March 8, 2018
The cat is out of the bag: We now live in the age of the customer. While this reality has many implications in the world of the modern-day technology executive, what it really means is that listening to and taking action on customer feedback is essential for business growth.
Depending on who you ask, today’s organizations look to customer experience above many (if not all) success metrics. In fact, in the new knowledge economy, customer experience trumps all. A study by Walker showcases this evolution. A majority of customers (86%) will pay more for a better service.
So, how do you understand whether a customer experience is positive, negative or somewhere in between? According to Gartner, this all starts with collecting and acting on customer feedback.
Bad experiences are a danger zone. About 1 in 26 customers voice a complaint. This due, in large part, to the fact that many consumers are silent about bad experiences (only 1 in 26 customers voice a complaint). Still, the majority of customers cite bad brand experiences as a reason for churn.
On the flip side of this equation are your happy, loyal, and satisfied customers. They are often vocal, and worth about 10x what they first spent on your product, according to The White House Office of Consumer Affairs.
To break it down, your most unhappy and/or middle-of-the-road customers aren’t very vocal and responsible for much of your churn, and your loyal customers are worth 10x as much as their first purchase in recurring revenue and expansion opportunities.
So, how do you capitalize on these missed opportunities to reduce churn and grow revenue? It all comes down to one simple question: “How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?”
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A super quick break-down of what the NPS scale means:
As an executive at a growing tech company, metrics are inherently valuable to everyday operations, forecasting and just keeping the lights on in general. So it’s easy to zero in on the NPS score itself.
This isn’t without merit. Research has explicitly linked a high NPS with rapid growth at companies like Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb to name a few. But the real value of NPS isn’t in the number itself, but in what can be done with the number. In other words, you would be hard-pressed to find a high-growth NPS use case that didn’t involve operationalizing customer feedback across each business segment.
Here are just a few simple ways to take action on NPS in various segments of your business:
Monitor NPS survey responses and pull out relevant feedback on a daily or weekly basis. By sharing feedback with everyone on the product team, build out a roadmap with measurable customer experience goals, iterate on product changes quickly, and fuel product adoption in the marketplace.
Measure your customer success team performance by automatically triggering an NPS survey right after a support request or case closure to gain instant feedback on how a team member is performing. You can also use detractor and passive customer NPS data to simply and easily identify and correct problems with customers who are at risk of churning.
HR teams can use NPS as a tool for ensuring the best hiring and onboarding experiences possible. For instance, you can use a baseline candidate NPS to measure and improve on the efficacy of your hiring and recruiting efforts. You can take this a step further and measure and act on improving employee happiness throughout your organization.
It’s not a big secret that customer referral programs are a big revenue driver. But the initial kickoff costs of a complex referral program can also be pretty major. With powerful NPS data at your fingertips, you can begin to segment customers to more effectively target marketing campaigns to automate advocacy within your industry and market.
To be clear, the above examples are far from exhaustive. There are virtually endless ways to put customer feedback into action to help you and your organization succeed through revenue growth, customer retention, and the overall evolution of your brand.
Organizational capabilities that technology services businesses must master
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