Sales Tips: 4 Unexpected Benefits of Customer Experience Programs
By Primary Intelligence, a CustomerCentric Selling® Partner
Win loss analysis is not the only form of buyer analysis. Another one occurs long after the sale. Customer experience interviews focus more on the product and solution than on the buying process and provide insights on key capabilities, missing capabilities, and ideal market profiles.
Customer experience touchpoints should occur immediately after the initial implementation of your solution and again periodically throughout the life of the solution’s use. A common practice is to engage with customers every six months to measure their satisfaction and identify areas for improvement in product, support, and training.
During its research, Primary Intelligence discovered four unexpected benefits from Customer Experience programs:
1. Quantification of Customer Feedback
While many times company executives, especially, believe they understand the desires and preferences of their customers, their beliefs may hinge on a small handful of data points or customers who are particularly vocal yet don’t represent the preferences of the organization’s larger customer base. Collecting Customer Experience information from a larger, broader set of voices helps to identify the most salient issues to the widest group of customers. It can also provide insights on how best to address the issues.
One Customer Experience (CX) practitioner, in describing the quantitative benefits of his organization’s Customer Experience initiatives, highlighted the incorporation of CX data into quarterly metrics, allowing this company to track CX feedback monthly and report statistics to C-level executives.
In this way, there is transparency and accountability in terms of understanding “what’s going on, where we’re making improvements, and what we’re doing to change.” As this individual noted, “I think that’s helped us a lot to try to incorporate voice of the customer type of data and change our process and do better.”
2. Benefits to a Broader Audience
Customer Experience practitioners also highlight extended benefits of their programs, such as implementing changes to a product or service that will benefit the entire customer population. In those instances, taking a pro-active approach leads to reduced customer complaints and improved customer retention over the long term.
For example, one manager for major markets in the business process outsourcing industry told Primary Intelligence during a telephone interview that, “There have been some things that have taken off really well in accounts, and we’ve been able to push it out to other accounts. That was done pro-actively before the second or third client said something.”
3. Increase Product Competitiveness
An extended benefit is the ability to increase product competitiveness. In our research, customer experience practitioners shared that they became aware of desired or missing features. This discovery led to product or service changes that will benefit their entire customer population. In those instances, taking a pro-active approach leads to reduced customer complaints and improved customer retention over the long term.
In one instance, an insurance company used areas it identified as being major drivers of customer satisfaction or loyalty and tracked these metrics on a monthly basis, managing to those areas where there were both gaps and opportunities.
4. Understanding Data Cleanliness
Understanding how clean—or dirty—organizational data is that relates to customers can also be an extended benefit of CX analysis. While most organizations have mastered the ability to accurately track customer purchases, support issues, and other interactions customers may have with them, understanding the nuances of what’s working and not working can be an added benefit from CX programs.
As one senior director working in a call center noted, “Closure on service requests … still tended to be a little bit squishy.”
In this instance, even after an issue was thought to be resolved, the organization learned that there were reoccurrences of the same issue with the same customer. Through detailed analysis of customer feedback, the organization was able to identify and implement a more rigorous closure process that has reduced post-closure escalations significantly.