In part one, we discussed some of the risks of a failed Voice of the Customer rollout, and we covered four customer experience best practices for managing change. If you missed the first part, then click here to check it out. If you’ve been-there-done-that, then read on, bold adventurer.
1-4. Best Practices, Revisited.
For the sake of clarity (and to refresh your memory), here are the four best practices we covered in part one:
- Build awareness, and plan communications.
- Involve employees.
- Spur informal influencers to tell their stories.
- Balance the customer feedback.
Good. Without further ado, let's jump into number five.
5. Share early successes, and develop a regular feedback rhythm.
The early stages of customer experience management are all about beating the figurative drum. If you can get internal stakeholders to march in rhythm, you'll have a much better chance at success with Voice of the Customer software.
Our clients have found that sharing customer experience success stories begets understanding and alignment. So, as you use Voice of the Customer software to gather customer feedback, make it a point to share some great stories in company communications like newsletters, videos, emails, webinars, podcasts, or town halls.
Another approach to consider is having customers tell their stories about giving feedback and receiving a response. This can help employees see the importance of measured responses to feedback. It can also show that their actions have the power to reverse a customer’s emotional response to pain points in the customer experience.
6. Put customer feedback on every agenda.
In a similar vein, you should make sure to review customer feedback in all appropriate meetings. And not just the good stuff, but the nitty gritty, like customer metrics, negative feedback, trends, and overarching issues.
One effective way to build the habit is by adding customer feedback to leadership meeting agendas. Bringing the Voice of the Customer into the C-suite can have an invaluable effect on organizational adoption. But don’t make customer feedback exclusive to leadership. Encourage everyone to share feedback and customer stories to keep the focus on improving customer experience.
7. Expect resistance, and address concerns.
As with any major change, you’ll face some resistance when you start to execute your best-laid plans. As such, managing internal resistance should be a key consideration in your evolving customer experience strategy.
It’s beneficial to spend time identifying the pockets of resistance within your organization. Once you’ve found the resistors, don’t try to break their will, but rather identify the root causes of their resistance. Odds are, there are other people within your organization with the same hesitations.
Once you identify root causes, then address them head on. Use training and education to help people understand the reasons behind Voice of the Customer, as well as the opportunities that can result from successful adoption. As you develop future training programs, make sure to continue focusing on resistors, underlying causes, and resolution. In time, if you're successful, you'll find that internal adopters will drown out the resistors.
8. Avoid setting improvement targets too early on.
In the beginning, don’t make the mistake of thinking too far ahead. Instead, set your sights on allowing the organization to get comfortable with listening and responding to feedback.
In the early stages of your implementation, focus on helping the Voice of the Customer become part of the fabric of the way you do business. Once your people are comfortable and used to the closed-loop nature of feedback, then work to set goals and hold people accountable for customer experience improvement.
Summing It Up
Successful implementation of the Voice of the Customer can be difficult in any organization. But rest assured, it is achievable, and if you can get it to take hold, it will be worth the effort. The insights you'll gain through Voice of the Customer software can help not only improve customer experience, but also employee engagement, business outcomes, and internal working relationships.
Need some extra help planning your customer experience meetings? Then check out this blog post, and consider downloading our CX meeting agenda template by clicking on the button below. We also encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Posted on 04-03-2015