Struggling to Act on Customer Feedback? Try This.

Source: Temkin Group Q2 2012 CX Management Surveys,  © Temkin Group

Less than one in seven companies that collect and use customer feedback are running the process effectively.

Most are missing the key, and only useful, part of the process: taking action to improve their business. Many times though it’s not missing out of choice but because organisations do not know how to drive action in the business with customer feedback data.

Source: Temkin Group Q2 2012 CX Management Surveys,  © Temkin Group

Source: Temkin Group Q2 2012 CX Management Surveys

A few weeks ago I asked more than 6,000 subscribers to our regular blog updates to tell me where they wanted the most help. I wanted to know where they are having the most issues with the customer feedback and Net Promoter ® process, so I could make sure I provided the right content on this blog.

While customer survey design, analysis, benchmarking and survey processes were all well represented in the responses, one area stood out: how to actually do something with the data.

Companies are collecting and analysing all of this data but when it actually comes to taking action, things often seem to fall apart.

Subscribers wanted to know how to use all that good customer information to really drive change in their companies. I heard things like:

  • How can I influence others to prioritise areas for improvement for better customer experience?
  • How can I channel that enthusiasm to do something with the numbers?
  • How can I manage Detractors caused by departments external to mine?
  • How can we link the NPS score to driving change in the business?

That people were having problems in this area was not a surprise to me but the level of frustration was.

The problem is that the mechanics of setting up a customer feedback system are, seemingly, relatively simple:

  1. Write some questions to ask customers
  2. Set up a survey tool (SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, etc.)
  3. Send it to customers.

And because the steps are easy, that’s what people actually do: they focus on the short term things that seem to be about customer feedback.

However, when responses come in they discover they actually need a larger set of skills and processes to turn the signals customers are providing into changes in the organisation.

Many of these processes are relatively straight forward to implement, once you know how. For instance the service recovery process can only really be run a couple of different ways. Once you know the options, selecting the right one and implementing it for your business is quite straight forward.

The real problem is, if you don’t have the play book for designing them, it can be very difficult to know where to start and what you’re missing.

Paying it Forward

When I asked for feedback from my subscribers, I did so to understand what type of content they needed the most and I will go on to provide it over time.

But as so many people responded and provided their input, I wanted to pay that goodwill forward more quickly.

Get on the Phone/Skype with Me for 30 Minutes for FREE

So, over the next few weeks, I’m going to do around 10-15 free Telephone/Skype consultations.

I’ll get on the phone with you for 30 minutes, and you can tell me exactly which problems you are facing in driving action from your customer feedback. Then I’ll give you advice that is specific to your exact situation.

And it’s 100% free. No charge, no strings. Not even an email opt-in.

All you have to do is email me at and request a session.

In your email please provide initial details on what you are trying to achieve or the problems you are having. We can then book a time and run the session.

Also, it doesn’t matter which country you are in as we can arrange a time appropriate to both of us.

Just one thing – if too many people end up requesting a session, I’ll probably end up doing the free calls with people who provide the most information in their email to me on the issues they are trying to solve. So if you are keen for the session, please provide a good level of detail in your email.

If you have questions on how to drive action with customer feedback please do take me up on this offer. We’ve helped many organisations in the past and there are some simple approaches that can make a big difference.

The Science of B2B Retention Selling

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Are you confident in your post-sales team’s ability to secure renewal business?

If you have a “land and expand” strategy, do know when you can expand your business in a given client?

We will explore these questions, example cases studies and provide some practical approaches in this informal breakfast session. [Read more…]

Why is More Important than How In Customer Feedback

Why? by BuzzFarmers, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  BuzzFarmers 

Why is a very powerful word.

One of the most popular Ted talks of all time, over 19 million views, asks you to start not with the how of your business but the why of your business.

Why asked 5 times is the basis of the incredibly powerful 5 Whys root cause analysis technique.

Young children find out how the world works by asking why a seemingly endless number of times.

So when you are considering investing considerable time and resources in rolling out a new customer feedback or Net Promoter® program you should make sure that why is the first question you ask as well. [Read more…]

The Ultimate List of Net Promoter® Best Practice Tips

Automate your process

Automate your process

Net Promoter was launched in 2003 and since then many, many organisations have used the methodology to drive change in their business. With so much time invested, lots of lessons have been learned.

So you don’t have to re-learn those lessons the hard way I’ve pulled together this massive list of Net Promoter best practice tips.

Note that these tips pretty much apply to any Voice of the Customer or Customer feedback (but not market research) process. So regardless of whether you are using Customer Effort Score, Customer Satisfaction or NPS® you can apply them to your business. [Read more…]

Net Revenue Score is not a new Net Promoter Score®

I’m always open to a debate on the pros and cons of any business approach but it’s better if the person on the other side has done their research. That way we can have a thoughtful debate.

Unfortunately John Greathouse has jumped to a few conclusions when he penned his article in the Wall Street Journal: Startups Should Focus On Their NRS — Net Revenue Score. There are quite a few items that need review including: [Read more…]

Want to build trust with your customers? Recommend a competitor.

Harry Antrim as Mr. R.H. Macy

Amy Scott sent me through her Christmas article and I liked it so much I asked her if I could publish it on the blog. Luckily her answer was yes so everyone can benefit.

Over to you Amy…

Want to build trust with your customers? Recommend a competitor.

When you first see this you must be thinking “Are they crazy why on earth would I want to give business to my competitors?”

But this isn’t as daft as it sounds. [Read more…]

Predicting American Airlines’ Net Promoter Score® Using Twitter


In this recent post by Fonolo American Airlines was hammered for having an outstanding (in a bad way) number of Twitter users complain about being on hold with them.

This got me to thinking:

How good is crowd data at predicting the Net Promoter Score for an organisation?

As it turns out it’s a pretty good indicator so let’s review it in detail. [Read more…]

Zappos Service is for Zappos, not You


We’ve all heard the stories of famously customer focused organisations where staff have gone wildly above and beyond customer expectations to create raving fans.

At Zappos, one famous (albeit perhaps apocryphal) tale is the story of a customer service person having pizza delivered to customers who were sitting online talking to their contact center. [Read more…]

[Guest Post] Employee NPS: An Early Warning System for Managers


employee-net-promoter-scoreI’ve talked before about Employee NPS (eNPS) as a great way to collect feedback on how your staff feel about the organisation.

However, as I’m not an expert in organisation design it’s been difficult for me to muster the arguments for replacing or even augmenting the existing very long annual employee engagement surveys so often used by organisations.

But recently I was chatting to Beatrice Hofmeyr, who is an expert in organisation design, and she was just as keen about eNPS, and for the same reasons!

Beatrice agreed to discuss using eNPS and how/why it is so effective. [Read more…]

Most People Don’t Understand Sample Size


bigstock-young-business-man-holding-his-53002933You’ve spent weeks working through the numbers to unpick what customers are saying. After checking through the data and analysing a range of root causes, you have created a really practical plan to solve a key customer issue.

The PowerPoint presentation you’ve created nails each of the points you want to make. It starts right up front with the bad news: Net Promoter data for the business group in question.

Before you walked in, you were fully prepared for this meeting, so how is it that 3 minutes in you’re under attack on the very first slide? A senior manager is pointing accusingly at the screen: “I don’t believe that NPS – you don’t have a big enough sample size.” [Read more…]