How to Stop Treating your Customers Like Numbers

Posted by Molly Shanahan

August 4, 2016

how-to-stop-treating-your-customers-like-numbers.jpgAs an industry, we know that survey fatigue is real. We know that customers are fed up of lengthy surveys and are craving real engagement with brands. Sadly, the only thing we’re doing is creating more technologies to survey them faster.Not only are customers being asked for more and more feedback but it seems that companies are doing less and less with it. The key to solving this problem is in switching the objective from collecting feedback to creating engagements. 

The Emotional Bank Account

Steven Covey talks about the idea of an emotional bank account in his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. The metaphor explains that a brand has to deposit something into the customer's emotional bank account before they can ask for a withdrawal. This is an effective way to consider how companies should ask for feedback. 

If we’re asking our customers for feedback we have to ask the question: have we put enough into the emotional bank account for our customers to be in a position to ask for feedback? If a company has made a deposit and built up their credit then, perhaps, they have earned the right to ask. 

Make sure that you know where your customer is in their buyer journey so that you know how much emotional ‘credit’ you have to trade on. There’s no point asking a big NPS question to someone that has just become a customer so ask them instead about their recent experience with the Contact Centre. Remain open and simply ask for feedback in their own words to prevent unhelpful box ticking or leading answers. 

Measure engagement not metrics

Rather than focusing on the metrics of experience (NPS, Effort or CSAT, etc.) start to reframe the landscape and look at measuring engagement. When looking to measure engagement rather than just feedback you need to measure whether customers are responding to you and leaving you with valuable insight or suggestions that show they’re an engaged audience. 

These measures of engagement work much faster to show the health of your engagements with customers when compared to the lagging indicators used with feedback, which are tricky to model future outcomes with. Remember that if you’re collecting feedback at scale you need to make sure that the method is convenient for even the most time poor customer. This will make them more likely to respond to you. 

Don’t just do what you’ve always done

You may have got a decent response from a previous feedback form but that doesn’t mean it’ll work this time round. The way that customers respond to feedback is changing constantly and needs to be adapted at each stage of the buyer’s journey in order to get the best engagement. Too many companies have fallen by the wayside by ignoring what’s going on in the world and trying to carry on doing what they’ve always done. 

Topics: Customer Emotion, Emotional Engagement

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