Customer success: listen and learn

Customer success metrics are a valuable and convenient way to understand how your customers think you’re doing. But the scores alone don’t give you the complete picture. You must ask your customers for feedback and then really listen to the answers. Moreover, when you’ve asked the question, you need to be ready to learn—to adjust and get the entire organization on board.
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For nearly 20 years, Net Promoter Score (NPS®) has been the hallmark of measuring the customer experience journey. Why? Because cultivating a sustainable business means you must cultivate loyal customers. With NPS, we gain a core measurement of customer loyalty and our customers’ likelihood of recommending us to others. It’s a valuable and convenient measurement, and it has sparked an interest in a wide range of performance metrics, benchmarks, and KPIs.

But.

Measuring the customer experience journey and learning from it are two different things. In fact, McKinsey has written that too many organizations “squander the treasure that is customer feedback.” Knowing that customers are willing to recommend your business is one thing, but we have to dig deeper. We should want to learn why, to find out what we’re doing right and keep doing it.

As for the detractors? They’re just as important; we must learn what needs to be changed, fixed, adjusted, or downright eliminated. Then, and this is equally important; you must focus on doing it.

When you ask your customers for feedback, you’ll not only learn something valuable, but you’ll also make your customers feel important and involved. That’s true for both detractors and promoters. Hearing what your customers have to say and being accountable to it—that is, closing the loop and acting on that feedback—leads to improvements in both customer and employee retention as well as increased customer spending. In other words, what you do with the feedback matters.

The feedback loop cannot exist solely on the front line, either. Your entire organization must be aligned to the common, higher purpose of asking for feedback, listening to what your customers say, and then learning something from it and doing something about it. Ultimately, performance metrics are important and valuable but cannot—and should not—replace the value of listening. Best-in-class companies focus on a closed loop process: listening to customers and taking action based on that customer feedback. Listening provides valuable information – and doing something with it drives actionable intelligence; the result is customer success.

And so with all of that said: We’re ready to listen and learn from you. Opt-in to our NPS surveys by dropping us a line: clientloyalty@nuance.com.

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Brad Morrison

About Brad Morrison

Brad leads the Nuance Healthcare Customer Success Organization (CSO), which focuses on creating a holistic customer experience from pre-sales through lifetime management. Prior to joining Nuance in 2013, Brad served as a vice president at M*Modal, where he oversaw the sales and account management organizations. He holds a B.A. in business from the University of Alabama.