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Reports that prompt action

Most customer advocates deliver some sort of customized reports to their stakeholders. For instance, account managers might get reports on the feedback from their clients. Product mangers may receive information on improvements and new products. Tech support may get scorecards on how their customers view their performance.

What do you think their reaction is to your reports?

Don’t you wonder what it would be like to be a fly on the wall when they receive a report that you have sent? Consider this range of possible reactions:

  • Ignorance – "What’s this? It looks like some sort of survey data or something. What am I supposed to do with this?"
  • Annoyed – "Not another meaningless report! I wish they would stop sending me these – I get too many useless reports!"
  • Overwhelmed – "What is all this data! What does it all mean? Where do I start? What am I supposed to do with this?"
  • Interested – "Hey, here’s another customer report. It’s always interesting to hear what customers are saying, but I’m never quite sure what to do next."
  • Anxious – "My latest voice of the customer report is here. Let’s see what they’re saying. I always find something that pays off – a problem to address or an opportunity to pursue."

If you are in charge of delivering customer information, you likely experience all of these. The goal, of course, is action. You want your stakeholders to be engaged, interested, and ready to put the voice of the customer to use. Here are a few basic rules to follow:

Make sure they are aware. Get the word out. promote your customer listening program. Nobody should be saying, "what’s this?"

Help them understand. Training should help them know how the information was gathered, what it all means, and what they are supposed to do with it.

Help them believe. Recruit their support so they really believe this information can help them succeed and help the company improve performance.

Awareness, understanding, belief… it adds up to action and results for your customer listening program.

About the Author

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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0 thoughts on “Reports that prompt action

  1. Well summarised! I think we’re all guilty of pumping out data simply "because we can". It’s crucial to engage the organisation in a voice of the customer program – best from top-down, but can also be done by a passionate ream driver from anywhere in the organisation.

    "Permission" is also underrated. Senior Managers should set a good example. Read comments, and encourage action. In a former company I worked in, a senior VP was the one who demanded fast action on any customer comments. The response time has gone from basically forever to less than 24 hours on any customer comment, good or bad. That’s the sort of example to set!

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