Having worked in the CX space for 14 years across a variety of multi-location brands, I have seen a common thread in customer experience programmes that are successful in improving customer satisfaction and driving business results. Not coincidentally, these programmes follow recommended best practices:

  1. Strategy: The programme is aligned to strategic objectives
  2. Multiple Lenses: Various performance measures (mystery shop, audits, customer surveys, employee surveys, etc.) are used to provide an understanding of location-level and brand performance
  3. Predicative Analytics: Data modelling is employed to identify what matters most to customers
  4. Technology Reporting : Tech stacks are simplified and amplified by integrating multiple performance measures and internal data into a single platform
  5. Accountability: Key stakeholders are responsible for both monitoring and taking action on programme results

Many times—after much time and money is spent on strategy development, launching services and technology—there are shortfalls in setting accountability and taking action on results. The fifth best practice is often the hardest.

Assign ownership and accountability  An essential component of any measurement programme is establishing who has responsibility for monitoring and taking action on results. Just having a metric in place won’t make your customers more satisfied, and it won’t make your business magically improve. As we have often seen, just knowing the score does not change the score. You have to be purposeful in assigning ownership and accountability for results.   

In setting accountability, we have found that organisations that communicate the “Ws” (and one “H”) perform best in driving true business performance improvement:

  • Establish and document who is accountable for monitoring the results
  • Tell them the why behind your CX programme, so they understand the mission and goals of the programme and the organisation
  • Explain how satisfaction is factored into various corporate objectives as well as MBOs and WIGs
  • Tell them what they should be doing with results,
  • Teach them where results can be found,
  • Define when they should be reviewing results and taking action

Monitor results  Whatever you chose as your satisfaction metric, you will have a score. Knowing your score is good, but the score isn’t actually the be-all end-all. You need to understand how your score changes over time. Is customer satisfaction improving or declining?  Is a low score one month just a blip on the radar, or, is there a downward trend in customer satisfaction? In either case, what is driving that change in score?  Does your programme help you understand that?  

Understand what impacts customer satisfaction  A key success factor to improving customer satisfaction is your ability to identify the things that are most important to your customer’s satisfaction. This may take a bit of work, and you may not have an in-house analyst who can model your data. Your CX partner should be able to provide these insights to you. It is well worth the investment to know which behaviours are most impactful to your customers’ satisfaction. 

Take action  Once you know the behaviours that result in delighted customers, look back at your performance to understand how you are doing in those areas, and take action – train your employees, create incentive plans, hold store staff accountable, and change policies that don’t work for customers—to gain improvements. 

The process doesn’t stop; keep monitoring results and taking action. Customer satisfaction isn’t a one and done proposition. You have to be dedicated to making it an integral part of your business.  Lucky for you there are proven best practices for success.

If you would like to learn more about these best practices and how industry-leading organisations are leveraging them to drive improvements in their business, please click here for more information on a powerful decision support system called Success Playbook.

  Success Playbook

Alicia Picard is a Senior Strategy Director and has been with Market Force for 14 years.  She consults with clients across a variety of industries to help them protect their brands, delight customers and make more money.