Mari Yamaguchi of Genesys shares her advice for best using customer experience surveys during these difficult times.
The last few months have been challenging – some of us are adjusting to new ways of working, while others may be dealing with the far more dire consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During these times, it’s also been challenging for businesses to strike the right balance between business as usual and adapting their business to be more human.
For seasoned customer experience practitioners, it’s been an opportunity to take more of the lead to bring their deep understanding of the customer to the forefront.
For organizations with mature customer experience practices, relying on the foundational elements of empathy and human-centred design has been central to successfully navigating nimbly through these uncharted waters.
Here are some tips to consider as you recalibrate your customer experience practice and survey deployment methods.
1. Timing Is Everything; Take a Pulse and Act
While knowing if someone would recommend your product or service is important, doing so now might seem tone deaf.
Make sure the messaging and questions you ask are appropriate and sensitive to the current situation. Be sure to check the triggers for these surveys, too. You want to be considerate of what’s happening to decide if it’s appropriate to send anything.
Instead of a survey, consider taking the pulse of your customers. Find out how your organization could provide support and consider having a conversation on the effectiveness of that with your customers.
Be sincere in your approach to coming alongside your customers to assist them through these difficult and uncertain times.
These pulse checks are direct lines for your customers that let you know how and what they need the most.
And, as important as it is to get that feedback, it’s also important to act on it. More than ever, ensure you have the team members in place to offer the assistance your customer needs most.
2. Recalibrate Expectations
Businesses rely on some form of customer sentiment or feedback metrics to drive various business decisions and strategies.
So it’s important for customer experience teams to provide internal stakeholders with these metrics. It’s also just as important to set the right expectations.
In the current state of affairs, it can be detrimental for businesses to base long-term decisions on any customer relationship metric — Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer satisfaction, customer effort scores or a combination of these.
Rather, reiterate the expectation with your internal stakeholders to focus less on the numbers and more on the actionable feedback your customers provide.
Now’s the best time to focus on relationship nurturing; focus on the quality of support and actions your team members can provide to your customers. The numbers and results will come later.
3. Know Your Customers
In earlier blogs, we’ve mentioned the importance for organizations to segment their customers so they really know them.
Hopefully, you’ve done this, as now is the perfect example of why this is critical. It informs you how to engage and interact with your customers.
With proper segmentation, you should know which types of customers — from industry to vertical — you have. That way, you can gain a better understanding of who they are and what motivates them. And now, during this time, you’ll have a better of knowledge of what’s keeping them up at night.
Proper segmentation can inform you on whether you should even survey customers.
For instance, if one of your customers is in the travel industry, now’s probably not the best time to ask if their cruise business would recommend your product or service.
They’re probably worried about keeping their business going and ensuring their team members aren’t displaced.
Rather than sending a survey, now could be the time for your customer experience team to reach out with a phone call or other message asking how your company could offer help.
4. Check on Your Employees
While it’s important to get a pulse check on your customers, you can’t forget about your employees. This is a critical time to ensure your employees felt heard and offer them an opportunity to share their needs and concerns.
Be sure to do this in a way that’s not identifiable so your employees feel comfortable being candid.
Your employee experience is critical in your organization being able to deliver the best possible customer experience.
Ensure their feedback has appropriate follow-up from leadership, with as much honesty and transparency as possible, to give them trust and assurance.
Despite everything else going on in the world, it can feel empowering to employees if they know they’re supported by their employer.
Finally, Be Human
Now more than ever, it’s important to demonstrate empathy. Start from within your organization and extend out to your customers.
Extend understanding and grace to your teams and they’ll, in turn, show that to your customers.
Make sure you find ways to check in with your colleagues. Perhaps your next team stand-ups are less on the progress of projects and more on how your team members are doing. And that’s okay.
Teams have milestones to keep for sure, but how far can they go and what is the quality of reaching it if they aren’t in the right state of mind or physical health?
In the same way, a simple email or call to check in on your customer can be just the thing they needed.
Remember, your customers and your employees have one major thing in common — we’re all human.