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Use a Customer Feedback System To Inform The HiPPO

best kind of feedback

Do you have a HiPPO in your organisation? Or are you the HiPPO? You know, that senior manager whose opinion is valued above all others? An effective  customer feedback system can help guide strategic and operational decisions.

HiPPO = Highest Paid Person’s Opinion

The Highest Paid Person’s Opinion tends to be the one furthest opinion away from the actual customer’s opinion; the top level managers who tend to have the deciding vote when it comes to operational and strategic decisions. HiPPOs are generally very experienced managers, and often make the right decisions at the right time. However, sometimes, in order to make these right decisions, they need more insight into what it is that actually makes their customers tick. This is where customer feedback comes into play. It pays huge dividends to go into a meeting prepared with facts and figures which categorically tell you what your customers are saying about their experience with you. This really helps HiPPOs to understand the issues at stake and make the correct decision to ensure customers are retained, satisfaction levels are improved and expenditure made in the areas that will positively impact your customer experience.

Imagine using your customer feedback system to come into a meeting armed with a myriad of reports, analysis, facts and statistics that clearly show what the most important matters are to your customers – facts that were hitherto unknown by the HiPPOs in your organisation. Doesn’t it make sense to bring these to the fore of the meeting, discuss the impact they all have on loyalty, and then agree immediate actions to address the problems?

focus group

Here is an example of how a customer feedback system was used to proactively help the HiPPO re-consider a previously planned capital investment and save over £4 million:

Eurocamp preferred pic

Eurocamp had felt their white plastic garden furniture used on all their campsites was out of date and needed upgrading. Prior to signing off this investment, perceptions about the furniture were analysed from all customer comments about their campsite placement, and how those comments related to customer satisfaction ratings.

Very few negative comments about the furniture were found and as a result, £4m was saved by not replacing the guest furniture. The capital expenditure was prioritised in other areas which were shown to have an impact on customer satisfaction and rebooking rates.

So next time you are in a meeting discussing strategic and operational changes to improve the customer experience, be mindful of the power of a customer feedback system; consider whether you actually have any data you can provide to your HiPPO, and help them make smarter operational and strategic decisions.

And if you don’t have much meaningful, insightful feedback to hand, is it time to invest in a robust voice of customer programme?

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