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Stop Shoveling Sand with a Pitchfork – Or Why Your Customer Experience Efforts Aren’t Impressing Customers

You probably have heard the numbers, but forgotten the specifics. It is worth repeating. Research by Fred Reichheld, Bain and Company showed that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

One of the best ways to improve customer retention is to re-think your internal processes from the customer’s point of view, often called a Customer Journey map or a Customer Experience effort.

Let’s look at it just from the perspective of Customer Support/Customer Success. On the surface, it’s not clear what to do. After all, your corporate website may already have a decent customer satisfaction rating (85%). Your Self-Service portal gets a pretty good rating (85%). And finally, after some intense effort, and your Call Center’s Customer Satisfaction rating has gone from zero to (relative) hero with scores consistently hovering around 90%.

Why is it then that customers still rate their experience as being terrible? There is a simple reason. While each individual interaction may be good, the cumulative experience across the journey isn’t particularly good.

This experience is even worse when you think across the entire customer journey. For a really powerful way to get people to think about (and measure) this, check out Klever’s Law: Time to Customer Value.

So what can you do?

Align your business and your employees around the needs of the customer.

Our new flagship software Klever Insight can help you achieve this. It is now open for any beta customer today. Be part of the development process and help shape the product based on the needs of your organization. Contact us if you are interested in participating.

 

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Torture, Band Aids and the Power of Thinking Small

Early in my career, I thrived on solving complex problems — often with equally complex solutions.

While I still enjoy solving complex problems, with experience I’ve (thankfully) found easier ways to address them. With far better results for a lot less effort. One of my favorite techniques to get huge gains is to think small. Really small.

I call it ‘living with a thousand band aids’ — the opposite of a ‘death by a thousand cuts’ aka the ancient torture called ‘lingchi’ or slow slicing’.

How does it work? Make small improvements across a number of areas, and pretty soon you’ll notice a difference.

Do this across processes (prime opportunities include customer-impacting processes that slice through your company) and watch the gains add up.

Couple this with a powerful cross-functional measure like Time to Smile, and prepare to be wowed.  We have seen this improve productivity by up to 300%, and reduce expected costs by 350%, all while improving customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. (A case study where we used some of these techniques can be found here.)

During the recent Rio Olympics, I was intrigued to hear that this was the same approach used by Sir David Brailsford the former Performance Director for British Cycling, who used what he calls “Aggregation of Marginal Gains”.

“Team GB used to be also-rans in world cycling. Indeed, one pundit described the operation as “a laughing stock”. But in the last two Olympics, Team GB has captured 16 gold medals and British riders have won the Tour De France three times in the last four years. This is the power of a questioning mindset and a commitment to continuous improvement.”

No matter what you call it – ‘Aggregation of Marginal Gains’, ‘Surviving with a Thousand Band Aids’ or ‘Kaizen’, discover the power of thinking small and link it with the right measures.

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