Bad News Travels Better Than Good
There's never been a more crucial time to address customer experience in your organisation. That’s because in this day and age consumers have never had so much power to vote with their feet. Therefore, if you're part of a corporation, a solopreneur, run a small business, charity a non-profit or even a local church, you're not immune to the power of people's choice.
In Western society there has been a proliferation of the penchant for instant answers, results and gratification. I call this the microwave society! For example, the ability to express ones self in 140 characters..the one minute video, fast food, speed of light internet connections, credit card usage, same day order & delivery, on demand TV and streaming services.....the list is endless!
THE CONSUMER HAS POWER!
A consequence of the consumer's quest for all things instant is control. Customers are easily able to share their experiences of a service or product. Review sites such as Trustpilot and Google Reviews and others are popular sources for consumers to evaluate their experiences - good or bad. In turn, the experience influences other consumers to buy or not. Catherine the Great is credited with saying, bad news travels faster than good! Having studied the news recently, I'm inclined to agree with HRH!
Online reviews can either increase or reduce engagement and sales. The ability for consumers to review their purchases can impact any sector i.e. corporations, small business, non-profits. No entity can afford to sit on their laurels. That's why it is essential to actively evaluate customer experiences. As I reminded a strident shop assistant recently, 'don't forget who pays your wages, it's the customers. Without customers, there is no business.
WHO TO TALK TO
Anyone who purchases from your organisation or affiliates with it, will have an opinion of your service delivery. With that in mind, here are two key people groups you need to focus on to get a 360-degree view.
1. Reach out to your clients and customers to have a face-face focus group OR what about using a video platform for those further away?
2. Employees, stakeholders and/or volunteers must also be included in the evaluation process.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF USER FEEDBACK
1. When you set up a customer/client or member evaluation strategy make sure it goes beyond the obligatory automated email or SMS follow up.
2. Ideally, where resources allow, find ways of getting your customers to speak to you directly. Perhaps invite them in for a focus group create a warm atmosphere with good & drink. People feel more relaxed and are willing to talk around food and drink!
3. Evaluate the evaluation. This needs to go beyond a tick-list exercise. Use the data to make improvements to your service and customer perceptions.
4. Be prepared to revisit and adjust plans.