Industry Average says you can expect a 10-15% response rate on surveys…

Posted by Jordan Barta on Mar 23, 2018 8:41:47 AM

 

WHAT?! How can that be possible? Surveygizmo.com stated that the industry average is “… 10-15% response rate for external surveys.” (External surveys is referring to outside your organization.)

Questionss

That’s mind boggling.

You spend all this time and money crafting a survey and only get 10% response rate. Meaning for every 100 clients you survey, you get 10 responses… Is that even enough data to accurately reflect your client base?

Simply put, no. That sample size is not enough data to understand what your overall client base is thinking and furthermore, clients respond to a tailored service model that addresses their unique needs and without understanding what those needs are we can do little to properly serve them. 

So… How do you increase response rates to get the unique feedback needed?

  1. Educate - Your client MUST know that the assessment data is going to be used to tailor the client service model to their unique needs. Marc Pierce, the CEO of STAMP, a B2B assessment tool, says that “socialization to the clients that an assessment is being sent to them is extremely important.”
  2. Motivate – Account managers should be motivated to drive engagement as an expression of the mutual partnership between your organization and your clients. Incentives for account managers to drive client completion, regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative, works quite well. Furthermore, incentives for customers can drive completion as well – Amazon or Starbucks gift cards, discounts on current services, etc.
  3. Communicate – Having transparent conversation only increases happiness among businesses and their clients.Notify the client prior to the assessment being sent out, confirming their receipt of the assessment, utilize reminders to encourage completion and confirm completion.
  4. Incorporate - Including bi-yearly, quarterly and even monthly assessments verbiage in your client agreements/contracts will ensure a significantly higher response rate – reiterating your investment in tailoring your service model to your clients needs.
  5. Address – It is paramount that following an assessment of any kind that the feedback obtained is addressed with your clients. Obtaining this kind of feedback and failing to appropriately respond will only cause the issue to fester with your clients and their future response rates to drop.

These are just a few things you can do to ensure a significantly higher response rate. A response rate that will give you and your business legitimate feedback. With that feedback, you’ll be able to increase client retention and decrease churn. 

Tags: CX, success management, customer experience, customer success management

3 Important Questions You Should Ask in Your Assessment

Posted by Jordan Barta on Mar 9, 2018 3:19:40 PM

Here are the 3 most important questions you should always ask your business customers to increase your account retention.

  1. How likely are you to recommend this product or service to a friend/colleague?

This is single handedly the best and most important question to ask your customers. When you recommend products or services to your friends, you don’t mention average companies; you mention the ones that exceed expectations.

If you find out a lot of your clients are giving you 9’s and 10’s, you know that you’re doing something right. We call those people ‘promoters’. Keep doing what you’re doing and encourage these clients to recommend your business to other businesses.

If you get back 7’s and 8’s, you know that you’ve got a little work to do. These are ‘passive’ clients and they typically have the mindset that everything is okay and there isn’t a big enough need to switch vendors. However, if you reached out to these clients to write a review or introduce you to other businesses, they would most likely decline.

If you get back any number between 0 and 6, you’ve got yourself a detractor. These clients are going to be the ones that give you negative reviews and that don’t recommend your business. You need to come up with an action plan to move them to passive or promoters. These clients are often the ones that leave and go to the competition.

net-promoter-score.jpg

Why does Net Promoter Score matter?

Client Retention and client churn can happen for other reasons outside of the net promoter score. However, this metric gives us great insight into the voice of the customer. If a client is a promoter; we know there is a very good chance they’ll renew our contracts. If a client is passive; we know we have work to do, but we also know that the client is relatively happy. If a client is a detractor, we know that we must provide them with additional support to prevent losing them.

  1. Which other options did you consider before choosing our product and/or service?

This is a great question to ask immediately after the sales cycle. Also, you could use this question if you upsold a current client on additional services. We want to get a clear understanding of what other companies the client was considering prior to choosing us. Was it a specific feature? Did the price sway the client? Did the online reviews help us?

The answer that they provide will help us plan for the future. In order to stay ahead of the competition, we have to obtain a clear understanding of what matters most to our accounts.

 

  1. What else would you like us to know?

 

This is a nice opened ended question which allows your customers to provide additional feedback. We find that if you have not asked more than 15 questions prior to getting this one, you will typically get a transparent response. If you have exhausted your assessment taker, the likelihood that they answer this truthfully diminishes.

Also, you’ll want to take into consideration where the customer is within the product lifecycle. Are they a long-standing client? Did they just go through onboarding? How many other projects do they current have on their plate?

The answers you receive to these questions will likely vary, but often patterns will emerge. Be prepared to create action plans on the outcome of the assessment.

In addition, a few other questions that we often suggest to include:

  • If you could change just one thing about our product or service offering, what would it be?
  • How satisfied were you with your last experience with us?”

These are great questions to ask and can easily be switched out for #2 and #3. These are a little more specific and they don’t require as thoughtful of a response. If your customers are willing to fill out long assessments, you can easily include these.

Prior to sending your customers assessments, always make sure they’re aware they’ll be receiving one. We see the highest response rate in our assessments once the company or account manager has socialized the assessment to their clients.

Ultimately, it comes down to obtaining actionable information and then executing the strategies and tactics to retain your customers!

Tags: CX, customer success, customer experience

Customer Experience is more than you think

Posted by Jordan Barta on Mar 9, 2018 3:11:12 PM

In recent conversations with customers from a multitude of industries, we have concluded that customer experiences and success can fall into a magnitude of different categories. Depending at which point in time you require feedback from the customer, you’re going to receive different feedback.

In 2014, Gartner stated that, “by 2016, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience.” As we’ve all seen, the majority of companies have failed miserably at this. We’re long past the year 2016 and there are a lot of companies that don’t monitor customer experience… at all.

First and foremost, we need to take into consideration; What is customer experience? How do you know? How do you measure it? How do you obtain actionable steps to act upon the feedback? Don’t worry, we’re going to cover all of that.

B2B-Clients-Feedback-Main

To paint you a picture, we’re going to use a few common ‘touch points’ that the majority of businesses utilize to help you measure the different customer experience levels:

  • Sales
  • Implementation/onboarding
  • Account Management/service

(Additional categories were: renewal, account management replacement, upsell, offboarding, initiative change, product advancement and upgrade)

Sales: Your sales representative just ‘closed the deal’ and now the client is continuing through the process of implementing the account. Why did they win the business? How does the customer feel about the entire process? How did the sales representative portray themselves/the company?

Implementation/onboarding: Sales sold the deal and now it’s time for Implementation or Operations to take the lead and get the client onboard. Is the implementation team aware of the client’s business objectives? Did sales over promise and under deliver? Have the timelines been kept?

Account Management/Service: Typically, most existing accounts will be managed by this functional area. Is the client receiving the support they need to be successful? Do they get their answers in a timely matter? Are they happy to be a recommendation or refer business? Are there opportunities to radiate sales or services?

At any point in all three of these categories, the customer experience could be bad, fair, good or great. You don’t objectively know until you ask for feedback. You could receive great feedback in two of the three areas; now you know that you need to improve on the third area. You could be losing clients because one of the three categories isn’t doing their job correctly. You won’t know until you ask and you need to do so using an objective and systematic process.

To compete based on customer experience, we first must be able to measure customer experience. We need to gain access to the voice of the customer. Many companies claim they do this by meeting with clients and asking for their feedback, but this data is often filtered and biased. This is where STAMP comes in. STAMP helps businesses systematically determine what is most important to their customers and shows how well they are delivering against the customer’s needs, it identifies the key actions they should take to improve satisfaction, it alerts them when they are underperforming, and tracks performance over time.

The results? Increased account retention and satisfaction!

This customer success platform can be used at each and every touch point through out the life cycle of a client. Having a clear understanding of how the client feels at each interaction allows the company the opportunity to grow and get better. Transparency between customer and company contributes toward the longevity of the partnership. There is a long list of competing companies that would bend over backwards to earn your customers’ business. They chose you…for some reasons…and you need to know what those are!

Now it’s your turn to deliver on your promises, obtain their voice and follow through by creating a better customer experience at all stages of customer interaction.

Tags: CX, customer success, customer experience

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