The Indiana DOR has made Best-In-Class Customer Service one of its highest objectives and has been recognized as a national leader. A key initiative is getting quick, actionable feedback from Hoosier taxpayers. We are pleased that the Indiana DOR is using BoxScore to hear from the many hundreds of folks stopping by their booth at the Indiana State Fair. In less than 30 seconds, visitors provide feedback on two key questions along with an optional comment to add color. Here’s an example: “The guy I spoke to helped me understand stuff my CPA couldn’t. He was awesome.” @IndyStateFair
Annual performance reviews, while still pretty standard in most organizations, continue to take a beating among thought-leader organizations. Knowable Magazine just published an article, “Low marks for performance reviews”. If that thesis isn’t clear enough, the subtitle hits it harder: “Annual assessments can be wildly inaccurate — not to mention soul-crushing. Here’s why the ritual, dreaded by managers and the managed alike, falls short, and what might work better.”
The article catalogs the leading organizations who have given up and the many reasons they say “Annual performance reviews are the worst.” Instead, Professor Herman Aguinis suggests “…managers should double down on the practice of everyday management. That means checking in on employees every day and giving them real-time feedback on things they’re doing well and areas where they can improve.”
This, of course, is where BoxScore shines. A simple and quick feedback tool. A great coaching conversation starter. An easy way to give constructive advice. And an excellent way to provide affirmation that might otherwise be missed. Annual reviews can still play an important role when they’re an true summation of all the real-time feedback for the year.
Real-time feedback is embedded in most technology and automated processes these days. Your GPS app compares your current location to your destination 10 times a second and continually optimizes your route. Still amazing! This simple tool means your navigational performance can now be world-class.
Real-time feedback on people performance is getting better but has a long way to go. One of the key reasons is the imbalance between feedback supply and demand. Economists would call this a market disequilibrium. Wherever supply matches demand, there is market equilibrium -- a free flow of goods and services. But because of feedback disequilibrium, there are supervisors and customers with valuable performance insights never shared – and – there are committed workers anxious to learn and grow, receiving no timely or actionable performance input.
Feedback imbalance has a number of causes. There are organizations who truly value giving and receiving feedback, but who haven’t yet cracked the code on how to do so quickly and simply. It requires tools and processes that are sustainable in a busy workplace. Annual reviews don’t really cut it anymore – laborious, too little too late, and avoided by many who are afraid to say what they really think.
Other organizations may not yet value real-time feedback. Yet their top performers crave regular and meaningful feedback, so they can understand how they are perceived and find ways to grow a little every day. Top performers, especially younger ones, quickly become disenchanted with an environment that doesn’t support their development and career growth.
Evaluate your organization’s supply and demand for meaningful, real-time feedback and make the market adjustments you need. Help your people grow and thrive!
What do the industries of software, heating and cooling, insurance, painting, and plumbing all have in common? Every one of them must provide an exceptional customer experience in order to remain competitive. We asked eight local business leaders of companies both large and small to share with us their philosophies on customer service. Plus, we added in some insight from one of the largest crowd-sourced review forums—Yelp. We hope you gain as much from their wisdom as we did.
“Whether we like it or not, the customer expectation of quality service is rising because of all the businesses that are really doing it well. We're seeing more companies promote their values and culture, building a more meaningful experience. That shows up in the balance sheet. The bar is constantly being raised, and when we create a more memorable experience, it benefits both our clients and our team.”
-Brian Schutt, Owner, Homesense Heating and Cooling
"Great customer service starts with engaged employees. Think about some great customer experiences you've had—they almost certainly involved an employee who went above and beyond. Companies that invest in their customer-facing team members and empower them to make decisions will see that translate into better service and higher customer satisfaction scores."
-Nicole Klemp, Content Marketing Manager, Emplify
“Your customer calls you because you’re an expert in your field. They may not know all the proper terminology so it’s very important to remain patient while trying to fully understand and grasp the issue at hand. Equally as important is empathy because it lets the customer know that they are dealing with someone real. They feel more secure and confident in their choice of a provider because you can relate to their issue and reassure them that you are going to be able to take are of it right away.”
-Kara Schaefer, Customer Service Training Coach, Hope Plumbing
“Today, people expect fast and impactful service, and in markets where products have become more homogeneous, service is often the only differentiator for your brand. To ensure Seven Corners consistently delivers excellent customer care, we promote a company culture that empowers team members to develop innovative and thoughtful solutions for our customers. To help with this, we have innovation contests where team members identify methods for improving service levels. This approach has worked well—in many cases, we’ve seen surprising enhancements with big impacts for our customers.”
-Justin Tysdal, CEO and Co-founder, Seven Corners
“In the competitive world of software and technology, it’s important to remember that innovation is driven by customers’ needs consistently. In order to provide exceptional customer service, take the time to understand the customer’s needs, and then work towards solving that critical problem. Taking this step will not only ensure a positive customer experience but will dramatically improve your odds of successful innovation.”
-Kevin MacCauley, Founder and CEO, Upper Hand
“Customer service plays an incredibly crucial role when it comes to having a strong or poor rating on Yelp. Our search and data mining team found that if a yelper mentions good customer service, they are more than five times as likely to give a five star review rather than a one star. Consumers are looking for knowledgeable staff that will go the extra mile to find answers, explain the product, and above all else, do it with warm and friendly energy. Something as simple as a smile and greeting when a customer walks in the door goes a long way in creating a warm and positive experience.”
-Brittany Smith, Midwest Associate Director of Community & Marketing, Yelp
“My customer service philosophy is simple: Indianapolis is a big small town. If I treat a customer or prospect unfairly, I will eventually run into that person at… the coffee shop, a restaurant, a Pacers game, etc. This has been my motto for years and has never let me down.”
- Scott Schmitt, Owner, GreenBrush Painters
"Starting a business is easier than ever before, but sustaining and growing it is also more difficult than ever due to increased competition and customer expectations. Offering a proprietary product or service is difficult and rare. Businesses must differentiate themselves from everyone else and they can do that in the form of exceptional customer service. Training employees to see the problem from the customer’s point of view is one of the most important aspects of great customer service because it puts everyone on the same team, instead of a combative, “I'm right...you're wrong” interaction”
-Mike Feldman, Real Estate Agent and Partner, Corbett & Company Real Estate
Research shows most businesses lose between 10-15% customers each year. BoxScore is a feedback tool to gather real-time assessments on your customer interactions. We believe real-time feedback enables real-time results. With BoxScore, businesses have been able to increase their customer retention rates by at least 10% and in most situations saving just one customer who had a bad experience pays for the BoxScore subscription. To learn more, or to get a free trial, visit www.boxscoreme.com.
BoxScore Celebrates Two Years in Indianapolis!
BoxScore celebrates two years of business this month! Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, BoxScore is a SaaS feedback tool used by businesses and nonprofits to receive quick and automated feedback from their customers. With its beginnings based at the Speak Easy, BoxScore is led by co-founders Patrick Burke and Bill Burke.
“Saving even one good customer often pays for the full BoxScore subscription. What’s more, BoxScore users can easily reduce customer turnover by 10%,” said Patrick Burke, Co-Founder and CEO.
Born out of the mutual frustration felt by co-founders, Patrick Burke and his dad, Bill, BoxScore is the 911 call that facilitates an immediate resolution and prevents a permanent stain on social media or online review sites.
The initial inspiration for BoxScore came from a conversation, where Patrick and Bill were commiserating on the ineffectiveness of both employee performance feedback (too little, too late) and customer feedback (tedious with low response rate). At the time, Patrick was leading strategic marketing for a division of a major utility company. Bill had spent a career in HR consulting for major corporations and was leading a non-profit organization. They decided there had to be a better way and the BoxScore concept came to life that very day.
BoxScore was able to secure funding from partner, Oasis Systems, a provider of technology and professional services whose run rate revenues exceed $500 million, and the dream came alive. Today, BoxScore users include Cannon IV, a leader in the managed print services industry, and Goodwill Industries.
“According to Bloomberg, 80% of startups don’t make it 18 months. We’re alive and well and loving the opportunity to help our clients be the best they can be through real-time feedback,” concluded Bill Burke, Co-Founder & COO.
Nonprofit Uses Real-Time Data to Improve Performance
At Goodwill Industries of Central and Southern Indiana, employees can use an internal hotline to call-in and ask questions. Historically, their Human Resources department had conducted an end-of-year survey to determine the satisfaction level of its internal customers, but they found once a year wasn’t enough.
They needed to capture satisfaction ratings after each HR case so if there was an issue, it could be addressed immediately. They also wanted to celebrate big wins as they happened, instead of waiting to learn about them from the yearly survey that was often months after the fact.
In a very short amount of time (less than one day) BoxScore set-up Goodwill with everything necessary to collect immediate feedback on each and every call. With BoxScore, they can now track which employee called, what team member helped them, and send out a BoxScore every day so the employee can evaluate the service.
● Access to performance trends by team member, case type, and summary level
● Ability to answer the question “how’s your team doing,” with a clear, data-driven response
● Enables negative incidents to be quickly identified and resolved before turning into a larger issue
“We don’t want to be the best we can be next year. We want to be the best we can be today. BoxScore helps us do just that. -Director of HR, Goodwill Industries
Need Another Complex Report? We didn’t think so.
In a world searching for wisdom yet drowning in information, BoxScore is a straightforward yet powerful measurement of employee performance. The simplicity and real-time nature of the BoxScore solution drives a significantly higher than industry average response rate of 40%. Easy to read yet powerful graphical reporting enables quick analysis and rapid decision making.
To try BoxScore for free, visit www.boxscore.me.