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What motivates people to stay involved?

Keeping people involved in customer-focused activities is a lot harder than getting people involved. I mentioned this in a previous blog where I discussed the toughest internal challenges that customer advocates face.

I decided to dig into this further. To do so I went outside of the business world and looked at non-profit organizations. Millions of people volunteer for organizations. Why do they do it? There’s no money. It’s a lot of work. Why do they stick with it?  To answer these questions I first asked why they got involved in the first place. Here where the common responses:

“It was a good cause.”

“Somebody asked me.”

“I sought it out.”

“It seemed like something I would enjoy.”

“I like helping people.”

Not too surprising. They’re all good reasons for getting involved. Then I asked why they have stayed involved (remember this is the bigger challenge for customer listening programs). Here’s what they said:

“I love seeing results.”

“I feel like I’m making a difference.”

“I like the look on the faces of people I’m helping.”

“The opportunity to develop some new skills.”

“Personal satisfaction.”

“I like to see these things come to life.”

You can even tell from their language there’s a little more passion in these quotes. For me there are two lessons to take from this:

First – make sure it is important, productive work. People like being involved in things that make a difference.

Second – make sure they get something out it. It may be new skills or personal satisfaction, but make sure something is in it for them.

I think these are excellent lessons that can be applied to customer listening programs. When customer advocates and customer strategists are getting people involved in their customer loyalty or voice of the customer programs, it can make a huge difference if those people find their work to be important and satisfying. And if they are engaged, your entire program will be much more successful.

About the Author

Patrick Gibbons

Patrick Gibbons

As Principal and Senior Vice President of Marketing for Walker, Gibbons has global responsibility for definition, branding, and promotion of the company and its solutions. Gibbons has published and/or contributed to a number of articles, papers, and blogs on customer intelligence topics and has a regular column in CRM Magazine. He has been a featured speaker at a wide range of conferences, and has produced a series of educational events for customer experience leaders.

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