Customer experience (CX) is everything in today’s transparent, highly social business environment, where someone’s negative review or social comment can have significant impact on business success. It’s no wonder researchers predict that by the year 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
And the focus on CX is growing in tandem with consumers’ increasing influence over a brand’s success. Business owners are now at the mercy of consumer opinion. To that end, the ability to collect, analyze and act on customer feedback is of paramount importance to business success.
CX Surveys Have Evolved
Before the 1980s, there was no consistent or reliable way to measure CX; but it didn’t matter much, because consumers had fewer choices. Throughout the 80s and 90s, the proliferation of brands selling similar goods and services made CX more important, because it was suddenly a key differentiator.
In the early 2000s, technologies emerged enabling faster, more efficient means of collecting input, such as email and web-based surveys. Soon after, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) was introduced by Bain & Company, giving brands a way to predict growth.
With the introduction of NPS came survey vendors, ready to help companies create branded NPS surveys — for a steep fee. This model made sense to most businesses at the time — customer sentiment about brands was more static and harder to influence. A single survey could predict success (or lack thereof) for several upcoming quarters, so spending a lot on creating it didn’t matter much — companies still got their money’s worth.
Thanks to online review sites and social media, customer sentiment is no longer static. It’s in constant flux and can change moments after a social post or online review — for better or worse. This new reality calls for a new survey model — one that keeps pace with changing customer opinion, provides insight on how to meet customer expectations, and doesn’t break the bank by doing so.
Time for a Change?
How quickly can you make changes to an existing survey using your current solution? Do you have to wait weeks for your vendor to make changes for you, and pay extra?
Vendors such as Medallia charge per survey, making it difficult — and expensive — to assess any changes in customer satisfaction. Say you want to adapt an existing survey for a different geographic location. You can’t just change the questions or the way they’re worded yourself; you have to pay for additional consulting services, as well as for the new survey. That’s a lot of extra time and money for very little work — not to mention that by the time you send out the new survey, it likely already needs more changes.
This outdated model for creating CX surveys simply can’t keep pace with changing customer needs and preferences — and relying on it for accurate results isn’t wise. You’ll be over-budget and behind the curve.
More Complete Insights — For (Much) Less
Modern survey solutions enable self-service features, such as the ability to change or add questions to existing surveys, without vendor “intervention.” There’s no waiting or extra cost to make those changes, and you have the ability to assess customer sentiment faster and more frequently, for greater accuracy.
Also, modern solutions take into account changing consumer behaviors. Today’s consumers share their opinions, preferences and experiences on social media and review sites — and this data adds dimension and context to NPS. A “4” score on the primary NPS question, “How likely are you to recommend Company X,” doesn’t provide the context you need to address the issues causing your score to drop.
With unprecedented access to CX data via online reviews and social media, business owners can get a more complete understanding of NPS scores. Reviews and social comments can shed light on areas that need improvement, helping to elevate customer sentiment long-term. Outdated survey solutions like Medallia lack the ability analyze feedback from other sources along with survey data, so you never have a full 360-degree picture of consumer opinion.
Once you have results, it’s important to share them — especially if they’re favorable. What good are great NPS scores if you can’t use them to reinforce your messaging and attract business? With solutions like Medallia, there’s no easy way to amplify results online — where your potential customers are evaluating goods and services. Newer survey solutions incorporate ways to share results on your website via streaming — raising awareness about the great CX you provide in a cost-effective way.
Ask Yourself “Who’s in Control?”
Surveys are critical communications with customers — not only do they help you keep a pulse on customer sentiment and CX, they demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. It’s important to have full control and flexibility over the way they’re designed, when and how often they’re sent, and the messages they communicate to a given audience.
A survey vendor who limits your ability to make changes does so to maintain control — so they can charge you more and keep you locked into their solution. If you’re not in control of your outbound communications with customers, creating the best possible CX will be out of your hands.
Learn how Reputation.com Surveys provides the flexibility — and the unmatched value— you need to assess customer experience quickly and on an on-going basis. Get actionable data from your surveys to exceed ever-changing consumer preferences and expectations.