• John Hughes, MD

National Customer Service Week (Day 1): Insight

Monday 7th October: INSIGHT

One of the biggest mistakes that organisations make when looking to improve the quality of their customer service delivery, is to ‘assume’ or rely on internal opinions only.

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 an organisation 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.




So, we’ve looked at the importance of gathering insight from your customers but what are the benefits?

6 of the key benefits of gathering and acting upon thorough customer insights, are:

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 of gathering customer feedback and asking questions that include what they think and what they believe would improve the product/service, 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 a customer rates the quality of the overall customer service that they receive. Gaining a customer-supplied score for various elements of the service, provides a form of tangibility internally, around which a focus on improvement can be applied.
Having such insight also benefits the organisation in being able to benchmark the impact of improvements, when the customer is next asked to rate their customer satisfaction levels.
3) Collecting customer feedback shows you value their opinions
Most people like to feel that their opinion matters and of course the same is true for customers. In competitive markets, subconsciously, those organisations 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 organisations 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 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 customers to indicate what their optimum end-to-end customer experience is, when purchasing the relevant product/service.
At that point, the organisation 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 organisation 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 determined by the actions of the organisation which delivered the disappointing service.
Those organisations without customer insight or which have failed to act upon it, will lose the customer.
However, the benefit to those organisations which have, means not only can they fix the issue(s) but customers seeing that they have been listened to, often demonstrate 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 often over-looked, 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 organisation that current customers rate highly.
Where customer feedback indicates improvements are needed, the organisation in question can use that information to demonstrate customers have been listened to and an improvement plan put in place, in order to 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 organisations like yours, including numerous customer testimonials to reassure you that we really are the UK’s leading support organisation for organisations aiming to deliver Customer Service Excellence, head to www.customernet.com now and we’ll be delighted to discuss any help you may need.

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