Return from vacation
As my week of vacation was concluding, the sure sign that it was over was the flight out of my vacation location. As I made my way to my next stop by airplane, I reflected on a great week. While I spent quite a bit of time relaxing and spending time with friends that I hadn’t seen in two years, I also had the opportunity to close the week with some very positive work-related notes: a couple of project launches that went live and a new opportunity to work with someone that has been six months in the making.
Things were looking just great.
As I landed, the sun was shining, there was a nice breeze and I was mentally prepared to start the week. As I made my way out of the airport, I saw some dark clouds on the horizon. By the time I had picked up my rental car, those dark clouds were everywhere – and the boom of thunder alerted everyone to a big storm. Driving out of the airport, the winds swirled and a rainstorm that dumped inches of rain had settled right on top of my route to the hotel.
That thirty-minute drive turned into an hour quickly.
Weather Changes: Are You Prepared?
I have always found it interesting that the weather can seemingly match our mood, or perhaps we just notice it more when it happens that way. Similar to the quickly changing weather, our customers’ experiences and perceptions of a brand can change quickly.
Before I had even arrived at my hotel, all the successes that had been communicated to me on Friday were already shifting. One client had complaints from customers that the survey was too long, another had a problem launching the survey. While they were accountable for what they had just launched, the situation had changed. They were discontent with the current status. Even on a Sunday, we quickly had some changes in place on one survey to rotate questions sets. We also discovered that the data file being used to launch the other survey had a column header that was mislabeled. We made the change on our end to accommodate the new name.
As one of my friends said to me while we spent time together last week, customer experience is almost like a sine wave – highs followed by lows which are then followed by highs again. My friend had that right – and all that was just between Friday and Sunday.
The same is true with my clients, in all business-to-business customer experiences, and across the entire customer experience space – a great experience today can be quickly erased by a bad experience tomorrow – unless you are prepared for that storm.
Where I lived previously, I never carried an umbrella – it had fewer than 10 days of measurable rain each year and, since I worked from home, I didn’t ever feel I’d really need one. However, that didn’t stop me from owning an umbrella because you never know.
Too often, companies don’t even have that one CX umbrella, just in case. They will have a “program” and sometimes several programs, but they tend to be incomplete. While a brand doesn’t necessarily have to measure every stage from the touchpoint inventory across the entire customers’ experiences, they have limited capabilities to do so because of the tool they have selected. Often they are locked into a structured set of questions and surveys, however, at QuestionPro, we like to differentiate ourselves in that we offer customer experience management software that allows the flexibility of measuring the big picture, while also taking into account all the other touchpoints even if just on an occasional basis.
For one of our retail clients, that means building out twelve surveys, even if only two of them are ongoing. For a B2B client, it allows them to field multiple surveys with every response being logged within the closed-loop customer feedback system regardless of NPS score because of the importance of each and every customer. Then the ability to see the scores from every survey in a single dashboard view that includes ratings along with customer sentiment analysis.
All these are brought together to provide that ‘complete umbrella’ of CX protection, because on any given day, no matter the forecast, weather can change and it’s crucial to be prepared.