Why does it seem like there is a survey for everything? Surveys asking things like tell us about your experience on our website (often as soon as we land on the site), to how was your vacation stay? Once I actually had a hotel employee chase me down the hall because I didn’t answer all the questions on her survey.
Tempting as it might be, may I suggest you think twice about deleting the next survey that comes your way. Why? Because you, the customer (or potential customer) are the top priority for just about every company you do business with. Those companies want to know what you have to say. They actually need to know: if you don’t share your thoughts – good, bad or indifferent – they won’t know what they can improve to serve you better.
Here at Windstream Enterprise, this kind of feedback is essential to our business. Our own transformation process literally began because we knew we had to connect and elevate this experience for our customers. Improving our CX is now a primary focus for EVERY employee here at Windstream Enterprise. And the most essential ingredient in this transformation process was listening to what our customers had to say.
Making VOC – Voice of the Customer – central to CX
Listening is really just the start of things; acting on what you hear comes next. WE did that by establishing a VoC – Voice of the Customer – program designed to proactively monitor the customer experience. By looking at both what we see as “inside out” metrics (our own internal operational metrics), alongside “outside in” metrics (customer feedback), we’re able to:
In fact, understanding how a customer views their interaction and relationship is important to both Windstream Enterprise and the customer themselves. If we aren’t on the same page, the customer won’t be happy and we aren’t able to meet (or exceed) their needs. That’s what a VoC program is really all about.
Taking Action: What WE learned in our 2017 CX Survey
Inclusive listening is tremendously important, but creates no value for anyone unless it leads to action.
Our own 2017 fall relationship survey told us WE improved in the areas of network performance and billing issues, though customers shared concerns with installation experience, digital online tools, and support processes. Suffice to say, here’s what our cross-functional teams are working on to turn customer concerns into customer advantages:
Installation: To improve the installation experience, we’re streamlining the process by aligning resources to match order workflow, and assigning project managers/coordinators earlier for a more seamless experience from sales through installation. We’re also implementing automation to improve order accuracy, faster provisioning and more accurate invoicing.
Digital tools: Recognizing customers like the flexibility and convenience of managing their business online, we’re reviewing every tool to reduce complexity and create a better customer experience. In addition, we will launch several new online resources that you can preview here.
Support: Small scrum-like teams are working on solutions that improve the coordination of simple move/add/change requests and status communications that provide more meaningful updates and show a sense of urgency.
We also established an on-going CX Action Board, a team of VP-level leaders, who act as our board of directors. They meet monthly to inspect our results, pinpoint specific issues we need to address, and develop solutions that lead to quick sprints that we resolve within weeks.
Your turn to elevate the experience
Business, IT and digital transformation are all about leveraging new techniques and technologies to build strong and lasting customer relationships. And that is of course the intention of our own CX programs, and the reason we put listening to our customers at the center of our efforts.
We take the results to heart – even when the feedback is difficult to hear. We read every comment, and set initiatives in motion to address stated concerns. How you decide to elevate your customer experience as part of your own transformation process is completely up to you. The options are endless. But the basic process of listening to the needs of your audience, deriving insights/analytics from what you hear, and acting on the input is pretty consistent. Of course, building a strong and differentiated network infrastructure is essential to delivering that experience in a consistent and engaging manner. Though at the very start, our simple survey is where we began.
What are you doing to elevate your CX? We’d love to hear. And remember; your customers are counting on you.
Maria Marino has lead product and customer experience innovations for over 20 years. She was worked in both the U.S. and European markets in a variety of technology and communications firms including MCI, Level 3, CenturyLink and now Windstream. Her passion is customer centricity, and bringing the voice of the customer into the DNA of an organization. At Level 3, she launched the company’s first wholesale Internet offering and first VOIP services. At CenturyLink she ran Customer Experience for the Enterprise division, launching new tools for customer listening including customer communities, and introduced methods like customer journey mapping to drive product innovation and design, and the requisite support models. Maria uses a formula of primary research to drive a deep understanding of the customer and the job they are trying to get done, coupled with the operational design to deliver, to drive market differentiation. She is currently Vice President of Enterprise Customer Experience at Windstream.
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