Auditors arrived today to look at our Customer Experience Measurement Programme.
I’m not sure what they are up to. I probably should have paid more attention. I generally tend to approach new people I meet from a position of trust. Auditors , on the other hand , occupy a place in my mind with small children , teetotalers, and serial killers. I need to be convinced.
The problem I have when auditors or process people start looking at customer feedback is they usually miss the point completely.
They look at things like sampling , statistical validity, cost, data protection and benchmarking. They often miss what it was designed to actually DO.
Which could and should be different at every organisation – if you have a unique service vision. And if you don’t have one of those then I would forget about collecting feedback altogether until you have.
Where I would start would be completely different. If I ever became an auditor – here’s the Top Five things I would look for:
1 – Does the organisation understand why it’s bothering to ask customers what they think?
This might sound obvious but many places just run programmes because they have to (regulation) , or they want to have high satisfaction scores to shout about (benchmarking and PR). Being able to show that there is a genuine desire in the business to look at itself through its customer eyes rather than pat itself on the back is critical for me.
2 – Do you ask the questions your customer wants you to ask, or the questions YOU want to ask?
All the questions we ask are designed by customers – based upon what THEY said was important. Its turns customers off when you keep asking them things that matter only to you. It’s like being stuck in a corner at a party with someone who only wants to talk about themselves.
3- Do you seek and encourage emotional feedback?
You need questioning techniques and conversations that get to the heart of how the customer is feeling. Without this you’ll never understand what the customer truly values. And without an understanding of value you will never be able to design your future service offer. Don’t run the risk of designing out what they liked about you in the first place.
4 – Do you have an understanding of your customers journey?
Again common sense. But I’ve met organisations who measure at points that matter to them (usually pre or post-sale), rather than to the customer. We conduct regular anniversary interviews right through the relationship, and at the critical service touchpoints that matter to customers.
5- Does anyone get fired if your customer feedback performance is consistently bad?
I’m not joking. Who is responsible for each service area and acting on the results of the feedback? And what happens if they don’t? Make sure every question you ask has a responsible owner and it’s understood by senior management who that is . And what they are doing to answer it.
I’m not saying this is the definitive list but it’s the ones I would look at first if I were an auditor. God forbid.