I was talking to a customer the other day regarding his MXMetrics/Medallia CEM product and he said – “I think we should not be asking people to give us feedback so frequently. I think it should be twice a year instead of four times because some people keep bringing up something we can’t do anything about.” Now fortunately we are really good friends. I said “Seriously? Just because YOU don’t want to hear it?!” “What is it that you can’t do anything about?”
We are strong believers that four times a year in fitness is the right cadence for a member to have the opportunity to provide feedback. In fact members who provide feedback more frequently and are responded to will have faster increases in their customer experience scores than those responding less frequently. In addition you will garner massive customer experience metrics. In February of this year, one client looked at 6059 members falling into 4 categories – 1, 2, 3 or 4 responses in the last year. The increase in Likelihood to Recommend (NPS) scores was linear for repeat responders who provided feedback more frequently. Four interactions per year were more powerful than three. Three interactions were more powerful than two and two more powerful than one. This client group also does a good job of closing the loop with their members, which has an immediate impact on member experience. Did you catch that? If you have a solid discipline for humanizing your responses when you close the loop, then as a member I am getting a powerful touch point more frequently.
The protocol we use is to invite members to give feedback four times a year. That doesn’t mean we only look at feedback four times a year – it means that if you received an invitation to provide feedback today, you won’t be asked again for 90 days. You have the opportunity to give feedback four times every year and here is the key – if YOU feel like it. What is more important – whether the customer wants to provide feedback or whether you want to hear it? If the customer is choosing to give it, then let’s listen and respond candidly and warmly. Your response when you close the loop has an immediate impact on the member experience and ultimately revenue.
Let’s get back to the issue that “you can’t do anything about.” Suppose Tom is giving feedback for the 4th time. He rates you pretty high everywhere except or Locker Rooms and Showers. There he gives you 2 on a 0-10 scale and you already know what he doesn’t like because you have seen it before. You read his comment: “You guys need to fix these locker rooms. They’re too crowded and the lockers are too small. The counters are ugly and you need another toilet.”
This is the 4th time Tom has mentioned this this year. Would you have been better off not giving Tom the opportunity to give you feedback? In other words, would you have been better off reducing Tom’s opportunity to provide feedback to twice a year instead of four times? At Club Works we do get asked to reduce the frequency that a member can provide feedback for this very reason and we think it is a bad idea. The first sign that it is a bad idea is the Tom CHOSE to provide feedback. Meaning that the customer was given the option to provide feedback and took it. Should you remove that opportunity? Tom has also provided some very important Perception Metrics in his response that every department can use to manage the member experience. Should we discount those because we already know that Tom doesn’t like the locker rooms?
Suppose the only feedback system you had was a suggestion box. You get repeat complaints in that box. Should you remove the box? Just because you don’t want to hear doesn’t mean the problem isn’t there.
Back to Tom – “Hi Tom, thank for your continued feed back. We do need to have our reminders about the locker rooms and although I can’t promise when we will redo them, we will redo them. In the meantime we will do everything we can to make you experience here a great one!”
What if the issue is on parking and Tom has already given you feedback 3 other times stating – “You need to do something about the parking.”
“Hi Tom, the parking is the worst during the hours of 5-7 PM. We shifted some classes further apart to allow for people to exit before others come in. We are stuck with the parking we have and will do our best to manage it. We would love some suggestions!”
Or maybe – “Hi Tom, I know the parking is a big issue especially certain times of day and we are stuck with what we have. I promise we will work our butts off to make everything else such a great experience that the parking issue will seem small!”
Remember, the more frequently you hear from that member the more opportunities you have to engage with them. It isn’t about your experience. It is about the member experience. And guess what? The member experience directly impacts revenue.