Over the next few months, we’ll take an inside look at how the NSCA 2017 Excellence in Business award winners have adapted to the constantly changing industry. The story of Conference Technologies, Inc. is first on our list. For advancing customer feedback and engagement, Conference Technologies was named an NSCA 2017 Excellence in Business award winner in the Customer Experience category.
Conference Technologies – a longtime NSCA member based in Maryland Heights, MO – has made significant gains in market share over the past several years, adding seven locations and thousands of customers.
Before 2014, it captured customer feedback quarterly. But after attending the 2015 Business & Leadership Conference, where Edgar Papke shared his groundbreaking approach to using company and team alignment for better customer satisfaction and business performance, Conference Technologies was inspired to make a change.
Staff wanted to increase the volume and frequency of customer feedback to make sure everyone was on the right track, especially considering recent growth. What better way to understand and connect with the needs and motivations of customers? So a plan was implemented to gather weekly customer feedback.
Putting a Plan into Action
An in-house team of developers came together to create a database platform that captures critical customer feedback in a new way. Instead of Excel spreadsheets, Conference Technologies now uses an online portal for feedback access, storage, and analysis. All feedback is converted into a Net Promoter Score. To ensure honest, unbiased, and open discussions, a third-party marketing research team performs customer feedback calls. The information gathered is shared to the portal in real time.
A designated customer experience team reviews feedback weekly and develops customer experience initiatives around Lean practices to improve the storage and collection of customer and job data.
Thousands of customer responses have been captured since the program’s inception in 2015. Sharing this insight with the entire company has helped Conference Technologies align its vision and purpose. Net Promoter Scores are updated as they are received, and are displayed in branch locations and on the company intranet. As more data is acquired, it’s easier for Conference Technologies to identify themes and clarify customer priorities. As a result of the feedback, the entire customer journey has been mapped out so everyone understands how and when they impact the customer experience.
“We have seen our customer relationships grow, and increased customer satisfaction through our advancements,” says John Laughlin, Conference Technologies CEO and president. “We are a company driven by continual improvement. When we do that through the customer’s lens, it brings clarity to our focus. With the rapid advancement of the industry, we recognize how crucial it is to be continually evolving to better understand our customers.”
Because the company’s customer base grew so quickly, the shift to weekly surveys improved responsiveness and led to deeper customer conversations. Reaching customers earlier and more often has helped Conference Technologies change and adapt to the needs and expectations of customers, increase referrals, and improve customer loyalty.
Check back soon, as we continue to reveal how the 2017 NSCA Excellence in Business award winners made business changes to adapt to the constantly changing industry. You’ll also read stories from: