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  1 Jessica Bledsoe  Research & Analytics Software Leader Follow     Stop Measuring Customer Satisfaction Oct 23 2014 I recently worked with a company trying to fix their high customer attrition rate with annual customer   satisfaction surveys. The survey project was successful. Fixing the attrition rate was not. But why? The company measured satisfaction, and the numbers said customers were not satisfied. To raise the numbers, the company formulated and implemented action plans. Sounds like a solid plan, right? The problem: the company was measuring how  their customers felt, but not why they felt that way. They knew  perception of their services was low, but couldn’t figure out why.  The account teams were earnest in their actions to attempt to solve the issues, but the actions were misguided  because the surveys failed to ask the customer: What are we doing wrong or right?  The team was assuming root causes based only on customer satisfaction numbers and their own best guesses about what, exactly, was causing those numbers. Measuring Satisfaction is Not Enough ―Satisfaction‖ (including   NPS) tells you if they like you. It gives you a thumbs up or thumbs down.  2 It doesn't, in my opinion, accurately tell you what it’s like to be your customer (the customer journey). It also doesn't necessarily help you retain customers because it leaves a host of questions unanswered. What will the customer care about when considering a renewal? What will drive their perception of value and ROI? A score can’t tell you either.  Customer experience analysis is ultimately about renewals.To really retain those renewal dollars, you need to do it differently.  Now, let me be clear: if you are not measuring your customer’s satisfaction, stop reading this post and do it now. It’s that important.   I’m not really advocating doing away with customer satisfaction numbers. I’m advocating changing what is measured and how. Start Measuring the Journey: Next Page -  3  4 Instead, start measuring and analyzing the customer’s  experience. Customer experience analysis is different   from customer satisfaction because it helps you walk the same path as your customer. At Primary Intelligence,    we’ve found a three -pronged approach works best. 1.   Feedback     –    Figure out what the customer thinks and why. I’d recommend conducting interviews using  both quantitative (scale, ranking, binary, etc.) and qualitative (open-ended) questions. Create a formal discussion guide to create consistency and a focused discussion, but don’t be shy about going off script to  probe for details. Figure out what will be driving a renewal decision and the overall perception of value. 2.   Debrief     –   Although the customer has filled in the gaps on what they are feeling and why, your account team needs to round out the view. Ask everyone involved with the account to review the interview feedback and then schedule a debrief session. Focus the session on what the team is doing  –   good or bad  –   to drive those perceptions and what will likely drive a renewal decision. (Get more tips on debrief sessions in this webinar .) 3.   Act    –   As you end the debrief and move into planning mode, identify specific actions the team can take to resolve concerns and emphasize value. Also don’t neglect identifying growth opportunities and how you’ll act on those. Ultimately determine w hat you want the customer to say during the next feedback session. The When Matters Too And while you’re at it, adjust   when  you measure. Reaching out to all customers at the same time each year doesn't do your account teams any favors. They need feedback throughout the customer’s journey, so map the feedback timeline to that journey. No time is more important than 3 to 6 months prior to a renewal event. Give the team enough time to shore up weaknesses and plant seeds for growth opportunities. Remember: your customers are future buyers. Stop asking if they’re satisfied. Instead figure out how to guarantee a renewal.

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