Why it Pays to Listen to Your Customers

At Forum Group, we believe that getting feedback from our customers is vitally important, as this enables us to improve our relationship with them and enhance the customer experience we offer. We know how important this is – 82% of customers in a recent international survey said they would switch products or service providers after having a bad experience.

However, people often get frustrated with giving feedback as – more often than not – nothing gets done with it. For example, how often have you filled in a survey, only to hear nothing back from the company you gave your precious time to?

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We believe that listening to customers isn’t just about hearing their problems. It’s about choosing to actively connect with them, understand their needs and then do something about it. That’s how we do it here at Forum Group. As a result, we’ve found that our customers love to give us their feedback because they know they are being listened to.

But we don’t just do it for our customers. Forbes says listening to customer feedback is the fuel for customer retention, employee fulfilment and the growth of a company.

Open and Honest Feedback

To make sure we have the best processes possible to gather and understand our customer feedback, we have partnered with MirrorWave. Their powerful relationship feedback system helps us understand our relationships with our customers and how we can continually improve them. But, it’s customer feedback with a twist!

Unlike most customer surveys, where you get a series of comments that can’t be traced back to the person who gave them, the feedback we receive is attributable. This means we are able to directly interact with our customers based on what they’re saying to us and about us.

So, we can act on what they are saying, including fixing problems, uncovering additional opportunities to add value, or simply thanking them for giving us great scores when we’re doing a good job. Importantly, though, we do something with the feedback. Here’s how we go about it and how you can gain insights from what we’ve learned.

Forum Group Customer Feedback Loop

1. Invitation

Customers are invited to become a feedback family member and participate in our bi-annual feedback programme – named ‘Let’s Talk’ – powered by MirrorWave. Invitations are made in person or over the phone, giving the programme a personal touch.

2. Feedback collection

Twice a year they receive an email asking them to participate in our Wave, or survey, and answer three questions.

  • They’re asked to consider their relationship with Forum and how would they rate us on a scale of 1 to 10. It reminds them how they rated us previously and how this new rating compares. If it’s the first time they’re participating, they’re asked to think of how they would have rated us six months prior.

  • They are then asked for any positive or negative things that impacted on the rating they gave us.

  • We follow up with a phone call before the Wave closes, in case they didn’t have time to respond via email.

3. Review and action steps

The feedback we get is managed in two ways:

  • It is immediately sent to the relevant Forum Group Account Manager, so they can follow up on any issues or opportunities raised. In many instances, this may be a simple thank you to those who scored us highly, or an action plan to resolve any issues that may have been identified.

  • Trending feedback is analysed by the management team so we can improve our service delivery. These are then actioned, with a number of initiatives put in place directly as a result of customer feedback received via Let’s Talk. The great news is we are able to see the impact of our actions when these are no longer mentioned in subsequent waves.

Great Results But We Keep Pushing For Better

In our last wave, we had almost 50% of our feedback family participating. Of these, 42% of our customers gave us a rating of 9 or 10 out of 10; 36% rated us a 7 or 8 and just 22% rated us a 6 or below. Naturally, we’re working hard on that 22% to improve our scores by lifting our customer experience. We’re pretty happy that 78% of our customers rated us a 7 or above, but we’re determined to do even better.

The Value of Customer Feedback

Since Forum began Let’s Talk in 2017, we’ve seen a marked increase in our customer feedback scores, both in average rating and Net Angel Result (an alternative to Net Promoter Score (NPS)). We wouldn't have been able to increase our customer satisfaction to the same degree without the feedback we've received from our customers. Listening to our customer feedback and taking action has led to some key benefits for Forum. By adopting a similar approach and using the right relationship feedback tools, you too can unlock the power of direct, actionable customer sentiment.

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1. Improved processes

 The feedback we’ve received has led to new technology initiatives, new roles being created and improving our processes to make the customer experience more seamless.

2. Customer retention

71% of lost customers are due to poor customer service or experience. With this in mind, it is imperative to deliver a fantastic, and constantly improving, customer experience.

3. Resolution of issues

Attributable customer feedback has given us the ability to resolve any customer issues before they became critical, improving our resolution times and ensuring that any similar issues can be the focus of improved processes.

4. Adding value for our customers

Customer feedback can often be focussed on the negative. But there are lots of positive results. Some customers are looking to enhance their current solution, and feedback with this message allows us to offer more value to our customers to further improve the way they work.

5. Benchmarking performance

Applying values to our customer satisfaction and tracking the factors that contribute to positive or negative feedback enables us to assess any teams’ performance with regards to customer satisfaction. From support and service, to account management and sales, and even accounts and billing; our customer data helps us better understand what is working and what isn’t in each area of our business.

Let’s Talk is just one of the ways Forum goes about improving how we support our customers. We love to get feedback and actively encourage our customers to tell it to us straight!

Get in Touch

We are industry leaders in managed services and we’d love to help your business get ahead! If you'd like to learn more about how we can help your business, get in touch now!

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