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5 Actionable Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience These five tips will help you achieve better results from your customer experience program this year and how this might boost positive comments online.

By Phil Prosser Edited by Kara McIntyre

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As leaders in designing and rolling out customer experience (CX) programs, one of the often overlooked areas is what your customers say about you online. Social media used to be the end-point when customers leave a positive comment; however, what we are finding now is that your online reputation is the starting point for new customers in their experience.

Here are five tips on how you can achieve better return on investment (ROI) from your CX program this year and how this might boost positive comments online.

1. Focus on taking action

If you are using drop-in software to rate your service, there's a good chance the focus of your survey is asking the customer to give you a score or rating. If your goal is to give yourself a score, this approach will meet that need. However, if you want to drive improvement in your results, tailor the questions asked to each customer scenario.

Stick to three or four minutes of total survey time and only ask what is relevant. This might be by product group or interaction, but your goal is to get to the "why." If you can understand the behaviors behind why your customer feels the way they do, then you will discover how to improve and what to fix. On the positive side, you will also know what behaviors made them happy with your service — and by doing this consistently, you'll potentially boost more positive reviews online.

Only ask what directly relates to their experience and be sure you get past the score to understand the "why." Taking action is about addressing key behaviors that deliver a consistently awesome experience and will boost sales productivity.

Related: How Leaders Should Use Consumer Insights to Guide Decision-Making and Improve Customer Experience

2. Measure progress by rate of improvement

This tip relates to how you can measure progress. Chasing scores doesn't always drive change. The best way to measure program ROI is to measure a different kind of ROI: your rate of improvement. The program should identify the No. 1 customer-led opportunity for each team member, manager and above. By focusing on how they improve on that one priority, you'll be able to hold them accountable over the coming quarter and you will see the behaviors improve which directly relate to making customers happy.

You might start with a goal of improving by 10% for that key priority, or closing the performance gap between where they start and best practice (typically the average of the top 20%).

One suggestion would be to consider the key behaviors that make up the perfect customer experience. Your CX results can then tell you how regularly they achieve these behaviors, and you will find there's a direct correlation between consistently delivering these behaviours and your NPS score. Happier customers will also be willing to post positive comments online and boost your positive reviews.

3. Integrate key measures

Integration of key measures is how you optimise overall performance. Connect your CX program to learning and development, foot traffic data and marketing so you have one integrated improvement system to boost performance.

As marketing generates the opportunities, foot traffic data can identify conversion rates, dwell times and other metrics related to what the opportunities have been. Your CX program must tell you the behaviors and why a sale is made or lost. Having all the inputs and outputs together allows you to see the big picture and manage performance.

Related: 6 Ways to Get People On Board When Seeking Customer Insights

4. It's all about inspiring teams to take action

Engage your frontline team members is critical. First, involve them in the design of the survey questions and focus on behaviors they can directly control. Marketing and other questions can be added later.

Real-time results related to their own behavior is key. Link skill gaps directly to your e-learning and results to key performance indicators (KPIs). Show the impact certain standards have on customer loyalty and explain why it matters.

Keep it simple. Focus on one priority per person per quarter. Coach in real time and focus more on reinforcing the positives (ratio of 3:1 positives to negatives).

Understand what drives your NPS scores and set targets around improving those behaviors. How often do we deliver the perfect experience? What is my rate of improvement? How often do I login and check results? Have I completed my training?

5. Social media reviews

The final tip is to identify the "wow service" experiences. Thank those customers, tell them you appreciate their feedback then invite them to leave a review on social media. This isn't just a marketing task done once a year — the best programs are doing this monthly and have a steady flow of positive reviews, which boosts engagement and attracts potential new clients.

By engaging your teams and explaining the importance of asking happy customers to leave reviews, they realize that the ongoing improvement of their skills is actually what is creating more good experiences.

In 2022, stop chasing scores and collecting data. Take the guesswork out for each person who works for you to focus on behaviours that drive improvement.

Phil Prosser

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of Feedback ASAP

Phil Prosser has over 25 years of global success in over 74 countries in customer experience-management and net-promoter score, turning feedback into action to boost results. He works with leading brands such as McDonald’s, YUM, Shell, AT&T, Apple, UPS, RadioShack and Starbucks.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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