As we end February, I promise that this is not about relationship advice, at least for your romantic relationships. Instead, this is about our listening skills as it applies to the customer journey, the Voice-of-the-Customer, and the ways we filter information – as consumers and as business leaders. Last week I attended a conference that was entirely new to me.
Not just in name but in the industry (radio, media & entertainment) but also in format. It made me think about all the conferences I’ve attended over my long career in customer experience and how similar so many of them were with regard to the format and the content. This is not to cast a negative light on all those hard-working event managers that put forth a monumental effort to make those happen, but rather the uniqueness of this event – which could probably never be mirrored in most other professional events.
Instead of the traditional opening night networking event, we had a concert. Instead of starting the agenda with the first morning light, we started with a 10:00 AM brunch. The first item on the agenda was a new band giving an acoustic performance and discussing their upcoming album in a briefing for radio disc jockeys – a blatant but enjoyable promotion for one of the record label sponsors.
Then an opportunity for a short Q&A, meet & greet, along with a photo – all combined with networking opportunities both within and outside of the waiting line. Finally, we had a panel discussion composed of industry veterans (not sponsors). Repeat this three times each day and close each evening with a concert of more up-and-coming artists along with some established artists. It was a unique format, to say the least.
Along with the terrific format that was engaging, in speaking with one of the organizers, I was both surprised and not (at the same time), that the format came entirely out of the feedback that was gathered during the two years of the pandemic that the conference could not be held. A big part of their customer experience strategy was to close the customer feedback loop and give the participants the greatest possible value for their time. Quite unique in a B2 B-focused conference where it could have been just as easy to “do what we always have done.”
It could have been easy to sell the speaking and panel sessions to sponsors for some of the same promotions that we see in all conference sponsorships and make the participants listen to a thinly veiled sales pitch. At most other conferences I’ve attended or measured, many walk away not feeling they have received the best value for their time, money, and effort.
This applies to attendees, sponsors, and often speakers. In a cursory social media analysis, the value to these respondents was evident. Taking a little time to speak with various participants, it was also clear that they appreciated being heard and acknowledged that they were certain to participate in the subsequent survey being sent from the customer experience software platform.
That is what we try to do with our exclusive QuestionPro NPS+ question type. Measuring is important, that is why we ask the NPS question in our QuestionPro CX Enterprise Software. Beyond just sentiment analysis, which can help aggregate your listening, we ask for that singular root cause. You quickly and easily see their rating and know why, then read the details.
While many firms are worried about aggregating data, conducting a financial linkage analysis, and measuring across all the customer experience touchpoints, the three founders of this organization will read every response. And has been proven they will listen. Just like the participants want their listeners to listen to their radio stations. More about that next week.