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.

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.

Business optimism is a state of mind

The instant insight Business Optimism survey was launched at the beginning of the month and we have had over 70 businesses participate.

Designed as a barometer of how business leaders are feeling we asked one simple question: ‘Based on the experiences of the last two weeks how optimistic do you feel about the future of the business?’ and asked why they felt that way.

The instant insight survey took less than a minute to complete and we have gathered rich and detailed insights that we are able to share with you today which we hope will benefit you as a leader:

Six out of Ten leaders feel optimistic about the future of their business

57% feel optimistic about the future of their business and 10% do not. One third were unsure how they feel. When looking at the reasons for the ‘optimism’ rating it is not conclusive that optimism is linked to performance.

In a nutshell:

  • Optimism does not appear to be linked to what Covid Tier you are located
  • Optimism is not linked to the sector that you are in
  • Optimism is linked to how you perceive the opportunities in your sector, your
    location and not your circumstances

“With disruption comes opportunity.”

“The best opportunities appear in times of stress and upheaval.”

Whilst some businesses are thriving during this time some are seeing the opportunity to work on their businesses, take time to reflect and think about how they can re-engineer their businesses to be ready for the transition to recovery.

For those that are unsure, the reasons are grounding in overwhelming uncertainty and worry for the future “These are difficult times with uncertainty over how covid will develop, potential further lockdowns and economy not growing as predicted.”

Staying focused on what is possible and what you can do appears to be the most common observable conclusion on staying optimistic. Whilst uncertainty remains as we have no idea how long Covid will impact on our ability to recover and what the impact of Brexit will be on the economy the only choice is how to respond. Do you focus on all the problems and barriers or do you look at what and where are the opportunities?

One thing for sure is that mental resilience is vital for leaders but the ability to be optimistic is a chicken and egg situation – what happens first, optimism and then seeing opportunities or your circumstances change and then you feel optimism?

It is clear from the findings that the former is true but we often mistakenly believe our wellbeing is wrapped up in success and not in the enthusiastic quest of new opportunities. Perhaps the only way to survive the pandemic is to explore all the possibilities and what you can do.

We have developed instant insight, a solution to help businesses gather feedback and interpret the results. In response to the pandemic, businesses have used instant insight to ensure team members feel safe at work, keep remote team members feeling engaged and motivated, and keep up with the changing needs of customers.

Find out more about how instant insight can help your business here and if you would like to join the business optimism survey please do let us know and we will continue to share the latest results as they emerge.