The Misconception of Customer Experience

Customer service satisfaction survey

We can all agree that ‘Service’ is an action of helping or doing work for someone.  Service involves such tasks as answering questions, providing  methods and modes of training, complaint handling,  as well as demonstrating how customers can protect and maintain their investment and many more.  Often-times, companies think their customer service representatives/department should also be designing and delivering ‘customer experience’ initiatives, which is drastically broader and involves more than just service.

Here are the major differences between customer service and customer experience:

  • Customer Experience involves planned, intentional service acts that the customer has not thought of or expecting. A good example of this is providing a new innovative tool, like an app, to keep them updated of how to maintain their investment.
  • Customer Experience involves the entire company. Everyone must come together and commit to reasonable and achievable actions that are consistently deliverable and measurable.
  • Customer Experience involves breaking through barriers and setting a new standard. Many builders state that having a home 100% complete by orientation is not possible, but, consider the possibilities and impact on your company if you were able to achieve this. For years, experts said that the human body was simply not capable of a 4-minute mile.  It wasn’t just dangerous; it was impossible. In May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute barrier, running the distance in 3:59.4.  As part of his training, he relentlessly visualized the achievement in order to create a sense of certainty in his mind and body. Setting a  new standard is what sets you apart.

To paraphrase Paul Simon, “Sometimes, the issue is simply that their ceiling is your floor. “
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Organizational Misalignment Impacts Customer Experience

Customer-Certified™” companies all have one thing in common, an obsession with delivering exceptional customer experiences. Yet, some continue to be out of sync, lack the focus or drive to get everyone onboard.

So, what can you do?

Create a compelling case for a Customer Experience Program. One of the most often asked questions is how can I get executives to buy-in to the idea. This includes reviewing any customer comments in emails, phone calls, in-person feedback. Speak with the front-line and ask how many problems they are hearing from customers. Compare the cost to service post-possession versus doing it right the first time. Finally, always look at the source and come up with solutions to present. Most executives will agree that they hear about problems, but, don’t always understand the cause.

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Your front-line can offer key insights into what a customer wants.

Create a customer experience team that includes representatives from different functions. Alignment is about the collective action of the entire group and helps remove silos or functional boundaries.

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Map your customer journey from the outside-in. Start making bullet points from the time customers search online to the sales centre visit, selections, construction through past orientation and living in their new home. Document each milestone, task, how it is accomplished and who is responsible for that task. Bottlenecks will quickly appear in the process.

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The result? A clear focus for the entire team that centres on the best possible customer experience.

 

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Customer Experience Goals for 2017

Customer Experience goal planning was on the list in many company retreats this January. Without a clear CE goal companies, and employees, don’t know where they’re headed and end up, year after year, going through survival mode with a focus on just putting out fires.

Here’s how you can push past just a reactive position:

Set Tough, but, Realistic Goals
We are well into 2017, but, it’s not too late. The first thing to do is think a little about last season/building year. Make a realistic assessment.
Ask yourself the following:

  • What went well in 2016?
  • Where could you improve?
  • Did you and/or your team start strong but fade in a particular community or product?
  • Did you and/or your team feel like you could have been better in a certain area?
  • Did you and/or your team challenge yourself enough, or maybe bite off more than you could chew?

Don’t beat yourself up, but be honest and think about the parts of your company that need work. Remember, improving as a homebuilding company means assessing and training your weaknesses, not just your strengths. No one can be good at everything day in and day out, but the successful homebuilders are well-rounded in all aspects of product, service and process delivery.

2017

Set a couple of Intermediate Goals
for yourself/departments and a major goal for the company. Then, figure out how to achieve those goals.
Reference your mission and vision statement, your customer experience results and ask yourself if the said Goal(s) are achievable. Remember, not everyone on your team can run at a marathon pace, so, setting unrealistic, unachievable customer satisfaction goals in the 90’s when you are currently in the low 80’s might be too much of a stretch.

When you set goals, think about setting SMART goals. SMART is an acronym and mnemonic that provides a framework for thinking about goals.
SMART stands for: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Bound. Everyone needs support and coaching to stay focused and help achieve their goals.

Smart Marketing

If the goal for 2017 is an increase in performance of 5 – 6%, your team may need some guidance, leadership, training or coaching to help get them there. Working even harder and doing the same thing with the same outcome can create internal conflict and demotivated staff. Consider those external sources who can provide the skill set to keep your team focused and successful.

Measure what you want to improve:

Assign questions on your customer surveys/reviews to your departments/employees. Doing so will help you drastically improve your customers’ experience. There is a big difference between reviewing how the company performed and measuring individual and/or departmental performance. People become keenly interested when they are measured on their performance.

Include those who build your homes:
Ever hear the phrase, “You are only as good as those who build your homes and manage your customers’ experience”? If you are not extending training, performance results to your trades/supply partners and frontline, you are missing out on a lot of lost profitability. Those companies/people want to perform the best they can for you and your customers. How are they supposed to do that without performance results?

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Look at the Big Picture
This is the foundation of keeping track of your progress and accomplishing your goals. A lot of us just go through the motions day-to-day. We are on pure “survival mode” rather than living each day to its fullest. In order for you to start tracking your progress, you must take a step back and look at the big picture with the end result in mind. Take the time to reflect upon your goals and imagine what the big picture looks like. It’s important for you to see the bigger picture rather than just living day-to-day with no direction or motivation. Consider your team members that are probably doing the same thing without clear direction from management.

Leaving a Legacy

CustomerInsightCycling

The Mattamy National Cycling Centre is now open in Milton and CustomerInsight is proud to have helped Make It Happen.  The centre houses the only indoor UCI homologated velodrome in Canada and only the second in North America.

It will serve as both a community recreation facility and a venue for provincial,  national and international events, including the 2015 PanAm games .

This is the beginning of a new chapter for cycling in Canada and will stand as a testament to the calibre of Canadian cycling and CustomerInsight is proud to take the lead and be part of this legacy that will benefit Canadian athletes and the community for years to come.

Setting up for the  Canadian National Track Cycling Championships via The Spec
Setting up for the Canadian National Track Cycling Championships via The Spec

 

Strategic Plan for 2015: Back to Basics

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As organizations continue to modify budgets in response to a slower new year, greater attention has been placed on “getting back to basics.”   Focusing on customer service and reinvigorating relationships are part of taking time to refocus attention on the fundamental business elements and habits that may have been neglected.

When times are good, it’s easy to say that we are “too busy” to focus on rudimentary details but, when times get tougher, it’s essential to evaluate those things that made us successful and begin implementing those strategies once again.

As such, the idea of getting back to basics even may need to be incorporated into goal-setting and/or strategic planning activities.

Here are CustomerInsight we’re starting off 2015 by focusing on:

The Basics:

  • Evaluate how we treat and value our customers, employees and trade partners.
  • Focus on ‘custom’ service.
  • Incorporate training and continuing education opportunities.
  • Provide more personalized service and attention.
  • Do not forget to listen to your clients, customers, and service partners.

Bottom Line:  Determine your value added proposition and capitalize on it.

basics

 

Gauging Customer Loyalty

CoupleComputer_CI

A question we often get is whether or not measuring referral potential is a sufficient gauge of customer loyalty. What do you think?

Consider the difference between loyalty and referral.

In a simple example, a loyal customer is one who talks positively about you and/or your brand without asking them or giving them incentives to do so. They won’t consider alternatives and frequently spread the word about you without you prompting them.

A referral, on the other hand, is the act of referring someone that most often carries the incentive or program behind it to prompt the customer to do so.

Our research proves they are not only different, but, the drivers of true loyalty are different than what some may expect and begs the question, if you intend to measure loyalty, measuring referral on its own, may not be sufficient.

Our research proves that reducing the customers effort or energy throughout the build process is a significant factor and more compelling than measuring referral.

Customer Effort Score (CES) determines the degree of required customer effort during a service process. Builder-Customer interaction happens at several service touch points. The efficiency of builder service is determined by how precise, convenient and helpful it is for the customer. The better the service, the customer effort would be lower, which in turn result in higher customer satisfaction.

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In terms of survey scores, CES is directly proportional to how loyal customers are. Any customer who has felt that their builder’s process was easy and the amount of effort needed to understand the process was less will result in a higher score. The higher the score, the better is the service delivery process.

What are you after, customer loyalty or customer referral?

Driver of Customer Loyalty by Kaptan Singh, Research Analyst, Customer Insight.

Managing Response Rates

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Ever wonder how many of your customers respond to builder reviews, how many they complete, don’t complete and why?
How about those who elect to remain confidential, ever get any of those?

Here are some interesting facts about respondents:

Fact:  80% of respondents who elect to be confidential state one of two reasons for withholding personal information:
1.  Scared of the builder staff lashing out at them or treating them poorly.
2.  Ending up on the, “will get done last”, list.

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Fact:  The highest response rates are received between 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Where are we, typically, during that time?

Fact:  The average response rate across Canada is 67%. Companies who set expectations of the builder reviews throughout the process and utilize CustomerInsights’ program collateral have realized as high as 82%.

Fact: 18% of customers love to talk with our Survey Administrators. Longest recorded call to date, 1hour 37 minutes and 47 seconds!

 

What’s New:
In CustomerInsights’ OnePlatform software, under ‘Response Rates’, you can click on a month to view the detailed breakdowns of respondents versus non-respondents. We have now added even more information to help explain “Undeliverables”, such as unable to contact via email, home phone, work phone, etc. based on information collected from our attempts to contact your customers. This will help your team identify areas where CustomerInsight may need more accurate or updated contact information of your customers.

Notice to Users about Browser Security

Browser Security is our utmost concern.
Browser Security is our utmost concern.

At CustomerInsight, the security of your results and customer information is of utmost importance, which is why the CustomerInsight dashboard is accessed over a secure connection. We are upgrading the security of this connection which may impact certain users who use Internet Explorer, or a browser called Opera.

If you use Internet Explorer and are experiencing any issues accessing CustomerInsight, it may be due to browser setting that needs to be adjusted under your security settings.

You can find the setting here:
Tools > Internet Options > Advanced
Scroll down to the section “Security” and ensure the box for “SSL 3.0” is NOT checked. The boxes for TLS 1.0 or higher should be checked.

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Please Note: If you are unable to change these settings, please contact your System Administrator.  This will ensure that your security settings are updated to access CustomerInsight securely.

Let us know how you make out of if you have any questions. We’re here to help.

 
Oneplatform

 

 

BlogMore

Welcome to our new Blog

I’m excited to introduce you to our new blog  – the perfect complement to the launch of our new website.

Christian Caswell
Christian Caswell

This is where we plan to share our thoughts on our customer experience software, OnePlatformhow users get the most from the many features/functionality and post the next big ideas that will shape & challenge our industry.

Our team of industry professionals, customers and subject matter experts will help you get the most out of the many features in OnePlatform. From tips & tricks to experience trending, our user group will help translate analytics into profit.

We also plan to give you updates on CustomerInsight activities, including the latest news on our software release, CustomerConnectHomebuyer portal. Or, we may just share whatever is on our mind.

A look back: A very fast start
We’ve  come a long way since launching CustomerInsight early 2009. Inviting  builders, customers, trades/suppliers, Industry experts and statistics/psychology professionals to participate on a game-changing software platform that would revolutionize how companies collaborate, operate, and perform.

We had no idea what kind of response we would receive for our new program.
The results were beyond excellent: We were thrilled to announce our first few builder clients within the first week of operations followed by six more the next month. Then 15, then 27 and before we knew it, 715! In a short five years, we had successfully positioned CustomerInsight as the leader in Prospective Buyer, Customer, Employee, and Trade/Supplier research.

Businesspeople Discussing In Board Room

The Next Step
Now we want to share your experiences and continue our customer relations.  We invite you to ask questions and tap into the expertise of our specialists.  As this new blog continues to take shape, we look forward to hearing from you.

Business People In Meeting

Join CustomerInsights Software User Group

 

CustomerInsights User Group is your link to other OnePlatform customers, technology experts and potential users across North America. And by (participating/joining)?, you can expand your network to include people utilizing services and programs that you are either using as well or would like to.

CustomerInsight user group, you can:

  • Get the latest on new product developments
  • Access the broad knowledge base of experienced customers and CustomerInsight team members
  • Develop contacts for ongoing information exchange

Take part in CustomerInsights User Group and get connected to insights and innovations to accelerate your experience.