Dr Brendan Mooney (Kainos CEO) is a great ‘yammerer’ (I’m not sure that’s a real word, but you know what I mean). In a recent post on our internal communications channel, Yammer, Brendan highlighted a blog about customer feedback, penned by one of our Workday partners. I was CCd on the message – I’m not sure if that was a gentle nudge (or maybe not so gentle) directed at me to share something about our own learnings. Regardless, I thought it was high time I took a step back to share my observations on the subject of customer feedback based on our approach.
In a recent blog ‘Is this thing on?’, Marc Heasman talked about continuously seeking feedback from users to improve a digital service. Kainos employs a people and interaction-centric service delivery approach, which gives us plenty of opportunity to apply the same thinking to gain valuable insights that could be used to inform future sales prospects.
I think our current process for capturing our customers thoughts in a ‘formal’ way (that sounds stuffy, all it means is using an agreed mechanism, which is documented and acted upon) is really great; I would say that because I designed it. I’ll explain more about the actual mechanism another time, but the process wasn’t always as elegant. Back in the day we used face-to-face interviews (it was much easier when we had less customers) to ask a plethora of questions. This interaction was a useful tool to capture detailed feedback, but the whole process was cumbersome, protracted and really didn’t help us improve things. It just didn’t add anything to the customer experience!
What do I mean by ‘customer experience’? Throughout an engagement our customers interact with us in so many ways, across numerous channels and in different environments. We receive feedback in various forms such as email, verbal (on the phone or face-to-face) and even non-verbal (thumbs up in a meeting when a show and tell is going well). A ‘customer experience’ is an interaction with a Kainos person or group via any medium:
If we were to try and create a formula to measure this it might look something like:
Whereby the sum of all the touch points, throughout the life of a project equates to the customer experience journey. We want to maximise that at every juncture! You may think that your conversation or interaction doesn’t have a significant impact, but when you add all of them all together (e.g. that pre-sales meeting to discuss strategies, that proposal clarification, that contract query, that project delivery workshop, that daily stand-up or show and tell, that live-ops release, that CEO / director drop-in, that chat at Workday Rising, that invoice email, that Facilities – ‘welcome to Kainos’ reception conversation, that kitchen conversation with a customer… ) it paints a real picture of who we (Kainos) are.
Being aware of the journey and our potential impact as individuals can really help us express our values and make the customer experience journey a hugely positive one. Our interactions are generally consistent across all touch points – as with interface design, this consistency and positive interaction ensures that the journey is as pleasant as we can make it.
Most of our feedback over the years has been awesome or super-awesome (more about that in Part 2). Sometimes we don’t get things perfectly right – hey, that’s to be expected. Asking the question “how can we improve” gives us an opportunity to do just that.
I’ve read numerous blogs posts in recent years. At the end of each post the author usually presents an insight into their favored subject. In closing they often boil down the subject matter to one simple statement, similar to a movie strapline or a comment written on a retrospective post-it note.
So what’s my insight or take-away from Part 1? Well, Brendan said it best at our annual Kick-off event.“We have impressed our customers; that’s down to everyone inside this company, everyone here, their professionalism, the hard work, the energy, the enthusiasm, that we invest into all we do.”
Ultimately, interactions matter.
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