The Customer Service Survey

The One Most Effective Way to Move the Needle

by Peter Leppik on Fri, 2017-11-17 16:15

There's a lot of things you can do with your customer feedback program to help improve Customer Experience. There's also a lot of things you can do that don't generally improve CX at all.

But there's one piece of the feedback program that stands far above everything else in effectiveness.

If you want to use your customer feedback to improve CX, the first thing you should do is deliver qualitative feedback to customer-facing employees as fast as possible.

It's the customer's comments and suggestions that actually help your frontline employees understand what customers expect and how to deliver it. Other deliverables from a feedback program don't provide this:

  • Scores, metrics, and report cards don't tell the employee how to improve, only whether they're doing well or poorly.
  • Feedback that's delayed, even by a few days, quickly becomes "old news" and less relevant.
  • Department or enterprise-level data is hard for individual employees to connect to their own day-to-day actions.
  • Strategic initiatives, while important, have less impact on the Customer Experience than how individual employees behave.

The unfortunate and ironic truth is that there are a lot of customer survey programs where delivering customer comments and suggestions directly to low-level employees is an afterthought, or not even part of the program. This typically happens in large organizations with highly structured and formalized customer surveys, usually designed solely around leaderships' desire to measure performance.

Of course, getting customer feedback into the hands of employees is not the only thing you can or should do to build an effective survey. You should also have a robust closed-loop process, coach employees on how to use the customer feedback, regularly update the survey program to meet evolving business goals, and so forth.

But if you want to gauge how effective a feedback program is at actually moving the needle, the first question to ask is, "If a customer leaves a survey comment, how long does it take before the employees who worked with that customer get that feedback?" In many cases, the answer to that question will tell you all you need to know.

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