Dunvegan Blog

Is Your Voice of the Customer Program Being "Gamed"?

How often have you heard, “When you get the survey, be sure to give me a 10.”? Or, “If there is anything that would prevent you from giving me a 10, please tell me and I will fix it.”? When employees endeavor to boost their satisfaction or NPS® ratings by pressuring the customer, you will not get an accurate read on the strength of the bond between your company and your customers.

This is the risk you face when deploying Voice of the Customer programs that utilize 0-10 rating scales and single question measures. We have seen it happen in companies with the best of intentions and more frequently in companies that attach some portion of compensation to ratings or scores based on customer feedback.

To counteract the risk of inaccurate measures, The Dunvegan Group has adopted two practices:

  • Use of semantic scales (e.g., words) rather than numeric scales (e.g., 0-10), and
  • Use of a composite measure (e.g., multiple factors) to evaluate the likelihood of customer retention/defection.

Through rigorous research, across multiple B2B categories, The Dunvegan Group has identified three critical factors indicative of customer retention/defection, and a method to avoid the potential for internal personnel to game the system.

Service Excellence: Customers expect to experience a high level of service excellence when dealing with B2B Enterprise companies.

At the highest level, customers intend to continue to do business with your company AND they are willing to recommend your company when asked.

Providing your customers with service excellence in doing business with your company, and an experience worthy of recommending your company when asked, is first factor in retaining customers; however, it may not be sufficient to keep your customers coming back.

Pain Tolerance: Change occurs when the pain of the situation is greater than the pain of making a change.

Your customers will tolerate a degree of poor service as long as the pain of making a change exceeds the pain of putting up with the situation.

This is the second factor in retaining customers and the first hurdle for customers who are receiving less than excellent service. It gives your company an opportunity to remedy the situation and rescue the business before the customer defects.

Competitive Choices: Change occurs when there is something more appealing than the current situation.

This is the third factor in customer retention and the second hurdle for customers who are receiving less than excellent service. When customers perceive that there are no better options, despite experiencing poor service and a high degree of pain, they will not switch.

When your customers perceive that your competitors offer goods and service that are at least as good/better than what you deliver, customers may switch despite experiencing a high level of service excellence.

By measuring these three factors, using a non-gameable method, The Dunvegan Group’s programs identify the strength of the bond between your company and your customers. You will see which individual customer contacts are strongly bound to your company, which ones are at risk of defection and everything in between.

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