3 brands proving ROI with insights-driven customer experience programs

Todd Leach | May 26, 2021 Todd Leach 05/26/21

In the article Enable An Insights-Driven Business, Forrester reports advanced insights-driven firms were five times more likely than beginners to report at least 20% revenue growth in 2019. They grow faster because their pervasive use of insights allows them to stay on top of changing customer needs and continuously deliver more effective and efficient decisions, actions, and experiences.

But like many buzzwords, insights get talked about so often they have become difficult to define and easy to confuse with data points. Understanding the difference between the two and determining if your customer experience management provider is delivering true CX insights or simply offloading data is now more critical than ever—particularly for brands who want to evolve and improve customer loyalty.

This is why we’re thrilled to be named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Customer Feedback Management Platforms, Q2 2021. According to the report, "SMG is a stand out when it comes to developing insights and partnership.” But we know this is not something we’ve accomplished on our own. We believe it’s through our collaboration with some of the top brands around the world—ones that have prioritized the customer + employee experience and put in the work to drive meaningful change throughout their organizations—that we were able to receive Forrester’s recognition as a leader.

Today we’d like to highlight some of those client partnerships and celebrate the winning brands optimizing their CX + EX management programs. We’ll look at how these brands are leveraging SMG’s differentiated software with a service (SwaS) approach to uncover actionable insights, create meaningful change, and drive ROI improvements across their organizations.

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Wendy’s focuses on fundamentals to help deliver superior service across markets

To continue its international growth, Wendy’s recognized the need to address market-specific opportunities in its Latin America region—specifically the Bahamas, where the customer experience was falling short.

Bahamas ranked near the bottom in Wendy’s Latin America market, with a 65% Overall Satisfaction score. It was also performing below SMG’s international QSR benchmark, which shows performance against same segment competitors within the market.

The international brand turned to its SMG team to uncover insights on how to tailor their approach to the Bahamas market and drive customer experience improvements. The team identified Taste of Food and Speed of Service as key drivers of Overall Satisfaction. They also leveraged insights from their domestic program showing a strong correlation between french fry temperature and customer return.

To kick off its action plan, Wendy’s established early improvements by focusing on key drivers + regularly monitoring performance in the smg360® reporting platform. Once improvements were sustained, the team added emphasis on french fry temperature—sharing location-level scores daily. Finally, market leaders made it a priority for restaurants to reach minimum response rates to monitor satisfaction + loyalty over time.

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Boots drives satisfaction + customer spend with enhanced colleague training

As an essential retailer permitted to continue trading during the pandemic lockdown, Boots wanted to ensure they were improving their customer experience despite the difficult climate created by COVID-19.

Boots’ colleague training was always centered around the key drivers of customer satisfaction. The brand wanted to know if those KPIs remained the same or if the pandemic had caused a shift in customers’ priorities.

After adding new health + safety questions to their survey, Boots and their SMG team were able to run a new key driver analysis measuring the pandemic’s impact on customer satisfaction.

Despite unprecedented circumstances, the team discovered the top key drivers had not changed—and the fundamentals of Boots’ HUG3 training (Hello, Understanding of Needs, and Go the Extra Mile) were still applicable and the biggest opportunities to improve Overall Satisfaction.

The brand took action by customizing push reports from smg360® to help store-level users track key measures like staff friendliness and colleagues going above + beyond. Additionally, they rolled out HUG3 to all store colleagues with more focus on how the training program connects Overall Satisfaction with business outcomes.

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Heinen’s finds innovative ways to improve product availability—and boost sales

Over their 15-year partnership, Heinen’s Fine Foods has worked with SMG to leverage customer experience feedback and provide best-in-class service. Though they continually top SMG’s industry benchmarks across the board, the premium grocer was seeking innovative solutions to move the needle on Product Availability—a historically lower performing measure and top driver of Overall Satisfaction.

A drill-down analysis by department revealed most customers were unable to purchase everything they intended due to insufficient item availability in center aisles (i.e., dry goods, snacks)—which is also the department customers visit most. The team knew they needed a way to flag availability issues immediately and drive close-the-loop efforts with these customers.

To combat these issues, the team deployed Product Availability alerts to store managers when shoppers indicated they were unable to purchase everything they intended (notifications included contact info at customer’s request). They also invested in predictive analytics software to uncover purchasing patterns and detect consumer demand at the SKU + store level—leading to targeted product stocking improvements, an increase in key driver scores, and a $250k impact to the bottom line over 3 years.

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Brands can only be successful with true CX insights

According to Forrester’s Q2 2020 State Of VoC And CX Measurement Programs Survey, CX maturity continues to remain low, with just 9% of CX pros rating their maturity as high or very high. In fact, 71% of firms don’t fully aggregate and mine feedback across surveys and other sources, 61% don’t close the loop with customers who gave feedback, and 79% don’t quantify the business impact of issues.

Because of this, brands often need a combination of strategic guidance, managed and professional services, and technology to embed insights into the business, inspire actions that improve CX, and deliver business outcomes.

But the problem is, lots of CX vendors talk about insights, but few actually deliver on them—and a technology platform alone will only get you so far.

To really take advantage of true CX insights—the kind that boost loyalty and improve business performance—your team needs trusted CX advisors who have experience in CFM best practices that drive outcomes. That’s why SMG’s unique model puts a dual focus on technology and services to help brands turn mountains of data into actionable insights that drive ROI.

And it seems to be working. The Forrester Wave™: Customer Feedback Management Platforms, Q2 2021 recently recognized SMG as “a standout when it comes to developing insights and partnership.” For the last 30 years, we have been providing brands with the kind of insights-driven program that creates real change and improves business outcomes.

To learn more about our differentiated software with a service (SwaS) approach, please reach out. And for more information on the Forrester Wave and to download a complimentary copy of the full report, go here.


Todd Leach | Chief Client Officer

Customer Experience Update