Three-Way Collaboration for Best Customer Satisfaction


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Developing or making improvements to customer satisfaction programs can be a major undertaking. It can also be energizing. I’ve worked with many companies that take on the task themselves. Often they have customer survey data that frames their thought process and helps to set improvement goals, but most of the time, they have set out to solve the problem themselves. With confidence. After all, why should a company engage a Customer Satisfaction Program expert when you can figure it out for yourselves? (I’m being sarcastic here). Every improvement to customer satisfaction programs should be done on a three-legged stool, or under a triangle of influence, or with three faces at the table.

1. The customer herself must be present when any decisions are made to change strategies or tactics about getting more loyalty from the customer. The customer’s voice can be that survey document yet having customers there in person in the meeting room is optimal. I’ve seen many decisions made without the benefit of on-the-spot feedback and constructive criticism from customers who have a large stake in the outcomes. The results of having no customer at the deciding table can get a company way off target. For instance, one company, sans customer voices, guessed that their customers wanted more bells and whistles in the advisory services they were receiving. Wrong. What their customers wanted was more personal attention in the way of phone calls, visits for lunch and holiday cards from their account reps. Customers wanted simple expressions of attention, not bells and whistles.

Invite your customers in and open their minds to hear everything they can possibly advise about improvements that will build their levels of satisfaction.

2. As your customers are opening their minds to speak about what your company can do to build better satisfaction levels, the people listening must be those folks who have the power and ability and responsibility to do something about what they are hearing. If that does not describe a sales professional at your company, keep them out of the room.

3. Nearly every company on Planet Earth is generating customer satisfaction at some level. Include the voices of other companies that are learning how to do it well and who also value a collaborative approach to sharing their knowledge while taking home some of yours. I’ve seen companies explode in their ideas for improving customer satisfaction as a direct result of inviting other peer companies to their table of discussions. And yes, the customers were there too.

Put your egos aside and get the three right voices in the room when you are discussing ways to knock the socks off your customers. Include the right heads of responsibility for customer satisfaction implementation, the customers themselves and reps from other companies who are just as determined to win and keep their own buyers. That’s a collaborative powerhouse.

Darcie Davis
A career focused on finding the factors that inspire customer/client retention was shaped from, often naively, relentlessly asking questions. I am the founder of HUDDLE Sessions for Women which offer pop-up advisory boards.


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