What drives customer loyalty? Ask the right questions to find out

Posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Gleanster, a best practices market research analyst firm focused on marketing, sales, voice of the customer, business intelligence and customer experience operations – has recently published a whitepaper, entitled “How Top Performers Use Outside Expertise to Improve Customer Experience Quality.”

The research analyst report explores the value for engaging outside resources with specialized expertise for help in improving customer experience quality and the benefits that Top Performers, particularly from multi-unit retailers and restaurants, are realizing as a result. In the second section of the report “Asking the Right Questions,” Gleanster points out that a brand can identify and prioritize immediate to-do’s for driving customer loyalty by asking the right survey questions.

Gleanster Report – Section 2 “Asking the Right Questions”

When it comes to survey design, context is king. Data modeling based on specific knowledge of a company and the industry in which it competes can reduce a set of survey questions to those that are most relevant for driving customer loyalty and brand advocacy. In many cases, the right set of questions can explain upwards of 95% of customer loyalty and also provide insights into what actions should be taken at both the individual location and overall brand level.

Action-oriented reporting can serve as a key point of competitive differentiation. Action-oriented reporting means being able to identify and prioritize immediate to-do’s for driving customer loyalty. Cleanliness might be the element most important to a high-value segment of customers and also the area that particular location is performing the worst on, so that may emerge as the biggest area of opportunity.

Having identified the focus areas for a given period of time, a company should be able to dynamically change the question set for customers at that location so everyone who comes to that location gets an additional set of, say, five questions to drill down on the specifics of building cleanliness. Depending on which location a customer goes into, they would receive a different questionnaire based on what was most important to that individual location. For example, at one restaurant that is focusing on cleanliness the guest would receive a special set of questions related to cleanliness (of the table, menu, cutlery, washrooms, etc.), while another location of the same chain across town would be asked a series of questions on speed of service (for example, time to be seated, time to receive the bill at the end of the meal, etc.). This helps turn customers into auditors and make sure the individual location is executing on the areas that they need to focus on most urgently.

In order to identify and prioritize immediate to-do’s for driving customer loyalty for all levels of your enterprise —from executive champions to front line staff, you need to create a customer survey that allows you to get inside the hearts and minds of your brand’s customer base. The biggest challenge most brands face is not only creating a survey that captures how different customer segments are experiencing your brand but also getting customer feedback that is actionable.

Before you choose a vendor to build your customer survey and customer experience management program, ask these three questions:

  1. Do they understand your business? Unlike other vendors that that take the “one size fits all approach”, we understand that your business is unique and there are specific pathways to the drivers of your loyalty. We first work with you to define your business success models, along with a customer journey map that will help us uncover the key “moments of truth” for your brand. We then implement our loyalty modeling study to determine the pathways to the drivers of loyalty.
  2. Can they create a survey that enables a deep understanding of different customer segments? Our modeling analysis can be performed on a variety of customer segments.  Our system allows you to gain insights into the subtle differences of how each of these segments experiences your brand and the important attributes that will help keep them loyal. Our system is also flexible when it comes to creating a localized user experience, allowing us to design surveys that are relevant to your brand within each region and take into account any cultural sensitivities or language requirements.
  3. Can they capture as much data as possible by providing convenient channels for customer feedback?  It is important that data sample is large enough to be representative. We provide a number of convenient channels for customers to provide feedback, including internet, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), text messaging, mobile optimized surveys, QR codes, e-panels, kiosks and outbound phone – all integrating seamlessly with your overall brand experience.

To read the full report on how you can leverage knowledge capital to gain a competitive advantage in high-touch industries like retail, restaurants and financial services, download the Deep Dive Analyst Report “How Top Performers Use Outside Expertise to Improve Customer Experience Quality”.

Download Whitepaper

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