There is a quote from Bill Gates “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” I can see a lot of sense in this statement and I know where he is coming from. If we give our disgruntled customers a megaphone through which to tell us about poor experiences they will use it. Listening and understanding the breakdown of an unsuccessful experience can shed light on areas of focus to ensure improvement. However, we shouldn’t discount the happy customer as a source of learning as well.
How do we go from ‘Good to Great’?
Focusing on the most positive experiences as well as those in the ‘middle’ can help to define some of the success stories from great customer experiences. If we can discover the often subtle distinction between a good and great experience, we are part way towards defining ‘what success looks like’. Sometimes this is seen in score differences between key measures, but often it is tucked away in the stories that our customers tell us.
In our experience customers don’t just leave feedback when the experience isn’t good, they are far more willing to leave positive reviews than ever before. When starting new customer experience programs this is often one of the first hurdles we have to get over. Front line teams can be nervous about actively asking for feedback because they are worried that it will all be negative. It is a brave step to take to ask for feedback, how good to great any of us actually do that in our everyday lives?
Positive reinforcement from customers can be an excellent motivational tool for front line teams. Having your customers praise your efforts and hard work is probably for many more rewarding than a pat on the back from your boss. Actually achieving both of these in a working day is a dream combination, actually feeling valued by your customers and your employer is powerful stuff.
Offense versus Defence:
There is an old footballing adage that ‘good offense wins you games, but good defence wins championships’. By listening to our unhappy customers we can develop initiatives to ‘shore up our defence’ and stop customers leaving us. By listening to our happy customers we can hone our offense by developing initiatives that raise the bar and take those experiences from ‘good to great’. With these two strategies in place we should have game winning offense and championship winning defence.
In summary all experiences matter in the effort to deliver for our customers, we need to reduce the mistakes that cause unhappy customers and reinforce those moments that delight customers.
At Survey Solutions we help our clients to listen to and to understand their customers. We help diagnose challenges and celebrate success. We have the tools to help businesses take action from the insights we deliver and we help leaders execute their customer engagement vision