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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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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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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How to foster a customer-centric culture in IT support teams

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve” – Bill Gates

To create a customer-centric culture, customer facing support staff need plenty of feedback to ensure their behaviours are aligned with the culture you want to create.

Typically, the performance of Service Desk and support staff is assessed via a combination of call monitoring and metrics such as ticket closure rate and performance against SLAs. But performance feedback based on these sources doesn’t take the customer experience into account. Only your customers can judge that.

Customer feedback is therefore critical to the performance management process and critical for creating a customer-centric culture. Support staff need to understand what good looks like and feedback from customers provides clear examples of good and bad customer experiences.

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4 reasons why you need a customer feedback process

All but the most backward-looking IT teams have accepted that they’re a service provider, not a guardian of technology whose job is to stop pesky users from breaking their toys. Internal support teams now see their colleagues as customers and ITIL has been instrumental in this. After all, you can’t have a service without customers, right?

ITIL is a process-oriented framework and ITIL-based initiatives revolve around the design of processes and implementation of those processes within an ITSM tool. Ironically, given ITIL is a service management framework, the resulting culture of service delivery teams is often process-centric rather than customer-centric. We’ve got service delivery process and service delivery tools nailed. But a service delivery culture. Not so much.

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