Transactional and relationship surveys: They’re different

“Well, it’s because they’re different.”

The not-deliberately snarky, yet somewhat oversimplified tautological response was understandably not satisfying for the support business leader who’d asked me why I thought NPS would be different for the different lines of business his organization supported.  But in the end, it’s no more complicated than that.  Forget that I was, without it occurring to me, loosely quoting Vanilla Ice, but sometimes it’s hard for us in the context of the business we think we already understand to see the forest for the trees.

In my defense, the Customer profiles were different, the products in the different lines of business were tremendously different, and even the people they had supporting the two products were different, and located in different contact centers.

This occurred to me the other day when I was reading through some discussions regarding two approaches in the VoC world:  Transactional versus Relationship surveys. (more…)

By | 2020-10-11T18:26:14+00:00 October 8th, 2020|Categories: CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, VoC|0 Comments

Be hungry for negative feedback

The topic of the Voice of the Customer (VoC) has many branches and sub-categories.  Just on the topic of surveys alone (which is only a part of VoC), there are tons of thoughts: We discuss things like the formatting of surveys, the proper response rates, how and what sorts of questions to ask, which channel we should use to survey, even whom to survey.  Beyond that there are numerous other methods of collecting the Voice of the Customer:  market analyses, social media (SoMe) monitoring and analysis, competitive comparisons, and of course we can’t forget Walking in the Customers’ Shoes.  Each of these other methods likewise comes with their own set of approaches and execution methods.

But what about what comes out of those efforts?  Sometimes we concern ourselves so much with the day-to-day transactional concerns about collecting the VoC, we forget why we’re doing it in the first place.  In the worst case, we substitute raw winning vs. losing motivations for insights, and devolve the entire process to: “What’s the score today?”  Let’s back up a bit, though, and recognize what I’ve said so many times I should just make a bumper-sticker out of it:  VoC insights are of no use if you don’t use them to improve your Customers’ experiences.  That leads to a remarkable—and to some, shocking—conclusion:

You should be hungry for negative feedback. (more…)

By | 2020-09-24T14:48:51+00:00 September 24th, 2020|Categories: CX Thoughts, VoC|0 Comments

Three uses of your feedback

I’m a big fan, as you know, of negative feedback.  I suggest that CX professionals be greedy for negative feedback.  Since slaps on the back and hoorahs from your most ardent fans don’t really help you improve, you should be eager to hear “suggestions” from your Customers as to how you can better serve them.  Fortunately, there’s rarely a shortage of such inputs.  So what do you do with this feedback?  There are three ways in which you should be using every negative piece of information you receive from your Customers, regardless of the method of transmission: (more…)

By | 2020-09-10T15:50:44+00:00 September 10th, 2020|Categories: CX Thoughts, Process Engineering, VoC|0 Comments

CX: How it all works

In this article I’ll explain the components needed in place to elevate an organization’s Customer Experience.  I won’t go too far in depth into the four parts but rather provide an overview of how they work together with a brief explanation of what they are.  Following, in a continuation of this series of articles, I’ll explain with more specificity how these work (and work together), as they each deserve their own writings.


By | 2020-08-10T15:31:08+00:00 August 10th, 2020|Categories: Consulting, CX Culture, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Process Engineering, VoC|0 Comments

Close the loop on your feedback

You’ve likely heard about the concept and practice of “closing the loop” or a “closed-loop feedback” (CLF) cycle.  What is it, and how does it work?

There are actually a couple types of closed-loop feedback systems depending on whether you’re talking about internal or external feedback.  Internal refers to an employee feedback mechanism where as an external closed-loop feedback system is geared toward the Customer’s inputs and what you do with them.  They’re both important to a healthy Customer-centric organization, and they operate basically the same way, just with different sources of feedback.  I’ll concentrate on that external, or Customer-centric model here, but realize that there’s another application for this CLF system if you want to approach employee experience the same way.

The overall concept of a CLF cycle is that you (as I’ve often emphasized) do something with the feedback you receive.  Rather than just sitting on VoC information or just reporting it, CLFs empower us to actually improve our processes in a focused way thus improving Customers’ future experiences while also showing gratitude to those who offer us their thoughts.  At first glance (and if you just take the term literally from its own label), a closed-loop feedback system is one that simply follows up with the Customer on their input.  Now, that may take on many different forms depending on how you interpret the concept:  Follow-up may be simply replying—perhaps even with an auto-generated, boilerplate, impersonal email—that a Customer’s feedback has been “received.”  Sometimes the follow-up is in the form of self-preservation and reaching out to a Customer to save the experience.  Let’s be honest:  If you don’t find out about a disastrous Customer experience until you’ve received negative feedback is likely to be a lost cause, at least in that instance…that said, sometimes you can recover, and the best experience is sometimes a make-good for what started out as an awful experience.  But even these approaches to a CLF don’t really capture the benefit of such a system.

By | 2020-08-29T19:47:14+00:00 July 31st, 2020|Categories: CX Thoughts, Measures & Metrics, Process Engineering, VoC|0 Comments

How are you segmenting?

I once helped a company which made several different products and offered many different services build out a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program.  Here were two mistakes they were making:

Their first mistake was that they defined their Customers by their own products and services.  One of the important concepts in your VoC program is differentiation between your segments.  The different types of Customers you sell to have different needs, different experiences, and different attitudes about what constitutes good CX.  But how you differentiate matters.

This organization had distinct and broad categories of products and services, which, the bigger you get is inevitable.  You may have so many segments that it’s unreasonable to differentiate too much (or at least to categorize and lump together certain like segments).  But, it’s important to segment your Customers because one size truly doesn’t fit all.  And we’ll get to what to do with the segments in a minute.

Here’s the problem they had:  (more…)

By | 2020-08-29T19:45:15+00:00 July 15th, 2020|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, VoC|0 Comments