Why standing still really means going backwards - Getting on the front foot with customer service improvement

Why standing still really means going backwards - Getting on the front foot with customer service improvement image
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Mission accomplished. After months, if not years, of effort your business has achieved an industry leading NPS score. You’ve got happy customers, and all those word of mouth recommendations mean that new business is pouring through the doors.

 Time to sit back and relax, right? Well no. Most definitely not. Having worked so hard to achieve that brilliant result, the last thing you want to be doing is sitting back and waiting for it to go wrong. By standing still, your customer service will almost certainly be going backwards – with issues creeping in.

 Business operations are constantly changing, and there are so many variables that can impact on customer service in an instant. Whilst NPS is a good measure for overall customer sentiment, as I talked about in my blog a few weeks ago https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6540171678654230528, it doesn’t give you the necessary detail about HOW you’ve achieved the score, or in fact the different elements that make up success. Just as it won’t give you any kind of granularity as to what went wrong when it starts to decrease. To make sure you are able to maintain and improve on NPS you need to have a clear framework in place to measure how any customer service and operational changes (both planned and unexpected) might impact the overall NPS.

 Here at Arise we make sure that we agree with each client a series of ‘buckets’ of measures that are tracked on an ongoing basis. Each of those measures impacts individually on the NPS score, and by keeping each of them under constant review, we can identify when an activity might have a detrimental result on customer sentiment before it impacts overall NPS – so corrective measures can be implemented. Consistency in this framework is critical - the constant review helps build a story on how changes might impact overall service perception – allowing your business to make predictions and weigh up the relevant pros and cons of operational changes.

 With one of our clients, we were able to identify very early on that one aspect of customer service - Manager Call Backs – was having a negative impact on sentiment, whilst NPS still remained strong. By recognising this early on, we were able to build a new process that facilitated a customer call back by a manager within 30 minutes, which instantly corrected the drop in sentiment – all without ever impacting overall NPS. And it’s not just about looking for the bad impacts – hunting out any uplifts and improvements is key too. This will allow you to apply positive learnings to other areas of the business.

 So how do you develop the right operational framework that allows you to fine tune your operations? We believe this is achieved by putting the customer front and centre and working back from this point. Also, it’s imperative you have the right granularity of data and insight to allow for small, incremental changes, which are less likely to have immediate negative impacts if they don’t work out as planned. You need to be proactively seeking out those incremental changes – but one at a time. 

 Our advice is to look to consistency, sustained effort and incremental change as the three key things to bear in mind – along with having the right granularity of data that is constantly under review`. 

To understand more about how we use our service framework to ensure NPS is under constant improvement, get in touch!

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