Welcome to Success Strategies
Want your Customer Feedback scores to go up by 6 points? We’ve learned through our extensive research that this is just what happens when “Communication” is mentioned as something that went well!
On the flipside, if “Communication” is mentioned as something that needs improvement, your score may take a 40 point dip.
I recently interviewed Paul Start, Market Growth Development Manager, Thomas Built Buses. In the interview, Paul reminds us that “Communication has to be proactive. Anytime a customer reaches out, it is usually a “fail” on our part.” Communication has to be proactive to be effective.
I discuss this and other insights about communication further in my recent blog, Three Powerful Tips for Effective CX Communication.
I also found a list of skills your frontline folks need to succeed with your customers, 21 Key Customer Service Skills (and How to Develop Them). This article is geared more toward B2C, but the principles apply to B2B as well.
Are you ready to give customers what they want from you? Two installments of our four-part series that focuses on this question are now available. Throughout the series, we will explore the importance of the following topics:
- Make CX Easy: Is it easy to do business with your company?
- Effective CX Communication: Are you talking to your customers?
- Consistent CX: Do your customers know what to expect? (Coming in May)
- CX and Price: When does price really become a differentiator? (Coming in June)
Let us know how you’ve made it easy for your customers to do business with you. We’d love to share your successful initiatives with our clients.
Three Powerful Tips for Effective CX Communication
Our research found that when a customer mentions Communication as something that went well during the service, NPS® for those customers saying this goes up by six points. The flip-side of the response is more telling. When customers mention Communication as something that could be better, the NPS® for these customers takes a 40+ negative point hit compared to the larger group. Enough said about the impact of Communication on CX!
Effective Communication is Hard—Let’s Simplify
When customers contact a provider, they are generally looking for one or more of three things:
- Stuff – product, new or used, part, rental, etc.
- Information – invoices, product information, MSDS, etc.
- Person – serviceperson (fix something), salesperson
This acronym is helpful to get people to think about what a customer may want.
Setting Communication Expectations—Begin from the Beginning
Whether it is stuff, information, or a person, when that first contact is made (the medium can be phone, text, email, etc.), expectations are set for some response type. If you do not explicitly set them, customers will set them.
For example, if I go to a website and complete an information request form, I expect to receive a reply quickly, even if no apparent commitment is made on the site. If I call my favorite plumber, I expect a response within a reasonable period. What is reasonable in this case is generally set by my previous experience.
Get our Ebook! Why B2B customer feedback programs fail (and how to make yours succeed)
Selling a backhoe is nothing like selling a toothbrush. And yet, most B2B and industrial businesses—whatever they sell—still try to use customer feedback strategies and tools designed for B2C businesses.
When you’re selling toothbrushes, you can email a generic feedback survey to a customer sample that’s millions strong. If only a very small proportion of them respond, that’s fine—because your customers are so numerous.
It’s also no big deal if your overly long survey leaves a few customers feeling harassed and frustrated, and they switch to another brand. After all, individual customer value is typically low.
But as you’re no doubt aware—selling to a B2C customer is the polar opposite of selling to B2B and industrial customers.
It’s possible just a handful of those customers are responsible for the majority of your annual revenue.
So… the last thing you want to do is get on anyone’s nerves.
Apply B2C strategies in your B2B company, and there’s a good chance your feedback program won’t simply fail, it’ll backfire—damaging customer satisfaction.
In this eBook we’ll explore some of the most common mistakes B2B companies make when designing and executing customer feedback programs.
We’ll also recommend some strategies that do work in industrial and B2B, based on our 27 years supporting the sector.
“What is Your Customer Trying to Tell You?”
Lynn Daniel, Founder and CEO, The Daniel Group, interviews Paul Start, Market Growth Development Manager, Thomas Built Buses, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC
Lynn Daniel, Founder and CEO, of The Daniel Group, interviewed Paul Start, Market Growth Development Manager at Thomas Built Buses, to learn how they use customer feedback to improve with business. During the interview, Paul emphasized the importance of answering the question, “What is your customer trying to tell you?” from survey results and then taking action.
To kick things off, Thomas Built Buses has been a client since around 2013. What are some of the most important things that you’ve learned about what your customers want from either Thomas or your dealer network? What are some of those things that really have stood out to you about what customers want?
I think the greatest thing we learned is about the communication aspect. Communication has to be proactive. Anytime a customer reaches out, it is usually a “fail” on our part. There’s the odd circumstance where that would be different, but for the most part, if customers are reaching out to you, you’ve breached or failed the support process.
So, we use that to measure. It really comes down to the support. Do they trust you? Are you supporting all their needs? I’m sure if you ask our customers, they all have their own individual checkboxes. Are we checking those off? Are we really easy to do business with? Some of those items in the last two, when we say we’re checking off their boxes, are we easy to do business with, A lot of times we confuse doing what’s best for us as opposed to really seeing things from the customer’s perspective.
The survey forces you to switch your eyes to what the customer sees as opposed to doing things that you think are helping the customer, but it’s really just making your life easier?
Our clients often ask about how to most effectively use the outcome score (e.g., NPS®, loyalty index, overall satisfaction, etc.) to improve the customer experience. Over the years, a number have opted to include an objective for Net Promoter Score performance, as an example. The outcome measure becomes a part of the manager’s evaluation and compensation.
Using only a score as an incentive has consequences:
Inevitably, arguments arise over whether to include or exclude individual surveys. Sometimes, a small number of negative surveys may have a disproportionate impact on the outcome measured. Unproductive discussions arise about fixing the score rather than fixing the store.
Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.