Principle #6: Improvements Must Be Ongoing

You face many choices when deciding where and how to improve the customer experience. And possibilities multiply when analyzing customer data from sources that range from social media posts to surveys to operational metrics. Which issues do you tackle first?

Here are eight criteria that can help you make that decision:

SAFETY: Customer safety should always be the top priority.

FREQUENCY: How often does the issue occur? If you fix the root cause, what’s the potential impact?

MAGNITUDE: Whether a customer impact is frequent or not, the magnitude of making or not making an improvement has to be considered.

INNOVATION: What kinds of things are on your customers’ wish lists for your products, company or industry?

TIMING: Some issues significantly impact customers, but can wait. Others, even if they are of smaller impact, may need to be handled now.

CUSTOMER SEGMENT: This can be tricky because every customer is important. But many organizations do what they can to help their most loyal customers.

PREVENTION: A bedrock principle of effectively managing customer feedback is resolving problems before they happen or before they become larger. Where those opportunities exist, they should be priorities.

BRAND IMPACT: Brand protection and development is one of the primary objectives of listening to and taking action on customer feedback. Prioritize actions that protect and promote your brand, as well as ones that create customer advocates who will do this for you.

In the end, determining what actions to take can be as much an art as a science. But considering this range of criteria—and not just paying attention to squeaky wheels—can lead to much better decisions.

My overarching advice: make continuous innovation and improvement an ingrained and essential part of your organization’s culture. There is something powerful about consistently focusing on the things that matter most. It’s a never-ending journey. And an exciting one, because it prepares your organization for the unknowns ahead even as it delivers better results today.

Note: This post is part of a series on Improving Quality and Performance in Customer Experience:
Principle #1: Quality Must Be Based on Customer Needs and Expectations
Principle #2: Quality and Access to Service Work Together
Principle #3: The Process Is Where the Leverage Is
Principle #4: Fix Root Causes to Make Lasting Improvements
Principle #5: Customer Service Initiatives Can Lead to Significant Strategic Value