I’d love to say that the outcome of every project I’ve worked on has led to massive improvements for our clients. There have been many successes (and some failures) but the reality is that improving customer relationships can be hard and is not always successful.
But one project I have been working on for the past 5 years has driven significant improvement in the customer relationship every single year. The results are remarkable – since 2016 negative results have been virtually eliminated and we are still seeing further improvements in 2021. It got me thinking. What can we learn here – what has gone right? I identified 3 keys to this success:
1. Define your problem
- Before we started everyone was clear about what the project was meant to deliver in terms of business change: What the problem was that the project was required to solve, how it was going to do that and by when. A commitment was made by all.
2. Design a survey to identify positive change
- Rather than take a one size fits all approach, like Net Promoter Score, we created a key measure of success that made sense to both the customer and the business.
- We spent time speaking to all the key stakeholders to ensure that the questionnaire fully encapsulated the customer experience. We kept the questionnaire short but still ensured we had enough diagnostics to identify what areas were most important to customers, understand performance and prioritise improvements.
- We used an adaptive questionnaire to give the participants the space to explain in their own words what they want to see improved in any areas that they were not happy with. New issues were fed into the survey each wave.
3. Deliver action not information
- The outputs of the survey were kept extremely simple. We simply identified four key target areas in order of priority where effort should be made to make improvements, together with evidence and recommendations for how to do this.
- The client teams were empowered to go away and actually take action on these areas. Which they did.
It sounds simple and there is more to it than briefly outlined here. But if it was easy then every customer interaction would be brilliant. In this case the results speak for themselves.
If you’d like to find out more about our approach to improving customer relationships then please do get in touch here.
Head of Quantitative Research