Reached a CX Plateau? Time to Ask Some Questions


Judith Ottenstroer

Judith Ottenstroer

Author Bio

Director, Customer Experience Consulting


Author Bio

In my role as part of Confirmit’s CX Consulting team, I spend a lot of time working closely with clients to build and evolve their Voice of the Customer programs. The majority of these companies have been able to advance from taking short-term tactical corrective actions to making longer-term strategic and visionary changes. But often, even with this progress, someone running a VoC program who does not understand why scores are flat will call on me. They feel stalled and, while it is possible that the scores have reached the natural limit, this is often not the case.

I appreciate the discussion because the last thing I want is for someone reviewing VoC data to lose interest or question the value of tracking customer feedback. Unfortunately, as is usually the case for a CX consultant, I have to ask more questions before I know how to help.

When scores appear to plateau, it does not necessarily mean you have reached the end of your CX improvement activities but rather that you are entering a new stage. At this point you may need to do deeper dives into the data as well as undertake new activities. 

  • Is there any cross-segment learning opportunity? When looking at customer segments, one segment may still have a way to go in terms of scores, while another has already reached high marks. What can you learn from the latter segment to help improve the experience of the former segment? Share the wins and best practices to help to keep employees involved and engaged.
  • What are you actually measuring (e.g., just table stakes, attitudinal data, perceptions of the experience, likely behaviors resulting from the experience, etc.)? Make sure to measure what your valued customers care about most. If you are not sure you have it right, consider mapping the customer experience to uncover key moments of truth along the journey.
  • How long has the same thing been measured? It may be time to refresh the VoC program. Read or use automation to mine the open-ended feedback. This exercise might uncover stories and provide a better understanding of your customers.
  • What has been the result of any improvement plans implemented? You would be surprised at how many take corrective action and fail to check back with customers to see if it had the desired outcome.
  • Is there a governance program? Is everyone in your organization onboard and moving towards the same goal? Especially in larger companies, this is imperative. Have the right people involved and taking strategic action.
  • Have you enabled employees to support the success of the program? It is one thing to have a VoC measurement; it is another to engage employees in the success of customer experience efforts.
  • Have you changed your goals? It is possible that employees—incentivized or not—stopped reaching because the goal was too easy.
     

In addition, look further afield. Have there been any changes (e.g., in the survey response rate, number of support calls, renewals, social media mentions, etc.)? There are many solicited and unsolicited indicators as to the health of the relationship with your customer.

While it is important to track key performance metrics, do not lose sight of everything beyond the score. You need to understand what the data is telling you. Are you ultimately delivering on what matters to customers? Are you over-delivering anywhere? Take a look beyond the score to truly deliver the best experience for your customers. Reaching a data plateau just may be the beginning of the next stage of your VoC journey.  

 

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