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Customer Feedback

Customer Feedback is Your Competitive Advantage

Why is Customer Obsession a Priority?

A recent Gartner survey of CEOs found that 40% list growth as their number one business priority for 2018 and 2019.  28% say workforce. And 23% of CEOs list customer service as one of their top three business priorities. Savvy CEOs understand that growth and employee engagement can be created by listening to customer feedback while following one guiding principle: Be customer obsessed.In his 2016 letter to shareholders, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote,“There are many advantages to a customer-centric approach. Here’s the big one: customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied. Even when they report being happy and business is great.”As a brand, Amazon strives to give an experience that is a solid example of customer-obsessed culture from the top down. They strive to continually surprise and delight customers. Knowing their customers thoroughly helps to anticipate their needs.

A customer-obsessed culture best creates the conditions where all of that can happen.

Bezos goes on to say, “(customer obsession)...requires you to experiment patiently, accept failures, plant seeds, protect saplings, and double down when you see customer delight. You need to communicate it from the inside out by creating a culture shift.”What is that shift? It’s actively listening and responding to your customers internally and externally. It’s purposely moving away from guessing what your customers think toward active, real-time communication.Treat your customer as an advisor. And respond by taking action. This creates an emotional bond between the customer and your brand. Emotional bonds create lasting relationships for growth and customer retention.

Obsession expressed through actioning customer feedback

It used to be that companies set up focus groups to try to capture the voice of the customer (VoC). Enter the Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey. NPS is a one-question survey that collects how likely, on a scale of 0-10 a customer would recommend you to a friend or colleague. It is calculated by looking at the percentage of customers that are 'promoters' (9 or 10 rating) minus the percent of customers that are 'detractors' (0 to 6 rating).In a recent webinar on The Competitive Advantage of a Customer-Obsessed Culture, Michelle Ruch, Customer Success Operations Manager at Zapproved said, “We've had an NPS program since 2010, so we're coming up on eight years of having a (customer-centric) program that's been in place. We've iterated and iterated on it since then, but it's been core to our company for almost as long as we've been around.”Customer-obsessed companies use NPS to actively listen to their customers. This means understanding their customer journey and capturing satisfaction at trigger points. It also means an internal culture shift toward paying attention to real-time customer feedback.

Customer-obsessed companies send out surveys daily to different customers at various points in their journey.

They then flow customer responses to the right employee at the right time. Employees are empowered to make changes that surprise and delight customers.This allows employees, managers, and team leaders to use real-time NPS to prioritize company feedback and operationalize it via daily/weekly all-hands meetings, reporting, and more efficient product development.

Empower Your Team to Take Action

Customer-obsessed companies train their team on how to react in real time to customer feedback — good, neutral, and poor. By giving their team solutions and empowering them to address feedback and earn success stories, they increase engagement. That top-down approach to customer feedback is what creates a true customer-obsessed culture.In the same webinar, Wendy Pochop, Director of Customer Success at Fleetio said, “We're already getting a lot of information from our customers, including new product feedback and feedback on our services. We attach a happiness number to that feedback.“It helps the other teams in your company know why that information is important, helps us to prioritize the things that we need to work on, and also understand what impact any change has on our customers.“We can see that immediately in our scores. Being able to tie that very tangible, very physical number to the information that you're getting, and using that to prioritize your work, is a great way to sell it to your team.”Intimate customer connections drive continuous improvement. It helps team engagement and ultimately drives growth. And growth is the greatest competitive advantage of all, don’t you think?Want to know more about customer obsession?Check out this webinar: NPS Everywhere: The Competitive Advantage of a Customer-Obsessed CultureNeed more information on NPS?

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About the author

John Ballinger

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