ACE Awards: Insight Through an MR Agency

Author Bio

Author Bio

This year was my third year as an ACE Awards judge, and having enjoyed the category for Insight through an MR Agency last year, I grabbed that one again. This is the award for Market Research businesses who are running Voice of the Customer programs for their clients. It’s a growing area for many forward-thinking research businesses who are able to use their technological and methodological skills to ensure companies are able to drive business change from customer feedback.

As was the case last year, we had a very high standard of entries and what was noticeable was that they were all focused on a holistic Voice of the Customer program including real time reporting, taking action and culture change. All very “grown up” submissions.

The winner was full-service customer experience consultancy W5 who are working with eir Business. The program showed a very strong focus on taking strategic action, as well as the more traditional approach of closing the loop with individual customers. An element that stood out in the submission was around tailoring actionable insight to each team within the client company and creating commitments for that team to meet.

These are signs of a fairly mature program, which despite the big talk about CX, is still a relatively unusual thing. Mature programs not only drive change at a transactional level, but have a real impact on the organizational culture. This means ensuring that employees have a stake in the initiative and have an understanding of what it means to be customer-centric. Most importantly, they don’t just understand it, they live it.

Earlier this year we launched Confirmit Compass, a methodology that enables businesses to map their level of maturity across five key elements of the CX process; vision, design, engagement, action and value. The benefit of understanding where you sit as a business is that is helps you to plan next steps. Customer Experience is never “finished” so seeking out new goals for your company is always useful. Judging (no pun intended!) by the submissions I saw this year for the ACE Awards, we can hope to see many more companies hitting higher levels of maturity over the next couple of years.

Of course, many businesses struggle to get the senior levels support they need to reach this level of maturity. One of the main reasons we’ve found for this is an inability to demonstrate Return on Investment for a planned program. Another useful tool we’ve developed recently is an ROI calculator that can help put you on the right path. CX can be prone to rather fluffy language, so I’d recommend taking a look to see if this will give you a clearer idea of the cold, hard facts you need to get exec buy-in for your program.

Finally, huge congratulations to all our ACE Award winners this year. So many inspiring and interesting stories and we’ll be sharing more of them over the coming months.