Improvement is a relative concept. To improve, a thing must be measurably better than it once was. For example, this morning, I felt fatigued. And a coffee (or seven) improved my energy level so much I can now bench press a Honda Odyssey.
It's nice to experience such clarity in cause and effect: my taking an action (i.e., drinking coffee) led to an improvement (i.e., a minivan-chucking amount of energy).
In the world of customer experience management, such straightforward scenarios can seem hard to come by. Sometimes the objective can seem so big, and the actions to achieve it unclear.
Or perhaps an abundance of potential actions may give you a bit of analysis paralysis.
If you're collecting customer feedback but feel a bit stuck, then keep reading. Here are two thoughts to get you back to work improving the customer experience.
If you feel frozen, act small to improve the customer experience.
We often mention the importance of closing feedback loops. When a customer provides feedback, they open a line of communication. At that point, it’s your company’s responsibility to address the feedback and follow up with that customer. By closing that line of communication with its source, you close the feedback loop.
That loop is represented by the small circle in this diagram:
The larger circle? That illustrates the power of analyzing customer feedback in aggregate. If you look at a lot of customer data, you may be able to determine the root causes of customer issues. Then you can make systemic changes to improve the customer experience.
Both circles work together and continually. Feedback from individual customers can lead to actions that improve the customer experience for all customers—which then would improve feedback from individual customers.
And now, my point: If you’re frozen, consider that you might be fixated on the bigger circle. And if so, shift your focus to the smaller one. Close individual feedback loops, and eventually it will add up to something greater.
Which leads me to thought number two.
To an individual customer, every personal interaction is the customer experience.
If you think about the overall customer experience at your company, what comes to mind? Is it a feeling, a brand, a delivered promise?
For individual customers, the customer experience is not a feeling or a broad-stroke intention, but rather their unique series of interactions with your company. To them, what they experience is (capital) The Customer Experience.
And if that’s true, at some level, an individual’s experience is indistinguishable from the overall customer experience.
Consider it like a machine. If you maintain and improve its parts, the machine will be more smooth, efficient, and attractive—over a longer period of time.
So again, if you're frozen thinking about the machine, try focusing on its parts. Instead of thinking about the overall, work on closing smaller feedback loops. If you focus on continual upkeep and action, then it’s really just a matter of time till you have a measurably improved customer experience.
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At PeopleMetrics, we’re all about giving companies actionable insights to improve their customer experience. If you're interested in discussing your customer experience goals, then don't hesitate to contact us. We'd love to talk.
Thanks for reading. We'll see you soon.
Posted on 02-15-2016