CSP Happenings





Tagged: analytics

5 Compelling Reasons to Measure Employee Engagement

March 2, 2016

The ongoing cycle of customer experience success is comprised of four main influencers: Employees, Customers, Management, and Data. In this series, CSP examines the Employee segment of that cycle and the benefits of focusing on internal culture to drive success.

Understanding Employee Engagement

As defined by the Corporate Leadership Council, “Engagement is the extent to which employees commit to something or someone in their organization and how hard they work and how long they stay as a result of that commitment.”

Engagement is all about intentionally creating a motivating workplace environment, while simultaneously aligning individual employee talents with business strategy. Employees engaged in their work are likely to be motivated, to work with passion, to remain committed to their employer, and to stay focused on achieving business goals and driving the organization’s future.

Why It’s Important to Measure Employee Engagement

1 – Employee engagement directly correlates with performance and business results

No business can expect to grow and achieve sustainable success without an engaged workforce. This is especially true as it applies to customer service and satisfaction. Customer experience is nurtured from the inside out, and relies on competent, well-trained, and highly motivated employees. Sure, you may deliver annual performance reviews and objectives, but that’s only scratching the surface of the overall success of your team.

2 – Being a ‘Great Place to Work’ attracts top talent

A company’s reputation as an employer is one factor determining the quality of applicants for open positions, be they external or internal applicants. Being a great place to work is not just about bragging rights and publicity, it demonstrates to potential candidates (not to mention customers and the general public) that you are doing the all the right things to keep your employees feeling fulfilled. Any worthy candidate will see this as extra incentive to join your team. It may even attract them away from competitors with similar openings available.

3 – Engaged employees are emotionally invested

Your contract with your employees goes beyond tangible benefits like compensation and benefits. How employees feel about their jobs – their managers, their workload and hours, the company’s mission and the quality of the product or service – makes the difference between a job that looks good on paper and one that is satisfying in practice. Employees who are emotionally invested in the company’s success are among your greatest assets.   

CostofReplacing4 – High engagement reduces employee churn

The highest-engaged employees are the least likely to look for or take other employment opportunities that come their way. Naturally, it follows that those who are the least engaged are also the least committed to staying on the team. Not only is it costly to regularly lose employees and have to replace them, voluntary departures affect the morale of the rest of the team.

5 – Engagement can’t be ‘felt,’ it must be measured

While a manager may have a sense of who the most and least engaged members of the team are, many employees will fall somewhere in the invisible middle. These employees are susceptible to being swayed in either direction. Improving individual and overall engagement is only achievable if you know the baseline from which you’re working. Employee engagement metrics take many of the intangible motivators of performance success and make them tangible, visible, and trackable. That’s an essential step for setting goals and implementing internal initiatives to improve engagement.

More posts on internal culture and employee engagement:

Improving the Customer Experience Through Benchmarking

August 11, 2015

Benchmarking is the process companies use to identify and establish key performance standards, or benchmarks, and measure their performance against those standards over time. With a benchmark analysis, a company can compare its current scores in critical areas against its own past performance, as well as against its competitors.

NewBAR

Done in-house from the ground up, benchmarking can be a dauntingly complex process. Benchmarks must be agreed upon, measurement tools and strategies implemented, research assigned and completed (which, in some cases, means navigating security and permission concerns), and reports compiled. The information in the final analysis can be invaluable, if the right resources, attention, and talent are invested in it.

What’s more, benchmarking is not a one-time exercise, but a living process that depends on continuing collection and interpretation of current data. The shelf life of a single analysis report is fairly short, but properly maintained, a benchmarking strategy can be a gift that keeps giving.

Where does benchmarking fit into improving the customer experience?

Often used to determine how a company is faring against its peers financially, benchmark analysis also has a qualitative application. This includes measuring the critical metrics of customer service and experience that carry the most weight with overall customer satisfaction – what CSP calls key drivers.

Responses to Voice of the Customer initiatives like surveys can be translated into scores and percentages, which then get used to identify the top, bottom, and average range of responses to those metrics. Comparing the most current available scores against these ranges gives an indication of whether the customer experience is excelling, lagging, or falling behind.

Benchmarking is a way for managers to reality-check their perception of how their strategies and employees are performing against what the customers are actually saying.

Benchmarking provides a competitive advantage

The quality of a business’s customer service is often a make-or-break factor in customer satisfaction, loyalty, and likelihood to promote that company to others. In many ways, customer experience is the marketing that keeps happening even after you’ve initially earned the customer’s business.

Benchmarking not only demonstrates a company’s performance against itself, but against a defined peer group of its competitors, measured by uniform standards. While a direct Company A vs. Company B comparison may not reveal much of use, there is valuable insight in identifying one’s overall standing among the rest of the pack.

For instance, let’s say a manager has grown concerned about how long customers are kept waiting before they speak to a representative. Maybe she has noticed longer lines on the sales floor, or customers looking frustrated or impatient while in line.

Through benchmarking, she has been tracking “wait time” as a key driver for six months, and sees that this month, customers have indeed indicated a drop in satisfaction against this metric. She then reviews the wait time satisfaction scores of her peer competitors and determines that they have seen a slight increase in the same period of time, dropping her company back in the ratings from the “top” to “average” category. Now there is a risk she may start to lose customers to the better-performing competitors.

This intelligence informs the manager of an opportunity to improve the customer experience by implementing new strategies to affect the wait time at her location. Continued benchmarking will help her track progress against that goal, and identify any new opportunities for improvement that may come along.

It doesn’t end with the report

Benchmarking is one step in the process – a critical one, but nonetheless, just one. As with all Voice of the Customer data, its ultimate value depends on how the information is used to improve the customer experience with well-informed training, continued evaluation, and timely reporting.

That’s why CSP’s new Benchmark Analytics Reporting Dashboard pairs so nicely with our training and employee support, such as the STARS library available to our clients, to create a balanced ecosystem of process, performance, and progress. The dashboard takes much of the rigorous research and reporting aspects of benchmarking and delivers an easy-to-read analysis that can tell you, at a glance, where you fall among your peer group.

To learn more about benchmarking, the new dashboard, STARS, or any other component of customer experience management, contact us with your questions.

What is Customer Intelligence?

January 21, 2015

what is customer intelligence

 

Customer Intelligence (CI) is a discipline within Customer Relationship Management (CRM) that relies on the collection of customer information to gain insights into behavior.

Using Customer Intelligence methodologies, companies can assemble and examine data to uncover customers’ preferences, motivations, patterns, wants and needs, and ground their strategy in that information to deliver a better customer experience.

Measurement & Analytics

Customers reveal things about themselves in their daily actions and inactions. Customer experience research, Voice of the Customer programs, and market research create a detailed and specific picture of the customer journey.

Integration & Context

The value of Customer Intelligence is in the scalability of the knowledge it confers. Within the cloud of data, you can find valuable insights about macro trends across your customer base and micro variations from customer to customer.

Prediction & Personalization

Let your customers know you value the quality of their experience by using customer intelligence to optimize their journey, target your messaging and efforts, and adapt proactively.

Conversion & Retention

By continuously striving to improve the customer experience, expect to have an impact on customer satisfaction, referrals, and opportunities to cross-sell.

 

Move from thinking you know your customers to really knowing them. Find out what kind of customer intelligence you could be missing when you talk to an expert at CSP today.

5 Customer Experience Resolutions You Can Make in 2015

December 31, 2014

 

new years resolutions for customer experienceIt’s that time of year again – as the calendar creeps up on the end of December, our thoughts traditionally turn towards the coming year and the opportunities it may hold. It’s a time for reflecting on goals and progress towards those goals, recognizing how far we’ve come, and looking for ways to improve.

Once you’ve decided on what you’d like to achieve personally in 2015, turn that lens on your customers and make some resolutions in the interest of their experience.

1. Embrace Data.

Every interaction a customer has with your business produces valuable information on the key drivers that directly influence the customer experience. Don’t be afraid of it – instead, commit to trying to understand it better. The voice of the customer can be interpreted through the language of analytics.

2. Get Personal.

Personalization is important in an age when customers can customize practically anything. It also means being responsive to the diversity among your customers across multiple demographics. Personalization makes for a more relevant experience, which leads to loyalty and referrals.

3. Adopt an Omnichannel State of Mind.

Speaking of personalization, one thing customers are likely to modify to their own preferences is the combination of channels on which they engage with your brand. Three customers with complaints will go to three different places to air those complaints – maybe one takes to Twitter, one fills out the Contact Us form on your website, and one phones your call center. Are you ready to meet them wherever they find you?

4. Tune Up Your Training.

Training is one of those ongoing goals that can never really be checked off the list, because there’s always room for improvements, updates, new ideas, and feedback. Keep your methods and materials current and relevant, and don’t let educational opportunities pass you by. Consider asking representatives for their input on the effectiveness of your training and what they’d like to see improved.

5. Smooth Out the Seams.

As customers move between the different platforms and channels that connect them to your business, they expect that movement to be free and unencumbered. Seamlessness is the holy grail of the new omnichannel school of thought. Use regular reporting and up-to-date information to identify areas of success and struggle, and be proactive with that knowledge.

Above All: Adapt.

The biggest challenge customer experience managers face is the constant churn of trends, innovations, competition, and news, and evolving customer expectations in the technology world, which is more and more enmeshed with CX by way of data, mobile, social, and online channels. It’s exhausting to keep up with, but they wouldn’t be called resolutions if they didn’t require some resolve.

 

What would you add to this list of customer experience resolutions? Tweet your suggestions to @csprofiles.

Customer Intelligence Lies Buried in the Code Halo

December 10, 2014

If you’ve ever been on a diet that involved calorie-counting, maybe you can relate to looking at a piece of food and automatically estimating its caloric content, as if a little number were suspended in the air right above the plate.

sun haloImagine that kind of information-enhanced meta-vision projected onto consumers, and you have the visualization of Big Data. Every interaction we have with businesses across every channel produces a parcel of data, and together those parcels orbit around each person in a cloud – or, you might say, a halo.

Published in April 2014, the book Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations are Changing the Rules of Business has gotten attention and positive reviews for the authors’ examination of the complexity of data in the modern marketplace and what that means for businesses.

The idea is that these code halos are transforming interactions between individuals, and between customers and brands. Businesses are awash in readily-available information about customers, and it’s more common these days to hear someone describe their enterprise as “data-driven.”

Gone are the days of typifying customers into pre-determined demographics and limited personality profiles. Instead, the buzzwords of the day are customization, personalization, and seamlessness.

It’s the Age of the Customer, alright.

Still, you have to admit … things were a little simpler back in before the data revolution. Customer profiling didn’t arise out of nowhere; it was a useful tool in its day, as secret shoppers, customer surveys, and other tried-and-true methods have been.

Big Data has exploded faster than many enterprises have been able to wrap their heads around it. An entire new spectrum of possibilities and variables has been opened to us, and it’s difficult to determine where to start, what’s valuable, what’s actionable, and what merits attention.

Code Halo points to successful businesses like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Netflix as pioneers who owe their success to masterful management of customer information that propelled them above and beyond traditional competitors like Borders, Kodak, Yahoo! and Blockbuster.

It takes a sharp eye to look at a halo of ever-changing data parcels and find a coherent string of insight, and many customer experience managers are finding that they need to adjust their vision for this new paradigm.

The good news is: you don’t have to go it alone. Helping you make sense of customer intelligence is what experts like CSP are here for. So if Big Data is giving you a Big Headache, we likely have a solution for that.

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The Rise of Predictive Analytics in Customer Experience Management

September 17, 2014

The emergence of Big Data has been one of the most disruptive events of the new millennium, impacting practically every industry.

Technology has leapt forward again and again over the last decade, and brought us new tools for accessing, collecting and delivering data with mind-boggling volume and velocity. With the floodgates open, businesses large and small are still looking for the best way to turn this vast ocean of disparate information into valuable insights, action steps and outcomes.

One new tool enabled by Big Data fits comfortably into the customer experience manager’s tool belt: predictive analytics. By streamlining internal and external sources of customer information, this method of data-mining is applied to anticipate an individual customer’s needs and wants with greater speed and reliability than has ever been possible.

Finding Shapes in the Cloud

Predictive analytics, in a nutshell, means identifying patterns in an existing data set and extrapolating those patterns to deduce what is most likely to occur next. Businesses were already doing this before the Information Age, but by largely outsourcing the task to algorithms, we’re now able to crunch much larger data sets in much less time and come out with much more nuanced portraits of customers.

Another advantage of predictive analytics is the ability to quickly and easily drill down to the individual level. A single customer produces a wealth of data on a daily basis by simply going through the motions of his/her life. By applying resources to examine just that customer (rather than the general demographic or profile he/she fits), a business can design a tailor-made experience with the best likelihood of producing the desired outcome – be that sales, loyalty, or resolution of a complaint.

Export that ability across every individual in your customer base, and you can see how the lines between responsive and proactive are blurring. For example, Wells Fargo rolled out ATMs that deliver a unique display of buttons and options each time a customer signs in, reflecting how that particular customer has used ATMs in the past and will likely use it this time.

Big Data vs. Big Brother

In a way, predictive analytics has taken us back to the Main Street General Store model of doing business, where the proprietor not only knows your name but has your shopping cart all but ready to go when you set foot inside the door. This kind of personal attention is what customers want and what keeps them coming back, right? Yes – to an extent. But it’s deceptively easy to cross the line.

You may recall this headline from 2012: Target figured out one of its customers, a teen girl, was pregnant before her father did. The retailer relied on patterns in her customer data to reach this conclusion and ‘congratulated’ the young woman with personalized coupons for maternity and baby gear. Her father intercepted the mail, leading to a very irate confrontation with an oblivious store manager who had nothing to do with the decision to target (no pun intended) this customer with maternity messaging.

As it turned out, the data didn’t lie, but the damage was done and not limited to just that household. The story spread rapidly across the Internet and became part of the growing narrative of distrustful consumers and intrusive, creepy companies who know just a little too much. Brands want relationships with customers, and customers do respond well to the personal touch, but they sure don’t want to be stalked.

That’s why, even as the technology continues to leap forward, there’s still no real substitute for the kind of expertise that comes from years of hands-on customer experience management. With great power comes great responsibility, and as a discipline, predictive analytics is still maturing. Leaving all decision-making to the algorithms may be accurate, but wisdom doesn’t translate well to automated code.

By integrating CSP’s Voice of the Customer research with actual sales results, our Predictive Sales Analysis (PSA) brings together the best of both worlds. We produce a unique set of key drivers determined by employee behaviors that have the greatest correlation to sales metrics, and coach clients to focus on the areas that are most important to their business strategy. Learn more about PSA.