From “Metric” to “Magnificent”!

From “Metric” to “Magnificent”!
September 17, 2009 Vivian Hairston Blade

How to move from simply measuring customer satisfaction to taking action that drives growth.

Many companies measure and report the purported satisfaction or loyalty of their customers. However, the ‘metric’ is just the introduction to the many stories your customers have to tell.

The real power is inside these stories and what you do with them in order to go from customers being merely ‘satisfied’ to being ‘active promoters’ of your brand.   Promoters and detractors exhibit dramatically different behaviors and produce dramatically different economic results. You’ll need to quantify the value of promoters vs. detractors in order to understand the financial impact on the bottom line.

Once you’ve collected and analyzed the customer satisfaction or loyalty data, how do you:

  • Determine the most meaningful priorities?
  • Drive meaningful action?
  • Create a discipline around delivering a ‘magnificent’ customer experience… from the front-lines to top leadership?

“…providing great customer service is much more than just a job for the front lines or the call centers. It takes coordination from the top, bringing together people, management, technology and processes to put customers’ needs first. That’s true today more than ever. Technology is leveling the barriers between alpha companies and also-rans, making great customer service one of the few ways companies can distinguish themselves.”  

BusinessWeek, March 2007

The following 5 steps are practical actions your organization can implement to move from “talking the talk” to “walking the walk”:

  • Identify opportunities to reduce detractors & increase promoters:  Where do you need to fix broken processes?  What do you do well that you can leverage across the customer base?  What individual customer issues do you see in the feedback that may require a direct response? You don’t want to miss specific issues or opportunities that need immediate attention.
  • Define “Moments of Truth”:  Uncover the most important, value driving points in the relationship – the “moments of truth”.  How are you currently performing at those points?  Where are the gaps in importance vs. performance?  These answers will help define your leverage points for prioritizing focus.
  • Define goals / targets:  What are the customers’ expectations at these “moments of truth”?  Define performance standards from your customers’ perspective.  Measure performance against these targets and hold owners accountable.
  • Assign ownership and accountability for action:  Assign accountability first to key stakeholders to ensure leadership support, funding and resource allocation.  Implement process, product and service improvements to exceed customer CTQs and expectations.  Ensure performance levels of enhancements are sustainable and monitored.  Schedule regular progress reviews with leadership.
  • Engage employees (especially front-line) and customers:  Communicate what you’ve learned and the actions taken to employees and customers.  Engage both in generating and implementing innovative solutions.  Recognize and reward employees for delivering value-add service.  Invite customers to participate in industry councils and forums to facilitate ongoing dialogue.

Remember, your goal is NOT simply to strive for merely satisfied customers.  Your goal is to EARN the RIGHT to LOYAL customer relationships!

Growth stems from your ability to deliver a meaningful experience that strengthens those customer relationships and enhances customer profitability by putting the customer at the top of your organization’s chart.

Studies show that companies who integrate a customer focused DNA and develop the capability to consistently deliver value beyond customer expectations at every interaction grow at rates that exceed industry averages.

Customer commitment begins at the top and requires an effective strategy, committed leadership, and organizational discipline.

Not always easy, but definitely rewarding!

Vivian is a recognized expert, presenter and trainer in the areas of Customer Experience, Net Promoter ScoreTM, Change Management and Lean Six Sigma. Through her 20+ year career with Fortune 100 companies, General Electric and Humana, Inc. Vivian has extensive experience in successfully leading the development and execution of customer centered Marketing, Product Management, Quality, and Customer Experience strategies.  She has delivered outstanding business results that increased market share, generated millions in new revenue and significantly reduced operating costs.  She is a certified Lean 6 Sigma Master Black Belt and Certified Net Promoter Associate.

 Contact her at vivian.blade@eiglconsulting.com or visit her website athttp://www.eiglconsulting.com/

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