Ashton Media
Marketing & Customer Experience Hub

Leveraging positive feedback to improve the customer journey

At the 2015 Customer Experience Forum, I had a front-row seat to the debate on identifying, measuring and aligning critical customer experience metrics.

As the moderator of the round table, I chaired an enthusiastic discussion around measuring and monitoring customer experience; from the importance of knowing why and what you’re measuring (input vs. output metrics), to the value of real-time closed-loop feedback that goes beyond an agenda item at a company monthly meeting.

From where I sat, two key trends emerged that warrant further discussion.

CX 360 Forum 2015

Using promoters to amplify the customer experience instead of focusing on “pain points”

As customer experience professionals, we have a tendency to turn to negative customer feedback as a starting point. After all, pulling together a business case to support a customer experience initiative is relatively straightforward when using negative customer feedback as a basis. We all know that customer experience initiative X will reduce failure demand in the contact centre by this many calls per month and see a decline in related complaints by a certain percentage per month, which should see a positive outcome for Net Promoter Surveys (NPS).

Yes, addressing customer pain points identified through Voice of Customer (VoC) analysis is a logical place to start when aiming to improve customer experience. And, of course, data from touch point demand analysis, complaints and detractor verbatim from NPS is a rich source for this. Using this sort of information, it is easy to identify and prioritise initiatives to tackle these challenges.

But what if we flipped the notion on its head? What would the business case look like if we based our analysis on positive comments from our promoters?

By focussing our attention on the good in channels such as social media, using Bazaarvoice and Product Review, we have more customer data points to help us understand what we’re doing well for our customers. This data can be a rich source of information to identify trends and new ideas to amplify the good things which can, in turn, be replicated in other areas of your business.

Some organisations are already doing this well using positive customer comments as a valuable source of data to amplify and enhance the customer experience. Others are using promoters as an important research resource for testing user experience and new product development.

Leveraging the positive instead of starting with the negative has incredible power to change our businesses and moving forwards, we’re going to see more brands taking this approach.

How to measure and manage the customer experience when you don’t have a monopoly on the customer journey

These days it’s not uncommon for businesses to find themselves at the mercy of fragmented distribution and delivery channels. If there is even one blip along the journey, this can severely impact the overall customer experience, even if it’s outside an organisation’s control.

A customer may have had a great experience selecting a product online and felt good about the purchase, however, the third party shipping company may then misplace the parcel due to poor internal processes resulting in a 10-day delay and many ‘chase’ calls. Alternatively, the customer could realise what they have purchased from an aggregator is the complete opposite of what they eventually receive from the company because they were provided with misinformation, or a lack of information, in order for them to ‘close the deal’. These experiences can do irreparable damage to a brand, even when the poor experience was due to another party.

So the question remains: how can you take back control of the entire customer journey, or, at least, influence it?

In some cases, it won’t be entirely possible but there are tactics that can be deployed to try and instigate a better experience on behalf of your customers. This may involve setting expectations with your end customer or building stronger relationships with third parties to focus on a common goal of improved customer experience and business performance. Another tactic make be to create a formal feedback loop linking actionable insights from customer data with third party partners or fragmented distribution and delivery channels. This could include sharing defect reports, related complaints and episodic NPS data leading to actionable insights.

Companies can then look at rewarding good behaviour as identified through improvements in customer experience performance. This can be achieved with suppliers and distributors through higher commissions, discounts and claw backs.

So next time you’re exploring improvement strategies or developing new products, why not start by analysing comments from your promoters or getting feedback from your third party stakeholders.

This data can be the key to identifying trends and looking for ways to further enhance the end-to-end experience for your customers.

I encourage you to add these topics to the agenda of your customer experience team meetings.

Adam Novak moderated the Identifying, Measuring & Aligning Critical Customer Experience Metrics round table at the 2015 Customer Experience Forum.

About Adam Novak - Head of Customer Experience, NIB Health Funds
Adam has been with nib for over 5 years and is currently the Head of Customer Experience where he is responsible for ensuring that nib ‘put the customer at the heart of everything they do to improve the customer experience and business performance’. This includes reducing failure demand through process improvement and developing tools to enable exceptional service for nib’s customers in key moments of truth. Previous to nib Adam worked in advertising in client servicing and strategic planning roles both in Australia and overseas with Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam and Belgiovane Williams McKay.