Customer orientation and service quality are two essential aspects of business success, especially for the service industry. Great service quality is a crucial factor of positive customer experiences and customer satisfaction.
Since experience is what really counts for customers, it therefore defines the actual product quality. This raises the question of how well all of your employees, starting with the CEO and ending with every support representative, are informed of what it takes to improve the service quality day to day. This is where Enterprise Feedback Management Systems come into place. As opposed to traditional customer, employee, or supplier satisfaction surveys, which are difficult to conduct, analyze, and operationally apply, Enterprise Feedback Management Systems work well in simple, daily situations and engage all of your employees, corporate processes, partners, and customers into your improvement strategy.
1. How has Enterprise Feedback Management worked up until now?
Up until now, many companies have periodically commissioned their market research, quality management, or customer service departments with the task of executing process analyses or customer, employee, or supplier satisfaction surveys. These analyses often challenge the departments with a highly organizational task. How do we reach all of our customers, partners, and employees? How do we achieve a high response rate? Which questions should we ask them? How do we evaluate the data we receive? As a result, an extremely time-consuming and costly management report is created once or twice a year. Since this report solely focuses on the past and takes multiple weeks to fully evaluate, the results can only function as basis for strategic decisions. These types of reports are of no great use for business operations. Moreover, due to its sheer size and exclusiveness, only a handful of employees will ever be granted access to such a report. The immense effort required for the execution and evaluation is rarely worth the outcome; a mere fraction of the derived data may be used to base any decisions on. In fact, these types of reports will rarely give well thought-out feedback the attention it deserves. This could be detrimental to the customer, employee, and partner relationship as, despite having given their feedback, no changes will be made. How can an Enterprise Feedback Management System assist in improving the situation and increasing the level of service quality?
2. Collecting and using the right data at the right time
Today, all of us are customers. Every one of us who has ordered something online before knows the difference between good and bad service and knows what to expect when dealing with certain providers. There are many different touch points within a company that are available to us as customers, starting with the company’s website, social media presence, communication by mail or telephone, and ending with in-store and door representatives. We gather many different impressions while working with or buying from a company or brand, all of which come together as puzzle pieces to create a general customer experience. The so-called ‘customer journey’ takes us on windy paths through the company’s processes and past employees and partners. Service quality management requires knowledge about individual experiences, yet unfortunately, this knowledge is like a black box for many organisations. The classic complaint box accompanied by paper & pencil surveys at the entrance or the well hidden feedback form on a website isn’t much help anymore. For one thing, the entry of feedback and the evaluation process take too long. Moreover, multiple people are responsible for multiple placements: the store manager is responsible for the in-store feedback box, but the feedback form on the website is maintained by the marketing department – and then the data don’t coalesce. Even social media channels don’t always provide companies with consistent or helpful feedback as the localization and actual relevance are nearly impossible to measure. Crucial is a direct, immediate, and on-the-spot survey method at each touch point so customers can submit their feedback before their experience is tainted with time. Make it easy for your customers by having a tablet on hand, by allowing your customers to submit their feedback on their own smart phone, or by giving them a quick call shortly after experiencing your service, for example. The positive side effect: unsatisfied customers are recognized immediately, which allows you to win them back with your quick reaction times. By letting as little time elapse as possible, you avoid gathering negative reviews online or on social networks and are contributing to the development of a satisfied customer base. Keep it smart and simple – create short, straight to the point surveys. The most important part is continuously receiving precise information about certain indicators, such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS), 5-star ratings, and yes or no questions, and not the receipt of comprehensive market research for your business’ next forecast. A similar principle can be used for employees, suppliers, and partners. A direct feedback channel can help to quickly receive suggestions, criticism, and praise to shape your daily business. Other than direct customer, employee, and partner feedback, there are many other sources of data which can be useful for improving your service quality, such as: customer and merchandise motion profiles and tracking data through WiFi, GPS, or RFID systems, corporate and financial data, and information from ERP or CRM systems, like transaction volumes, mail volumes, customer information, and demographics. This kind of supporting data can help to understand and evaluate the direct feedback better.
3. View reports and analyses in real time
As soon as you’ve collected the right data, you have all you need to draw effective conclusions. To assist you in evaluating the data, automatic analysis tools process the data against pre-defined performance indicators. Those indicators are then assigned per touch point. Each touch point and the organization as a whole are assessed separately and in real time. Through the daily collection of data, informative charts will emerge within just a few weeks, which will provide valuable insight into business processes and service quality. Score cards are created for each different touch point and for the organizational structure. Dashboards depict the continuous development of certain indicators by using charts and showing trends. Former white spots on the process map were made transparent in the live evaluation, simplifying the maintenance of the data. Current cloud technologies enable an effortless implementation of such indicator systems within the Enterprise Feedback Management System. Data are ascertained locally and made available in real time, fully evaluated, and on management’s and every employee’s tablet or smartphone.
4. Share your results and incorporate your entire organization
Even the greatest charts, trends, and analyses won’t help you if no one’s able to see them. Useful Enterprise Feedback Management Systems have one condition: the data and analyses should be made available to every employee so every response is seen and heard. When employees read a customer’s response, they’re automatically motivated to do their best on a daily basis. Everyone likes to hear from how much customers, partners, and fellow colleagues value their contributions. As mentioned earlier, current Cloud solutions can grant employees instant access to the data without further added IT effort. However, not everyone has to/should see absolutely everything. Too much information is a burden. The store manager doesn’t have to see all the score cards or corporate indicators; the only relevant figures are the ones concerning his own area of responsibility, like the level of customer satisfaction, his store’s NPS, and his benchmark level for comparison, for example. Thanks to mobile technology, everyone can access the evaluation anytime and anywhere. In order to increase the efficiency of the data for your daily business, Enterprise Feedback Management Systems are equipped with collaboration tools. These tools make it easier to directly discuss results and to derive the right measures from them.
5. Deriving decisions from the data
Data and analyses are only as good as the support they lend in improving the service quality. The goal of quality management (and the organization’s management) is the adjustment of processes to meet the customers’ needs and the continuous improvement of service and innovations in order to generate new business and customer loyalty. An Enterprise Feedback Management System can be a vital platform, as many management and quality management systems like the ISO 9001:2008 operate according to Six Sigma or Total Quality Management approaches. The decisive factor of every Enterprise Feedback Management System is the voice of the customer. The EFM directly represents the voice of the customer. The information is precise and easily located within the system, which allows management to derive the right decisions from the data. Through the use of collaboration systems, customer complaints registered by the EFM can be assigned as support tickets to support employees or call centers in order to begin damage control right away. These support tickets can also be seen as a task for management or quality management to optimize certain processes. This way, flawed touch points are recognized quickly and can be taken care of.
6. Monitor the effectiveness day by day
The main advantage of Enterprise Feedback Management Systems that traditional methods don’t offer is the ability to monitor and steer data on a day to day basis. If indicators are set and the data is recorded correctly, the EFM will work like an alarm for your service quality. If certain indicators sink below a determined boundary, the system automatically sends out an alert to chosen employees. These employees can then solve the problem as quickly as possible, which leads to the effective improvement of the service quality. The system provides management levels with periodic benchmarks for the service quality, making weak spots and top performers alike easily recognizable.
Customers, employees, and partners are engaged in daily activities aimed at improving the service quality. The service quality is measured in such a transparent, reliable, and understandable way that it makes making improvements and changes much easier. As opposed to traditional customer satisfaction surveys, the Enterprise Feedback Management Systems make the daily monitoring and steering of the service quality simple.
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Author: Niels Delater
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How to improve service quality through enterprise feedback management?