Hearing the voice of the customer has never been easier. Ad hoc and transactional customer surveys; point-and-click comment boxes and pop-up mini-questionnaires; online conversations between contact centers and customers; not to mention a mind-boggling array of Web 2.0 tools, including Twitter, Facebook, online reviews, news feeds, wikis and blogs. The amount and importance of consumer-generated content is growing every day.
Yet in a today’s highly competitive world, companies that don’t do anything with customer feedback might as well not bother to gather it in the first place. The challenge (and the reward) lies in quickly analyzing feedback to identify customer insights and share them with the people who can do something about it.
Here are some examples from Allegiance customers.
- One of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy was in a quandary. After an initial blitz of customers signed up for electronic billing, there was a drop in usage followed by a significant percentage of cancellations. The company turned things around using online surveys delivered immediately after each customer cancellation. By surveying customers in real time, the company was able to correct Call Center training issues and programming glitches with the e-billing system, keeping some of its largest customers from defecting.
- A large government agency that provides services to other state agencies regularly surveys a sample of customers who use its IT services. By turning customer comments into action, the agency initiated improvements in the IT troubleshooting process and employee training that significantly improved customer satisfaction. For example, the agency learned that customers who are told what to expect as a “next step” are apt to be significantly more satisfied with the IT Help Desk.
- When a credit union implemented new online security procedures, it quickly received nearly 100 mostly negative comments. Fortunately, it was able to gather real-time feedback to rescue customers before they defected. Without the ability to quickly analyze customer sentiment, the credit union might have lost a significant number of disgruntled customers. Instead, these individuals became part of the problem-solving process.
Overwhelming as all this customer data is, don’t let it go to waste. Start with that key insight — the elephant in the room that everyone has probably known about all along, but never took action to correct. Then revisit the issue with your customers and see how you’ve done.