2022: The Year of Customer Experience (CX)

As we start the year with a cautious, but more positive outlook on the pandemic than in January 2021, businesses can start to contemplate a world beyond mass restrictions, lockdowns, and purely virtual interactions. But what will this look like? Will we slot back into pre-pandemic ways? Or has the landscape change forever? 

One thing for certain is that customer expectations have changed. The trend for a more personalised and meaningful experience started pre-pandemic, but what Covid has done is supercharge the acceleration across mass industries. People will increasingly be inclined to seek out brands that make them feel special or provide added emotional connections.  

In a similar vein, businesses can no longer hide poor service behind Covid. Consumers have seen many businesses adapt and flourish through Covid driven alterations - proving it not only possible to deliver the same standard, but in many circumstances, improved services during Covid times.  

Employee experience will also be more influential than ever this year. It’s likely going to be tough with higher levels of staff absence due to isolation periods and your team could feel overwhelmed. As their experience directly translates to your customer experience, treating your team well is vital, including asking regularly how they are doing and then acting on the feedback. 

By putting CX at the top of your Boardroom agenda, you can give your business the best chance of succeeding, and growing, in what we hope will be the year of post-pandemic.  

22 things to consider in 2022… 

1. Numerous studies globally and our own research confirms that those with above average customer experiences outperform others financially.

2. It is time to stop using Covid as an excuse for poor service. It is time to review your customer journey through the customers eyes and deliver a service that represents your business in a way you can be proud of.

3. Understand your customers 'WHY’, this will help drive greater loyalty, lower churn rates and increase revenues, because you’ve provided your customers with what they want, when they need it, and how they expect it.

4. If you don't measure it, you can't improve it.

5. Gathering immediate feedback enables you to be quicker to adjust to your customers’ needs and wants – making informed choices rather than guessing will increase retention.

6. If you don't take care of your customers, someone else will.

7. The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to feel appreciated. Never underestimate how important it is to communicate positively and regularly to your team members and your customers and show your appreciation.

8. Gaining employee feedback is crucial to making sure that your most important customer is listened to, as they are every business’ most valuable asset for creating and delivering the best CX.

9. How your team treat your customers, reflects how you treat your team.

10. It isn't what you say, or often what you do; it is how you make someone feel that they will never forget.

11. How do you keep doing the things that customers love if you don't know what those things are, and how do you fix the things that don't work if you don't know they’re not working? Measuring CX helps shine a light on these blind-spots.

12. All marketplaces are crowded and very few businesses sell anything that is truly unique. Do you know why your customers choose you? Do you know why some of your competitors customers chose them over you? Benchmarking your CX against your competition will answer these questions for you and provide valuable insights into how you can grow your business.

13. Before pouring more water into your bucket, it makes sense to fix any holes at the bottom! What causes your customers to leave you and try your competitors? How many new customers does your business have to get to replace the ones you've lost? Having a great customer retention strategy supports your bottom line and delivers the maximum amount of return on any marketing strategy, adding genuine customer growth and not just customer replacement.

14. Delivering an amazing CX, in 3 words: Product, Process & People. Focus energy, investment & time on each, and you will be a leading player in your sector.

15. Every customer interaction with your business is crucial. When answering a call, replying to an email, or speaking to a customer face to face. If you want to deliver fantastic CX, it's vital the team believe in the business, the leaders, value each other and the customers they deal with each day.

16. It's the simplest of things, like using your manners and having a smile on your face, that make the biggest difference.

17. Does your out of office message represent you well? Always check your spelling, the dates you are away and ensure it has the right tone - as importantly, check it is turned on and off at the right time as that first impression counts!

18. A great customer experience is when it is easy, personalised, memorable and they never have to ask you for anything.

19. Don't invest in a great external marketing campaign that will bring more customers to you, until you have invested in a joined-up customer experience strategy that enables your team to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.

20. Put simply: Your customers may not remember what you said or indeed what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel.

21. You cannot not communicate! Whether you are in regular contact with your customers or rarely interact with them, a message is being sent, loud and clear! Take time to review your communications.

22. Ask for feedback.*77% of customers favour businesses that request feedback (*Microsoft Global State of Customer Service 2015) 

Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn

Customers Value Great CX More Than Discounts

Sale signs on a black background

Be Brave: Boycott Black Friday

The traditional ‘Boxing Day’ sales that once dominated the high street have well and truly been outshone by Black Friday in recent years, but has it now had its day?

The key difference that sets Black Friday apart from other discounting windows is that it seems to have breached the confines of retail, and brought everything from the service industry to hospitality along for the ride – a phenomenon that could do more damage than good for these businesses.

Sure, everyone enjoys getting a good deal on a purchase, but not at the expense of customer experience (CX). 52% of 1,000 people surveyed recently said they would happily pay more for better service – in fact, one in four customers said they would pay 10% more across all industries if they knew they would receive excellent service. 

Discounting makes sense when there is a genuine reason – end of line, or out of season stock, last minute holidays that need to be sold etc. But blanket discounting, especially on services or experiences, in a short window, could lead to a CX disaster and reputational damage for your business. 

So here are my 6 reasons to boycott Black Friday and instead focus on great CX:

  1. Sales psychology – ‘buy this amazing product at a discounted price for today only’. Customers are becoming wary of businesses that discount in this way. Research by Which? showed an astonishing 99.5% of products to be the same price or cheaper than Black Friday at other points in the year. If customers no longer trust what a company is telling them, it’s a sure-fire way to lose their loyalty.

  2. Timing – Customers value doing things on their terms more than ever. In the 24/7 world that we now live in, funneling customers into making purchases at times dictated by businesses is not providing good CX. A competitor offering excellent year-round CX may have secured all your potential sales before Black Friday even arrives.

  3. Disruption and delays – an influx of business is what all business owners dream of, but if you’re not prepared for it, it can be a poisoned chalice. Slow websites, longer dispatch or delivery times, a less personalised service and poor execution can all result in bad experience.

  4. Stressed staff – employees across retail and other industries describe the Black Friday period as ‘hell’, with reports of abuse by shoppers and ‘vile’ working conditions. It goes without saying that the experience of your staff should be as important as that of your customers as stressed staff can’t deliver great CX.

  5. De-valuing the brand – consumers assume that even at discounted prices, the business is still making a profit, therefore believing your regular price is stretching the true value and may not purchase at full price in the future.

  6. Reputational damage – it only takes one small thing to go wrong during a busy period (point 3) - when your staff aren’t able to perform at their best (point 4), or your customers are not enjoying a good experience (points 1 & 2) - to cause a huge reputational impact and lose a customer forever. When, if the same issue happened during a ‘normal business’ day, the handling and outcome would likely be very different. 

So, my parting words of wisdom; think before you discount. Will your customers actually value it? Can you maintain great CX? Will it detract from your brand? And finally, is it worth it? 

In my experience, the best way to improve your bottom line consistently is to carefully map your customer journey and deliver the best CX day in, day out.

Jonathan Winchester is a customer experience entrepreneur, speaker and business leader. He is the Founder and Chief Executive of insight6. For more information on how to improve your customer experience, visit www.insight6.com. Request to connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn.

Why Customer Experience Is Everything: Your Ultimate Guide to CX

Customer experience (CX) is the new battleground for business. The value of service and the importance of making a human connection with customers has rarely been starker.  

If you want to survive and thrive in a competitive market, then focusing on your CX is essential. But, to do that, you need to understand exactly what CX is.  

We believe CX is everything. So, we have put together your ultimate guide to CX to give you the information and tools you need to delight customers and boost profits.  

What is customer experience? 

Customer experience can be defined as the impression and overall experience a customer goes through when presented and experiencing your service. Essentially, CX is a customer’s perception of your organisation based on their exposure to it. 

We can all think of positive and negative experiences we have had as customers. Good or bad, these interactions shape our opinions of brands, products, and services we interact with.  

Delivering a positive customer experience will make your customer(s) happy but also increases the likelihood they will return, remain loyal or recommend you to others. Crucially for businesses, this positively impacts the bottom-line. 

Customer experience versus customer service 

Customer experience and customer service are not the same thing, although they are inextricably linked. 

Customer experience encapsulates the customer’s entire buying journey, which includes customer service. CX is not a ‘one-time’ interaction, it covers all the touchpoints through a customer’s journey not just at the point of sale. 

Customer service is a branch of the overall customer experience. Simply, put customer service can be defined as the assistance and advice provided by the representative of the company to the consumer. 

Why does customer experience matter? 

Winning over customers is about more than clinching a one-off sale. It is about winning their loyalty and their trust for a lifetime.  

Providing a great CX is key to making your business different and gaining an edge over the competition.

The client journey is the path to sales, which is why CX is essential. 

 How can customer experience create a differentiation for a brand? 

CX is fast becoming the main reason a potential customer chooses your business, yet our research shows 80% of companies say they deliver ‘superior’ customer service while only 8% of customers thought the same about those companies – how would your customers rate your brand? 

A positive CX is critical to the three brand success factors: 

  • Brand trust - confidently knowing what you can expect. 
  • Brand value – the brand’s value exceeds the cost. 
  • Brand loyalty - strongly associating the brand as part of your identity.  

Improving your customer experience is the surest way to retain loyalty, reduce cost and increase profits.  

How does customer experience drive business growth? 

The cost of gaining a new customer is five times the cost of retaining an existing one and the value of existing customers to profits cannot be overestimated. 

The holy grail is to create an experience that makes your customers want to return. 

Not only do repeat customers deliver more top-line revenue, they cost nothing to acquire so a greater proportion of that revenue finds its way to the bottom-line. Typically, a 5% improvement in customer retention typically leads to a 25% increase in profits. 

Here are five benefits of improving CX: 

  • Drive revenue and customer lifetime value 
  • Increase brand value 
  • Boost customer loyalty and advocacy 
  • Keep close to customers and changing behaviours 
  • Reduce costs and invest in the right things 

How can customer experience be improved? 

The first step to improving CX is to know where you are starting from otherwise you are never going to know if you have made progress or not. 

At insight6, we provide six services to encapsulate the best possible CX: 

  1. Customer experience reviews
  2. Training and development
  3. Customer journey mapping
  4. Online feedback
  5. Focus and listening groups
  6. Mentoring and coaching 

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

Read our six CX tips that we know will protect your business. 

How do you measure or track customer experience? 

The success of your business is reflected in the satisfaction of your customers. 

One headline metric for CX measurement is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). This well-established and widely used system is a customer loyalty measurement taken by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your business to others. 

The problem with NPS can be about timing - questions like these are not always applicable to the customer at the point in their journey that they receive them. 

You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Here are some other metrics you can use to measure customer experience: 

  • Average resolution time 
  • Customer churn 
  • Exceptional moments 
  • Customer effort score (CES) 

Some firms are tempted to believe they assess and improve their CX all by themselves, but an accurate view can only be achieved by third party independent assessment. 

Insight6 provides a six-stage model that brings a focus on your firm’s CX strategy, identifying issues, challenges, and opportunities, working with your firm to develop new strategies and, of course, analysing progress, this all leads to a better CX. 

What is a customer journey map? 

Your customer’s journey, from the starting point when they make the decision to reach out to your business right up to the resolution of the matter, is trackable. 

Through ‘journey mapping’ you can create a visual representation of your average customer’s interaction with your business, and pinpoint the various trials, delights, and frustrations they face. 

A good customer journey map is a true reflection of the customer, not a painting of the ideal one.  

Who owns the customer experience? 

The CX is not “owned” by one person or a single department, it should be an organisation-wide effort. 

Behind poor CX there can lie underlying problems in a firm’s culture, such as short-term targets, or staff who are incentivised to make quick sales without regard for long-term sustainability of the business. This may create a vicious circle because the customer journey can have an impact on employees’ job satisfaction. 

CX is not the responsibility of a few, it needs to be embedded throughout your organisation.  

How do employees impact the customer experience? 

Your employees play a pivotal role in delivering your product or service. Disengaged staff do not go the extra mile for your customers. 

Creating a great working culture within your business ensures your team can provide the best experience for your customers and clients. The one simple (but essential) thing leaders can do to improve employee engagement is regularly check in on staff wellbeing. 

A total feedback solution like instant insight can analyse the feedback from your team and customers. A good leader is prepared to ask questions they may not like the answers to 

Our dedicated team of CX Directors have a wealth of business experience, as well as an understanding of CX which is second to none. Partnering with us will ensure that your CX strategy will align with your vision for the business. Get in touch today with any enquiries or to discover how insight6 can help transform your CX. 

Joe Betts is a customer experience partner at insight6, supporting the brand’s local Customer Experience Directors to enable them to deliver more profit to business owners through better customer experiences. Connect on LinkedIn or follow @insight6 on Twitter. 

A good leader is prepared to ask questions they may not like the answers to

To truly improve employee engagement and wellbeing, every leader must do three basic things: ask, accept, action. 

Ask 

You'd be amazed at the number of leaders I have worked with over the years who come to me with an employee engagement problem, only to find they haven't asked their staff how they are feeling or if there is anything that they need to improve their ability to do their job. 

More worryingly, some come to me to solve a problem, utterly oblivious that they have an employee engagement issue fuelling that very problem. It's not that they don't care, quite the opposite, but it demonstrates a disconnect between management and employees.

The one simple (but essential) thing leaders can do to improve employee engagement is regularly check in on staff wellbeing. Allowing employees to have their voice heard in a regular, official capacity can instantly enhance engagement; there are, of course, caveats!  

Keep wellbeing surveys quick, simple, and convenient – pick a day and time you know employees are more likely to fill it in. Importantly, employees must feel 'safe' to respond openly and honestly to avoid false and potentially misleading results. 

Accept 

Wellbeing in the workplace is a serious matter, and staff need to know that your business and its management genuinely care; this is not a tick-box exercise but something you should embed. Implement a regular feedback solution that analyses responses from your team and provides you with actionable comments to help transform your business.

Understandably, you might be nervous about responses. However, without unequivocally honest insight, you can't acknowledge, accept, or crucially take action to rectify or improve potential issues. Rebuffing or counterarguing responses sends a message that you are not listening, and a 'what's the point' attitude will develop.

Set a monthly employee engagement KPI to track over time to quickly spot and react to trends – not only by the positive or negative scores but also by the response rate. If only a tiny percentage of people even answer the questions, it indicates a disengaged team. 

Action 

You must act on feedback! 

I am not saying give employees everything they request or suggest you make massive business changes to make a few people happier but prove you have listened, probe further and ask 'why'. 

Mapping out the employee response journey is critical. If a response is positive, the action can be an automated yet personal email thanking them for participating. If a negative response is received, there should be an appropriate action plan that follows.  

Depending on the level of question and how potentially harmful the response is, this could be a red flag to a line manager to check in with this person or to follow up and dig deeper into any issues raised. Never follow up in an accusatory way; the aim here is to understand and work out a way to improve. Many negative scores have 'quick win' solutions, such as frustrations with technology or access to information. However, it can be trickier to identify the root cause of a personal grievance or behaviour issue.

My parting words of wisdom? Always follow up.  

Did offering the chance to be heard make a positive change? Have the plans put in place resolved problems? You won't always solve every niggle or concern. Still, by asking questions, actively listening, accepting feedback, and acting accordingly, you will find that employee engagement increases, and wellbeing scores improve.

Jonathan Winchester is a customer experience entrepreneur, speaker and business leader. He is the Founder and Chief Executive of insight6. For more information on how to improve your customer experience, visit www.insight6.com. Request to connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn.

One Simple (But Essential) Thing Leaders Can Do To Improve Employee Engagement

Source: Brooke Cagle via Unsplash

Your people are your company’s most important asset. Cheerful employees are likely to be more productive, but employee engagement is complex - where do you start?

Engaging your team is critical to business success. The holy grail is to have employees who are excited to come to work each day. To achieve this, they need to do what they do best, feel connected to their coworkers, and be motivated by their organisation’s purpose.

Creating a great working culture within your business ensures your team can provide the best experience for your customers and clients. Easier said than done, right?

Workplace culture is part of everything an organisation says and does, making it difficult to transform even when necessary. 

The one simple (but essential) thing leaders can do to improve employee engagement is regularly check in on staff wellbeing

Here we look at employee engagement in more detail and share our insights to help you measure the wellbeing of your staff.

What is employee engagement?

There’s no common understanding of employee engagement. Academic literature describes it as a psychological state experienced by employees. 

Work engagement is a ‘state of mind’, suggests a group of occupational psychologists at Utrecht University. Rather than being burnt out, employees show: 

  • Vigour (energy, resilience and effort).
  • Dedication (enthusiasm, creativity and pride).
  • Absorption (concentration, engrossment in one’s work).

The CIPD says it is separate from job quality, employee behaviour or management action.

How is employee engagement different from employee satisfaction?

Engaged employees are stimulated to show up to work every day and do their best. Whereas satisfied employees may enjoy their job, but it does not necessarily mean they are engaged.

Why is employee engagement critical?

The Covid-19 pandemic brought about a considerable shift in the way we work. More team members than ever are working remotely. Worry, stress, anger and sadness increased for employees, according to Gallup

You must know how your team feels, whether at home or in the office, to address any issues before they start costing your business.


Foresight and agility are even more business-critical in a post-pandemic recovery. Almost 18 months later, Covid-19 cannot be an excuse for poor service.

What are the drivers of employee engagement?

Research shows that committed employees perform better. 

The most vital driver of all is a sense of feeling valued and involved. The Institute for Employment Studies highlights several critical components for achieving this:

  • Involvement in decision-making
  • The extent to which employees feel able to voice their ideas, and managers listen to these views and value employees’ contributions.
  • The opportunities employees have to develop their jobs.
  • The extent to which the organisation is concerned for employees’ health and wellbeing. 

How do better-engaged employees drive business performance?

Worryingly, Gallup states 80% of the global workforce disengaged at work. It estimates that the cost of disengagement to the worldwide economy is US$8.1 trillion!

Highly engaged employees are more present and productive. Gallup’s most recent meta-analysis backs this up -- a study of many studies -- on team engagement and performance, the benefits of employee engagement were clear:

  • 81% lower absenteeism
  • 23% higher profitability
  • 18% higher productivity (sales)
  • 28% less shrinkage (theft)
  • 64% fewer safety incidents 
  • 58% fewer patient safety incidents
  • 18% less turnover (in high-turnover organisations)
  • 43% less turnover (in low-turnover organisations)
  • 41% fewer quality defects
  • 10% higher customer loyalty/engagement

Why should companies invest in employee engagement?

The Harvard Business Review reports that companies that invest in employee experience outperform those that don’t.

According to research from PWC, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Plus, the more expensive the item, the more they are willing to pay!

Investing in employee engagement shouldn’t be seen as a time or cost investment, but rather a saving, as evidence by the benefits of employee engagement previously.

As a customer experience business, we have seen first-hand how employee engagement affects interaction with customers and how that impacts the brand for better or worse. Improving your customer experience is the surest way to retain loyalty, reduce cost and increase profits. 

How do employees impact the customer experience?

Your employees play a pivotal role in delivering your product or service.

Historical research shows that 80% of companies say they deliver ‘superior’ customer service. Yet, only 8% of customers of those companies thought the same.

Disengaged staff do not go the extra mile for your customers.

How are your staff performing in a world where the customer experience is fast becoming the main reason a potential customer chooses your business?

How can I improve employee engagement? 

It’s clear that employee engagement is not a “nice to have”—it’s a serious competitive differentiator. What’s more - all employers have a duty of care to their employees to ask and understand how they’re truly feeling and why.

In the current climate, the working environment is constantly changing and challenging to predict. It’s essential to know the impact it’s having on your staff. 

You need access to fast, actionable feedback from your team that makes them feel highly motivated, engaged and respected. 

How do you measure or track employee engagement?

The most common way to measure engagement is using surveys, but once a year is not enough. Ideally, it would help if you had a constant pulse on how your team is feeling.


A total feedback solution like instant insight can analyse the feedback from your team and customers. What’s more, the system will enable you to benchmark your business against others within your sector, helping you to achieve a world-class customer AND employee experience.

But obtaining feedback is only the first step. 

You need to know how to interpret the data and, most importantly, take steps to up your game and profits. If you would like to hear more, we are here for you. We’re the only CX specialists in the UK and Ireland, with 25 experts across the country.  

Three employee engagement questions companies should ask.

At insight6, we have transformed hundreds of businesses, helping to improve their customer experience. We know that leaders can do one simple (but essential) thing to enhance employee engagement: regularly check in on staff wellbeing. 

Below we share three of the six survey questions 1000s of companies are asking their employees.

1) On a scale of 1 to 10, how motivated do you feel?

Remember to always follow up with “why”. It’s a simple but vital question to ask regularly, especially to teams working from home, to gauge their motivation levels.

2) How are you feeling right now?

It’s a powerful, easy-to-answer question you should be asking your team every day. Respondents click one of the three emoticon faces to answer. These faces represent whether they’re feeling happy, content or sad. Don’t forget to follow this question up with “why”?

3) How confident do you feel about the future?

Send this sentiment survey fortnightly or monthly to promote honesty and transparency in the workplace and quash any nasty rumours early. It is a crucial tracking measurement for long term strategic planning. Set targets and work towards them.

Mel Evans

Mel Evans is a customer experience specialist at insight6, delivering more profit to business owners through better customer experiences. Connect on LinkedIn or follow @insight6CX on Twitter.

Image Source: Brooke Cagle via Unsplash

Is Covid still an excuse for a poor customer experience?

In March last year when the pandemic hit it was quite understandable that service levels would fall while businesses re-adjusted and managed to establish teams working from remote locations. Naturally wait times may be longer, processes a little unclear and general sharpness of business becomes a little blurred. In fact, three quarters of customers expected it.

However, many major brands are still using Covid as their reasons for service not being what it was.  Can this be justified when their income may well be the same or, in some cases, even higher than pre-pandemic?

Let’s take Sky. Subscriptions would have only gone up, production costs down and, yet, you try speaking to one of their team…without screaming at the phone. You are hit with wave after wave of automated messaging directing you to the website. Their webchat is not much better and finding the answer to a question on their website is agony in itself.

Why are we so forgiving? I still pay my subscription.

All of the evidence, from our own feedback and measurement, indicates that the three biggest customer frustrations have been:

1. Poor response times, both over the phone and via digital channels
2. Unavailability of stock
3. Delays to delivery times

Let’s take each point in turn…

Poor response times….

In a poll of 2,000 consumers by Consumer Intelligence it was revealed that broadband providers are delivering the worst in response times:

  • 7% said they had to wait more than an hour to get through by phone
  • 40% said they were put on hold for more than 20 minutes
  • Average wait time to speak with mortgage providers is 18 minutes
  • 1 in 5 Britons says accessing their bank has been hard during lockdown

In an attempt to shorten the response time, customers are pushed to the website, which many find patronising.

Poor response times with pickups have also been common. Ikea delivered a bed to a customer that showed up damaged. When the customer contacted IKEA for a refund they were told that due to Covid IKEA would not be able to pick it up for one month. They would also not be able to provide a refund for that customer until the bed had been collected. So they were quick to deliver and take the money but slow at handing it back.

Another example was Currys. In June, a Customer ordered and paid for a new fridge. After paying, Currys then called to tell the customer that the fridge would not be in stock until September. The customer could not wait this long and so asked for the order to be cancelled. Currys agreed but a refund still had not come through a few weeks later.

The customer tried calling Currys several times but could not get through, waiting more than 40 minutes on hold on several occasions. The customer then tried emailing but received an auto-response stating that Currys are not accepting emails due to Covid.

Such examples are easy to find but surely now firms need to:

Change the messaging. If they have not sorted out their customer journey maps over 12 months then do they deserve loyalty?  Just be honest, as the Covid excuse is wearing a little thin.

Respect the fact some customers may want to talk. Loyalty is created through relationships, not necessarily “clicks in a jungle”; or in other words, being sent to the corporate website. Unless of course you make it so very simple and user friendly.  The continual cutting of people out of a business diminishes their USP and with terrific remote technology that is very affordable and a lot of people looking for work, I would have thought the two could make some big brands flourish again.

Take a leaf out of the books of those that do it well. Amazon’s ease of use is astonishing. Two clicks and it’s being delivered. Now I am sure they have had issues too, but if that is now the norm (and judging by their share price it probably is) that’s the benchmark all firms need to aspire to. Jeff Bezos was speaking about astonishing customer service 25 years ago. The key is to make it seamless and with as little effort as possible on the part of the customer.

Gather better feedback data that really reflects the experience. As customers, we only ever get asked how our experience was after the transaction has finished. Of course, in the majority of cases, the customer has had any issue they had resolved. But what about the customers who can’t get through, or can’t find what they want on the website or are on hold for hours? How are firms focussing on how those customers might feel? How are they going to reward them for their time and patience? More importantly, how are they then communicating back when messages are left?

As we move out of our current state let us see which major brands move with the times and offer a very different experience, rather than leaning on the excuses of the past.

If you need some help, we are here for you. Please contact us here for a discussion with your local Customer Experience Specialist.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get …

If there has been one lesson from 2020 in our world of CX, it is that fast, short and instant feedback which get straight to the heart of an issue will now dominate the market research scene.

Prior to 2020, many businesses never sought feedback of any kind from their team or customers. Those that did would often run periodic lengthy surveys which normally resulted in it becoming a “tick box” exercise and due to the duration of the survey and the amount of information gathered, very little meaningful action ever took place. By the time action was taken things had moved on.

2020 changed everything.

At insight6 we noticed a big change since April last year; firms desperately needed instant feedback which could focus on just one or two core issues. This approach allowed them, within hours, to see how their teams or customers felt about critical issues.  A good example of this is well-being. Many of our customers were keen to know how their teams were feeling during the lockdown, so they could care and put in place positive change.

We can cite many examples where teams didn’t feel they had the right PPE, they felt communication was poor or they did not have the right kit at home to do their job properly. Within hours of receiving this feedback, corrective action was taken by firms and as a result staff morale increased.

There is one piece of data that stands out for me. Working with one of our clients, we sent an instant insight question to 750 team members.  Within 24 hours we identified that 9% of the whole team felt that their wellbeing was not in a positive place.

Using instant insight, the 9% were then asked what the firm could do to help improve their well-being. When the same survey was sent out a week later the 9% had dropped to 3%.

The old motto “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” has never been truer than today. If you’re not asking your teams or customers how they are feeling, how can you help them?  More importantly, if you’re not asking your team or customers how they are feeling, what does that say about you and your brand as far as empathy, caring and support is concerned?

But there are more great benefits in using a system such as our instant insight. The system allows you to:

  • Link to review platforms such as Google, TripAdvisor or Glassdoor where positive feedback can be very easily posted;
  • Benchmark the responses you receive across your business and within your sector;
  • Have multiple surveys reaching all of your different customer groups, from your team to your suppliers and, of course, your paying customers;
  • Notify you when there is an issue that needs attention.

So, if 2021 is going to be the year that you join the instant insight revolution, give us a call and we can guide you and make it really easy.

Please click here to view a short introductory piece and book a demonstration.

December Newsletter – Six CX tips to grow your business

Taking stock of your business at the end of the year is always a good idea. You can take forward what has been good from one year to the next and leave behind the not so good.  This year is no different to all the other years, despite all the upheaval of the pandemic. The single most important thing is to be realistic about where you are now and not harking back to 12 months ago.  Establishing a starting point is the only way to feel motivated and generate the energy needed to build and grow the business for 2021.

So, with that in mind here are our insight6 top tips to grow your business through a focused plan on customer experience for 2021.

1. Know your customers and their current needs

Getting to know who your customers are and what they want from you is vital for any business.  The impact of the pandemic has affected us all in different ways. From being made redundant to being extremely fearful of going out.  There are some customers that have saved money from not travelling and going out or customers who are enormously busy with booming online retail businesses.  Whatever the impact you need to understand how the pandemic has affected your customers and the relationship that they have with you!

Understanding your customers and having clarity on what they need right now is fundamental for you to grow your business.

 

2. Align the customer experience programme with your business strategy

When you have decided on your business strategy the next step is to tie in your processes to make sure your plans can be achieved. A good plan involves implementing measurement tools that will assess how and what you are doing.  For example, if your business strategy is moving from high street retail to online - the existing customer experience programme will need to change.  In a nutshell if you are trying to grow your business by selling more online, then make sure you have created a programme that identifies and measures each stage of the online buying journey and do not confine yourself to feedback on your website.

3. Find out what is stopping your customers buying from you

Do you have the answers to why someone that looks exactly like your perfect customer is not shopping with you or buying your service?  Do you know why customers who have always bought from you are now buying from your competitors?  There is always rich insight to be gained by asking the question why, to both lapsed customers (have not come back) or those that have never been a customer in the past.  It is straight-forward to recruit people that meet the profile of your ideal customer or contact your lapsed customers to find out why they have not been a recent customer. You just need to find the time, write the questions and do it!

4. Calculate your conversion rates from the initial enquiry to a sale and identify why and where they are dropping out of the customer journey

There are so many moments along the customer journey before the customer decides to purchase.  Each moment leads to three options. Yes, no or I can’t decide. In most businesses we can measure how many customers start the process and how many say yes and ‘convert’.  For example, if you have a shop you may have counters at the door that measure how many people enter the shop. At the end of the day, you can read the till transactions to work out your conversion rate.  Equally, if you are a law firm, you can collect all the new enquiries on your CRM system and monitor how many convert to clients.  Measuring conversion is so incredibly helpful for all businesses because it provides you with the opportunity to grow your business NOT by finding lots of new customers, but successfully converting the ones that have found you.

5. Make sure you have the right tools to do the measurement

There are varied methods to measure customer experience from focus groups to online surveys.  By understanding who your customers are and what data you need is the first step in identifying the best approach. If you want quantitative data, then investing in a survey platform that will gather all the data you need is fundamental, but do you need to do cross tabulations or have an automatic reporting system?  If your customers are Generation Z then a postal survey would not work, but if your customer base is a generation that are not digital natives then this might be appropriate.  Using the right tool to fit the job will always save time, energy and money.

6. Get objective analysis

It is always tempting to diagnose business problems or issues on your own to save time and money. Two precious commodities! However, we probably all know only too well that seeking advice from a third party is actually hugely beneficial. Not only does it provide fresh insights, but you are gathering really useful and actionable ideas and solutions from a third party expert.
If we can help with any of the above or you would like to discuss how you implement the six steps into your CX strategy for 2021 we would love to hear from you.

Join us in counting the 12 days of CXmas. Visit the page on our website and follow us on LinkedIn for a new CX Tip every day

Merry Christmas from us all at insight6

The Student Applicant Journey

Do you want to increase your applicant conversion rate?

insight6 has completed a comprehensive study to understand how potential students feel when applying to UK colleges and universities. 

The study was developed to understand how effectively online applications, interviews and virtual events are handled so that we could identify what goes well, best practice and areas that can be improved. The finished report is possibly one of the most comprehensive studies on the applicant experience ever undertaken by an external customer experience research organisation. 

Inside the report, you will find our top tips on all the key touchpoints along the applicant journey from the initial browse of the website through to the final offer and virtual event. 

Some of our key findings were: 

  • 14% of applicants received no acknowledgement that their application had been received 
  • Only 22% felt they had been given sufficient information to help them prepare for their interview 
  • 36% felt that entering their qualifications in the online application was not easy to complete

Each of these touchpoints is crucial in forming an important relationship and building the potential student’s trust in your college/university. 

If you would like to understand how your applicants feel when they apply to your establishment and how you can convert more enquiries and applications, then please reach out for a conversation about how insight6 can support you to achieve that.

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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.