Many changes are brewing in the area of customer experience, as the array of customer touchpoints, devices, and interactions grows. A recent preview of Forrester’s 2011 Customer Experience Predictions report by Kerry Bodine highlighted an important trend that has emerged as a result:
“More parts of the organization will seek to get into the customer experience game. As customer experience takes a more central role in overall corporate strategy, more departments will take an interest and pursue active involvement.”
Companies that run voice of the customer programs using enterprise feedback management (EFM) solutions are ahead of the curve in evolving along with these changes. We’ve seen organizations that started with a few transactional customer surveys within a specific area like support or field services move quickly to add feedback programs in areas like product development, marketing and HR. As EFM programs evolve, they almost always expand across the organization into other departments and regions.
True EFM involves capturing feedback from multiple audiences across multiple touchpoints using multiple channels. This provides a comprehensive look at how customers (and partners and employees) think and feel about a business, and delivers critical insights into the specific actions required to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
So what’s new as next-generation EFM solutions evolve to address the growing emphasis on the customer experience? Sharing feedback across the enterprise.
Traditional EFM solutions have made it easier to collect and analyze customer feedback data. But then what do you do with the data? Too many companies stash it away in quarterly or yearly management reports—isolating this vital information from daily decision-making activities, and making it difficult to see results that create an impact.
To drive real improvement in customer satisfaction and loyalty, all employees should be accountable for the customer experience. And to drive accountability, it’s crucial to provide actionable feedback data to everyone who directly or indirectly touches customers—from executives to front-line staff.
This means giving employees access to metrics they can personally affect. One example would be to provide call center employees with up-to-the minute results of transactional surveys focused on key objectives like courtesy and technical knowledge. Supervisors should have access to metrics for all of their regions, so they can easily compare results and pinpoint where specific improvements are needed. By giving executives ongoing access to overall satisfaction metrics over time, they can understand if business process improvements are working and better prioritize investments.
An EFM solution helps ensure that employees throughout the enterprise receive personalized, interactive views of feedback data tailored to their specific roles. By sharing customer insights organization-wide, companies can proactively rescue at-risk relationships, coach customer-facing employees, identify sales opportunities, and continually improve the customer experience.
Empowering Employees to Act on Feedback
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), a global leader in business travel management serving more than 150 countries, uses MarketTools CustomerSat, an EFM solution, to collect, manage, and deliver a rapid response to huge volumes of customer feedback on transactions and satisfaction every day. Each year they send more than 500,000 customer survey invitations using their EFM solution—which in turn helps them identify and resolve thousands of customer issues around the globe.
CWT’s customer satisfaction and loyalty scores also provide a consistent metric to assess employee performance across operations, program management, and sales personnel—and this customer feedback is used to motivate employees and recognize outstanding performers. In addition, customer satisfaction scores give the company a benchmark to assess the performance of partner organizations.
By sharing customer feedback across the enterprise, companies like Carlson Wagonlit Travel empower employees at all levels to understand their specific impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. This enterprise-wide perspective on the customer experience has helped CWT maintain a competitive edge—by delivering award-winning customer service and building strong, ongoing relationships with their global client base. Using customer satisfaction as a rallying cry to drive improved business results, the outcome is a company that can genuinely call itself customer-centric.