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Archive for May, 2018

Customer First – the whole story

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It has been proven many times that standing still in customer service levels is not an option. Providing the same service levels as last year is unlikely to generate the same level of customer satisfaction. Expectations are on the increase all the time in all aspects of life so organisations need to keep improving the services they provide.

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!

If you’d like more information please get in touch:



Harry’s Gap Year with Webropol

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I’m Harry, I’m 19 years old and have been working as a Helpdesk Support Assistant for Webropol since September 2017.

When I started working at Webropol Ltd back in September, it’s fair to say I had no idea what to expect. Obviously I knew the company, the employees, but I had to ask myself, what did I really want out of this opportunity? Finally, almost 9 months later, I know the answer.

During my time with Webropol, I have been heavily involved in both the iMatter and KONE Sales Competency projects, by providing on hand support to resolve issues as quickly as possible. I believe that providing this high level of support to all of Webropol’s customers has allowed me to develop a portfolio of new skills, which will be vital for my future career path.

Especially in the first few months I could become a little overwhelmed at times which is why I am grateful that I had such a supportive team to work with. I was always comfortable in the knowledge that, if I was unsure or concerned about an issue, I would always be provided with insightful guidance to undertake any difficult tasks or challenges. Working closely with Amy, Matt and Heather has been a pleasure and I believe that they really helped me to grasp the requirements of my job, allowing me to undertake it with such enthusiasm.

My advice to a new Webropol apprentice or employee would be:

To never be afraid to ask questions! Sometimes when tasks feel challenging, a quick discussion with a colleague is a far better approach to tackling the problem than undertaking something you are unsure of alone. I believe that teamwork can solve any problem and teamwork is in abundance here at Webropol.

So, after almost 9 months of working here, it is sadly time to say goodbye to Webropol as I look ahead to University in September. I will be studying English Literature and Creative Writing in pursuit of my career goal of becoming a Journalist. I believe that my time at Webropol has provided me with vital skills and a true grasp of working life, which will benefit my career.

I would like to take this post as a final opportunity to say thank you to our customers, and Matt, Heather and Amy for the support. I wish them, and all the rest of the Webropol Community the very best for the future.


Maintaining a customer-centric organisation

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In this final blog in our series of 5 we take a look at making sure the customer is at the heart of your organisation and is the driving force behind your strategy and your day-to-day decisions.
We’ve seen how happy customers are the key to a successful business. In order to know if your customers are happy you have to engage with them and get their feedback. But then you have to listen to what they say and act on what they want. Doing customer research and leaving it in a box to gather dust is not enough, you have to have the voice of the customer running through your organisation.

So what does a customer-centric business look like? The start point is to make sure the whole organisation knows who the customer is and what they want. There may be different types of customer with different needs. It’s important that those are understood and everyone knows how their needs differ and perhaps which ones are most important.

Some companies have personas of their customers in meetings. When decisions are being made they check what their customer might think. If the whole team really knows the customers and tries to see the business from their perspective then that persona may not be necessary. However, it’s not always easy to see things from the customer perspective.
• how can your team know what it feels like to come to your venue for the first time – they last did that several years ago so they know their way!
• people who work in the automotive industry rarely know what it’s like to buy a brand new car, they don’t go through that process and if they do it is with a huge brand bias attached
• a healthcare professional is not a ‘normal’ patient – they know the jargon and the process behind the outward facing experience
Sharing customer feedback widely and regularly is an important part of ensuring the customer is at the heart of the business.

An important tool in this process is to understand the customer journey. Mapping out every step they take from first identifying the need or desire for a product or service that you provide, though seeking out ideas and information from you and your competitors, making the final decision, completing the transaction and using any after-sales support or follow-up.

Most journeys are, in reality rarely linear or done in isolation. Stages in the journey overlap, individual purchase journeys overlap, paths change, late decision influencers impact behaviour and some journeys are never finished. This only increases the importance of understanding how people interact with you and with your competitors.

Building a customer-centric organisation takes time and commitment, with a customer-focused leadership team in place.
By knowing your customers you will also understand your true competitors, the organisations your customers consider alongside you. This knowledge will then inform your strategy, ensuring your priorities and actions are centred on the customer needs.
A key area overlooked in many organisations is empowerment of customer facing staff. How annoying is it when a staff member has to seek out higher management to authorise a refund or replacement for obviously faulty goods. The organisations that enable customer-facing personnel to make judgement calls and support customers typically have less dissatisfied customers
Once these core principles are in place tracking of performance against customer-focused KPIs is important to maintain and improve the customer experience.
An important part of building a customer centric organisation is collecting continual feedback, at an interval suited to your organisation. It is not enough to collect feedback once and become complacent as customers may use your service many times and have differing experiences. The feedback collection intervals will depend on the organisation type. For example, a retail outlet could use a kiosk based survey which allows customers to give feedback at the point of transaction at each visit. Other organisations providing a service may benefit from collecting feedback on a quarterly basis. However, be aware of survey fatigue. Demanding feedback after every visit can be tiresome for customers and make them unlikely to give feedback – or worse, they may give a negative review due to feeling pestered
Therefore every successful customer-focused organisation sets goals and monitors progress. Setting goals is not about saying we want 10 out of 10 for everything, it is about being challenging but realistic. Setting goals based on movement from current performance, available resource and achievable timing is key to getting buy-in and achieving those goals

A continuous cycle of monitoring progress, rewarding success and updating goals to meet changing customer needs should be an embedded process within every organisation.

It has been proven many times that standing still in customer service levels is not an option. Providing the same service levels as last year is unlikely to generate the same level of customer satisfaction. Expectations are on the increase all the time in all aspects of life so organisations need to keep improving the services they provide.

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:



Maximising the Insight and Value

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In this blog we look at how to make the most of the data you gather. It’s all too easy to get lots of customer feedback, but then not be able to make good use of it.

We are going to look briefly at 5 topics today:
1. Big Data and some of the truths and myths
2. The value of combining customer feedback with other data sources
3. How to keep the analysis and insight relevant for your organisation
4. Advanced analytics, when and how to use them
5. How to share the feedback effectively

Big data is much talked about, often as a replacement for gathering information and insight from customers. The idea that we can know everything just by looking at data is a much debated topic. It’s true we can find out a lot more than we used to be able to just from the data at our fingertips:
1. Visitor analytics can tell us all sorts of things about our customers – how many, how long they stayed, whether they transacted, what they saw and so on. But it won’t necessarily tell us what they liked and didn’t like
2. Transaction data can tell us what was purchased, what was in the basket, whether spend is increasing or not. What it can’t tell us is whether the customer got all they were looking for or whether they purchased something on impulse
3. Customer data can tell us about habits and behaviours, frequency of purchase, spend, lifetime value and so on. But it can’t tell us if they wanted to shop more often or if they wanted to buy more
4. Web analytics can tell us a huge amount about website interaction, duration, path, pages visited even other website usage if tracking tools are used. But we don’t know if that was what the visitor wanted to be doing. Did they spend a long time because they were interested or because they couldn’t find what they were looking for?
So yes, big data can help paint the picture but it still can’t tell us everything and in particular can rarely tell us why.


Consequently, there is huge value in combining big data with other information, Combining with customer feedback can help to understand and explain. For example movement in sales volumes may be understood through customer feedback on availability of the products they were looking for. Increasing visitor numbers may be explained through understanding why people visited (saw an advert, recommended by a friend etc.) Repeat visitor numbers may be down, customer feedback may highlight an issue with the experience that can be addressed in the future. Combining data sources will always provide deeper insight.

Avoiding data overload in your organisation can be challenge, so when analysing customer feedback make sure it is relevant. The Key to this is rapid turnaround, getting results out quickly to those who can take actions is important.
Collecting feedback is most valuable when the results allow for targeted and actionable improvement. Once the results are in, using them to contribute to improvement helps to get the most value from the feedback activity and shows consumers that you take their views seriously.

Consider the best format in which to share your report, both internally and externally. This includes using software to create dashboards, providing a high level view at a glance of important information which can be shared, or embedding a link to the report on websites or social media which increases the accessibility and means the results will reach a wider pool. Sending the report via a newsletter or private email provides the opportunity to include a personalised note, and shows customers you value their opinion, as it demonstrates “You Said, We did”.

In a similar vein make sure you share the right information with the relevant audiences. Not everyone needs to see all the data every time.
– Leadership teams typically need to know the headlines and the main focus areas.
– Individual teams need to know the overall customer sentiment and the feedback for their areas of responsibility.
– Sharing too much information can make it hard for the audience to work out what’s important for them.
– Linking outcomes to insight is key. Creating Action plans or storyboards with your team highlighting areas of success and improvement can open a discussion and help team members feel accountable for improvement actions and involving them is motivating and empowers them.

Sharing customer feedback effectively is perhaps the biggest challenge of all. Engaging your whole team in what customers are saying is vital if you are to deliver ever better customer experiences. The principles for achieving this are very similar to those for questionnaire design
1. Keep it simple and focused; share the outcomes and implications that are most relevant to the audience
2. Use the styles of reporting that will resonate best with your audience – charts, infographics and workshops are often more effective than dry, written reports
3. Make sure the priority is always on the ‘so what’, if there isn’t an obvious resulting action then the data may not be important. But in this case remember that keep doing what you are currently doing is an action!

Advanced analytics is something that for many is a daunting topic area, but in simple terms it is about using statistical analysis to increase the amount you can learn from the data. The most valuable techniques in customer experience research will help you to understand what is most important to your customers. If you know what has the biggest influence on their overall opinion you can prioritise your actions to those areas. It’s not always the obvious things that make the biggest difference and people are not always able to articulate what matters most, hence the use of advanced analytics to help uncover the truth. We can look at what delights your customers and what causes them distress. We can look at patterns of consistency or inconsistency in service levels. We can explore how different customer groups feel and trends over time. All these and other techniques provide you with a deeper understanding of your customers and from that you can make more informed decisions to improve the customer experience further still.


Software packages such as that provided by Webropol give you access to a host of analytics including these professional statistics or Text mining solutions to provide greater insight into the data collected and can be used to monitor trends and correlations, including word clouds which are easy to understand so can be effective when sharing with a wide network of people. Webropol and XV Insight can provide training and support on both software usage and how generate the best insight from it.

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:



Celebrating Medical Professionals within the Health Sector

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Medical professionals provide vital health care services in a sector which is becoming increasingly difficult to work in. The health sector faces ongoing cuts to funding, leading to harsher working conditions as less resources and staff must manage an increased workload and demand, which results in longer hours and more pressure for employees. Research suggests that more nurses are leaving the industry to seek work elsewhere, and with cuts to student funding and bursaries, the profession is a less appealing prospect to student nurses and midwives, leading to a shortage in skills. With such a demanding job in tough conditions, it is hardly surprising that many posts are left unfulfilled and less people are choosing to pursue nursing.

International Day of the Midwife, held on 5th May and Nurses Day held on 12th May, provide an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the hardworking, dedicated professionals working in the sector. #ThisNurse and #IDM2018 can be used to recognise and share their valuable contributions to health services.

Whilst recognition and appreciation are important elements in ensuring staff say motivated, so is the ability to listen and take on board their feedback. Employee Engagement surveys provide an opportunity for employers to monitor aspects of the role and the work environment, and employees can share their honest feedback with the aim of working together to improve the working environment and culture.

Webropol have worked with NHS Scotland for this purpose and have provided the iMatter Staff Engagement portal to NHS Scotland’s 160,000 employees since 2015. NHS Scotland have a continual commitment to improving Patient Experience, and as a result identified a need to define and measure Staff Experience, with the ultimate aim of improving Patient Experience. The resulting iMatter Staff Engagement portal is holistic as all staff have the opportunity to give their feedback. Reports are then shared with all within the organisation and action plans and story boards are created. These resources celebrate successes and provide targeted steps to address areas for improvement, ultimately improving the experience for Staff and Patients. The NHS Scotland Employee Engagement Index which is used within the iMatter portal has been validated by the University of West Scotland as a robust and reliable measure of staff engagement.  Due to the ongoing success of this project, Webropol now conduct a national Dignity at Work survey on behalf of the Scottish Government, which has been used to produce the Health and Social Care Staff Experience Report for 2017.

Conducting an employee engagement survey and collecting feedback from staff shows that you value them and appreciate their commitment and contribution, which can make working in a tough job more sustainable and may improve subsequent customer/patient service. Gaining feedback from those employees who do choose to leave the organisation and seek work elsewhere is also good practice, as their feedback can be insightful in identifying potential issues or areas of improvement which can be applied to the benefit of the remaining team.

It is always better to ask your employees what they want and how they feel, rather than to assume you already know. For more information about Webropol’s employee engagement solutions, please contact us:

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

Please click to find out more about:
Health and Social Care Staff Experience Report 2017
International Day of the Midwife 2018
Nurses Day 2018


Getting valuable feedback

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This blog explores the key points around survey design, helping you to ask your customers the right questions.

We have previously looked at some methods for collecting feedback, including paper surveys, electronic surveys, telephone surveys and tablet based surveys. They each have advantages and disadvantages and some are more appropriate for certain situations than others. However, a well-designed electronic survey is usually the best method of collecting feedback to use as this gives the most flexibility and can be supplemented by other methods, such as sending a paper copy of the same electronic survey. The other advantage is the lower cost of this approach over any other.

Designing the right survey takes effort and should always be tested with at least a few real customers to make sure it makes sense to them. The key principles to consider include:

1. Keep it short and simple – if it takes too long to complete or is complicated your customers will not be happy and many will not complete the survey. As a benchmark, think about how long the customer is with you and how important you are to them. If they have spent 2 days at your trade show and it’s vital to them then you will be able to ask them more than if they have dashed into your corner shop to buy a pint of milk!
2. Make sure you ask things that are relevant and important for the customer, even if you think you know the answer.

3. Think about what other information you have or other ways you can find things out without always asking the customer. That way you won’t over-burden them. For example, your web analytics will tell you how long people spend on your website and the path they take through it, you don’t necessarily need to ask visitors. You can monitor your car park to see if there are issues with it getting too full, though you might still want to ask people about it if you know it’s a cause of complaint.
4. Use customer language and a style that’s appropriate for your audience. Business to business questionnaires should be formal and straightforward. If you are gathering feedback from tourists keep it cheerful and relaxed.
5. If you are going to ask people to rate their experience think about the scale you use – it needs to really differentiate the great experiences from those that are simply good or good enough.
6. Using a scale question makes it easier for respondents to complete, but is restricting in that they do not have the opportunity to add their own comments. Therefore using open ended question types can be beneficial to capture free comments, but you should be aware of completion errors and pay particular attention to where open ended question types are placed. If these are placed at the beginning of the survey, respondents will have to put in more effort to complete the survey which can seem like a burden, but if they are placed at the end of the survey the respondent is more likely to complete these as a final step.
7. Remember the impact of new GDPR regulations when collecting personal information and take care to ensure you handle and process personal information correctly in accordance with the law.

Choose the most appropriate way to collect answers to your electronic survey. You can send private links to customer’s email addresses if you have them, personalised with an invitation which may encourage them to respond as it is a more personal and shows you value their feedback individually. These can also be sent manually or according to a schedule, making collecting feedback convenient and less labour intensive for employees. You can also embed a public link on a website or social media, which can be easily shared and accessed so may reach a wider pool of customers, but might result in incorrect responses and misuse as the link is available to all. Providing a survey via a tablet within a kiosk may also be misused or result in completion errors, so collecting feedback via a handheld tablet with a member of staff can be a good option to increase engagement and provide actionable results, but this is a labour intensive method.

You may need to adapt your survey so suit the devices you are expecting people to use when taking part. In simple summary the smaller the device the shorter and simpler the questionnaire needs to be.

Once you have your survey designed and set-up the next challenge is to encourage people to complete it. There are many options and we do recommend you make use of some or all of these techniques to maximise response rates.
1. Promote the survey, whether through personal invitations to take part, invites on transaction receipts, email invitations and so on. Make sure people know that their experience matters to you and that it is easy for them to share their opinions
2. Make sure the survey is visible, use a branded stand for the tablet, put posters around your site, promote it in publications and on your website
3. Get staff to encourage completion. This has to be handled carefully as it does run the risk of introducing bias, but there are many ways staff can help encourage feedback
4. On arrival, staff can introduce visitors to the survey and ask them to complete it before they leave
5. At the point of transaction, staff can ask customers to take part
6. At events it can be helpful to have some staff near the tablet encouraging participation.

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: