Tom Kehler, Vice President and GM Community Solutions, Satmetrix
Stephen Blundell, Senior Manager Vendor Partner Relations, Intuit
Tom Kehler, VP and GM of Community Solutions at Satmetrix and Steve Blundell, Customer Advocate at Intuit, talked about improving NPS through online customer engagement. About one half of the audience said they had an online community initiative underway. Tom presented a strong case for ‘continuous customer engagement’, especially in B2C and B2SMB. For example he asked, “Do you have the ability to contact your Promoters in the next 24 hours?” Promoters can be activated to support other customers, help in a marketing campaign, defend or back a corporate position, etc. In support of this Tom referenced a recent HBR article written by the cofounder of Intuit, Scott Cook called “The Contribution Revolution”. He talked about the need to create a Return on Engagement through better products (the best innovators are users of the product), better marketing (get Promoters to help form the message), and better word of mouth (comes from a trusted relationship and starts with listening). The customer’s return is the ability to influence the company and product direction and to play a role in creating a better customer experience – for themselves.
Tom stressed that the primary goal in a customer engagement program is to demonstrate that you are listening. He then shared a case-study on the Intuit TurboTax Inner Circle program, a micro-site for customers to have conversations with Intuit. Tom walked through an innovative technology (Adaptive Conversation) for identifying the best ideas from a large customer group. He also explained how the system is able to build robust customer profiles that leads to better CRM and support a closed-loop process. When combined, these capabilities allow a company to demonstrate that they know their customers, know their needs and are able to actively help improve the customer experience.
Steve then showed how the ProSeries and TurboTax product teams were able to use the Satmetrix platform to engage customers in product improvement. Customers provide ideas in their own words, vote on statements provided by others and then rank ideas by importance. The process extracts ‘wisdom from the crowd’ by turning qualitative feedback into quantitative results. Intuit is able to take action on this data since it identifies what’s important to the most number of customers. Steve shared other best practices for listening to customers including a customer council where customers are asked how Intuit can improve its products and services. These customers spend two days at Intuit’s offices paid for by Intuit. Steve found that if they involve customers in the beginning of the development process then they get a better product in the end. He referred to the successful launch of a payroll product due to this method of customer engagement. In another example, he shared a situation where Intuit thought the customer priority was to have a faster, easier TurboTax experience. After using the Satmetrix Customer Engagement platform Intuit realized this not to be the case and instead, to their surprise, found that the #1 problem was with rebates. This caused a significant shift in focus that eventually led to the elimination of rebates.
Tom concluded by stating that engaged customers create measurable results including increased loyalty, WOM and repeat purchases.