The focus on customer experience isn’t going anywhere. In fact, we’d argue that superb customer experience is no longer just a “nice to have”; it’s a necessity for any business that wants to flourish in the coming years.
Twenty years ago, companies got measured against their competitors. If you sold financial software, your product would get compared to your competitors’ products and that was the end of it. Whichever product did the job better, would win.
This is no longer the case. Research shows that an ever-growing segment of consumers is now measuring all brands against a select few customer experience leaders. Your product isn’t just being compared to your competitors’ products anymore. Your brand—your product, your marketing, your people, the entire experience you create—is now being measured against the biggest brands in the world, such as Amazon and Airbnb.
In short, it’s no longer enough to only have a great product. You have to deliver a great product as part of an incredible experience, or your customers will abandon you.
That may sound like a challenging ultimatum, but there’s good news in it for you as well: consumers are willing to spend more for a better experience and feel more loyal to brands that know their preferences.
If you can get the customer experience right, you’ll drive more revenue and grow your business.
The time is now. Let us show you how to get started.
Crafting a great customer experience
Great customer experience means meeting or exceeding your customers’ expectations. If that’s your end goal, the prerequisite is creating a two-way dialogue with your customers to understand exactly what those expectations are.
Every interaction customers have with your company is a chance to meet or exceed their expectations. When you fail, customer loyalty decreases; when you succeed, customer loyalty grows. Loyal customers are not only a reliable source of recurring revenue; they’re also far more likely to spend more money with your brand.
Creating a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program is a great way to create and maintain this open dialogue with your customers. Your customers will get the opportunity to share their expectations and feedback—helping them feel heard and valued—while you’ll have the opportunity to react and build trust with them.
A Voice of the Customer program is at the core of every customer experience program. Starting one will allow you to keep a steady pulse on how your customers feel about you. And like most business initiatives, building an effective VoC program starts with identifying the right goals.
Below, we’ll take a look at the three most common key performance indicators (KPIs) used to measure different aspects of the customer experience: Customer Satisfaction, Net Promoter Score and Customer Effort Score.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
Customer satisfaction is a common metric used to measure customer happiness. The assumption of CSAT is that happy customers are more loyal and more engaged. It’s been around for a long time and can be a great way to benchmark your customer service against other similar companies.
It’s also quite easy to measure. After every interaction with your company—such as contacting support—ask your customers to rate their satisfaction on a five-point scale ranging from “Very Unsatisfied” to “Very Satisfied”. Once you’ve aggregated the responses, calculate the average and you’ll have your CSAT score.
Pro Tip: Here at GetFeedback we recommend always sending out CSAT surveys immediately after a customer interaction. You should also aim to use the customer’s preferred channel; if they contacted you via chat, provide the CSAT survey via chat as soon as the conversation ends. These two factors should help drive high response rates and the most accurate data since the interaction is still fresh in the customer’s mind.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Net Promoter Score is a KPI used to measure customer loyalty. It does so by measuring each customer’s likelihood to refer your company by asking one simple question: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” Respondents are grouped into three separate categories based upon the score they provide:
Promoters are customers that respond with a 9 or 10. These are your brand’s diehard fans.
Passives are customers that select a 7 or 8. Passives aren’t huge proponents of your brand, but they typically feel you’re getting the job done. They are at a slight risk of being poached by your competition.
Detractors are customers that give you a 6 or less. Detractors are not fans of your brand; in fact, they may be sharing negative opinions about your company and hurting your reputation.
To calculate your NPS, subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. You’ll end up with a score between -100 and +100.
The aim of the Net Promoter Score is to move customers further up the scale, turning detractors and passives into promoters. As you accomplish this, you’ll see your revenue and customer count grow through referral traffic and an improved brand reputation.
Pro Tip: At GetFeedback, we recommend using an automated NPS program to send out targeted surveys. Instead of simply blasting surveys to your entire customer base, use Salesforce to send surveys at key customer milestones—like every 90 days after their purchase date or a few weeks before their renewal date to spot at-risk accounts. By doing so, you can consistently check in with your customers at key moments without giving them survey fatigue.
Customer Effort Score (CES)
As the name suggests, Customer Effort Score measures customer effort. It’s an attempt to gauge a customer’s experience with your brand more holistically than CSAT does. It accomplishes this by asking customers their level of agreement with the statement, “The company made it easy for me to handle my issue.”
Similar to CSAT, CES uses a seven-point scale, ranging from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree”. Calculate the average of your responses and you’ll have your Customer Effort Score. Customer Effort Score is growing in popularity, particularly among organizations that provide support via multiple channels. One of its strengths is its ability to identify customer friction and pain points, giving you clear areas where you can target your improvement efforts.
Research shows that over 90% of customers who experience low effort interactions intend to make another purchase, highlighting how decreasing your customers’ effort goes a long way towards driving more revenue.
Pro Tip: The same best practices apply to CES as to CSAT. Survey customers immediately after an interaction through their preferred channel. Additionally, we recommend surveying customers on your help articles to understand how both the article content and the process of discovering the content can be improved.
Building your survey program
Once you’ve landed on the right mixture of goals, you need to figure out how to build and easily deliver your surveys to customers at the right time and through the right channel.
Ideally, you’d also be able to integrate this survey data with everything else you know about your customers, allowing a 360-degree view of each customer’s health and experience.
Let’s talk about how to build a high-quality survey that will accomplish all of these things.
Integrating with Salesforce
It’s easy to get started on all of the above through GetFeedback’s top-rated Salesforce integration. After the quick integration process, you’ll be able to automate customer surveys through each customer’s preferred channel. You’ll also be able to pull your Salesforce customer data into GetFeedback’s platform, allowing you to tailor your customer’s survey experience.
Optimize your design
Your customers’ experience is made up of every touchpoint they have with your brand, including their interaction with your surveys. As such, it’s important to carefully consider the look and feel of your survey.
While it’s unnecessary to spend hours tweaking every little pixel, you should certainly make sure that your surveys are aesthetically pleasing, function smoothly and are optimized for any device. This simple exercise will help ensure you get responses, even from customers who are on the go.
Ask the right questions
When you get the chance to survey a customer, it’s always tempting to ask them a whole array of questions. However, it’s best to hone in on exactly what you’re hoping to learn from each customer and to keep your surveys brief.
At GetFeedback, we recommend a four-step approach:
Start with your KPI: Ask the core question tied to the metric you’ve chosen (CSAT, NPS or CES) right off the bat. This is your most important data point, so make it the first one your customers see.
Get more clarity: Ask for more information around the answer to the first question. Why did they choose their answer? Using multiple-choice questions is often a good strategy here, as the standardization allows for quick and easy data analysis.
Ask about customer preferences: You have the customer’s attention, which makes this is a great opportunity to get some additional info about their preferences to further round out their customer profile.
End with an open text field: An open text field allows your customers to share any additional feedback they couldn’t provide in the first three questions.
Customize the experience
A study by Hubspot found that personalizing call-to-actions can lead to a 202% increase in performance. As mentioned above, through GetFeedback’s Salesforce integration, you can easily pull customer information into your surveys to give a personalized experience and drive higher response rates.
Monitoring for trends
Once you’ve built out your survey program, you’ll have a consistent stream of new incoming survey data. Monitor this data closely and you’ll quickly identify areas of your customer experience that are ripe for improvement.
The easiest way to identify these areas is to look for patterns and trends in the data. Every support team knows the temptation to focus on the loudest or most upset customers is very real.
While those customers need to be taken care of, they should not be the focus of your VoC program. By focusing on widespread trends, you’ll maximize the impact of your VoC program, as these are the areas where targeted changes will be felt by the largest volume of customers.
Take intelligent action
Did you know that 43% of customers don’t leave feedback because they don’t believe businesses care? This is a massive missed opportunity. Closing the feedback loop with your customers shows your customers you’re listening and builds trust, in addition to driving organizational change to drive increased revenue.
When building out your action plan, focus on two distinct areas:
One-to-one: After each customer submits feedback, make sure their feedback is acknowledged and appreciated. This small step goes a long way, particularly with customers who are dissatisfied and leave feedback necessitating immediate action. By quickly responding, you may be able to prevent a bad situation from getting worse. GetFeedback’s Actions feature can trigger email notifications or Salesforce Tasks when these situations occur, kickstarting the response from your internal teams.
One-to-many: As you’re analyzing feedback and identifying opportunities, how will you share your findings with internal stakeholders? How will you make certain that the appropriate teams take action to resolve the problems you’ve identified? Your one-to-many strategy should help you answer those questions. Common approaches used at GetFeedback include regular reports, executive dashboards, internal training and updating help articles.
Whatever actions you choose, make sure they tie back to the KPI you chose at the start of this journey. Your actions should lead to positive change that reflects in your KPI, so tracking progress over time is critical to gauging the success of your VoC and customer experience initiatives.
Don’t leave the future success of your business to chance. Gathering customer feedback through well-designed surveys gives you increased visibility into the customer experience you’ve created.
Taking intelligent action in response to this feedback will result in improvements in your most important KPIs and will drive increased revenue for your business.
Ready to take action today? Take the first step by starting a free trial of GetFeedback today.