Your customers are eager to be heard. There is a lot of communication they are having with you, both on offline and online channels. Some channels they could be communicating with you are –
- Communication on social platforms
- NPS® surveys responses
- Customer support calls
- Communication with sales team
- Onboarding surveys
- Reviews sites
- Comments on blog posts!
- Annual Meets
The list could actually go on. The challenge for your team is to be on top of each of these channels.
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The customer’s expectation in today’s well-connected world is quite evident in the example of JetBlue Airways’ interaction with a customer:
Acknowledging a complaint, swiftly. Less Turn-around time; quick engagement. The optimum utilization of 140 characters.
JetBlue has learned to empathize with its customers. And is a step ahead, of its competitors. Being in the hospitality industry, this airline company has committed to the rules of the game, by evolving with the times.
Up there, what you see is how a complaint is handled which leads to happy customers.
The lesson here is simple. Brands need to be available where their customers are interacting with them. A rulebook with clear instructions on how and by when the brand needs to coordinate with a customer based on the nature of the interaction.
While complaints, like the one given in the example, need quick and swift action, the team does not need to jump into acting on all insights from your interactions you are having with your customers. This would only mean they are forever stuck in firefighting.
The bigger challenge is that its capacity crushing and the team never has the bandwidth to be proactive on the initiatives that truly create value for the customers.
“The problem isn’t the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”
When you receive a complaint, the reins are in your hands. You either lose the customer or you can build a lasting relationship with a timely response. Hence closing the loop.
Henry Ford says, “Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them”. Get to the root of it and uproot the entire cause. By acting on it, you’re removing the possibility of a recurrence. A recurrence eats upon your resources.
What you need to do is identify those 2 or 3 channels that your customers are interacting with you the most on. Identify patterns that are showing up across channels. You should consider rolling up these insights across stages of the customer journey. See which issues are having the maximum impact on the experience being delivered to customers and then get to the root cause of these issues.
See which issues are having the maximum impact on the experience being delivered to customers and then get to the root cause of these issues. Because if your team is constantly solving the symptoms and not fixing the root causes, the problems will keep recurring.
The 5 Why techniques is a very strong tool to help you arrive at the root cause. See an example below on how it works.
“If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer.
Only the inquiring mind solves problems.” – Edward Hodnett
This helps you to get to the nucleus of the problem. It also caters to determining the relationship between various causes. To illustrate one:
Suppose the main Cause: Customer did not receive the product on the promised time. Questions to ask, are as below:
- Why is the customer not receiving the product?
- There is a delay in the delivery
- Why is there a delay in the delivery?
- The required product is not being made available by the manufacturer.
- Why was the product not available?
- There was a mistake on the Procurement Team’s end. They did not make the purchase on the pre-decided date, time and place.
- Why did the Procurement Team not make a purchase?
- They did not receive an intimation for one as their inventory systems were faulty.
- Why wasn’t the system updated?
- The Networking equipment was not working in their Bangalore Centre. To illustrate this through a diagram it would be as depicted below: