Many Shared Services leaders can, off the top of their heads, quickly quote you their organization’s KPIs, SLAs, volume growth, headcount reduction, and percent cost-saving reductions for each of the past five years. Ask them how satisfied their customers are and they will most likely pause, and say something along the lines of “If they’re not satisfied, they should be. We have great numbers.”
On a recent webcast in the Peeriosity Shared Services Leadership research area, the topic of measuring customer satisfaction, and more importantly, addressing the findings to improve satisfaction, was discussed. A poll on the frequency of how often customers are surveyed indicated that there is not necessarily an accepted cadence, with 31% indicating they perform a survey annually and 46% indicating that they survey less frequently than annually or not at all.
Our feature company on the webcast has a highly disciplined approach to measuring and using the data from surveys to improve customer satisfaction. The approach was part of an initiative to go beyond delivering financially measured value to becoming more customer-centric and delivering value at all levels. The structured framework includes:
- Survey Set-Up
- Customer Segmentation
- Respondent Selection
- Questionnaire Setup and Distribution
- Data Gathering
- Action Planning
- Communication with Customers
A survey is launched each month with consideration that a particular customer will not be surveyed with too much frequency. Respondents are random and make up a representation of key segments of the customer base across processes, regions, reporting levels, etc. The survey format is no more than 10 questions, of which two are constant on every survey:
- Overall Satisfaction Level (7 options ranging from “Completely Dissatisfied” to “Completely Satisfied”).
- Net Promoter Score (“Based on our performance, you can recommend us to others” with 7 options ranging from “Completely Disagree” to “Completely Agree”).
The webcast went into great detail about the specifics of our feature company’s customer-centric program and how the survey is a part of that program. It is an integral component to have a feedback loop that feeds into the planning process and helps determine where improvements need to be made and will have the greatest impact. Results are tied to the Shared Services team’s plans and goals which they are measured against.
The results from our feature company have been exceptional as they continue to see their Net Promoter Score rise as they go through iterations of their structured framework and the action planning results in initiatives that customers are part of and see the results – all based on their input. Not only do they have a voice, but it’s also heard and acted upon with measurable impact.
The conversation concluded with a “lessons learned” discussion that included:
- A structured ongoing framework works best.
- Segment your customers and reach the right respondents.
- Be aware of “survey fatigue” and plan accordingly.
- Use the data for improvement purposes – don’t question the data.
- Brief your customers on what you have learned and what you will be improving.
- Measure your progress and celebrate success.
With the use of a structured approach to measuring and improving customer satisfaction, the next time a Shared Services leader is asked “How satisfied are your customers?” they can quickly respond with something along the lines of “We’ve raised our NPS from 4.5 to 5.7 in the last year.”
What initiatives are you currently working on to measure and improve your customer satisfaction?
Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?