Lockdown impacts our ability to stay positive

Whilst ‘Lockdown negatively impacts our ability to stay positive’ might seem like stating the obvious the underlying trends from the insight6 Business Optimism survey are interesting.

Since the second lockdown has been imposed in England, business optimism has fallen by ten percentage points. However, the largest group of leaders within the optimism survey were optimistic, with more than 50% of leaders stating they felt optimistic about the future of the business.

The number of business owners who are sitting on the ‘Optimism fence’ has remained consistent with just under one third describing themselves as unsure about the future. The biggest shift has been in those leaders moving from being optimistic (64% to 54%) to not optimistic (7% to 15%).

So what can we learn from this?

1. Those who are optimistic feel supported in their business by the government interventions such as the furlough scheme and are using this time to prepare for the recovery.

One business leader articulated this perfectly in why they ticked yes to feeling optimistic “The government are providing an element of job security for employees following the announcement of the furlough scheme, we are resilient and adaptable and will find a way through”

As we referred to in our findings from week two if you are in business then asking yourself the question “what can I do?” given all the constraints and barriers to trade is the source of resilience, motivation and ultimately an optimistic outlook. As one of the business leaders described in his reasons for being optimistic, “I feel like businesses are still looking for ways to grow despite the situation.”

2. For those that are not optimistic the prospect of more uncertainty is creating fear for the future and a lack of energy to deal with the constant changes to the circumstances.

One leader summed up why they are not optimistic with “it is hard dealing with the constant changes, I have no trust in the decision-makers and I am tired with it all”

3. Those that are unsure about the future describe lacking the clarity to know what to do next and in this state are focused on the problems more than perhaps the possibilities. “a new lockdown, more uncertainty for many businesses makes it difficult to plan”

To wheel out some of the cliches of our current time – we are where we are and the only thing we can do is to make the best of it and use any time we have to be kind to ourselves, look for the opportunities and build back better.

Using this time to create some clarity for yourself and your business is vital for your wellbeing and motivation by talking with your colleagues, engaging with your team and your customers. instant insight is providing a rich source of leadership insight which we can share with you. What can you share with your community that would benefit not only you and your business but also your customers or clients?

We would love to explore this further with you and share what we have learnt from the benefits of instant insight for our own and our clients’ businesses.

Six Customer Experience tips to protect your business

During these uncertain times the core focus of all leaders is to protect your business by strengthening the relationship with your customers and looking after your accounts.

In this article, we will share six CX tips that we know will protect your business.

1. Identify your top 10%

In order to protect your customers, it is important to identify the ones that financially and futuristically will have the greatest impact on your business over the next two years. Quite often who we think are our top customers, are actually more middle of the table. So if you look at the customer spend over the last 12 months and rank them and then look at which customers can grow the fastest with you and rank them again and then put the two scores together you would have identified your top 10. Depending on the size of your business often the top 10% of customers can equate to more than 30% of your business.

2. What would be the impact if…

Ask yourself the question "what would be the impact on my business if one of my top 10 customers were to leave and move to my competition?" Not only could this be an emotional blow but financially it could be game changing. And then the secondary question to ask is what do I need to do now to prevent that from happening?

3. Are you listening?

It never ceases to amaze how little customer listening goes on within the business world. We conduct a high proportion of business in the professional sector and when we ask our clients about their top 10% and what their customers say when asked how they feel about them, the majority of replies are” we have never done that.” So asking your clients / customers on a regular basis how they are feeling at a current time, is possibly the best investment you could make. It will identify if they are happy and if they are not, what you need to do to put it right. Most of all it makes them feel special you have asked and secures the long-term relationship.

4. How are you listening?

Since the pandemic began we have had an influx of new customers who have required help with listening and how to go about this most crucial of business tools. There are two solutions to this opportunity. The first is to have an ongoing feedback system which asks on regular intervals how the customer is feeling. This system should allow all stakeholders in the company to see that feedback, to benchmark it against your competition and if the feedback is good link it to a review site. Our system is called instant insight and we will be more than happy to demonstrate this to your business.

The second most popular method conducting an in-depth interview with key customers to unearth “the good, the bad the ugly” to help your company strategically plan for 2021.

5. Use the customer experience data to increase revenue and profit

You can’t argue with data. It is what it is and allows you to make a compelling argument in your organisation to the changes required to improve your customer experience. The biggest challenge within organisations is doing something with the data. We often witness lip service being paid to feedback programs where the feedback has been conducted but not a lot has been done with the data. For example, no real tangible actions have been taken following the feedback. Developing a proper plan and involving a CX specialist (here is a link if you need a local one!) you can develop a concrete CX plan for 2021.

6. Measure, measure, measure

The final part is to ensure that you measure the outputs of your 2021 plan. So looking at the customer spend, all your customer experience KPIs, or your churn rate you will see that the new strategy is working and where it will need tweaking. Again, it is important that you have expert help with this, in order to gain an objective view of your business AND the expertise of someone that knows how to interpret the results and take action.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of our CX tips  please get in touch.

How Sussex Beds transformed their customer and employee experience

If there is a lesson on customer experience throughout this pandemic it is the need for businesses to get fast and accurate feedback from their teams and customers. This has allowed business owners to spin on a sixpence and to make the most of new opportunities as they arrive.

We wanted to share with you a great example of how a family business which has been trading for more than 50 years has embraced our instant insight system to grow and build their business at a rapid pace. If you would like any more information about the work in this story please feel free to contact us.

Case Study

 

Sussex Beds is an independent family business, currently operating from 10 branches across Sussex.

Sussex Beds pride themselves on the good reputation they have built on sound principles of providing great products at low prices and also caring customer service.

insight6 works with Sussex Beds to provide CX Reviews (mystery shopping) and training and in May 2020, Sussex Beds started using instant insight, an online solution that makes asking for feedback from your team and customers simple.

How has instant insight helped Sussex Beds understand how customers feel?

We started using instant insight in May initially to gather feedback from our customers who have had beds delivered to them. After a delivery has been made we simply upload our client’s details and instant insight sends them two short questions via an email that is branded with our own choice of text and logo.

Because of the simplicity, we have received a great response from our customers so instant insight has given us a great understanding of how our customers feel about the service and how likely they are to recommend us.

Following this successful launch, we have since also started asking for feedback from our customers who visit us in branch. It is so easy for them to tell us how they feel as all they need to do is select a happy, content or sad face and provide a sentence to explain why they feel that way. It is a simple question but we have received some great feedback from our customers who may not have bothered with a longer, more drawn out survey. We recently received some feedback from a customer who had visited our showroom, for a quotation. Sadly she felt that her experience fell below the standard expected, and because we got her feedback in real time, our store manager was able to address the issue with her and by the end of the call she was happy to proceed with her order. Had we not have received this feedback, I don’t believe this customer would have progressed her order with us.

We have a number of branches across Sussex so it is really beneficial that we can filter the data to view our results separately for each branch, allowing us to spot trends.

What about your team members?

Following a period of closure due to lockdown earlier this year, it was really important to us as a family business that when we reopened our staff felt comfortable and safe while they were at work. instant insight gave us real peace of mind by making it very easy to find out which members of our team did not feel safe and importantly why so we could take action.

The response from our team was brilliant with 87% using the system to tell us how they felt and 95% saying they felt safe while at work.

Where employees have not felt safe, we have been able to learn about this quickly via the realtime notification emails built into the system. We have then been able to speak with the individuals to understand their issues and resolve them for them.

What are your plans for the future with instant insight?

It is important to us that we know how our customers feel at each stage of their journey with us. The next step will be to use instant insight to ask our customers about the products they have purchased. Not only will this give us more great feedback but it will also help us to keep our customers engaged and provide us with an opportunity to incentivise them to refer us to their friends and family.

We plan on using the Public Review Booster within the system to encourage our happy customers to leave us a review to boost our online reputation.