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Posts tagged "customer feedback"

It’s almost a given that every company has some form of a customer service department. Even the smallest companies – with just one solo entrepreneur – will act as if they have a customer service department. Why do people reach out to the customer service department? Because they need help, have a question, or want to make a complaint. Continue reading

Carol Lee Andersen on How to Gain and Use Employee and Customer Feedback

Are your employees fulfilled, appreciated, and understood?

Shep interviews Carol Lee Andersen, the President of Questback North America, about the importance of listening to not just your customers, but also to your employees. And, she shares the advantages and occasional difficulties of doing so.

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Chris McCann, CEO of 1-800-Flowers, Shares How to Gain the Competitive Advantage

Can listening to your customers’ needs and wants actually provide a new strategic direction for your business?

Shep Hyken interviews Chris McCann, the President and CEO of 1-800-Flowers, who talks about how they built their business to more than a billion dollars in revenue based on customer feedback. Continue reading

Martha Brooke on How to Measure and Improve Your Customer Experience (CX)

What is the best way to improve your customer experience?

Shep Hyken interviews the Chief Customer Experience Analyst and Founder of Interaction Metrics, Martha Brooke, who says she thinks about customer experiences differently. “Experiences can be measured,” Martha says, “and measuring is how you improve—but only if your measurement is sufficiently nuanced.”

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This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Jay Baer writes about how customer complaints are an opportunity for you to turn complainers into advocates of your business. In Jay’s new book, “Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers,” he explains his “hug your haters” concept and why you should respond to customers in every channel. – Shep Hyken Continue reading

This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Ann Amati writes about the importance of customer feedback and understanding what the customer is communicating. – Shep Hyken 

Even a seasoned supplier makes mistakes. In this case study, a decades-old vendor over-reached, won the chance to expand into a new market, then fell flat on its face. A formal candid feedback project gave the customer a chance to spell out his expectations. The vendor implemented improvements and escaped early termination. Their contract was simply allowed to expire with no discussion of renewal.

This is one in a series of case studies highlighting “Key Questions and Course-correcting Quotes” taken from 20 years of B2B customer insight projects. All names are fictitious, but the situations are real. Case studies paint a picture of how important it is to learn what your B2B customers think-but aren’t saying. These are real-world examples of how soliciting and acting on customer feedback has helped companies hold onto customers longer, grow relationships bigger and pick up new business faster.

Case study: Vendor was “average.” Customer wanted “special.”

Key Question (asked of a CEO at a 7-figure account): “Is this vendor performing at a ‘partner’ level?”

Course-correcting Quote:

CEO: “No. The people in the top two positions are pretty impressive, but that’s the case anywhere. It’s at the next level down that we have found them somewhat lacking. For example, account management is weak and reactive. We need formal meetings, formal reviews, good follow-up, etc. We brought that to their attention. I’m not sure they would have gotten there on their own, and that’s disappointing. Our best vendors hire, develop and retain good people top to bottom. We can’t grow relying on average vendors. We need ‘special.’ These guys are average.”

The Client’s Quandary:

This was a cold glass of water in the vendor’s face. They knew their customer was frustrated, but they thought they had a simple communication problem. They thought they had overcome the worst of it but reached out for customer feedback just to be safe. After they read the customer feedback report, they knew they were still in trouble.

Conclusion:

They were in over their head: Their customer was sophisticated, the market was unfamiliar to this vendor, and they didn’t have the bench strength or the strategic vision to deliver in line with their customer’s standards. They won the business based on a strong presentation by the senior executives, but the customer soon realized their account hadn’t been staffed with a seasoned team. In the end, their contract wasn’t renewed, but to their credit it wasn’t terminated early. This impartial evaluation of where they stood allowed them to make what changes they could to improve their performance over their final 15 months.

I categorize projects as assessments, investigations, treasure hunts or rescue missions. This project was an investigation because the client’s question started “why?” “Why is this customer so hard to please?” Customer dissatisfaction hadn’t yet escalated to the point of requiring a rescue mission. At that stage the question is, “Can this marriage be saved?”

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customer-feedbackTrack and Measure Customer Service

Customers have always had a voice, but today it is louder than ever. Great companies want to hear from their customers. They want their feedback, opinions and anything else that will give them an advantage. And, great companies don’t wait to hear from their customers.  Continue reading