National Customer Service Week '18 - Day One - INSIGHT
Customer Service Insight
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when looking to improve the quality of their customer service delivery, is to ‘assume’ or rely on internal opinions only.
‘CSN supporting the Institute of Customer Service in raising
awareness of the importance of delivering consistent,
quality customer service, to remain competitive’
Whilst internal, customer-facing employees will certainly have important insight into customer attitudes towards the satisfaction levels of the service they receive, this feedback alone, is far from telling the full story. Not by a long way.
To subsequently plan changes and ‘improvements’ into the customer service strategy solely based on this information is hugely risky and ignores the key person who’s insight is needed most, the customer.
If a company doesn’t have a structured and regularly, repeated (or even on-going) plan around gathering customer feedback and insight, without question, at some point, what they deliver and what the customer actually wants, will cease to match. And proactive competitors will be waiting to clean up.
To find out more about our Customer Satisfaction Survey solutions (conducted in English and 28 different languages as required,
by our internal native international survey team), click HERE
So we’ve looked at the importance of gathering Insight from the customer but what are the benefits?
As long as the company which is gathering customer Insight correctly, then goes on to analyse and positively act upon the findings, naturally there are numerous benefits.
Again, however, in CSN’s experience, it is rare to find companies who fully exploit all of the benefits available to them.
Below are 6 of the key benefits that companies gathering and acting upon thorough customer Insight, have available to them:
1) Customer feedback helps improve products and services
The customer represents the perfect barometer for when they believe a product or service is either no longer good enough OR can be purchased better/cheaper elsewhere. They will simply stop buying it.
The benefit, however, of gathering customer feedback and asking questions that include asking them what they think and what they believe would improve the product/service (before then acting upon the insight gathered), is that changes/improvements can be made, BEFORE customers choose to defect to a competitor.
2) Customer feedback helps you measure customer satisfaction
A huge benefit of gathering customer feedback and insights, is that it also allows a company the chance to request that a customer measures or scores the quality of the overall customer service that they believe they receive. Gaining a customer-supplied score for various elements around customer service that they experience, provides a form of tangibility internally, around which a focus on improvement can be applied.
Having such insight also benefits the company in being able to benchmark the impact of improvements, when the customer is next asked to score their customer satisfaction levels.
3) Collecting customer feedback shows you value their opinions
Most people hope to feel like their opinion matters and of course the same is true for customers. In competitive markets, subconsciously, those companies which take the time and trouble to ask for customer feedback, are likely to garner at least some level of customer positivity compared to those which don’t.
4) Customer feedback helps you create the best customer experience
As many companies understand nowadays, delivering satisfactory customer service is not enough. That strategy is open to attack by a competitor who delivers even better customer service. The focus for many (quite correctly) is to deliver the best customer experience that they can. And rather like customer satisfaction levels, what customers believe to be the best customer experience for them, should not be assumed or guessed at.
Gathering the correct customer insight (which involves asking the correct questions within the feedback surveys), allows for customers themselves to indicate what their optimum end-to-end customer experience is, when purchasing the relevant product/service. At that point, the company is able to confidently build the correct strategy to deliver it and justify the appropriate business decisions/investments, which allow the strategy to be a success.
5) Customer feedback helps to improve customer retention
When a company has clear insight into their customers’ satisfaction levels and expectations, it has a huge opportunity to close the gap between what customers want and the reality of what they are experiencing.
Countless surveys published globally continue to show that customers do have a certain tolerance level, when inadequate customer service levels are faced (the strength of which is tied to the relevant product/service depending on factors such as cost, availability, previous loyalty etc). What the customer does next, is largely determined by the actions of the company which delivered the disappointing service: those that remain without customer insight or have failed to act upon it, will lose the customer but the benefit to those companies which have, means not only can they fix the issue(s) but with the customer seeing that they have been listened to, statistically, the customer thereafter, often demonstrates even higher levels of loyalty than ever before.
6) Customer feedback is a reliable source for information to other consumers
One of the benefits of gathering regular customer insight that is most over-looked by companies throughout the world, is the ability to share the feedback, to other current and potential customers.
There are numerous immediate gains in doing so. Where the customer feedback is positive, the main gain is being able to reassure prospective customers, that they are purchasing from a company that current customers rate highly.
Where customer feedback indicates improvements are needed, the company in question can use that information to demonstrate customers have been listened to and an improvement plan put in place, in order to soon deliver the best customer experience. The power of turning customer insight from a negative, into a positive.
CSN has been successfully supporting organisations to deliver Customer Service Excellence for over 20 years.
We take great pride in gathering insight from our own customers and maintaining the consistently high levels of positive feedback from our own customers.
For more information on the solutions that we provide for companies like yours, including numerous customer testimonials to reassure you that we really are the UK’s leading support organisation for companies aiming to deliver Customer Service Excellence, head to www.customernet.com now and we’ll be delighted to discuss any help you may need.