Data is everywhere, and it can be overwhelming. Once data is processed or organized, it creates more information. What a training professional learns from that information and how they use it becomes knowledge. And knowledge is transformational.
What follows are four steps to build or improve upon a customer engagement process. Start with a firm understanding of the organizational goals and keep the objective of delivering a solution that supports those goals front and center. Effective use of data can then provide insights, increase retention, engagement and help your organization become more customer-focused and its training deliverables more strategically aligned.
Step 1: Use Reliable Data Sources
There are many excellent forms of customer feedback data: questionnaires, surveys, call logs, etc. Then there is net promoter score (NPS), the gold standard for measuring customer experience. NPS is a metric used in sales and marketing to evaluate the customer experience and loyalty by asking, “How likely are you to recommend this brand to a friend or co-worker?”
The NPS survey can be formatted to encourage comments and suggestions from customers. Even if your organization does not administer an NPS survey, there are many informative articles and industry specific standards that can be used to supplement customer data gathering. Once reliable data sources are identified, it’s time to move onto Step 2.
Step 2: Conduct Systematic Analysis and Identify Gaps
Dive deep into the data to uncover important information.
Ask questions like:
- Are there any gaps in current processes?
- What is working well and what isn’t?
- What trends does the data present?
- Do certain types of customers have the same issue?
- Are there particular drivers of unhappiness or low scores?
- Did the customer offer any recommendations or suggestions?
These drivers may be as simple as a significant percentage of customers who believe training classes are too long, or as nuanced as not enough interactive or gaming techniques are offered during the training sessions. Revealing what is at the core of customer dissatisfaction is like striking a gold mine. Having the diagnostic skills of a Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM) can be a great benefit during this important step. CPTM core skills can provide the analysis to uncover critical customer likes and dislikes, such as preferring virtual instructor-led training (VILT) to an asynchronous delivery.
Imagine experiencing dissatisfied customers and not having this knowledge. It is worth the time and effort to fully engage in thorough analysis to reveal informative insights that will form the basis of the next step.
Step 3: Recommend Improvements Through the Customer Engagement Process
This step lays the foundation for a business-centric plan. Through using the data provided in the NPS surveys — applying thorough analysis to reveal gaps, pain points and trends — sustainable and measurable recommendations can now be presented to management. The skills acquired through the CPTM curriculum will equip the training professional with a solid framework to deliver value and learning solutions to support the business.
Throughout this step, pertinent examples demonstrate how an engagement process can control risk and increase retention. For instance, analysis can reveal gaps in the follow-up on resolving customer issues. After making only slight changes in timing and workflow, the resolution process of addressing the most critical customer issues was implemented with a first touch within 24 hours and a resolution completed within 30 days. Once strategic alignment is demonstrated within a business-centric engagement plan, it’s time for the next step.
Step 4: Implement and Evaluate
This is the working step. If the engagement process is solid, with a tested workflow and documented processes, the training professional is well on the way to improving customer engagement. The organization also now has an ally because the training department is now aligned to quickly identify issues, mitigate risks and retain customers. For example, after one implementation of an engagement process by a large multi-national corporation, customer issue resolution rate increased from 75% to more than 90% in five months.
There are also many collateral benefits of a customer engagement process. Recognizing that not all customer issues are resolved through training alone, a sound engagement process will also uncover issues for other departments. For example, analysis product inconsistencies can be discovered and quickly referred to the appropriate department. The speed of this simple recognition and intervention could save countless service calls and contribute to improved customer satisfaction.
The benefits of using NPS data to develop a customer engagement process are many. As a data source, NPS surveys provide an excellent foundation on which to build a solid customer engagement process. Analyzing NPS data can result in actionable and informative insights that can be used to make transformational changes. And implementing a customer engagement process can help identify, control and mitigate risks, as well as build customer retention.