Monday, May 19, 2014

Customer Feedback System - Transaction Survey

We’ll begin laying the foundation for our Customer Feedback System by developing two “foundational” surveys: Transaction and Win / Loss.  Hand-in-hand with the deployment of the surveys, we will also implement a “closed-loop” response method which will assure that: 1) customers’ problems are flagged and receive a prompt response; 2) the root cause of the issue is identified and “fixed” to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

Before starting our customer experience quest, a brief “word to the wise.”  Maintaining a robust CX initiative almost always necessitates some heavy lifting that will require collaboration with other functions in your research, IT, as well as sales and service channels amongst others.  However, it’s critically important (i.e. it cannot be emphasized enough) that there be demonstrated leadership and support from the company’s senior management.  This is particularly the case if you’re tasked with implementing CX in a mid to large size organization, and / or a company that is strongly sales driven.  Such organizations do not always emphasize the importance of satisfying customers, tend to tolerate churn, and are otherwise relatively short-term focussed.  Implementing CX in these companies is a significant challenge, and therefore, it’s absolutely critical that executives “walk the talk” in order to have a realistic chance of success.

With that bit of advice out of the way, let’s now proceed by dividing the explanation of the foundational surveys and closed-loop system over the next few posts.  We’re going to assume your organization does not have an established “find and fix” system, so let’s begin there.  Why?  As mentioned in a previous post, while customers are typically first attracted to your company because of its brand appeal, consumer reviews, pricing, or quality perception, they often defect because you have somehow made things difficult for them (i.e. they must spend unwanted time and effort to continue using your product or service).  So, before enhancing the company’s experience, we must first make sure the organization isn’t inadvertently driving clients away and not proactively addressing their problems.

To illustrate the transaction survey and associated closed-loop system, we’ll begin by developing a basic journey map.  Journey mapping is a fundamental tool in your CX kit, and we’ll explore this very useful diagnostic in more detail immediately following the closed-loop discussion.  At this initial stage, we’ll define the journey map as those steps and touchpoints your customer completes in order to execute a transaction.  Subsequently, we’ll expand the map to include the accompanying internal items your company must execute at each step in order to support the transaction, and, very importantly, the emotions your customer may experience throughout the process.  A key endgame of journey mapping is to systematically identify those “pain-points” that may hinder either your customer, or your staff, from executing a particular process in a satisfactory manner.

Let’s use a simple online purchase transaction, and corresponding journey map, to develop our transactional survey.  To capture the “journey” a customer experiences in completing an online purchase, have a look at the sample map below.  A typical online purchase likely contains a few more steps than I’ve  noted, but again, the idea here is to convey the concept and the link to your transaction survey.   In the next post, we’ll interpret the journey map and proceed to draft a survey questionnaire focusing on the purchase transaction.

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