Martin Summerhayes (martinsummerhay) wrote,
Martin Summerhayes
martinsummerhay

What do you do with the output of customer survey’s? Eat them?

Good customer service begins at the top. If your senior people don’t get it, even the strongest links further down the line can become compromised. ~ Richard Branson, Virgin Group

In the previous article, I shared insights on the types of surveys; how to set up and run them and all of the challenges associated with them. This article is all about, what on earth do you do when you have run a survey? What do you do with the information you receive? What insight you can gain and actions you can take.

When you are setting up a customer survey process in your organisation, you need to consider the following questions

What happens to the completed survey?
Who reviews the survey feedback?
Who owns the follow-up actions and if there are issues that the customer has commented on, who contacts the customer?
Who actions the feedback and ensures that changes are followed through?
Are the executives going to review the feedback?
Does it tie into reward mechanisms in the company?


First of all, if you have gone to the trouble of putting customer surveys in place, then there must be a set of reasons for doing so. Generally, it is to try to understand how a customer has experienced the service or interaction with your company and as a consequence, rates that experience as either negative or positive.

Too often, I see organisations have a great service model, along with an efficient and well-managed customer survey process. However, there is no direct tie in together, and they are mutually exclusive to each other.

Where I have seen great success is where the survey is placed into a measurement framework that links the survey and the touch points you are measuring to key operational processes. After all, most operational / service people only think of their own little part of the process and the measures within. for example; answer time on a Service Desk is maintained, but the customers are not happy as they are passed from person to person, before the problem is dealt with.

One example of this is the Balanced Scorecard - a topic I have extensive experience of and will share in separate posts.

For Level 3 - Event & Transaction Based Surveys: What you need to put in place is an follow-up process for dealing with the feedback from the customers on the operational team. This means when the survey is completed, the survey team review the survey with the operational team - TOGETHER. They sit together and review it in line with the key operational metrics for that part of the business. Take any verbatum feedback and give it to the service agents, engineers and technicians as the voice of the customer type feedback. Obviously, this needs to be done in context, rather than just sending it over and hoping that any feedback will drive a change. if as a result of the feedback and comments, operational changes need to be made, then the ops team plan for these and SHARE their plans with the survey team, to make sure that when the changes take place, they can be tracked and reflected in future surveys.

For Level 2 - Service Based Surveys: What you need to put in place is an operational review process for dealing with the feedback from the customers on the overall service. This is more complex, as generally, there is be no one service entity in overall charge of the end-2-end service the customer is giving feedback on. This requires more formal governance and review mechanisms to be put in place to support the changes that need to take place. Again, I would use a Balanced Scorecard approach, this time, with an emphasis on measuring the end-2-end operational services and tying into that, along the customer service journey, the survey feedback.

Finally, for Level 1 - Organisation Based Surveys: This is the most complex, as you are dealing across organisational boundaries, generally, between sales & marketing, services, and other divisions. You might even have to include manufacturing & supply chain - if you are a manufacturer, or third parties if necessary. The presentation of the survey results need to be put into the organisational context and framed around success criteria for the organisation i.e. in terms of sales, revenue retention, customer churn, customer acquisition costs, etc.

If you are interested in exploring more in depth the three different approaches, please do let me know and I am more than happy to share further insghts.

I leave you with this quote….

“A recent survey or North American males found 42% were overweight, 34% were critically obese and 8% ate the survey.” ― Banksy

Tags: balanced scorecard, banksy, change agents, customer experience design, customer service, survey, work
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