What is the survey question that will prioritize your #CX roadmap?

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Customers don’t always do what they say. Airline customers say they want healthy snacks onboard planes instead of the “bad” chips and Doritos. Yet, when you stock the plane with nuts and dry fruit, nobody chooses them. They say they value quality over price. Yet, they keep sorting the aggregate websites on price and buying the cheapest tickets. Customers have an image of who they want to be. However, their behaviors do not always reflect that image.

Perception vs. Action

As customer experience professionals, we need to factor in this disconnect when we design  surveys. And when we react to survey results. Jeanne Bliss covers this at length in her book Chief Customer Officer 2.0. She cautions against chasing the last survey result without digging deeper into the why the customer responded the way he/she did and the overall context of the results.



The NPS question – How likely are you to recommend our company? – is in almost every CX survey. Some brands ask the question at a specific touch point in an effort to gather more specific feedback. Others use this as the first question in a survey, then ask additional questions for each touch point.

The second approach is better. However, even in that order, we still do not have enough intel to know what to prioritize when we receive the negative results.

Chasing the Wrong Solution

Let’s say a customer said he/she did not like your checkout experience and your returns experience. How would you know which one to fix first? One approach is to identify the experience customers dislike more and fix that first. Another, is to identify the one that is the “low hanging fruit.” The low hanging fruit is the less costly and time consuming problem to fix. Alternately, a third approach is to fix what you can control and de-prioritize the solution that requires you to influence other departments.

All of these approaches are the wrong way to prioritize your results.

So, what is the one question that you’re not asking to help you prioritize your CX roadmap? It’s the follow up question to the NPS/bad feedback question.



Will They keep coming back?

To use the example above, the follow up question to the negative feedback about checkout is Will this bad experience make you choose another brand in the future?” If the answer is yes, you face the risk of losing a customer and must prioritize this pain point.

According to Salesforce, it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer, than to keep the one you have. Smart brands risk digging deep to explore the consequences of the break in the customer experience. They do not chase the limited feedback they have gathered.

Do not let emotions dictate how you write or evaluate CX surveys. You should not let them run your CX roadmap, either. Instead, use surveys to gather as much context as you can around negative feedback. When you get that feedback, evaluate it strategically, and you will get better ROI than most. You will also have a working #CX business case, and that’s a roadmap for your organization’s success and your success as a CX professional.

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*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.




Also published on Medium.

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