You've invested in a customer feedback program. The results are in and they include useful details on what your business is doing well and not so well. Even better, the analysis has some deep insights into how to actually improve your organisation's service.
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How do you ensure the report doesn't end up just gathering dust in someone's inbox? How do you bring about the recommended changes?
It's a conundrum facing many people responsible for customer experience. The answer lies in the increasingly important skill of change management.
Change management needs leadership buy-in for maximum effectiveness, but even without that, there are steps any research or marketing executive can take to bring about improvements for customers.
These steps, which are based on the Prosci ADKAR® Model, will help you drive change based on customer feedback.
- Raise awareness. This means educating internal stakeholders about why you have feedback programs, how you go about collecting feedback and what you do with it. But first, you need to understand what really matters to your stakeholders, so you can tailor your messages in a way that's meaningful to each person.
- Create the desire for employees to participate. This is perhaps the biggest challenge, but it can be achieved by: ensuring the program is relevant to them and can help them achieve success; getting buy-in from the team leader; and linking the program to their KPIs and ideally to financial incentives.
- Give employees the knowledge to change. This means designing a feedback program so that it provides useful and actionable insights for employees.
- Ensure staff members have the ability to change. Providing employees with the right training, tools, guides and support that allow them to apply the feedback and make the necessary changes.
- Reinforce change. Ensuring feedback programs have quantitative metrics will allow employees (and you) to track their improvement. That reinforcement can be strengthened further by linking those metrics to staff KPIs and bonuses. Ensuring positive feedback is always highlighted will also help create a culture that embraces feedback.
For more details on change management tactics and strategies, see the third paper in our customer experience (CX) series, Listen, Act, Learn: How to use customer feedback to drive business change.
 'A Model for Individual Change', Prosci, www.prosci.com/adkar-model/overview-3/.
By Karen Platt, Director of Customer Experience at Optus Business. More from Karen on Twitter: @platt_karen
All views expressed are the author's own.