Lessons Learned: Implementing Customer Feedback Systems to Increase Customer Loyalty

It’s common to receive a request for feedback from a brand or business after you make a purchase. Companies regularly use Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer satisfaction scores and customer feedback systems to obtain information. But, as customer expectations shift, it’s no longer a game changer just to ask a customer how you did. They expect you to act on the feedback they provide.

The Genesys Voice of the Customer practice uses the NPS system to seek customer feedback. Whether you are in the business-to-consumer or business-to-business sector, there’s a perception of survey fatigue among all customers. That’s why our practice is focused on actions based on the feedback we receive. As we continually evolve our practice, we share knowledge and exchange ideas with our customers who have successfully implemented their own feedback systems.

Rafael Aguirre, Operations and CS Director for Oriflame in Latin America, brings more than 13 years of professional experience in understanding customer behaviors and tying that knowledge to strategic and functional work within his organization. In my interview with him, Rafael lays out the foundations that have made customer experience a long-term, company-wide strategy at Oriflame. He also explains how improving the overall experience of clients—from creating positive interactions to becoming more accessible—has increased their loyal customer base.

Q: Many companies collect feedback, but creating meaningful actions on behalf of customers can sometimes be challenging. How does Oriflame use customer feedback systems and what you do with it?

Rafael Aguirre: First, we have established channels to capture our client’s feedback to allocate appropriate resources to the process and cover as many interaction experiences as possible.

  • NPS system: A business process configured to centralize client feedback in a very structured manner, depending on the client’s baseline, churn and activity. We distribute, on a periodic basis, NPS surveys collecting information of key touchpoints for the business. The surveys include open questions on how to improve our service and, of course, the ultimate question. The goal: To monitor the score, aim for continuous improvement and increase the number of our loyal customers.
  • Post-interactions surveys: Within the same umbrella of our contact center, we have two surveys for our most utilized channels (voice and chat). The objective is to understand if the agent’s performance during the interaction was satisfactory for the client and if we could resolve the issue or situation reported.
  • Online claim box: This is an option available for customers online who believe their case was not resolved properly or felt mistreated during the interaction with any of our agents.
  • BazzarVoice: As our business has become web-based, we understand the power of online recommendations. We decided to incorporate a functionality that allows us to capture the feedback our clients have after using Oriflame products. This has proven to be a very powerful tool that provides valuable information for our marketing and research-and-development teams. And it opens a direct channel of communication for product purposes with our clients and company.

After collecting all the feedback, we analyze comments and categorize them by different business areas. Based on this analysis, we hold monthly meetings with process stakeholders to set priorities and determine the feasibility of initiatives—aiming to act on the ones with the greatest impact for our customers and faster implementation times (quick wins). Then, we create action plans and update and monitor for progress on a quarterly basis per market.

One of our key elements to success is to always find a way to incorporate the feedback into our business processes, promote constant improvements, and challenge old and dated business practices. We also have found success by finalizing the process through closing the loop with our service recovery program for detractors or disappointed clients.

Q: What were some challenges you encountered with customer feedback systems?

Rafael Aguirre: We believed that few organizations manage the feedback of their customers in an organized and structured way; this is one of the takeaways after several workshops and discussion with clients, colleagues, competitors and even academic institutions. For us, we identified mainly three big challenges in the process:

  • Senior executive mindset: Some senior executives in the organization tend to see customer service as their resolution center to deal with all customer issues and support clients during the entire customer journey. It’s quite easy to get trapped into this categorization of transactional service rather than having a holistic and continuous improvement approach/mindset for service processes. This also created grounds for inaccurate survey responses where it was overrated.
  • Proper system/process for data analysis: While collecting the feedback can be an easy and repetitive task, the way the data is processed and approached by the analyst to interpret the voice of the customer is a determining factor on being able to connect the dots with the business processes. When there isn’t a proper approach, it becomes difficult to propose long-term actions that really can make a difference for the customers.
  • Bias in prioritization or categorization of feedback: We are all human, and how feedback is prioritized and categorized can depend on the person, situation and perception. It’s critical to understand the context of the feedback and to remain objective. In the past, feedback often was used to explain bad behaviors in the organization, poor sales performance or used inaccurately to push for fast tracks to approve investments or resources allocations.

Q: Once you uncovered these challenges, understood actions that needed to be initiated and determined priorities, how did you implement the changes and solutions?

Rafael Aguirre: We established the following five steps around our feedback systems.

  1. Define annual feedback review meetings and sessions calendar.
  2. Each function delegates and empowers a person to be part of the System Stakeholders group (finance, marketing, digital, creation services, customer service, supply chain, logistics and sales).
  3. Results are monitored by this group and key actions are followed up by senior management in monthly business review sessions.
  4. Market sessions are planned monthly to follow up on the progress of the action plan with local representatives. Simultaneously, a reporting package is prepared and shared regionally and with global strategic functions.
  5. Key projects and initiatives that demand allocation of resources are presented to senior management for prioritization and business acknowledgement quarterly.

Q: What results have you seen from both a business and customer perspective?

Rafael Aguirre: It’s been quite a journey. In the last four years, we have transformed our organization to become a company oriented to our customer needs through a more informed, objective and reliable process and systems. That has allowed us to have an accurate diagnosis of what we do right and what we need to change, implement or adjust.

We are an organization who is more conscious of our customer needs and we recognize our limitations in terms of resources. This fundamental change in the mindset has made us more accountable. Before, we would promise anything without much tangible actions; today, we aim to deliver on our promises and provide the best service and positive interactions as possible.

For those that like quantitative data, here are some figures:

  • Mexico has improved NPS by 10 points since the introduction in 2015. Our 2018 figures currently set the score slightly above 80%, which is the best among the Oriflame markets around the world.
  • We have increased the base of loyal customer by 40% in Peru during the past two years.
  • Customer metrics are part of business reviews, and senior management devotes time and resources to understand the problems and prioritize initiatives.
  • We have clearly identified our weaknesses and opportunities to become more customer-centric as an organization.
  • We have reduced the tendency to overpromise when it comes to our service proposals as it is now part of a centralized customer service function and the business areas have more awareness about the processes, platforms and limitations.
  • The rate of response of the post-interaction surveys is quite high (above 55%), and the ratio of satisfied clients is above 94%.

The Power of Feedback  

As Bill Gates once said, “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” Feedback systems, when deployed as part of a strong customer experience strategy, are powerful. But feedback is only powerful when we act on it.

Oriflame demonstrates how acting on feedback can shift an entire company’s strategy and mindset to be customer-centric. It also shows how acting on feedback successfully builds more loyal and advocate customers.