I just received a call from my bank asking if I had a few minutes to take a customer survey about my most recent branch visit. Except that it wasn’t my bank calling. It was an independent research company hired by my bank to call me. This strikes me as somewhat strange.
If my bank wants to know about my recent branch experience, why not have the teller ask me while I was at the branch. Having some faceless company call and ask for a few minutes of my time is intrusive. Not to mention the fact that I have no idea whether or not this company is legitimate.
I understand that the bank is trying to improve the customer experience (assuming that they did actually hire this company), but the way you do that is to engage the customer at the point of contact. Not have some faceless phone service disturb them. If you want to know about my experience at the branch, ask me directly when I’m in the branch.
“Is there anything we could have done to improve your experience, Mr Miller?” That’s all that they needed to ask. One simple question. How complicated are you making your customer feedback process?
We are currently staying at Deerhurst, which is a beautiful resort in Muskoka, about two hours north of Toronto.
There is an activity desk here where you can book different activities around the resort – rock climbing, a petting zoo, hummer tours, etc. The activity desk is staffed by very friendly young women who are always smiling and at least appear to like their jobs. When we arrived yesterday, I went to the activity desk to find out what was going on for the next few days. I was very politely told that there was a brochure that I could take and decide what I wanted to do. The young woman was very friendly and helpful.
But here’s my issue…she had a great opportunity to create additional revenue for the resort without being pushy or obnoxious. She merely had to highlight some of the key activities. She could have noticed that I was with my five-year old daughter and mentioned she might like the pony rides, or that many families who stay at the hotel have really enjoyed some other activity. It’s not her fault, she did her job as she was instructed to do. That’s the limitation of customer satisfaction metrics. She could have engaged me in a conversation and asked what my family likes to do, or even better, engaged my daughter in a conversation about what she likes to do. Then highlighted some options for us.
If someone were to have handed me a customer service survey on the spot, I would have given her high marks. She was friendly, smiling, polite, knowledgeable and helpful. But from the resort’s perspective (and my perspective as a business consultant), there was a lost revenue opportunity. You need to consider what you are measuring when it comes to those who have direct interaction with your customers and figure out new and creative ways to generate new revenue opportunities.
My view of technology is that it should support and enable your strategy, not drive it. As it pertains to operational excellence, here are some questions you should be considering:
- How can technology help us attract and retain the best people?
- How can technology help drive innovation and collaboration?
- How can we use technology to engage with our customers better and increase retention?
- How can technology help us align our success measures and tactics with the overall strategy?
- How can technology help us optimize speed?
These are only a few questions you should consider and I will provide some insights into these questions over the next few days and weeks.
Miller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.
Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between
Toronto – April 8, 2013
Many of the organizations I have been speaking with lately have a similar challenge; how to better engage with customers.
Here are three things to help you engage with customers better:
“Business development is all about building strong relationships and adding value,” says Andrew Miller, President of ACM Consulting. “Anyone that doesn‘t adjust to that model is going to have a tough time being successful.“
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© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.
Read this recent article from the Globe and Mail about how Chapters/Indigo is using technology called Soapbox to engage customers more and leverage their ideas. Andrew is quoted in this article with his thoughts on customer retention and how Indigo can grow the program even further.