We've written a lot in past newsletters about the benefits of having deep engagements with your clients. Well, we certainly strive to practice what we preach. The ongoing discussions we've had with our clients about the value of customer informed decision-making has led to Satrix Solutions being brought in on some interesting projects this year. Here are just a few:
Listening to Employees: Several of our clients already conduct employee satisfaction surveys as a way to enhance employee engagement, culture and employee retention. With the rapid adoption of Net Promoter Score� to assess the loyalty of clients, many companies are now considering Employee Net Promoter Score (or eNPS) as a way to measure employee loyalty. One of our clients is also undertaking a project to survey employees on how to improve internal applications used to service clients. By engaging with employees, you'll be able to spot and address pain-points that are inhibiting their ability to provide an exceptional service experience while at the same time proving you truly value their opinions. Remember, happy employees lead to satisfied clients.
Product Development: Launching a new product into the market can be a daunting task. We're helping one client gather the feedback needed from different target markets, which in turn will inform the development of the new product. The insight captured will help ensure time and money is not wasted on features and functionality customers don't need.
Acquisition Strategy: Minimizing attrition and maximizing the value of an acquisition is an important goal for executives. The work we're doing for one client is focused on obtaining a comprehensive view of the customer relationships acquired. Providing them with a complete picture of customer sentiment, perceptions and expectations will help to uncover any issues that could potentially lead to defection and reduce the value of the newly acquired asset.
Refine Marketing Message: One of the many benefits of a Client Advisory Board (CAB) meeting is testing new messages on key constituents. It's very gratifying to see client feedback from a CAB meeting lead directly to the launch of a new marketing campaign for one of our clients. Testing ideas beforehand ensures that the message you want to convey resonates with your target audience.
As you can see, there are many layers to formal feedback programs. How will you unleash the power of customer feedback to enhance operational performance?
Should You Incentivize Employees Based on Net Promoter Score�?
Three Considerations Before You Say, "Yes"
Thanks to the countless books, articles, and research on Net Promoter Score (NPS)� it is now one of the most widely adopted customer loyalty metrics in the world, in both the B2B and B2C industries. With good reason - NPS provides organizational leaders with a straightforward number to help guide decision-making and is extremely easy for all employees to understand.
I recently found myself on a popular Net Promoter forum where the topic of discussion was whether you should tie employee compensation to NPS. As I sifted through the comments I saw numerous examples of aggressive front-line personnel at auto body shops and department stores not so subtly requesting high scores - does "I'm rewarded based on your feedback" sound familiar? There was even an example of a well-known bank stating they "only accept 9 or 10" for survey responses.
The debate on financially rewarding employees based on survey responses is nothing new. Will it eliminate authentic feedback? Do employees feel it's fair? In this particular forum they wanted to know - how do I ensure my employees won't game the system as well?
I thought about the conversations I've had over the last decade with business leaders looking to compensate employees based on NPS. My experience has taught me that tying employee bonuses to NPS can fail miserably for some and be wildly successful for others. Based on this knowledge, I believe for any NPS incentive program to flourish you must:
Employees are a great resource to help you promote or remind customers to take a survey. But, when you task front-line employees with administering or soliciting survey responses you open the door to unintended consequences such as begging for high scores. Best practices advise assigning an impartial client advocate or champion to administer the survey. This includes drafting survey communication, analyzing and interpreting client feedback and sharing data and recommendations with key stakeholders. Of course, that's the role we fill with our clients but companies have also had success internally (just be sure the person can be truly objective).
Incentivizing your team based on satisfaction scores can sometimes lead to employees becoming overly concerned with the score rather than creating a compelling customer experience. Before you implement a bonus structure, run your survey program for a year or so. Use the baseline to determine where things stand and set realistic goals that employees will see as fair and can rally around. Also, analyze previous survey response data and use the insight to highlight key drivers of customer loyalty and educate employees on how to influence scores the right way.
Establish Reliable Metrics
Data reliability is a major concern for employees when these numbers reward them financially. Put employees at ease by reviewing the survey methodology, response rates and customer feedback as a group. Explain how the score is calculated and exactly how they will be rewarded. I also recommend that NPS be only a percentage of the bonus structure to avoid employees "chasing" scores.
Research has shown that happy employees lead to satisfied customers. Before you adopt an NPS incentive program be sure to do your due diligence and get buy-in from your managers as their support will be needed to sell it across the organization.
|Loyal Customers Want Consistent Experiences|Lessons Learned in the Produce Aisle
By: Heather Timney, Manager of Marketing & Public Relations, Satrix Solutions
|I live in close proximity to several different chains of grocery stores. I've been a loyal shopper to one particular location since 2005 and have never thought twice about stepping inside another store unless it was out of necessity. That all changed a few months ago when I started to see my customer experience go from one of total satisfaction to one of complete frustration. |
Like many loyal customers subject to a random bad experience I gave them the benefit of the doubt and headed back the following Sunday. Unfortunately, I was again met with minimal selection and poor quality of the produce.
Every Sunday afternoon I create a meal plan for the week, which always includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. With my list in hand
, I head to the grocery store working my way to our family favorites such as apples, avocados, and peppers. However, on this particular Sunday I noticed these items (and many others) were in total disarray with only a few bruised and spoiled items remaining in the bins. As I looked around and noticed no one would be restocking these items I improvised and recreated my menu based on what was available to me at that time.
Finally, after a few weeks of similar incidents I decided to visit the store on a day I normally wouldn't. I was happy but shocked at how different my experience was. The shelves were stocked, fruits and vegetables were fresh, and store employees greeted me enthusiastically. "Wow!" I thought, "I should come on Tuesdays more often."
However, I don't want to shop Tuesdays. It's not convenient for me. I was upset, why isn't this level of service available to me every time I visit the store?
In any industry, customers expect you to deliver great service on a consistent basis. Getting there requires unwavering support from "C-level" executives for service excellence. It necessitates the courage to ask for and address service gaps with customers. It means you must hold all employees accountable to high service standards and create a culture in which employees understand their role in the service experience and are empowered to deliver.
I've since started shopping at a new location, but I have come to this location on occasion. I have noticed they've moved items to new aisles and now claim faster checkout lanes, yet they still struggle to keep produce fresh. It's unfortunate that they don't truly understand what customers want and they apparently have no process in place to gather that critical information.
The bottom line is - it doesn't matter how large or small your organization is or whether you serve consumers or other businesses, customers need consistently positive experiences, especially loyal customers. The best companies rely on customer feedback to enhance those experiences at every touchpoint.
Satrix Solutions Update
|It's officially been one year since the launch of our first newsletter. Over the past twelve months we've shared many exciting updates surrounding our company, including our partnership with SoDA, the Society of Digital Agencies. As their exclusive advisor on customer feedback programs we've contributed to their blog, SoDA report, and have had the opportunity to get in front of their members to discuss formal feedback programs. Most recently, however, we launched their member satisfaction and Net Promoter Score� survey. The feedback we collected has provided SoDA with candid and valuable insight into member preferences, which will certainly help them better serve their members going forward. Check out their official press release for more details. |
From acquisitions to expansions - our clients have been keeping busy (check out some of their stories in our Client News section). It's rewarding to know we're working with highly successful companies showing impressive growth. And, while we can't take credit for the success our partners have achieved, we do know the correlation between loyal customers and operational performance is strong. Congratulations to all of these amazing companies.
Road Trip! It's no secret - Arizona is hot in the summer. This gives us the perfect excuse to get out of town and venture out to "cooler" cities to meet with existing and prospective clients. We have many stops planned for our summer road trip and you can expect to hear from us if we will be in your neighborhood.
Founder & President
�Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld