Customer Insight is the magazine for managers who are interested in using customer insight (i.e. really understanding what their customers think) to improve business performance. Customer Insight Magazine is suitable for customer service, customer experience, marketing and market research professionals as well as Customer Insight Managers.

Category: Customer Experience

16th Annual Customer Experience Conference

16th Annual Customer Experience Conference

Almost 200 people gathered together at One Great George Street between the Houses of Parliament and Horse Guards Parade for TLF’s 16th Annual Customer Experience Conference. It was the 4th consecutive year for the venue, home to the Institution of Civil Engineers. Anyone who’s seen the amazing Georgian interiors will know why delegates rate this...

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Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis

Customers tend to benchmark organisations very widely, comparing them with their experiences across many different sectors.

Often customers’ recent experience is limited to one organisation per sector. They simply don’t currently deal with more than one local council, one mortgage lender, one mobile phone provider or one housing association. At other times, however,...

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What is Customer Effort?

What is Customer Effort?

The July-August 2010 issue of the Harvard Business Review featured an article, by Dixon et al, entitled Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers.

Over a three year period, the authors had conducted research, with 75,000 B2B and B2C customers about their recent interactions with staff and self-service contact centres. Based on the research, the authors made some interesting assertions...

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Warming Up

Warming Up

Improve response rates and quality of response through effective pre-survey communications.

A well executed warm up campaign will make your survey more cost effective by shortening the field work period (achieving interviews or responses more quickly) and increasing the response rate. It could also stimulate response from a wider range of customers, generating a more representative...

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Financial Services Complaints Management Forum

Financial Services Complaints Management Forum

At the start of the 14th annual Financial Services Complaints Management Forum the FCA provided an update on their complaints reporting requirements, which will be implemented in June 2016.

These are the main points:

-  An extension of the ‘next business day rule’, where firms are permitted to handle complaints less formally, without sending a final response...

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Omnichannel

Omnichannel

Why it’s time for customer service to go omnichannel

It’s well recognised that consumers are increasingly choosing to use many different communication channels when transacting with customers. A survey at the end of 2013 for CRM software specialists Zendesk of 7,000 consumers in 7 countries showed that 67% of online shoppers had made purchases that involved...

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Why Do Companies Never Learn?

Why Do Companies Never Learn?

When you’ve been in this game as long as I have you do wonder sometimes how companies can just keep on making the same mistakes over and over again.  In the name of performance improvement they spend vast amounts of money on consultants, training, learning but still make schoolboy errors when it comes to getting the basics right.

To illustrate, I’m going to depart...

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Satisfying the High Rollers

Satisfying the High Rollers

Does being a high roller guarantee better service and therefore mean you are more likely to be a satisfied customer? The simple and straightforward answer would seem to be yes. Picture Richard Gere in Pretty Woman producing his exclusive, unlimited credit card and the ensuing service borne only of those who sense a big tip is in the air.

However scratch the surface of service in these...

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How impressed is your board when you present survey results?

How impressed is your board when you present survey results?

Yes I do know they’re not easy to impress, but do we always help ourselves by the way we present results from customer surveys? I think the problem stems from the fact that the people responsible for the surveys (whether research agencies or company managers) are immersed in the detail of the survey, keen to tell the full story and too obsessed with demonstrating the credibility /...

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Why Do Customers Switch

Why Do Customers Switch

 In September 2011 I took a family holiday in Turkey with a leading tour operator. The sun shone, the 5 star hotel was clean and well appointed, the food fantastic and my children loved it. All in all a recipe for the perfect holiday, one very happy customer you might think and a guaranteed repeat booking for next year...or maybe not?

A recent study by the Institute for...

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Bringing the Voice of the Customer into the Boardroom

Bringing the Voice of the Customer into the Boardroom

One of the biggest frustrations of customer insight and customer contact staff is how to convey customers’ views to senior management in a way that makes them sit up and take notice. It’s difficult with statistics, almost impossible with reports – and please don’t show me another PowerPoint presentation!! Of course, for some time it’s been possible to video...

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Storytelling Maximising the Impact of Customer Research

Storytelling Maximising the Impact of Customer Research

Research has been commissioned and insight identified but getting individuals to change their behaviours in order to produce an improved customer experience has proven to be more difficult. Does this scenario sound familiar?

Experience has shown that ‘Storytelling’ can be an extremely useful tool for organisations to maximise the impact of customer research. Within this...

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Selecting the Best Survey Method - Part 1

Selecting the Best Survey Method - Part 1

Current technology has multiplied the number of ways to collect customer feedback, often making it confusing to work out the best way to carry out customer research. Sarah Stainthorpe provides a summary of the different types of research and their purposes, as well as the pros and cons of different ways of obtaining customer feedback.

Underlying attitudes...

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Selecting the Best Survey Method - Part 2

Selecting the Best Survey Method - Part 2

Research - Selecting the best survey method

In the last edition of Stakeholder Satisfaction we discussed the pros and cons of different survey methods. In this article, we will go into more detail about some of the latest self-completion methods, which we had said were useful for conducting transactional customer experience research in particular

The three types...

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Co-creation - Part 2 Value through choice

Co-creation - Part 2 Value through choice

Co-creaction - Part 2 Value through choice

Some trends over the last couple of decades are well known. Exponential technological innovation has led to huge efficiency savings enabling firms to provide better value to customers. But they’ve had to because customers’ unprecedented access to information and easy networking with other customers has turned them into expert and...

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Co-creation - Part 3 of the new cutomer experience

Co-creation - Part 3 of the new cutomer experience

Co-creation

Part 3: With customers not at customers

This article, the third in our series on co-creation is based on Stephen Hampshire’s presentation at The Leadership Factor conference in Manchester in March 2010.

The basic purpose of co-creation is to help all businesses to engage more closely with their customers. I’m going to...

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Fast Guide - Attitudes and behaviours

Fast Guide - Attitudes and behaviours

Fast Guide - Attitudes and behaviour

Many organisations fail to manage customers effectively because they don’t distinguish between customers’ attitudes and behaviour. Both are relevant to customer satisfaction and loyalty, but they’re different concepts requiring different information and decision making. Since it’s behaviours that deliver financial benefits we...

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Customer - Loyalty: customer insight or sales promotion?

Customer - Loyalty: customer insight or sales promotion?

In November 2004, Hurricane Frances was rushing towards the Florida coastline. Some residents were already in their cars heading inland. Much further inland in Bentonville, Arkansas, there was also much activity in the Wal-Mart office as CIO Linda Dillman encouraged staff to take advantage of the company’s ‘predictive technology’. With almost 4,000 stores in the US and...

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Research - Interviewing hard to reach customers

Research - Interviewing hard to reach customers

One of the main aspects of b2b research that distinguishes it from b2c is the greater difficulty of securing a response, whether the survey is self-completion or interviews. The most challenging task for researchers, however, is to interview certain hard to reach b2b audiences on the telephone. This is the main reason why b2b surveys cost more than b2c, but often research budgets still...

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The Voice of the Customer

The Voice of the Customer

These days few company bosses would disagree with the words of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton:

"There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everyone in the company from the Chairman down, simply by spending money somewhere else."

So everybody’s interested in the Voice of the Customer but what exactly does it mean? Sam Walton was very clear about the goal...

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A great customer experience... Through The Customers' Eyes

A great customer experience... Through The Customers' Eyes

A few years ago we all used to talk about satisfying customers and improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. Today, some of the latest buzzwords that we are encouraged to strive for include delighting rather than satisfying customers, build a relationship with customers, improve customers’ emotional engagement with your company and even deliver a customer experience so great...

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Doing best what matters most to the customer

Doing best what matters most to the customer

It’s official – the most successful organisations are going soft – they’re becoming human again! They’ve remembered, ‘just in time’ (no pun intended), that ultimately business is about people – it’s about human beings, being human.

The key assets of most organisations are not the buildings people work in, or the equipment and...

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I'll have the same again please - Why Consistency Matters

I'll have the same again please - Why Consistency Matters

Millions of people travel frequently to London, some for business, others for pleasure. For those who need to stay overnight, there are literally thousands of hotels to choose from so finding a room isn’t difficult. But talk to many of these visitors and you will discover that, by choice, they will always stay in the same hotel or the use the same chain time after time.

These...

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Do Customers Like Being Surveyed?

Do Customers Like Being Surveyed?

If a company that you do business with writes to you, telephones or emails asking you to provide feedback on how satisfied you are with the service you’re getting from them, how do you react? Do you

a. Regard it as totally unreasonable behaviour by the supplier?

b. Feel that it shows they care about how you feel as a customer?

c. See it as a pointless exercise...

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Customer service starts at the top

Customer service starts at the top

Don Hales, Founder & Chairman of Judges of the National Customer Service Awards has had the opportunity to study at close quarters customer service in many leading organisations in every service sector. He is convinced that the secret to great customer service lies in leadership. He has linked with leading research organisation, Glowinkowski International to establish the...

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Making The Grade

Making The Grade

City & Guilds is a household name that strives to stay on top of the game by reacting to and anticipating the needs of its customers. A customer satisfaction survey sits next to other research activity to feed information into ongoing initiatives to improve and make the process easier for customers. A mixture of innovation and concentrating on getting the basics right is paying...

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Rewarding Customer Satisfaction

Rewarding Customer Satisfaction

How do you feel after you've stayed at a hotel where you were treated like a VIP? Great, relaxed and happy! You book a return visit and you tell your friends about it. How do you feel after visiting a retail store where the sales representatives treated you as an "inconvenience" they had to deal with? Annoyed, dissatisfied and negative! You tell your friends and they tell other people too....

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10 Customer Centred Lessons

10 Customer Centred Lessons

Harvard Professor John Kotter, with the help of some old video clips of Jack Welch and other leaders addressing his Harvard students twenty years or so ago, asked us why some companies had become customer-centred over the past 25 years, but many had not. "Tom Peters (with Bob Waterman) was the first to say 'Customer, Customer, Customer,' in answer to the question 'What makes a company great...

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Understanding financial implications of customer service

Understanding financial implications of customer service

My greatest claim to fame in the world of customer service is that seven years ago, assisted by my colleagues at Quest Media, I launched the National Customer Service Awards and I remain the chairman of judges for the programme to this day.

Nowadays I combine that activity with speaking, writing and consulting on customer service and my specialist subject is helping people understand...

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Maximising loyalty the publishers way

Maximising loyalty the publishers way

Maximising loyalty the publishers’ way

Readers of Stakeholder know the benefits of keeping customers highly satisfied. Whatever your favoured acronym or model, the message is the same - highly satisfied customers behave in a way that will benefit your business both in the short-term and long-term. As long you are able to keep them highly satisfied, that is.

They will buy...

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Holding on to Stakeholders when it hits the fan

Holding on to Stakeholders when it hits the fan

I am starring in a play and, just as the curtains start to roll back, I realise that a) I have learned the lines to the wrong play and, b) I am stark naked. Before the men in white coats come to take me away, let me say in my defence that this is apparently quite a common sort of dream for strange people like me - and that it is hardly surprising after years of working in crisis management....

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Empowerment - How far dare you go?

Empowerment - How far dare you go?

Empowerment is not a new concept in customer service but Don Hales, founder and chairman of the judges of the National Customer Service Awards, has discovered from this year's finals that more companies than ever are releasing staff from strict rules and providing more freedom to act on their own initiative, allowing them to provide real service in response to customer needs. But how far can...

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Rating Scales in Customer Satisfaction Research

Rating Scales in Customer Satisfaction Research

1. Interval versus ordinal scales It is not unusual in satisfaction research to see simple verbal scales, where each point on the scale is given a verbal description (e.g. 'strongly agree', 'agree' or 'very satisfied', 'satisfied' etc). The problem is that such scales have only ordinal properties. They give an order from good to bad or satisfied to dissatisfied without...

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Fast Guide - Customer Service

Fast Guide - Customer Service

Peel back the layers and you will discover that at the heart of any successful business lies its customers - cosseted, consulted, listened to, respected and appreciated. They are the leaders, the catalysts for future development. As Sir Terry Leahy, Chief Executive, Tesco once remarked, “We follow the customer, if they change, we change.” Quality customer service is critical - it...

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Annual customer satisfaction and loyalty conference 2006

Annual customer satisfaction and loyalty conference 2006

The Leadership Factor’s seventh annual conference on ‘customer satisfaction and loyalty’ took place on 2nd February. This year, like the most fickle of football fans, we abandoned Man Utd. (location for last year’s conference) and took up with Chelsea. Robert kicked off (sorry!) the day by introducing the ICS and its work, covering the ICS model for world class...

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SOCAP in Europe's Annual Conference

SOCAP in Europe's Annual Conference

Of huge interest was the first day appearance of Rachel Elnaugh as keynote speaker. Rachel had been booked before the much publicised collapse of Red Letter Days and it is testament to her courage that she didn’t cancel despite a further hauling over the coals the previous Friday, this time on Tonight with Trevor McDonald. SOCAPie CEO, Derek Williams decided to run the slot as a...

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UK Customer Experience Awards

UK Customer Experience Awards

Customer service is frequently quoted as being the most important factor in today’s economic climate in the battle to win, retain and grow customers. The importance of customer service cannot be underestimated but Awards International, a company that specialises in award programmes, believes that what really counts for customers in deciding where to spend their money is what it feels...

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Conference - European Customer Experience World

Conference - European Customer Experience World

The European Customer Experience World conference was held at the Radisson, Heathrow Airport on the 20th and 21st May. The focus was ‘delivering a great customer experience while improving operational performance’. Here are just some of the case studies outlined at the conference…

Why is a clear vision important?

A company’s vision needs to recognise...

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ECEW - Conference 2011

ECEW - Conference 2011

This year’s conference was held at the Sofitel Hotel at Heathrow and, as usual, featured a large array of interesting and varied speakers. This article highlights some of the most interesting speakers who made the strongest points about how to improve business performance through a strong focus on customer experience. Amongst the most enlightening was Anthony Thompson, founder and...

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Complaint Research Data - True or False?

Complaint Research Data - True or False?

On 25th October 1946 at 8.30pm in room H3, the Gibbs Building, King’s College, Cambridge, an emotion-laden, and some say violent, encounter took place between the rival philosophers Popper and Wittgenstein . To this day no one can agree what happened between them in a meeting that lasted just 10 minutes. This is all the more astonishing because the events took place in front of an...

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15th Annual Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty Conference

15th Annual Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty Conference

Wednesday March 12th saw nearly 200 senior managers and customer insight professionals sampling some excellent chocolate chip cookies prior to the start of TLF’s 15th annual Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Conference at The Institution of Civil Engineers’ head office in Westminster. One Great George St is a magnificent Grade II listed, four-domed, Edwardian building. In its...

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TLF Annual Conference - Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

TLF Annual Conference - Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

First up was Linda Wallace from Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP), a major London social landlord, owning and managing more than 8,500 homes in Richmond & Hounslow. The company has 220 staff and an annual turnover of £33m. Housing associations are ‘not for profit’ businesses with a remit to provide affordable quality homes to less advantaged members of society. The...

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Complaint Handling

Complaint Handling

Why are complaints valuable?

It’s a cliché, for good reason, but complaints provide businesses with some real opportunities. For a start, a complaint gives you a chance to see your organisation through the eyes of a customer. By pointing out flaws and weaknesses you are being given a chance to make corrections and improve your performance. By improving performance...

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The Gospel according to Carl (Sewell)

The Gospel according to Carl (Sewell)

When Carl Sewell joined the family firm in 1967 it was third out of three Cadillac dealerships in Dallas. Today it’s the biggest in America, $450million big, and all built on Sewell’s Ten Commandments of Customer Service. His principles work across the full market spectrum from Chevvys to Cadillacs and from Hyundais to Lexuses and will almost certainly apply just as well to...

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ICS Annual Conference 2010

ICS Annual Conference 2010

The green end of a hard winter

ICS annual conference 2010

A new beginning... ...the renaissance of customer service

The economy, predictably enough, was high on the agenda at this year's ICS conference. That didn't mean that it was depressing, with one exception, but it did make you wonder about the "green shoots" featured on the front of the delegate pack. The...

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Tattoo You: Super Loyalty

Tattoo You: Super Loyalty

Ask a Harley-Davidson senior executive what they sell and you'll get the answer. And it's not motorbikes. "We sell to 43-year-old accountants the ability to dress in leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of them," says Harley-Davidson VP John Russell. Harley-Davidson executives love repeating this quote. It first appeared, to our knowledge, in the book Results-Based...

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