How to analyse your Net Promoter feedback

To get the best insights from Net Promoter surveys, you have to read and analyse your customers’ responses to the open-ended “What is the primary reason for the score you just gave us?” question. We call this “verbatim feedback” or just “verbatims”.

In this article, I’ll explain how you can go about this analysis.

To turn your verbatims into actionable insights, you have to categorise the feedback so you can see what themes are being mentioned most by your customers. In that way you’ll learn what you are doing well that your customers love, and what you’re not doing well that exasperates them.

The most effective way of categorising verbatims is to do it manually in Excel.

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Good IT Support Costs Less – You can have your cake and eat it too!

Have you ever seen an Ignite talk? I just lost my Ignite virginity giving a talk titled, ‘Good IT Support Less – You can have you cake and eat it too!’ at Service Management 2017.

An Ignite talk follows a strict format – 5 minutes, 20 slides, 15 seconds each. And the slides auto-advance. Ignites are really tricky to deliver, but the high tempo, and myriad opportunities to screw up, make them pretty entertaining for the audience. And given you can squeeze ten speakers into an hour, you get a high knowledge return on your time investment. If you get a chance to go along to an Ignite session, I thoroughly recommend it. Anyway…

Over the years, I’ve heard many a CIO tell me feel they have to make a choice between providing a good level of IT support and keeping their costs down. But this isn’t true.

I’ve transcribed my Ignite into this post so you can see why.

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Support SLAs – Can we stop this madness?

Do you produce something like this each month?

You probably do. Most corporate IT support teams have response and resolution targets for each incident priority.

They’re expressed like this, “We aim to resolve 90% of P2s within 4 hours”. Data from ITSM software is used to create a report showing the percentage of tickets that meet those targets. The report is regularly shared with customers (to show them what a great job IT is doing) and once a year a Service Delivery Manager gets together with the business to review the targets. Although neither party would admit it, both are clueless as to what those targets should be.

Can we all agree to stop this madness?

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3 listening posts every IT support team should have

Have you ever come across the word “omphaloskepsis” before? It means “contemplation of one’s navel”. Yep, navel gazing. Excessive contemplation of oneself at the expense of a wider view.

IT support teams can be a bit guilty of that. Over-contemplating processes and tools. You want to improve service so you look at your processes and use ITIL as a source of inspiration. And you look at your ITSM software and use its capabilities as a source of inspiration.

But if you want to improve service – in any way that’s meaningful to your customers – you have to look outward too. You have to understand what your customers think of the service you provide. Where do they need you to improve? Getting feedback from customers is critical to improving service.

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Customer feedback – are your IT support teams making the most of it?

IT support teams who adopt Net Promoter practices are seeing huge increases in customer satisfaction. For example, 78% of our CIOPulse clients have seen a significant improvement in internal customer satisfaction, with over a third of those enjoying an increase of over 30%.

But in the same way that a thermometer in your ear doesn’t help you get better when you’re sick, a Net Promoter Score won’t help you improve either. One of the most powerful components of Net Promoter is not the metric, but the verbatim feedback gathered as you close customer tickets. Your customers’ answers to the “What did we do well? What could we do better?” question are absolute gold.

If you’re serious about improving internal customer satisfaction, you really should be collecting and making the most of customer feedback. Let me show you how and why…

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Are you doing enough to reduce IT call volumes?

Although it might sound counterintuitive, providing customers with a better service actually costs less than providing them with a poor one.

One of the most effective ways to do both is to reduce the number of times your customer actually needs to contact your Service Desk in the first place. They’re happy because everything’s working perfectly. You’re happy because you need less staff manning the phones.

So, what can you do to reduce call volumes and reduce customer care costs? Read on for six ideas…

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10 things to consider when setting up a Genius Bar

Do you know how far back Apple’s Genius Bar goes? 5 years? 10? Nope. Longer. Apple opened their first Genius Bar in 2001 in their SoHo store in New York.  In-house IT departments have been slow to follow their lead, but its happening, slowly but surely.

Every one of our clients that has introduced their own version of the Genius Bar has found them a big hit with their customers. Customers say they like it because:

  • They feel they can get something fixed right away.
  • They get to deal with a real person rather than just a voice on the phone.
  • They’re able to show the problem rather than having to describe it.
  • They avoid having to be talked through tricky troubleshooting steps.

For IT, it can often be quicker to solve a problem in person rather than taking a call, trying to do a remote fix, and then, as is often the case, needing to do a deskside visit anyway.

So, if you’re serious about providing your customers with a great experience, you’ve got some space and a little bit of budget, read on for ten ways to help your genius bar get off to a great start:

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How does your IT customer survey capability stack up?

Ken Blanchard, leadership expert and author of ‘The One Minute Manager’ once said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”. Champion IT support teams actively use customer feedback for coaching and continual service improvement. As a result, they enjoy:

  • Increased staff engagement (research shows that staff who get regular feedback are more engaged, particularly in Gen Ys).
  • More capable support staff (they use feedback to identify individual strengths and weaknesses, and make it an integral part of coaching and performance management).
  • More streamlined, customer-friendly processes (they use feedback to identify and prioritise process and tool improvements based on what’s important to the customer).

This all leads to better service. And when you deliver better service, you lower your support costs , enhance your reputation as a service provider and have happier customers.

But how do you go about collecting good quality, continual feedback from your internal customers?

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Is your IT support team like Miley Cyrus or David Bowie?

My wife recently found out that she’s not tone deaf after all. She learned that she’s just a really really bad singer! Before my son could even speak, he used to reach out and cover her mouth when she tried to sing to him.

The majority of people are quite capable of singing well. Although many of us claim to be tone deaf and incapable of singing in tune, apparently true tone-deafness affects only a few percent of the population. We’re not tone deaf, we’re just untrained.

Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses is an important (if not blatantly obvious) step to self-improvement. My wife, for example, now knows that singing lessons wouldn’t be a complete waste of money.

IT support teams are no different. Seeking to improve in areas where you’re already strong is a waste of time and money. And failing to improve in areas that are important to the business is a recipe for disaster. The starting point has to be self-awareness.

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Net Promoter Score – It’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it

When Fred Reichheld first wrote about Net Promoter surveys and calculating a Net Promoter Score way back in 2003, he called it “The one number you need to grow”. He was referring to his research that showed that organisations with a bigger Net Promoter Score grew quicker than those with a smaller one.

Ever since then, his critics have criticised NPS as just a number. Comments such as this are common:

“It lacks actionable insights.”

“I have a Net Promoter Score of +35. So what? What can I do about that?”

“It doesn’t specify why people are Detractors.”

If Net Promoter was just about the score, then it would be pretty useless. But it’s not the score that matters.

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