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I recently read the book Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh – CEO of – He believes much of the success of his $1billion online retail business comes from it’s commitment to the culture of the business – which allows every person in the business to stay customer focussed.

He talks about customer happiness with religious zeal. The culture of the business means that there is not a department accountable for customer care – the whole company is. Every employee has at least 2 weeks on the phone with customers as part of their induction training. No matter what role have joined the business for, being with customers if everyone’s job.

At some point in the book – Hsieh poses the question – ‘As leaders are we asking the right questions?’. I ask myself – how do we know what are the right questions?

Recently RedBalloon for Corporate wanted to find out – not just if RedBalloon was delivering on it’s promise (ie customer satisfaction) – we wanted to gain real insights to assist us ask the ‘right questions’ and determine future activities.

We know to be successful we must be truly transparent with our customers – acknowledge our commitment to customers – but also appreciate that sometimes things do go awry.

If we are not asking the right questions –and listening to customers, more often than not, we also won’t even know if things get out of kilter. Establishing listening posts with customers is also a great source of innovation and development of how we can grow and better support our corporate clients.

94% of the corporate customers said that we were friendly, knowledgeable and professional… (Whilst no one said we were extremely bad at these things) what is it that the 6% of people who are ‘on the fence ‘were expecting ? How could we either better manage expectations or create a better approach for them? RedBalloon has close to 2000 corporate customers  so a short fall of – 6% represents – 120 people – which is a lot of clients who we are not serving the way they want us to.

94% of people also rated the experience suppliers approach in the same way. This gives us an opportunity to drill down more into what people expected and how we could make that smoother for them.

We discovered that only 5% don’t know the impact that the RedBalloon for Corporate has on their business – whilst 91% claimed that RedBalloon was successful or very successful in achieving the business objective of using us.

Satisfaction is a subjective term – and depends on an individuals perceptions… so what we wanted to discover was whether our customer talked about us to others and are advocates of what we do… I was delighted to see that 91% of people are strong supporters and tell others about us. – and 92% have recommended us to others…which of course support the theory that word of mouth is the best marketing strategy of all.

As RedBalloon progresses it’s customer excellence program – this is the first time we have surveyed our corporate customers. Thank you so much to the hundreds of people who took the time to help us listen.

We appreciate it – and look forward to delivering.

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