaks bring you up to an ‘excellent’ level? Or maybe you’re somewhere in between.
Whatever changes you need to make, listening to your customers means you understand what they’re happy with, and what they’re not happy with. This not only helps you deal with the specific products and services they’re feeding back on, but it also gives you a bigger picture of who they are and what they want — meaning developing new products and services is easier.
Discover more about keeping customers at the centre of your business in The Transformation Playbook.