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"Listen, Do You Want To Know A Secret?" - What Beatles songs teach us about Customer Feedback

please-please-me3.pngIt was fifty years ago that those mop-headed pop princes from Liverpool released "Do You Want to Know a Secret", one of their most memorable songs. But who would have thought that Lennon and McCartney were really experts on customer experience? Yes, that's right - some of these famous songs like "Love Me Do" and "From Me To You" have subtexts that if you know how to read the clues are really exhortations for today's organisations to carefully collect and act on customer comments.

Incredible as it may seem, many organisations that spend millions on customer feedback just sit on these valuable comments. Too often, valuable feedback is locked up in paper based documents collecting dust on a shelf, or buried in a spreadsheet on a marketing department laptop. It's such a waste.

Marketing departments need to take a lesson from George Harrison's plea: "Closer, let me whisper in your ear, Say the words you long to hear..." and share the comments widely! Perhaps these companies do not employ Beatles fans.

Let's examine the early work of the Beatles to help us understand what customers are looking for. "Please Please Me" is a simple statement of customer wants. How often? John's vocals on "Eight Days a Week", explain in a tongue-in-cheek way that those needs can never be satisfied in a way we would refer to today as "24-7". We also learn that servicing customers will not be easy. Later in their career, we are warned of this in the 1969 track "The Long and Winding Road".

"With Love from Me To You"

A modern interpretation of  the Beatles lyrics is a sign to implement a Net Promoter® Score program. This can provide a constant stream of objective data, plus raw feedback from usually a large percentage of  engaged customers. It's one thing to hope of a high Net Promoter Score - some practitioners dream of a day "When I'm Sixty Four" but the only way to get there is to read and act on customer comments. Again, Paul referred to this in the 1966 classic Paperback Writer: "Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?"

We have found that is rare for research departments to share these gold nuggets of knowledge, but by publishing comments internally, employees can get a unfiltered view of customer comments.

"Speaking Words Of Wisdom"

How to do this? Taking advice from John and Paul in A Day in the Life - "I read the news today, oh boy..." - we know we must use comments in a timely fashion, and ideally immediately. To do this CustomerGauge has developed a system to pull comments out of our live platform in real time. As soon as a survey is completed, the comment can be distributed anywhere in the organisation. With some simple coding skills it's possible to display comments on any site, format or style.

"I Wanna Hold Your Hand"

[caption id="attachment_3343" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Scrolling Comment Carousel"]scrolling-comment-image-300x200.png[/caption]

But we are reminded about time management in 1964s "Hard Day's Night". No one wants to work like a dog, so was it possible to develop a system that needed no technical skills to work? That was the challenge we set our development team, and the answer was a self contained hosted solution that can be deployed by pasting in just one line of HTML code in a web page. What's more, the team built a very cool configuration screen to change size, colours etc. This is perfect for an internet application, for instance a Microsoft SharePoint site. You can visualise this on our  "Scrolling Comment Carousel" example. Add a comment on a demo survey here, and see the result immediately.

"I Want to Tell You"

[caption id="attachment_3342" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Testimonial Tool"]testimonial-screen-shot-300x290.png[/caption]

John reminds us in "You've got to hide your love away" that we cannot always reveal everything publicly. We have a solution for this - our team built a comment publisher that allows you to approve or reject comments for general display. Combined with a flexible filter (Promoters Only, or specific segments) it is possible to screen customer feedback to show only appropriate content. You should consider this for a public website, especially e-commerce, where you can easily show pages and pages of comments to help reassure customers. The example of what we call a "Testimonial Page" is here.

Get Back

The results of sharing comments can make an organisation more customer focused. Your aim is to prevent customer defections as described beautifully in the singles "Hello Goodbye" (a song about acquisition and retention problems) and in both "You're going to lose that Girl" and "Ticket To Ride", John is clearly defining the danger of "customer churn" by females.

Taking notes from "We can work it out" with its excellent lessons in empathy, the Fab Four caution that "There's a chance that we might fall apart before too long", which is usually considered in the Net Promoter community as a lesson in responding promptly to customer messages. Fortunately it is Ringo that provides  sage advice on organisational teamwork in his vocal on "With a little help from my friends". CustomerGauge have a solution for this in our teamworking "FireFighting Module". Interestingly, most experts now believe that that the reference "I get high with..." is a reference to improving satisfaction scores.

To learn more about how to "Come Together" with your customers, do contact our operations team to arrange demonstration, and avoid becoming the "Fool on the Hill".

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Next week we continue the musical theme in "Hey You Get Off My Cloud" - 7 tips on SaaS security from The Rolling Stones.

Next Up: CustomerGauge User Event, Amsterdam, 16 October 2012

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