“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” John Keating, Dead Poets Society
[caption id="attachment_5803" align="alignright" width="288"] "Seize the day" to maximise the opportunity presented by your customer feedback. ©Touchstone Pictures[/caption]
To paraphrase the inspirational teacher played by Robin Williams in the feel-good drama Dead Poets Society, the words and ideas from customer feedback really do have the power to change your business.
But what are some of the best ways to get the most our of your customer feedback on an internal level?
At a recent event – the Denmark Net Promoter Round Table (hosted by CustomerGauge client SimCorp) representatives from leading Danish and international businesses in the market including Nilfisk, Maersk, and Electrolux, shared some of the ways they are sharing feedback across their organisations.
The suggestions below are helping these organisations start conversations, spark innovation, and align themselves along the voice of their customers.
1. Share it around
It sounds obvious, but many organisations leave feedback stranded in the hands of a small group of specialists or execs. By contrast, customer-centric businesses are sharing customer feedback around the organisation in numerous and creative ways, including:
- Inspirational and motivating posters of customers that gave the organisation a 10.
- With comment streams on the company intranet. One of the clients is using CustomerGauge functionality to show comments live on the intranet home page.
- By adding a Net Promoter ‘score card’ to monthly internal reporting.
2. Escalate feedback to senior management as necessary
Scenario: Customers to a call centre continually give feedback regarding the price of a certain product. However, operational staff who connect with these customers on a daily basis do not have the power to make changes to product prices. In the long term, this leads to frustration on behalf of both employees and customers.
Solution: Organisations need to have a system in place in which certain feedback that cannot be acted upon by operational staff can be automatically escalated to the attention of senior management. In this case, feedback escalation could lead to senior management changing pricing structures, increasing transparency, or other measures - which call centre staff could have in turn relayed to customers as proof that the organisation is listening to feedback. (Hint: CustomerGauge has this functionality built-in).
3. Give your sales team the power to "seize the day"
Sales people generally dislike anything that comes between them and selling – so if they are required to do extra work that takes time from closing a deal, they will dislike it.
A suggestion from the Danish event attendees was to use customer feedback to pre-arm the salesforce on exactly what customers are saying about your business. This could take the form of case studies, reports, or even select customer comments.
If you can educate your sales team with relevant feedback, they will be able to walk into meetings armed with inside knowledge on how to close new deals or upsell to existing customers - or in the parlance of a certain Vermont prep school - to truly make the most of this opportunity to "seize the day!"
4. Use internal notice boards or Digital Signage
Related to the first point, using regularly-updated notice boards (or configurable solutions such as the CustomerGauge system’s Digital Signage), helps create a customer-focused workplace culture, advises staff on what needs to change, and does so with a neutral, authentic voice.
These words and ideas are precious, so don't let them go to waste....
At a time when new technologies and lingering effects of the financial crisis are still posing challenges to business all over the world, words and ideas are more important than ever. To paraphrase another Dead Poets quote, these are just some of the ways organisations can “suck the marrow” out of their customer feedback. If you have any more suggestions, please don’t hesitate to add them below!