Isn’t that a basic assumption we make as customer strategists? After all, why would we gather feedback and listen to the voice of the customer if they don’t tell us the truth?
Unfortunately, people are not always completely honest in their daily lives. There are reasons (or excuses) why individuals may tell a deliberate untruth. Perhaps they want to be viewed in a certain way or maybe they do not want to get “caught” doing something. Whatever the reason, there must be something in it for them when telling a lie. However, when we ask customers for feedback, we want them to tell the truth. It’s in their best interest to tell the truth. But do they?
Recently the Director of Customer Experience of a global organization set out on the journey to better understand, predict, and impact future customer behaviors. The first step was to compare stated intentions (to remain a customer) with actual behavior. The results shouldn’t be surprising. Most customers did exactly what they said they would do. Those who said they would stay – stayed. Those who said they would leave – left.
That analysis confirmed the credibility of customer feedback and moved key stakeholders to the belief stage of the hierarchy of engagement. Belief is essential for action to occur. This particular customer experience team can now move past the question of whether the customer feedback is reliable and begin to take action.
Believe it. Customers don’t lie.
Vice President, Consulting Services