Let's paint the picture:
You and team have spent a lot of time measuring the KPI's of your experience metrics; Social Reviews, Mystery Shopping Programs, Voice of the Customer Surveys, everything. Nothing has changed. Scores are not improving, reviews are not up trending, VoC stats and NPS scores are stagnant. Reviewing the data and meeting month after month to discuss the data have not shown any changes. Since nothing is changing and the data is the same, you are considering 'moving the bar' because that will change the data. You're right, that will change the data, but nothing really changed.
Stop. Before you 'move the bar' in an attempt to gain different data, what are you doing with your current data? Having discussions about your results and your measurement data is great, but what is happening?
We need to close the quality control gap with actionable items. Let's discuss how we recommend you action your measurements and see real, beneficial change.
Define your intentions
Why do you want a Customer Experience Measurement Program? What do you want to achieve? Do you want to improve your Brand Reputation? Engage new customers? Do you want to strengthen your customer's experience? Improve your repeatability and retention? Do you want to key into loss sales, upsells and suggestive sells? Ensuring that your program is designed to capture the insights that you actually want to action from the beginning is critical. Let's say as a brand it doesn't matter to you if the customer was greeted within 30 seconds from when they entered your store, don't measure that. If there are not already processes and procedures in place, it doesn't make sense to see if it is accomplished as you are just setting your team and your brand up for failure. However, if it is important to the brand that a specific phrase is said to the customer, that is a define key KPI that should be measured.
Review RESULTS with the 'ground floor' team
Management can create training programs, incentive programs, post notices, have team meetings etc. in an effort to evoke change and improvement, but ground-floor employees will always follow the path of least resistance. Reviewing your results with the customer-facing team and allowing them to interject their thoughts and ideas will bring lasting improvements for several reasons.
Employees who have input into decisions regarding their workflow claim ownership which results in greater commitment to seeing the idea through. Also, team generated process updates are met with less resistance because they feel relatable and doable as they were though of by people in the same situation, leaving employees feeling satisfied.
Employees know the day-to-day obstacles in achieving the goals set by the company. For example, if the company has a goal to have employees mention connecting with the brand on social media to continue the relationship, but doesn't provide the staff with a quick an efficient way to complete the goal, the staff will likely 'forget' this key KPI in the interaction. An employee may suggest that at the POS or cash station that a poster be available for customers to scan a QR code that links them directly to specific social media channels to follow along for the next sale announcement etc. This can then become ingrained in the process as a habit because there is a defined point in the process to mention this, and there is a quick resource for customers to complete the goal. This removes the need for the employee to 'find a good time' to mention this.
- Employees can take pride in being praised in 'public' for a good result. Praising in public and coaching in private is key to successful employee management. When a good review is left for a specific employee, celebrate as a team. When a mystery shop result has key KPI's that were not met, discuss the result with the team as well but do not mention the employees name or details, save that for a private discussion with the particular staff member. Discussing the positives with the team will encourage the other members to have the same achievement and may foster friendly competition. Discussing the general improvement items with the team will help generate solutions or understanding as to why those KPI's were missed.
We have created a booklet to help guide you and your team in how to read, review and discuss your Audit/Survey results. This helps to create an environment of positivity and communication when connecting with your customer-faced employees.
Create an action plan, to action your plans
There are several ways to complete this curial step.
- Set up your program with automated corrective actions with a build-in action planning program, like what we offer. When a KPI is missed, the system automatically creates a 'ticket' and sends a predefined user a notification of the missed opportunity. The user then has a predefined due date (say, 24 hours) to correct the issue and upload documentation supporting the correction. For example, the company has a policy that at dusk all lights around the building should be on for the safety of the customers and employees. A mystery shopper completed a visit and noted in the survey that the lights that illuminate the garbage coral weren't working, maybe burnt out or broken. This missed point in the survey creates an 'action item' that is instantly sent to the leader of the maintenance department for the restaurant. Upon investigation, the light was burnt out. The maintenance team replaces the bulbs and uploads a photo of the lights working. For future prevention, they add check the lights to the shift managers daily internal audit and there is a record of this corrective action in your portal linked to the survey that reported the issue.
- Manually utilize external team collaboration programs like Trello or Slack. Ensure that you are clearing siting the missed KPI, the detailed plan to improve it by the next measurement, and what outcome you are expecting. This will allow you to review and compare the results to the goals you defined (and keep track of the action and results).
Keep up the momentum
Once you have started the program to measure your Customer Experience, keep the momentum going. There will be ebbs and flows throughout the year based on consumer need, volume, the season, global issues etc. For instance, knowing in August what happened last December and attributing the measurement results to lack of seasonal staffing will allow you to create a plan to hire and train more staff this year. Comparing year over year will allow you to understand if you addressed the proper issue or if there are compacting issues. For example, more customers in the store requires more staff, but more people in the store leaves less space to shop and the 'crowd' deters other shoppers. This may lead you to find that you need to remove some fixtures and increase stocking to compensate for the additional volume of people. Without having the historical data to compare and improve on can leave you and your team at an improvement disadvantage.
If you and your team are interested in starting a Customer Experience Measurement Program, we're here for you. We believe that every business no matter how big or how small should have access to tools and programs to help them improve and grow. A CX program that is utilized correctly with actionable data will pay dividends on your ROI. Connect with us and we can help you get started.
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