Surveys & Feedback

Customer Experience Surveys & Feedback

Customer experience surveys are powerful tools that allow you to gather data about customers’ opinions and feedback about their personal experience with your brand. The insights gained from these surveys can be invaluable, within limits and when utilized appropriately. They provide data that can help identify what matters most to your customers, reveal problem areas, and highlight opportunities for growth and development.

Creating an effective customer experience survey is about more than asking “how likely are you to recommend this business?” It’s about gathering key insights, and most importantly, showing customers you value their feedback by taking acting on the results.

CX – Good People can’t Overcome Bad Data

My wife and I took a long-overdue vacation to Mexico, and stayed at an ocean-side resort over the holidays. At check-in, the desk attendant told us they would upgrade us to an ocean-side room for free. Great! We were looking forward to having a nice view. Five minutes later, he came back saying, “I’m sorry. It turns out the room is already occupied.” The result? While rationally we ended up the same, emotionally we were disappointed that we lost the opportunity for the ocean-side view.

Similarly, a local retailer recently sent me a gift card. Since we moved this summer, I gave him my new address, which he entered into the system. Unfortunately, the old data prevailed, and it was sent to the old house; it still hasn’t arrived.

Bad Data Makes a Worse Customer Experience

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Is Customer Experience a Missed Opportunity?

My immediate answer to this is no – there’s a ton of good work happening to improve customers’ experience. But that’s a qualitative response, informed largely by the great work I see our clients doing.

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Survivor Bias is a Big CX Measurement Risk

AsSurvivorship Bias defined by RationalWiki, “survivorship bias is a cognitive bias that occurs when someone tries to make a decision based on past successes, while ignoring past failures. It is a specific type of selection bias.” Applied to CX, it’s when you focus only on existing customers and ignore those who have left.

What Can go Wrong?

Let’s look at an example. There’s a national sports bar which saw its CX scores continually improving. Unfortunately, at the same time, revenue was declining. While CX was celebrating, the rest of the organization was panicked. 

One reason: The restaurant focused on the guests who gave the highest scores, which were the hard-core sports fans. To please them, the noise got louder and the food got worse. That sports fan loved it even more and continued to give high scores, but the family visitors were annoyed. As more families stopped coming (removing the guests who gave the restaurant lower scores), CX scores kept increasing, leading the restaurant to its death spiral.

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Stop Bribing Your Employees for Good NPS Scores

We’re early in Customer Experience (CX) capability development, and I absolutely love it! We’re discovering the best practices that our successors will take for granted; “of course that’s how you do it.”

Unfortunately, being in this early stage means that some “best practices” aren’t. Some actually hinder the goal of improved CX – to create loyal customers who love your brand and come back time and again.

One “best practice” that can create a terrible customer experience is paying employees to achieve good NPS, or Customer Satisfaction, scores. This needs to stop.

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Move to the Top Levels of the Gartner CX Pyramid with Journey Mapping

Last week I discussed Gartner’s CX Pyramid and its approach to evaluating your customer experience. Yesterday’s post discussed how to use journey mapping to help you move up the first three levels. Today, I’ll talk about using journey mapping to move to the top of the pyramid – the Proactive and Evolution levels.

Getting to these levels requires significantly more investment in both customer insights and design. Interviews – particularly in-person at your customer’s site – are good ways to help you in the lower stages, but here it requires deeper methodologies to truly understand your customers’ needs. Read more

Moving up Gartner’s CX Pyramid with Journey Mapping

Last week I wrote about the Gartner CX Pyramid, an interesting maturity model. This week I’ll go into how to use journey mapping best practices to move up the model based on Gartner’s description of the model on their public website.

Selecting the right journey mapping approach requires you to understand where you are on the model and where you aspire to be. An inaccurate assessment will create waste; attempting to create a Proactive-level approach with only a Communication-level infrastructure will be expensive and ultimately frustrate customers instead of creating loyalty. Similarly, using a lower-level approach won’t have sufficient impact with higher-level design capabilities. Journey mapping doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it requires enough staffing and leadership to implement the changes that come out of it. Read more

Life Insurance Journey Map

Journey mapping tools don’t address the most critical challenges.

There are a ton of journey mapping tools out there. I’m most familiar with Touchpoint Dashboard, but I’ve had demos from many others. They all excel at certain components of journey mapping, but they don’t (and probably can’t) address some of the largest problems.

That’s because the biggest reasons journey maps fail have nothing to do with digital problems; they’re analog. As we’ll discuss tomorrow, the biggest problem in journey mapping is that it’s done in silos. Small teams are created to do journey mapping. Those small teams intimately learn the customer experience, but because they don’t control the critical touch points, the effort fails to drive change.

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Too many see journey mapping as an employee workshop.

What is journey mapping?

That may seem like a strange question from a blogger whose title is “Mapper-In-Chief,” but there’s so much confusion on the topic that it’s a question that needs to be asked.

This confusion is fueled by vendors who offer “journey mapping workshops.” This is a half- or full-day workshop where you gather a bunch of employees who each adopt a customer persona and use Post-It Notes to document your perceptions of that customer’s journey. Oracle hosts this type of workshop, and by all accounts it’s a ton of fun. It’s possible they mention the need to actually talk with customers, but the attendees I’ve spoken to don’t remember them saying that.

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We still have challenges navigating trade-offs when deciding what to map.

Most journey mapping projects fail to drive change. That’s what we discovered when we surveyed practitioners who have conducted such projects (learn more about this survey in our white paper, “Driving Change Through Journey Maps”).

One leading success factor is selecting the right journey to map, and it’s the first place that problems occur because it requires trade-offs. Do you want an end-to-end map or one of a specific sub-journey?

An end-to-end map is interesting. Seeing the customers’ journey from beginning to end helps us to understand where the points of friction are and helps prioritize places where issues need to be fixed. Unfortunately, that end-to-end view isn’t always the best way to improve the customer experience.

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Do you have what it takes to succeed at CX?

Have you taken a look at our latest whitepaper? Also accessible from the resources page, it details strategies and insights for ensuring that your next CX initiative is a successful one that will pay for itself with opportunities for profit and growth.

Access it here: How to Select a CX Platform for Maximum Impact


Interested in workshops? Read more here.

Interested in journey mapping? Read more here.

Interested in improving your CX? Read more here.