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Operational Excellence: The Ultimate Guide (All you need to know)

Improving satisfaction is the cornerstone to reaching operational excellence.
This article will explore the ways of measuring satisfaction, key KPIs that will help you measure experience, how to organize this feedback data, and the best practices for achieving operational excellence.

What exactly is operational excellence?

This will depend on what team you’re focussing on.

HR Teams – These teams need to focus on Managing employee Satisfaction. This is incredibly useful in order to lower staff turnover, turn employees into brand ambassadors, improve employee work standards, and ultimately improve productivity.

You’ll need to have a process in place in order to not just use one-off surveys ‘pulse’ surveys, but a structured way of getting a constant flow of employee feedback coming in. Many HR teams like to do this by measuring onboarding, workshops, or exit survey flows.

Marketing Teams – Having the dependency to continually drive in leads, test current audiences, and promote the brand means that operational excellence is at the forefront of marketing’s objectives. Measuring satisfaction can help teams understand what areas need the most attention.

Product/Service Teams – Product or Service teams need to be constantly plugged into the thoughts and actions of the customer. Any trends that can be picked up can have a lasting impact on the direction that the business takes, big or small.

Customer Success Teams – CS teams depend on reducing churn, they do this by being constantly up-to-date on the satisfaction levels of their clients. Having a strong understanding of their client’s needs and potential negative feedback is a way of turning a customer from being at risk of churning to a promoter of your brand.

This is by no means an exhaustive list – there are plenty more operational teams that hugely benefit from improving what they see as operational excellence.

So, how do operational teams improve?

First, you need to ask for feedback.

Asking for feedback is a fantastic way to start understanding your participants better, but it’s only the first step on your journey to operational excellence.

You’ll also need to understand churn and retention, and how they play such an important part to all the operational departments in your business.

What is retention, and how do you increase it?

Customer retention rate refers to the percentage of existing customers an organization managed to retain during a measured period.

Customer retention Rate (CRR) is calculated by:

CRR = ((E-N)/S) X 100

E = Number of customer at the end of a period
N = Number of new customers acquired during that period
S = Number of customers at the start of that period

customer retention rate measure for operational excellence

Indicators of customer retention

Your marketing efforts are focussed on only acquiring new customers, rather than understanding your current customer’s needs.

By focusing on getting people through the door, you’ll end up bleeding money, as the cost of acquiring a customer far outweighs the cost of keeping one.

retention cost vs acquisition costs for operational excellence
Source

You don’t have a method to communicate clearly with your customers. Sometimes this can happen to fast growing businesses, or ones that are very large – the customer’s needs take a backseat as your focus is on keeping the ship steady and there isn’t any time for anything else.

You’ll notice that these issues also are strong indicators of churn risk, and likewise the indicators of churn can very much be used for retention.

How do you reduce churn/employee turnover?

Churn is a rate that is defined when one of your customers or employees no longer wishes to do business with your company.

In other words, it’s the opposite of your retention rate. It is a lagging indicator, which means that it measures how your business has done, rather than what it is about to do. Nevertheless, it is a crucial metric to record for any operational team. 

Indicators of churn

You have a stagnant business – No one wants to fit under this term, but it’s the reality for businesses that eventually you get to a point where innovation is needed. Getting feedback in order to improve and innovate is key in keeping your business relevant and growing.

Your customers/employees are not feeling the ‘aha’ factor.

Leading Indicators of Customer Churn, and What to Do about It
Source

Take it from us, if you’re not giving a customer a reason to come back to your business then chances are, eventually they will become less interested in your offer and less engagement leads to churn.

You’re not getting active feedback.  Studies have shown that measuring NPS is all well and good for assessing experience – but it’s the ones that aren’t even giving their feedback that should be a cause for concern.

Getting Feedback to reduce churn, increase retention, and improve satisfaction rates

Feedback is everywhere, and there are many survey tools out there designed to help you get it.

Firstly, you want to define your audience. A blanket approach is fine once you’ve established a feedback mechanism, but first we suggest choosing an audience to really focus on and receive feedback from.

This could be pin-pointing a number of touchpoints, for example.

Secondly, you want to choose the method for collecting this feedback, this is highly dependent on your use case, but common examples include emails, SMS, QR codes and website widgets.

Lastly you want to choose how this data is represented, conventionally feedback was taken from a survey tool, then you’d have to segment and do tedious data analysis in Excel.

Now you have feedback management platforms designed to do this, plus all of the above for you. They vary in difficulty of use, we recommend using an easy-to-use platform like Feedier.

Top KPIs to measure Experience and lead to Operational Excellence

Having an ISO 9001

ISO is the International Organization for Standardization. ISO 9001 is an international standard for Quality Management Systems (QMS).

ISO 9001 allows you to get an audit of your company and of your process by a certified organization. This adds a meaningful credibility when it comes to your customers’ perception, as they will then not need to audit your company before working with you.

Using a Correlation Matrix

Understanding data can be complicated. One way of accurately comparing feedback is by using a correlation matrix. This seeks out to help you find a positive, neutral, or negative correlation between data sets.

On Feedier, our Correlation Matrix is designed to compare Context Attributes (metadata) against Satisfaction, Feedback totals, or Responses. This helps to give you a clearer understanding as to which areas need particular focus.

correlation matrix on feedier to cross feedback data and bring operational excellence

What is a Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

The Net Promoter Score is a satisfaction tool that measures whether customers are willing to recommend your company to others.


NPS is determined by asking the customers the question, “How likely is it that you would recommend our {company/product/website} to a friend or colleague?

NPS is broken down into three categories:

Promoters: Customers who answered with a score of 9 or 10. They are loyal customers who are extremely likely to recommend your brand.

Passives: Customers who answered with a score of 7 or 8. They are considered neutral as they are satisfied with your business but not enthusiastic enough to tell other people about it.

Detractors: Customers who answered with a score between 0 and 6. These are dangerous customers, as not only are they unhappy, but they may also discourage others.

The score is calculated as:

NPS calculation

What is a good Net Promoter Score?

You typically want to have a score between 30-100, be sure to benchmark your score against your industry average.

What makes a ‘good’ score is entirely dependent on your strategy. Marketing may want to focus on the promoters in order to get them involved in a new project, likewise Sales may look to upsell.

Product and CS however may look at the detractors in order to understand what is going wrong that is causing them to feel a detraction toward the brand, and anyone in insights may look at those that aren’t answering the NPS score at all.

how to estimate your nps score?

What is a CSAT Score?

CSAT questions are designed to offer a 1 to 10 scale question to often describe their level of satisfaction. The score is then displayed by showing the most common answers and the average score.

likert scale question from survey tools on feedier

Satisfaction Ratio

At Feedier, we have designed a key metric in measuring the experience of your customers/employees called the Satisfaction Ratio. It includes calculating the answers to the ratings, smileys, and NPS question types and measures them equally, giving you a percentage score between 0-100%.

It’s an effective way of keeping a pulse of your overall satisfaction across all your feedback, and is often used as an indicator to set dashboard alerts should any participant give particularly bad feedback.

Analyzing Unstructured Feedback (Text Analysis)

Text Analysis is a great way to explore opinions, feedback, reviews and more. It’s a method of translating unstructured text into data that can be quantified. It involves categorization, clustering, pattern recognition, tagging, and visualization.

Text Analysis is most commonly used to identify emerging trends from responses. In Feedier, the most frequently used words are paired with the average satisfaction ratio to give a 2 factor approach in analyzing the feedback.

text analyzis on feedier that brings operational excellence

Examples of feedback collection for operational teams

Marketing

A large part of marketing is generating leads for the Sales team to get new customers into the business. Customer acquisition can be improved by using a number of different strategies.

If you target the right people with the right message, email marketing can be very successful.

Using a feedback platform, you can generate manual or automatic campaigns that are designed to segment your participants into different cohorts. This data can then be used to measure satisfaction, responses, and create further focus groups.

Product and Customer Service 

Having a way for users to communicate should they be experiencing any problems is an excellent way of reducing churn and improving satisfaction. This could be a widget on your dashboard, or a QR code or touch screen at a physical point of contact.

Having teams available to not only be flagged of a particular issue, but also to measure and identify trends, is an excellent way of improving operational efficiency.

Human Resources

HR plays an important role in tracking employee satisfaction and turnover. Having strategic emails sent out automatically asking for feedback when a new employee is added or marked as leaving in the CRM system is a way of immediately highlighting overarching issues in the business.

How to Organize feedback data

Most companies collect some form of feedback. Whether that’s from their employees, customers, or customers’ customers. The biggest issue that companies face with feedback collection is that every department collects feedback differently.

HR could be using paper reports, marketing could be using email campaigns, and Customer service could be using responses from help tickets.

By having departments collecting data in different locations, and from different touch points, the risk of having disconnected feedback is high.

Even if your reports are already built – if you can’t relate the data to your business issues, then the reports are completely useless. Organizations have picked up on this and are beginning to move to platforms that cater to organize all your feedback in one place.

align cx for operational excellence

Choose an easy-to-use software

Your teams may not be familiar with feedback analysis software, so choosing a platform that boasts an easy-to-use environment with an engaged Customer Success team is what will really help you reach operational excellence.

Creating intuitive feedback dashboards to keep a track of your KPIs in real-time

Operational teams across the organization must be involved in the feedback management strategy and analysis. Using Feedier you can create a custom dashboard dedicated to all actors of the company with the right data assigned to them.

Not only does this give them better understanding of their historical data, they’ll also be able to track the evolution of those they’re measuring in real time.

Group your feedback data into cohorts

No matter the business, your aim is to reduce churn and increase retention.
The best way of aiming to do this is to segment your data into viable cohorts that help you measure experience over time. In Feedier we call these cohorts User Stories.

Using User stories, you can group key information of each response by context attribute, satisfaction ratio, NPS, and more, in order to know if the participant is a detractor, is satisfied, or is in need of further action. The same method of visualizing data in personas can work for HR, CS or Sales teams.

How to give ownership over feedback to your team

Once you have your feedback, it’s time to give control to the teams to handle their feedback data.

You’ve chosen to organize the feedback in one place, they each have their own custom dashboard, now it’s up to them to measure their KPIs against the feedback collected. Without giving team’s the ability to manage their own feedback, you can run the risk of them feeling disenfranchised and not feel like the feedback is impacting their line of work.

Technology to unify view

Best Practices for operational excellence

The faster you understand and interpret your feedback, the faster you can improve the experience.

By taking a step back, and grouping your feedback into Journey’s – either by touch points or important cohorts, you’re able to get a deeper understanding of what your feedback is telling you.

Attaching metadata (context attributes) in advance

Having a way of attaching data you already have on the participant is an excellent way to better understand your feedback in the long term. You’ll be able to segment your feedback into cohorts based on this rich contextual information.

Centralise your feedback data into one place

Having one platform that takes you from survey creation, to feedback collection, to data analytics is the ideal solution to aiding you in your operational activities. Having all your feedback from your organization in one place will help you cross-reference participants, helping you to start building strong personas or stories on the people you’re asking for feedback.

An all-in-one platform such as Feedier will also reduce any friction when you want to access specific data sets and compare it to others.

Choose a platform that does the reporting for you

Reporting on your feedback results serves as both a purpose to support analysis, and for internal communication. Choosing a platform where you can see these results in an easy-to-share way is a must for any organisation that wishes to continue to be successful. 

Unfortunately, many businesses continue to rely on manual reporting, which is often time intensive and can even require a data scientist to examine. Our aim at Feedier is to remove this barrier, allowing anyone in the organization to understand and disseminate information to other stakeholders.

reporting is time-consuming

Make your Feedback Actionable for an Operational Excellence

Whether the participant is giving positive or negative feedback, having the right team or person notified is crucial. If not, the complaint may get lost, the problem remains unresolved, and the participant will churn.

Using a process where actions can be triggered based on feedback parameters is paramount in retaining your participants and making them feel valued.

Need to know when satisfaction is below a certain percentage? Set up an alert to trigger and have an email notification sent to a member in your team.

Using automation to trigger actionable feedback

By going a step further, you can have this alert system set up to automatically be triggered inside the apps you use on a day-to-day basis. Feedier has integrations with CRM, project management, and workplace apps in order to receive alerts in an environment that is used regularly by you and your colleagues. 

Not only will this mean you’re more reactive to feedback, it also saves you time and energy.
With Feedier, you collect your feedback through multiple channels and the platform takes care of unifying all your data automatically.

feedback tools connexion for an operational excellence

Summary

Teams from across all operational departments of your business require a space to collect feedback. As this feedback drives operational excellence.

The solution to effectively continuing your business growth would be to use an all-in-one platform that allows you to collect feedback across multiple channels, understand your data, and automatically organize your data into reports that can measure your KPIs clearly.

Then, collaborate and assign data to the right person to better your responsiveness to improving customer, employee or user satisfaction.

Feedier does all of the above. Want to learn more? Book a demo