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Archive for April, 2018

UK Mental Health Awareness Week

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With Mental Health Awareness week taking place in the UK between 14th-20th May 2018, focusing on the theme of stress this year, it serves as an important reminder to consider the impact of stress at work and how mental health issues can affect our workforce.

Stress is a common risk factor at work and evidence suggests that a significant amount of people in the UK experience some form of mental health problem, including but not limited to, depression and anxiety. Considering the turbulence of today’s society and increasing pressures, it is not surprising that people with mental health issues may find it harder to cope. As employees spend a lot of time at work, their workplace environment and culture can have a significant impact on how they feel. Mental health is still a sensitive topic for many, and some employees may choose not to share their problems with their employer for fear that they will be discriminated against.

Breaking the stigma and providing a supportive environment where employees can discuss their concerns is an essential duty for an employer. Human capital is the most valuable asset a company can have, providing a unique mix of talents which contribute to the uniqueness and competitiveness of the company. We know that providing a healthy workplace improves communication, productivity and morale. Supporting your employees through their mental health problems helps you to retain their skills, reducing absenteeism and loss of productivity in addition to reducing talent lost if your employees seek new employment elsewhere. Supporting the employees within your care shows you value them and demonstrates your commitment to corporate social responsibility and the community.

It can be difficult to broach such a sensitive topic, especially if your current organisational culture is not known for openness and sharing personal issues. Providing an anonymous and regular feedback survey is an effective way of collecting feedback from employees as they do not fear being identified or discriminated against, and as the survey is anonymous they are more likely to provide honest and insightful answers. Webropol can provide a HR Compass solution to gather this feedback, which consists of a bank of questions designed to examine workplace environment and culture that have been widely researched and are rooted in well-known motivation theories. HR Compass is powered by our survey and reporting software, making it simple for users to schedule and send regular feedback surveys and conduct analysis on reports.

Once the results are in, it is important to share your findings with the team, demonstrating areas of success and improvement. Action plans to address areas for improvement should be created, with actionable targets and outcomes that can be implemented to monitor progress. Showing your employees that you will act upon their feedback and work toward providing a more supportive work environment suited to their needs shows you value your employees. Remember to avoid complacency by gathering feedback on a regular basis, and avoid assuming you know what your employees need – ask them. Actions such as these and regular communication can also help to break the stigma attached to mental health issues in the workplace, providing a more inclusive environment for all of your employees.

Please share your thoughts by answering the questions below:

For more information about Webropol’s HR Compass and the services we offer such as project management and research consultancy, please contact us:

Telephone: +44 (0) 1788 833881
Email: info@webropol.co.uk

For more information about Mental Health Awareness week, please click here .


What your customers think

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In this blog we explore the basic principles of customer research and assesses some of the options for how to gather feedback from your customers.

It is worth taking stock of how much you know about your customers and what they think of you. How do you gather feedback from them? Do you really know whether they are satisfied? Do you know what delights them? Do you know what causes them distress?
And, if you do know the answers to those questions, Are your customer needs driving your strategy? And on a more tactical level are your customer-facing staff empowered to keep customers happy?
If you would answer ‘no’ or even ‘I’m not sure’ to any of those questions then you likely need to get more feedback from your customers.

So, you’ve decided you want to get feedback from your customers, what are the rules you should put in place to do this effectively? There are a number of key points that we think are important to tackle:
1. Try to reach a representative sample of your customers, or even better give all your customers an opportunity to give feedback.
2. Think about those people who didn’t actually transact, but who are still your customers, people who browsed your website, came into your store, looked at your trade stand, came with a patient as supporter or carer. These people are important too, their experiences matter but they are often harder to reach
3. Think about all the touchpoints your customers have with you. It’s not just about the store experience or the event or the appointment. The touchpoints that led up to that are vital; was your website easy to use? how was the booking process? could they find what they wanted? Was the call centre helpful? And it doesn’t stop at the transaction – was the after-sales support good? Were follow-up actions taken? Did the product or service perform as it should? You can’t necessarily ask everyone about every touchpoint but collectively they make up the overall perception of your organisation
4. Strive for ‘in moment’ or ‘real time’ feedback. Asking someone how their experience was 3 months after a routine transaction will give you little detail and might not even be accurately recalled. If they had a bad experience, contacting them long after the event will do little to improve their view of you and in the meantime they may well have written negative reviews and told friends and colleagues about their (poor) experience. If you ask for feedback close to the point of experience, it will be accurate and detailed. It will be relevant to the customer and will be actionable for you.

Online surveys are often the best approach, offering flexibility and value and we’ll talk about them in more detail later, but it’s worth spending a few minutes looking at the alternatives.

In the past market research was typically done using interviewers who asked questions face-to-face. There are still times when this is appropriate, particularly if you are looking for detailed feedback from a hard-to-reach group. However, it’s expensive and is rarely the best solution for customer experience feedback.

The same goes for telephone interviews. People are busy and increasingly hostile towards unsolicited phone calls. Again, in some scenarios it’s still a method to consider, when you need detail or want to show important customers you care for example in a business-to-business environment where you are reliant on a small number of very big customers.
Pen and paper surveys were for many years the mainstay of customer experience research, whether handed out in the store or at the event or posted out to customers whose details were known. It’s a cost-effective way of reaching large volumes of customers or visitors. It does however have a significant ‘hidden’ cost associated with processing of the completed surveys and, whilst feedback may have been provided close to the point of experience, the time to process questionnaires can delay feedback
DIY surveys are increasingly popular at the moment – using one of the many free or low cost survey systems that allow you to write your own questionnaire and produce your own analysis. These surveys have their place, when you need quick answers to simple questions, but they are rarely the best primary way of getting robust customer satisfaction feedback.
Qualitative research, where you talk to just a few customers in detail is great for providing insight on why, but doesn’t tell you the share of customers with that view.

For the majority of organisations an online survey is the best approach to use. The survey should typically be set-up centrally and can then be accessed through a variety of routes. Where you know your customers you can send an invitation via email immediately after they have interacted with a touchpoint. You can hand out survey invitations to visitors with details of how to go on line to take part. But best of all you can install the survey on a tablet and make it available to visitors to your store, your event, your tourist destination. This enables real-time survey completion and rapid analysis of the results. Visitors can tell you what they think immediately and you can take actions if you need to quickly and effectively.

Using a tablet solution allows you to have flexibility
– the tablet can be hand-held to be passed around your patients or visitors or it can be housed in a stand that can be situated in key locations; at the entrance/exit, at the information desk, by main attractions and so on
– the questionnaire can be easily adapted to suit the immediate needs, for example a core set of questions can then be supplemented with additional ones perhaps about a particular aspect of your service or in response to changes you are making in the service you offer. The possibilities are almost endless.

This content comes from a series of short webinars in which we share our perspective on how best to understand your customers experiences and how to ensure they are happy and loyal. They are jointly produced by Webropol, a web-based survey and analytics tool provider and XV Insight, a market research and insight consultancy. Please share your feedback on our Webinar series here so that we can improve our content. Thank you! 

You can view the full set of webinars on YouTube or if you’d like more information please get in touch:



Why happy customers matter

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In this blog we explore why happy customers matter to every organisation, their value to you and the cost of losing them.
When we use the word customer, we really mean anyone who your organisation serves. They may be other businesses, consumers who purchase from you, diners in your restaurant, patients in your clinic, visitors to your attraction or event. They are all customers.

That customer should be at the heart of your organisation, after all they are the reason you are there and without them you would not exist. This quite attributed to Ghandi in his early years, sums it up:

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work, he is the purpose of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him; he is doing us a favour by allowing us to do so”

It’s not rocket-science to work out why happy customers matter. If customers are satisfied, or rather delighted with the services you provide they are more likely to come back to you and more likely to recommend you to others.


That reduces the cost of remedial action to make unhappy customers happier and reduces the cost of churn.

There are many different figures quoted and it clearly varies across sectors and customer types, but the fact remains it costs a lot more to attract a new customer, than it does to retain a current one.

If a customer is unhappy with the way they are treated they are more likely to leave a brand. Often that decision is driven by the way interaction with staff over the product itself.

One bad experience can take a long time and a lot of good experiences to recover from. For an improving organisation that’s a challenge as reputation often lags behind reality and a business that was poor in the past needs to be right for some time before customers accept it is a genuine change.

 

 

Great customer experiences come in many different guises:

 


Consistently good service levels mean customers know what to expect and are confident that the service delivery will meet those expectations. A restaurant that is immaculately clean, serves consistently good food, whose staff are always polite, friendly and efficient and charges a very fair price will provide an experience that customers trust and will likely lead to recommendation to others.

But it can also be the unexpected moments of delight, that can turn an emotionally unengaging transaction into something special. Buying printer ink is, at best a routine purchase and at worst, a distress purchase, choice of retailer driven by cheap prices and hassle-free order and delivery. I ordered the wrong ink – entirely my fault. When I got in touch to sort out a refund and re-order they were incredibly helpful, making sure I had the right ones and arranging free of charge express next day delivery. The speed of refund on the returns was impressive too. They behaved as if it were their fault not mine and provided a level of service you would expect from a premium supplier not a price-driven online retailer. I’m now their no.1 fan!

Clearly, it’s not always possible to keep every customer happy all of the time, though that shouldn’t stop organisations striving for that goal. But it is important to realise the impact that unhappy customers can have on your business.

It would be wrong to assume you know what your customers think without actually asking them. Clearly business metrics such as customer loyalty, basket size, repeat visits, churn rates and so on are important indicators, they tell you how you are performing in the here and now, but you invariably need to know more from your customers in order to improve many of those metrics.

In the past, any individual good or bad experience was shared with a small group of associates. We might ask a colleague or friend for a recommendation, but now it is far more public and social media acts as a multiplier

Review sites are increasingly shaping how we transact. Before we book a holiday we seek out reviews of accommodation providers, travel companies and destinations. Before we buy the latest tech product we read reviews, trying to sift out the paid-for advertorial reviews and awards as we search for the opinions of ‘people like us’. We even check out patient reviews of doctors and healthcare providers, so we can form an expectation before the appointment.

The review culture is making the need to deliver great customer service even more business-critical. It is also impacting the need to make sure that remedial action is swift and effective when things have gone wrong. If you needed any more convincing of this point then look no further than eBay, a business built almost entirely out of the power of reviews. We happily transact with unknown sellers online, based purely on their eBay rating. If it’s anything less than 99.9% we think twice before buying. So don’t ever slip into thinking that the odd negative feedback doesn’t matter!

 

Review sites can tell you what a minority of customers think, either highlighting strengths to maintain or issues that need to be tackled on an individual customer basis. Reviews often give immediate feedback that can be hugely valuable, but they will only ever be part of the story rarely allowing you to identify the scale of an issue or establish whether they represent the majority view.

So, in summary we can see just how important contented satisfied customers are to every organisation. The more delighted those customers are the more the scales swing in your organisation’s favour.

This content comes from a series of short webinars in which we share our perspective on how best to understand your customers experiences and how to ensure they are happy and loyal. They are jointly produced by Webropol, a web-based survey and analytics tool provider and XV Insight, a market research and insight consultancy.Please share your feedback on our Webinar series here so that we can improve our content. Thank you! 

You can view the full set of webinars on YouTube or if you’d like more information please get in touch: