How would you rate 2020 and why?

So, what happened in 2020 that resulted in a 1 star rating?
A - Bush fires? B - Brexit? C - Covid? D - Poor exam results?

I don’t think anyone would disagree that the most likely reason for the 1 star rating is probably C. But if you live in south eastern Australia and your house was destroyed by fire in January, the answer is likely to be A. Or if you live in the UK and were planning to retire to Spain next year, the answer may well be B. Or if you are an unlucky 18 year old, the answer is likely to be D.

Despite the rather jokey nature of the image above, there are some key underlying messages to be taken from this.

It’s all very well giving a rating, whether it’s for a product, a service, a brand or an organisation. But what’s more important is understanding the reasons behind the score. Without knowing why a score is given, how can anyone know what to do to improve?

And once you know the reasons, you need to ensure that the issues are relayed to the right people at the right time so they can take action to remedy the issue.  

We’ve spoken to a Branch Manager at a popular brand of opticians which demonstrates this perfectly:

Each week, the branches are measured on a number of metrics: commercial performance, internal staff e-learning, branch appearance, volume of customer tests and, most importantly, customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is measured on NPS ratings and if they dip for any reason, I, the Branch Manager, am open to criticism and ultimately disciplinary action if the results do not improve.
The key problem here is that I, as Branch Manager, receive nothing in the way of alerts to any issues. I have to log into a separate system and pull out the customer comments on a very ad-hoc basis. This is time consuming and often, by the time I become aware of the scores and see the comments, the remedial actions I can take are marginal. The moment for resolving the issue has often passed – the customer has gone elsewhere, they felt like no one was listening for a number of days, and probably felt they weren’t valued enough for a call back sooner.
In addition, the issues are often outside of my control to resolve – issues such as poor air conditioning or heating, tired looking shops, limited stock range etc. Who at HQ is accountable or even aware of these issues? There is no strategic review of feedback at a high level that can then be delved into down to a local level. I find this all very frustrating and it has an impact at a local and national level with customers defecting to alternative providers.
The Branch Managers would hugely benefit from having a quick, easy to digest dashboard with all customer feedback in real time. In addition, it would be great if I could get a text or email alert to inform me as soon as an unhappy customer submits negative feedback. We want to genuinely help our customers but without easy access to feedback and immediate notification of complaints, we are unable to. Often, a quick, immediate phone call from a member of staff makes a customer feel valued.

A more robust and end-to-end customer feedback programme is much needed in this organisation!

Using text analytics, an organisation can quickly and easily understand what’s driving the scores. The analysis of the feedback comments is available in real time and can be accessed by managers across the organisation – at HQ level right down to customer facing staff.

Alerts can be set up so that feedback comments which have a negative impact on customer satisfaction can be sent directly to those who have the power to take action.

Text analytics + real time alerts package together form a robust customer experience programme that has the power to make real, impactful changes to your processes, products, service or communications – in fact, anything that affects the scores.

Once these changes take effect, scores will improve. This will lead to greater customer loyalty, a growth in sales revenue, standing out better from your competition and increased brand popularity.

So many organisations are wrapped up in measuring star ratings and customer satisfaction scores, that they lose sight of the fact that without reasons, the scores are just numbers, nothing else.