Survey Response Rates – The Understated Art of Improving Patient Experience

Gaining actionable insights into customers' experience is crucial to ensure their satisfaction with a product/service. Likewise, within the healthcare sector, a huge emphasis is being placed on patient experience. Be it setting up a healthcare marketing campaign or promoting your healthcare community, gathering data from patients plays a pivotal role in quality improvement as well as value-based healthcare delivery.

While patient experience surveys are widely preferred methods of capturing data, their low response rates make it difficult to paint the real picture. Let’s dig deeper into the importance of survey response rates and how you can improve them: 

Why survey response rate matters

As a patient experience survey helps to assess the patient satisfaction levels at every touchpoint, it’s response rate helps to ensure that the survey is performing as intended. While high survey response rates provide actionable feedback from a larger proportion of patients, low response rates can skew the patient experience data to a large extent. This further undermines the marketing efforts of healthcare providers.

According to the analysis of HCAHPS publicly reported data, the researchers observed a considerable drop in the response rates - from 33.3 % in 2008 to 26.7% in 2017. This decrease in response rate indicates that only a small percentage of patients give feedback to their healthcare providers.

With the increasing costs of healthcare services nowadays, the voice of patients matters more than ever. A key focus on increasing the response rates could help gather valuable data that improves the patient experience.

Increasing survey response rate to elevate patient experience

Catering to a wider audience  

Since most of the patient experience surveys primarily gather feedback from adults, it's important to include surveys for various audiences like children and adolescents. This helps to uncover a robust and stratified data set that reveals demographic-specific concerns which were not detected otherwise. As survey design plays a crucial role in boosting response rates, adding some fun to the survey with interactive emoticons or gamification would be a great idea. Also, it's important to assure the patients' confidentiality and anonymity before you survey them. 

Asking essential questions only

While you may feel inundating patients with multiple questions can help to uncover different aspects, lengthy surveys can be off-putting to the respondents. As poorly worded, complex surveys can lead to respondent fatigue, most patients abandon the survey before completing it. Sometimes, they might end up answering with disinterest, which results in bad data. 
So you need to check if the questions are actionable enough to provide you any useful information. If not, consider removing them!  

Adding convenience for your patients

When developing a patient experience survey, it's important to focus on flexible methods of surveying your respondents. As there are multiple channels (web, phone, social media, or email) available for survey distribution, let your patients choose the right medium as per their convenience. According to an NRC health study, 55% of patients prefer getting surveyed via emails. That's approximately 5 times to the patients who prefer phone calls (10%) and postal mail (10%) for surveys. Using Voxco's omnichannel survey solution enables you to provide convenient alternatives to your patients. 

Improving the survey response rates can help in imbibing a positive patient experience across every touchpoint. Need to boost your survey response rates? Get in touch with the experts at Voxco to achieve unparalleled excellence in the patient experience.

How HR leaders can contain the impact of COVID-19 on employees’ mental health?

Figuring out ways to survive and thrive in an unprecedented crisis, businesses across the globe are grappling with new norms of operationalizing their remote teams. As the increasing COVID-19 cases and economic fallout has taken a toll on employees' mental health, many of them are experiencing challenges like anxiety and depression, which may have a detrimental effect on the business. 

To transform this crisis into incredible employee engagement opportunities, companies need to understand why it’s imperative to focus on the mental health of their workforce. Let’s dive deeper into the significance of employees' mental health and how HR leaders can support them in these trying times:

Why employees' mental health matters?

An employee's mental health plays a pivotal role in the seamless functioning of a business. As Coronavirus has come up with severe obstacles to mental wellness, 1 out of 4 Americans have been dealing with mental disorders caused by the pandemic (according to the World Economic Forum). By affecting the employees' ability to work, factors like job insecurity and market volatility have pressurized them even more. While mental health is highly entwined with employee productivity, it becomes essential for organizations to foster a culture that destigmatizes the emotional needs of employees. 

Uncovering the adverse effects of ignoring employees’ mental health

Many employers hesitate to peek into their employees' lives whereas employees find it difficult to share their struggles related to emotional wellness. As a result of which, mental health often gets ignored in the workplace. Eliminating this communication gap becomes more crucial as it can create problems for both employers and employees. If not paid proper care & attention, mental health issues can result in: 

Low productivity

If the employees’ mental health is in shambles, they are more prone to substance abuse causing errors at work, poor decision-making, workplace accidents (while using heavy machinery), faulty timekeeping, etc. This contributes to an overall decline in productivity. As per the World Health Organization, the productivity loss due to depression & anxiety has a massive impact on the global economy, costing around US$ 1 trillion per year.

Less motivation

As the employees suffer from challenges like stress, depression, panic attacks, anxiety, and burnout, they stay unhappy and feel less motivated/committed to work. Also, it leads to an increased overall sickness absence which disrupts the business workflow.

Poor work culture

Employees dealing with mental health disorders often have disciplinary issues that result in friction among colleagues as well as poor client relationships. According to the
Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), 50% of employees accepted that anxiety has affected their professional relationships, leading to less participation at work. This negatively impacts the company's culture and makes it potentially toxic.

Supporting employees’ mental health amidst the pandemic

Prioritizing the mental health of its workforce, Starbucks has offered free 20 mental therapy sessions to all of its US employees in April. They've also rolled out Headspace (an app for meditation and mindfulness) which empowers the employees to cleanse and settle their minds during the turbulent times. Here’s what HR leaders can do to support their employees’ mental health:

Flexibility plays a critical role

Offering flexibility to your employees can help them thrive amidst the pandemic while keeping mental disorders at bay. Reiterating existing practices to support employees' mental health goes a long way. As the needs of every individual differ at different times, let your workforce set the boundaries they want. Offering flexibility doesn't mean degrading your standards, rather it empowers your workforce to perform well even during the uncertain times.

Communication is key

Since the mental health of your employees is deeply impacted by the COVID outbreak, open & honest communication can help you gain insights into their emotional wellbeing. By keeping your workforce informed about the organizational updates, you can relieve them from stress caused due to workload. Also, you can share mental health resources with your employees to minimize the shame and stigma associated with it.

Policies make a huge difference  

Modifying your company's policies with respect to the pandemic and civil unrest can help in minimizing stress among the employees. According to WHO, every US$ 1 spent into the treatment of employee mental disorders yields an ROI of US$ 4 in terms of improved health. By reconsidering the existing norms related to working hours, paid & unpaid leaves, and performance reviews, you can effortlessly mitigate the mental issues that your employees are facing. Moreover, implementing an employee wellness program will efficiently support their mental health.

The mental health issues are as serious as the pandemic itself. While the world is battling with COVID-19, let's focus on creating a positive workplace culture that is away from all sorts of mental disorders. Get in touch with Voxco for best-in-class solutions to foster an employee-centric culture. 

Why is it the right time to implement Employee Wellness Programs?

With the derailing of business operations by COVID-19,  most companies have switched to remote work for ensuring employee safety. While precautions can help in keeping this dangerous pathogen at bay, taking care of mental health and wellness plays an extremely crucial role. As the wellbeing of your remote workers matters more than anything else, leveraging employee wellness programs can help reduce stressors caused by the pandemic. Let’s dig deeper into employee wellness programs and why you need to implement them: 

Employee wellness programs and their benefits

Employee wellness programs are a comprehensive set of resources that are primarily designed to promote the overall health and safety of employees. A wellness program might include assessments, strategies, policies, as well as activities tailored to target the specific needs of every employee. Implementing an employee wellness program can be beneficial for your business in numerous ways such as:

  • Increased employee engagement: Using employee wellness programs can help in effectively addressing employee issues which further boosts engagement. By successfully engaging the employees, a wellness program helps them develop a healthy relationship with the company.

  • Reduced absenteeism: By improving employee health and uplifting their morale, wellness programs help to decrease absenteeism.

  • Decreased healthcare costs: Implementing a well-thought wellness program can help minimize healthcare costs. According to the Harvard Wellness Program study, a company saves around $3.27 over every dollar invested in a wellness program.

  • Enhanced employee productivity: By building a great workplace culture, wellness programs enable employees to realize their true potential which results in higher productivity. 

Why should you implement employee wellness programs during COVID?

As the pandemic has massive health, social, and economic devastation, implementing employee wellness programs has become more essential to assess employee sentiments on the new way of working. By uncovering key factors that can help to boost the employees’ productivity even during the uncertain times, wellness programs help you create a sustainable working model that contributes to success. Here’s why you need to focus on implementing wellness programs for your employees:

  • Mental Health
    Using employee wellness programs can help to effortlessly manage the mental-health challenges that employees face due to the burden of remote working. Being digitally engaged at their homes all day long, employees usually experience a blurring of work-life balance. Offering free therapy sessions and confidential counseling can support the employees' mental health in challenging times.

  • Physical Health
    Considered as a key metric for driving productivity, physical health plays an indispensable role in workforce performance. Implementing wellness programs help you promote healthy behavior among employees in the remote workplace. Conducting health webinars and online fitness classes enable your employees to stay fit and well.

Engaging remote workers with your wellness program

As most of the employees have been working from their homes nowadays, it’s important to create wellness programs that resonate well with the remote workforce. Follow these tips to seamlessly engage remote workers with your wellness initiatives: 

Follow a flexible approach

Since you need to create wellness programs for your remote workers, flexibility should be given utmost priority. Be it conducting live-streaming fitness sessions or sharing vouchers for online clinical checkups, following an ‘out-of-the-box’ approach always helps you to engage your workforce in wellness programs.  

Leverage digital solutions 

Including online fitness sessions in your wellness program is just one way of reaching out to remote employees. Conducting webinars and presentations related to work, finances, family, and health on digital platforms like Skype, Zoom, and other video resources could encourage remote workforce engagement.

Go beyond geographical locations

To cultivate wellness for employees in a remote setting, it's important to check that wellness initiatives of engagement programs are not restricted to a particular location. You should avoid adding offsite options in your wellness programs. Enable your employees to participate in health screenings from their own community clinic or specific healthcare professional. Also, providing fitness equipment to remote employees can help to track their activity, no matter where they are.

Building a successful wellness program for your employees

 

Begin with assessments

Before developing a wellness program for your employees, it’s important to evaluate their overall health and personal interests. Conducting surveys for your workforce help to gain actionable insights into their needs. Also, conducting a health risk assessment helps you analyze the health of your workforce before setting up a wellness program for them. Use Voxco’s omnichannel solutions to uncover the key drivers of employee experience.

Establish your objectives 

After a successful assessment of your workforce, you need to wisely set up goals for your program. Be it improving the health of your employees, reducing the absenteeism rate, or maximizing the productivity of your workforce, each goal is a statement of long-term accomplishment that is expected from the wellness program.

Design your wellness program
 

Based on the varying needs and resources of the company, employers design an effective wellness program for their workforce. No matter if the design of a wellness program is a simple or detailed one, it needs to target risk behaviors while aligning well with the employees' interests. Your wellness programs might be focussed on stress reduction, health screenings, weight loss, nutrition education, smoking cessation, exercise programs, and more. 

Creating an employee wellness program can help to improve the health and wellbeing of your remote workers even during unprecedented times. Need to bolster your employee experience with best-in-class employee wellness programs? Get in touch with us to book a demo! 

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Effectively tracking Customer Journeys is vital for improving your Customer Experience

Getting customers for your products or services can be tough and staying in your target audience’ mind can be an even bigger challenge. However, the rewards are greater as well. You WANT to be the first business they think of when they’re looking for a product or service. Establishing a positive Customer Experience is a major differentiator that can help you occupy customer mind space, and mapping customer journeys can help provide the best possible experience to customers at every touchpoint.

What are Customer Journeys?

A customer journey is every interaction a potential customer has with your brand at each touchpoint. It starts right from the process of learning about your brand and its offerings to after the sale is made.

Mapping Customer Journeys help organizations keep a track of customer sentiment - for both prospective and existing customers. By arming themselves with customer-related insights, businesses can craft better customer experiences and make more informed decisions about their portfolio.

Technology is constantly evolving, and with it, customer journeys are evolving as well. Which is why conducting customer experience surveys regularly will help businesses better understand customer pain points. It also helps one understand if customer interaction with your brand is positive.

Why should you track customer journeys?

Do you wish for your brand to occupy your target audience’ mind space, or for your product to define its category? If your answer is yes, then you need to track customer experience and journeys. 

Tracking customer journeys can help you get insights to:

Helps focus company resources

Conducting customer experience surveys at every touchpoint will help you better understand customer pain points, their expectations from future hardware, software or services from your brand.
You can then choose to act on these insights whenever possible. Proactively responding to customer issues helps establish an emotional connection with your brand, which in turn breeds loyalty and advocacy. 

Create new customer bases

Mapping customer journeys can grant you a whole host of information about your customer's behavior. This does not need to be limited to addressing concerns of your existing customers. By surveying prospective customers who eventually decided to go in another direction, you can learn where your offerings are lacking.

You can then choose to release another product that caters to this niche or incorporate customer feedback into current offerings. 

Bridge the gap between online and offline customer interactions

For businesses that have both an online and physical presence, it's possible to have two vastly differing sets of customer experiences. What has been working for your retail presence may not hold any relevance online.
If your data and insights are siloed, it can make it difficult to identify successful product strategies.

For example - Company A makes mobile phones. Their phones sell great via online channels, but brick and mortar outlets are struggling to perform as well, even in areas which are traditionally better suited to physical stores. Conducting customer experience surveys at touchpoints along both these channels can help identify what’s going wrong in physical stores, and help Company A effect changes which bring customer journeys at retail stores in line with their online counterparts.

Customer Journey

Mapping the Customer Journey

To effectively track customer experience and journeys, companies need to embed CX professionals in their organization. You can have a department dedicated to improving CX, or embed CX professionals in other teams to help track customer experience and influence changes starting from the design phase itself.

However, one needs to be cognizant of certain factors while tracking journeys:

Customer emotions need to be taken into account

Any customer journey is that of a person, and people are emotional. Their buying habits are dictated by emotions to varying extents. These emotional characteristics can have a huge role in customer loyalty and brand advocacy. 

Which is why customer experience surveys need to ask respondents on how they feel about different aspects of your business. 

Taking customer emotions into account can also give insights which businesses can use to create more personalized marketing campaigns.

Journeys need to reflect customer truth, not what stakeholders want to hear

Although data doesn’t lie, there’s always a way to present data in a manner which suits an agenda. CX professionals tracking customer journeys with a business cannot afford to do anything of the sort.

Customer feedback can be unkind, but there’s always value in it. Gleaning insights from unbiased feedback can help guide business decisions which breed customer loyalty over time and can help turn detractors into promoters.

 

Voxco is trusted by researchers across verticals in 30+ countries. Our powerful omnichannel Customer Experience survey software can help you systematically measure & improve CX.

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Reinventing HCAHPS surveys to improve patient experience

The current crisis has forced healthcare organizations to adapt overnight to deliver patient-centric care. While telehealth or video conferencing solutions have replaced the conventional in-person appointments, healthcare providers need to keep their patients updated with medical advice that is easy-to-understand. 

The biggest challenge that most of the healthcare providers are facing is - How to successfully manage the patient experience in these uncertain times? How to effectively capture the patient feedback and drive improvement by acting upon it? Let’s take a look:

 

Why HCAHPS surveys matter?

Designed specifically to measure patient feedback, HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) surveys help to gain insights into the patient’s experience with the care they received at a hospital. Consisting of 32 questions, these HCAHPS surveys enable the Patient Experience Leaders (PELs) to effectively understand their patients' perspectives with robust and actionable feedback. Moreover, the HCAHPS survey results are publicly reported which empowers individuals to make informed decisions related to healthcare (like choosing a hospital for them).

Why do organizations need to go beyond HCAHPS?

While HCAHPS surveys have effortlessly captured patient experience since their inception, they have not kept pace with the technological developments that are important to most patients nowadays. With the shift in patients’ expectations, it’s time to revamp the HCAHPS surveys for improving the patient care experience. Here are some factors why HCAHPS surveys need to be overhauled:

Lack of digital modes

The absence of digital survey modes (like emails or mobile applications) in HCAHPS surveys acts as a hindrance in capturing patient experience. As these surveys are available in IVR, phone, and physical mail only, it becomes difficult to reach out to patients from minority populations. In fact, the lack of digital modes makes HCAHPS surveys incapable of capturing feedback from younger patients, mainly millennials. Leverage Voxco’s omnichannel survey solutions for transforming every touchpoint into positive patient experience.

Delay in feedback

After getting discharged from the hospital, an HCAHPS survey is shared with the patient in between 48 hours to 6 weeks and the submitted responses then take 9 to 21 months to reflect on the hospital's portal. Ideally, the survey should be shared with the patient at the time of discharge to gain real-time insights into the patient's experience. Also, the time lag between submission of the survey and public reporting needs to be reduced to make the data more relevant & useful.

Length & language of the survey

The response rate of HCAHPS surveys has fallen with time as most of the patients get frustrated with its length and the language of the questions asked. While the validity of a survey gets eroded with lower response rates, it's essential to keep the surveys short and engaging. The addition of supplemental questions by hospitals (for improving internal quality) might result in the falling response rates, investing in non-HCAHPS surveys could help to track additional patient metrics. Use Voxco's multilingual non-HCAHPS web surveys to tide over such limitations.

Changes in patient preferences & hospital models

The advancement of technology in healthcare has completely transformed patients’ choices and expectations. In today’s time, most of the patients prefer to switch hospitals due to poor digital communication with their health professionals.
As patients come across many health professionals during their period of hospitalization, it becomes confusing for them to understand who is a doctor, a physician, a nurse, or an assistant. This makes it difficult to capture patient experience accurately while making the HCAHPS scores less relevant. 

When it comes to improving patient care experience, HCAHPS surveys need to be re-evaluated and updated with time for staying relevant to both patients and hospitals. Need patient experience solutions that can help you with HCAHPS surveys & more? Click here to book a demo! 

How surveys in financial institutions help drive business growth

As the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 will exist for the foreseeable future, banks and financial institutions need to stay vigilant until a path to normalcy emerges. By catering to customer needs, motivating employees, and analyzing the operational and risk compliance implications, the finance sector can successfully facilitate its return to stability. Here’s where a question arises - How do banks and capital markets maintain operational resilience even during the pandemic? 

Adding competitive advantage with CX and EX

During uncertain times, customers matter more than ever so delivering superior customer experience (CX) can empower financial services businesses with enhanced customer loyalty as well as market revenue. Likewise, focussing on employee experience (EX) can help businesses sustain employee engagement to strengthen organizational culture even during the pandemic. So, leveraging EX playbooks for achieving CX excellence can be the best way to infuse organizational agility.

Treating your employees nice will go a long way. As exceptional EX enhances the productivity of the employees, it uncovers their full potential which helps them drive business value. Enable your employees to make significant changes to the work arrangements and provide full support for it. By doing so, they will be able to seamlessly cater to the customers while fulfilling their family responsibilities.

In most countries severely hit by the pandemic, the role of the finance sector has become even more crucial. While customers are dealing with the loss of jobs, disrupted revenue, and fewer sources of income, financial businesses need to focus on elevating their customer experience (CX) for helping their customers deal with temporary difficulties. Providing necessary support & forbearance and meeting the “liquid” expectations of the customers will help build trust at an individual level. 

How Finance Surveys can help?

Given the current situation of the COVID pandemic, finance surveys are the best way to understand how people are weathering through the crisis. A finance survey helps you explore the key drivers behind customer experience while empowering your employees to get a unified view of the customer journey. 

To monitor and manage their customers well, banks and financial institutions need to invest in customer experience which can be achieved using finance surveys. Here’s why you need to consider finance surveys for your business:

Customers prefer personalization

While the customers' relationship with their financial services provider is purely transactional, offering personalized experience to the customers can make them stay longer with the same bank. Using finance surveys can help you gain a true, 360 view of your customers. This lets you cater to them personally which promotes client loyalty and boosts revenue growth.

Brand perception is crucial

Being an important aspect of the business, customer service plays a pivotal role in overall brand perception. Most customers tend to cut ties with its financial service provider due to poor customer service, including finance surveys can empower the customers to solicit their open & honest feedback. This lets you serve them better which enhances your brand value. 

For instance, conducting finance surveys to track bank customer service, can help you gather customer feedback which ensures a convenient banking experience to all your clients. In the case of personal finance, these surveys can help you gain in-depth insights into the financial health of your customers and their spending habits too.  

Use Voxco's omnichannel finance survey solutions to fully understand your customer issues, align your employees, and pinpoint growth opportunities even in turbulent times. 

 

How to make the most of your online surveys?

As channels for gathering feedback from customers and employees, online surveys play a vital role in the organization's growth. By gaining insights into how people think, act, or feel, businesses can track their performance, enhance their services, and develop new products too. Whether you're doing market research, testing an idea, or merely running a poll, an effective online survey is all you need to collect actionable insights.

Principles behind great surveys

While surveys can help you foster closer ties with customers or employees, it is important to build surveys that are clear, concise, and engaging. Let’s dive deeper into the principles behind great surveys: 

  • Surveys are for respondents
    On visiting your website, most visitors have some goals in their mind that they want to accomplish. The idea is to offer surveys that are customer-focused so that people don't find it difficult to answer your questions while working on the tasks at hand. Adding answer options that are collectively exhaustive & mutually exclusive can make your surveys painless for the respondents.

  • Surveys reflect your brand
    Considered as effective channels of communication between customers and the company, online surveys are the sobering mirrors of the brand that send them. Using impeccable grammar, spelling, and formal tone can help ensure you represent your brand in the best way possible. Also, adding irrelevant topics (that are not related to your products/services) to the survey affects your company standards.

  • Clarity and precision are key
    Adding context to clarify your survey questions enables respondents to understand what you mean. Stacking multiple aspects in a single question or using terms that are not so precise will make your survey ambiguous. Decoupling concepts in your survey can help you sidestep such pitfalls.  

Designing surveys that perform well

To ensure your online survey is suitable for the respondents, you need to analyze the fundamentals of survey design. As your survey's design can make or break its performance, here are some steps that can ensure your survey design is on point:

  • Analyze your objectives
    Start by setting up your goals, i.e. what do you want from this survey, how will it add value to your brand? This benchmark will prevent you from losing sight of your survey’s purpose while helping you visualize the results too.
     
  • Set your priorities right
    Once you review and finalize your goals, you can shortlist the content and frame up the survey questions accordingly. While setting up a survey, you need to include questions based on priority. Also, it’s important to check if people are comfortable answering each question.

  • Extract information with the right question types
    As respondents are going to interact with your brand through surveys only, it's essential to include questions that provide the best information. You can use dichotomous (yes/no), rank order, open-ended text, multiple-choice questions as per your choice. 

  • Road-test and Revise
    Before you begin with distribution, you should pre-test your survey to discover the required gaps. Getting feedback from a group of testers can help you realize the areas of improvement and make revisions.

Best practices for online surveys

While the popularity of online surveys has propelled people to create surveys for their business, building a successful online survey is not as easy as it seems. Let's consider some best practices that could help you make the most of your online surveys:

  • Keeping it simple
    Using extremely wordy or confusing questions can irritate your respondents and they might quit your survey. Adding simple questions that are easy to understand will fetch you accurate results from your clients. 

  • Using close-ended questions
    While setting up your online survey, it's great to include close-ended questions (that have pre-determined answers). These questions are easy to respond and produce quantitative results as compared to open-ended ones which take time to fill out and analyze too.

  • Utilizing scale questions
    Playing a pivotal role in research, scales help to gauge the direction as well as the intensity of your respondent's opinion. Including a 5 or 7-point response scale with opposite extremities can help you extract detailed information without using open-ended questions.

  • Backing up your survey
    As data loss can occur anytime, it's recommended to create a backup copy of online surveys and their responses regularly. After you're done with the backup copy, you can delete old surveys that are not receiving responses anymore.

Increasing your online survey response rates

  • Know your customers well
    Before you begin with the survey process, it's important to fully understand your customers. Ensure the correct contact information of your respondents before surveying as it helps to increase the response rate of your surveys. Also, appreciate the customers for their valuable participation.

  • Value the time of your customers
    As most of the customers would not like to engage in surveys that are too long or irrelevant, you need to be considerate of the respondents' time. By giving your customers an estimated time of survey completion, you can convince them to participate in the surveys. Also, keep the duration of your surveys up to 10 mins only (or 15 mins max). 

  • Use an omnichannel approach
    There's no denying that sending surveys via email is the best way to reach out to respondents. But to pique the interest of your target audience, you can conduct the surveys via phone, or post it over social media channels too. This way you can generate curiosity among your respondents and they will end up completing your survey. You can use Voxco's omnichannel survey software to reach your respondents anywhere, anytime.

Sumit Aneja, Voxco’s CEO, recognized in The Software Report’s 2020 Top 50 SaaS CEO List

We are excited to announce that Voxco's CEO, Sumit Aneja figures among the Top 50 SaaS CEOs of 2020 by The Software Report.  
Reviewed across a number of parameters including company performance, workplace culture, product strength, and strategic decision-making, these exceptional CEOs were selected through positive nominations from colleagues, peers, and other software industry participants. 
The Software Report's 2020 Top 50 SaaS CEO list recognizes CEOs for their unique skill set and leadership style - for communicating an inspiring vision, designing a strong corporate strategy, achieving performance targets consistently while supporting their employees. 

À propos de Voxco

Voxco is a global leader in omnichannel cloud and on-premise enterprise feedback management solutions. By helping market research firms, government agencies, and global corporations to unlock the full potential of data, we empower them with online and mobile surveys, over-the-phone interviews, or face-to-face offline surveys to collect data anytime, anywhere. Founded over 45 years ago, Voxco has been catering to more than 450 clients in over 40 countries. Learn more at voxco.com.

About The Software Report

Based in New York, The Software Report is known for providing market research & insights, investment activities, business news, and corporate actions about the software sector. Professionally run by a team of writers, editors as well as media professionals who have in-depth knowledge about the software industry, The Software Report can fully realize the growth potential of companies that make up the sector.

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How Netflix’ Employee & Customer Experience has helped them grow double their expectations during the crisis

The media and entertainment industry has been deeply roiled with the coronavirus outbreak. However, there has been barely any impact on pioneer of OTT (Over the top) media streaming, Netflix. As people around the world were confined to their homes because of the pandemic, Netflix experienced massive growth by gaining 16 million new subscribers in the first quarter of this year which exceeded their growth expectations by 2x! 

It's the foundational principles of Netflix that have helped it become a top streaming subscription service. Since its inception, Netflix has portrayed itself as a company that is small enough to let employees wear multiple hats yet large enough to ensure employees take on only suitable work. It's the amazing and unusual employee culture of Netflix that contributes to its core philosophy of people over process. Here's what makes Netflix’ employee experience special: 

  • Encouraging employees with independent decision-making 
  • Sharing information openly and deliberately across teams
  • Fostering a culture of honesty and truthfulness 
  • Hiring highly effective people only
  • Avoiding rules and unnecessary policies 

There’s a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of The Little Prince which Netflix adheres to in spirit: 

  “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Based on the approach of its first CEO, Marc Randolph, the following employee experience principles of Netflix have helped them successfully navigate challenges and excellent customer experience and employee experience, even during unprecedented times. 

Freedom and Responsibility

Netflix believes in hiring great talent, giving them tough problems, and allowing them to solve those problems with full freedom. They prefer collaborating with colleagues and respecting their skills.

Coupled loosely but aligned tightly

An ideal leader should tell its employees about the destination, not the way of reaching there. Empower the team members to find their own distinct ways of reaching the goal. It not only brings innovation to their work but also gives them the freedom to efficiently solve problems and elevates employee experience.

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Focus on the dream team

The idea of a great workplace is building a dream team with extraordinary colleagues having common goals and similar ambitions. While there are no “brilliant jerks" in a dream team, highly effective collaborators inspire each other to become more productive, creative, as well as successful.

When Netflix first launched, it did so as an online service which rented out movie DVDs to their customers. Over time they've evolved into one of, if not the biggest providers of OTT media content. To be able to make such a transition successfully, Netflix needed to make sure their customer and employee experience was, is and remains on point. Here's a few key tenets which have ensured that their Customer Experience prevents customer churn, especially in a market saturated with competitors. 

Personalization

Netflix focusses on personalizing the customer experience to keep its users happy and engaged. By effectively tracking their viewing history and collecting data across all touchpoints, Netflix uses an algorithm to recommend its customers shows/movies as per their past choices and browsing history. Customers can watch content on demand on any device, even offline. 

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Customer Obsession

Being a customer centric company, Netflix gives top priority to customer experience and prefers to share customer feedback enterprise wide so that there are no data silos. By gleaning actionable insights from customer feedback and bringing them to bear on script/content ideas, Netflix produces original shows that perform exceptionally well.

Data above all

Netflix collects as much data as it can before creatively using the data to arrive upon insights, be it through social media, online surveys, phone surveys or any other means.  To their surprise, Netflix found that more local (culturally speaking) content garnered more universal appeal. Aspiring to create more moments of truth and enhance customer autonomy, Netflix strives to improve continuously by arriving at such insights. The focus is on creating and even inventing what customers need if it doesn’t exist. This is what has kept their customer experience and by extension, their customer satisfaction levels head and shoulders beyond the competition. 

As per Randolph, the best way to check a good idea is to build it, test it, and sell it - and that's what has helped Netflix reach where it is today. Even during the global pandemic, Netflix was able to generate a net income of $709 million in the first quarter. Without offering any live sports, Netflix has gained a significant advantage over competitors like Disney. Walt Disney Co. is furloughing workers after closing its popular theme parks, which were a key part of its business. Meanwhile, Netflix is adding to its staff by hiring 2,000 more workers to handle customer service.

How did Netflix become an undisputed champion of entertainment amidst the pandemic?

With quarantine and streaming being the new norm, Netflix has created long-term profitability by effectively capturing the content obsessed audience. Also, their long-standing strategy of focusing on customer experience is paving way for higher lifetime value. Let’s dive deep into the reasons that contributed to its exponential growth:

Global presence

With 193 million subscribers worldwide, the workflow of this internet-based business wasn't interrupted in any way due to the pandemic crisis. Having a global presence among the majority of domestic OTT providers, Netflix has around 73 million subscribers in the US alone. Even outside the US, it outperforms other OTT providers with 70-87% of subscription users in English-speaking countries and 55-64% of users in non-English speaking countries.

Subscription-based business

Leveraging a business model that derives revenue from streaming subscriptions, Netflix has been a convenient content provider during the pandemic. For those staying in quarantine or forced to self-isolate, taking up or extending their subscription proved to be a useful way to bide their time. Considering the current situation where more outdoorsy avenues of entertainment aren’t an option, Netflix’s subscription-based model has helped it excel even during the crisis. However, this pandemic has proved to be a proper test for Netflix’ Customer experience credentials as well- with the spotlight shining brighter than ever on this streaming platform.

Large library of content

While other OTT providers with a dearth of content are struggling to satisfy customer demand during the pandemic, Netflix owns a huge library of original content that gives its members thousands of options to choose from. As viewer satisfaction is of utmost priority, Netflix management ensures to keep the library updated with new & fresh content.

As the pandemic has imposed restrictions on the everyday routine and people have been asked to follow social distancing rules, customers are increasingly turning towards streaming services like Netflix. While customers are willing to pay for the online streaming service, it remains to be seen whether this surge in customer base is one that can be sustained once the world recovers from this crisis.

Voxco is trusted by researchers across verticals in 30+ countries. Our powerful omnichannel Customer Experience survey software can help you systematically measure & improve CX.

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Ensuring a positive customer experience during a Pandemic: Why Amazon is thriving

With the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent economic downturn, most businesses are in the process of streamlining their operations. While the pandemic has thoroughly upended companies across the world - earth’s most customer-centric company, Amazon, has remained mostly unscathed by its effects. 

As the sheer domination of online shopping pushed every company forward during the lockdown, e-commerce sales almost doubled in the month of May. 

The amount of consumer spending on Amazon rose by 60% between May and July as compared to the same time-frame in 2019. The $280-billion-in-sales behemoth knew that the pandemic will hunker down customers at home, resulting in the surge of essential supplies on the web. With a key focus on overall customer experience, Amazon decided to ramp up its production to meet soaring demand. This resulted in $75.4 billion in revenue during the first quarter, which was 26% higher than the previous year. 

Let's have a look and see how Amazon was able to achieve this massive feat by catering to its customers while adapting to this pandemic:

Offering options like front-porch delivery or unattended delivery

With an eye on the health and safety of its customers and employees, Amazon has offered customers the option to select “front-porch delivery” at the time of checkout. The delivery agent leaves the order at the front door without taking the customer's signature. Likewise, Prime Now and AmazonFresh customers can choose "unattended delivery" during checkout to ensure contactless delivery of their orders.

Combating price hikes

To protect its customers during the global crisis, Amazon imposed a cap on price increases for COVID related items like masks & sanitizers. With automated and manual means to effectively monitor their stores for coronavirus-based price gouging, Amazon has removed more than 3,900 selling accounts in their US store only. Moreover, its seamless collaboration with law enforcement agencies further helps in prosecuting alleged price gougers.

Empowering customers to stay connected and informed

To support customers during unprecedented times and raise hygiene awareness, Amazon has been using its devices - Alexa, Kindle, Fire TV, Echo, etc. Alexa now comes with 'Hand Wash Tunes' that feature custom musical timers from international artists to promote hygiene practices by adding some fun. Likewise, with guidance from PHAC (Public Health Agency of Canada), Alexa can check the Covid-19 symptoms of customers at home.

Expanding massively into groceries

With the exponential rise in grocery demand by customers during the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon has increased its grocery delivery services by 160 percent. To help customers get groceries on-time, Amazon decided to provide additional grocery delivery windows across its stores. With an immense focus on fulfilling grocery delivery, they have opened some temporary online-only stores in California and Illinois too.

Offering free & disposable masks to customers

Amazon has been providing disposable masks for free to all of its customers at physical retail stores and Whole Foods Market. To ensure their customers and employees stay safe, Amazon has invested around $4 billion on COVID-19 related expenses in the month of June. 

Hiring big to support increased customer demand

At this time of crisis where many people have lost their jobs, Amazon has hired 175,000 people in their operations network to help them meet increased customer demand for deliveries. This has had a net positive effect on both employee and customer experience.

Amazon's leadership principles have helped them produce spectacular results during the crisis. With an aim to emphasize its global customer focus these leadership principles have worked as guides to navigate challenges - Even on the scale of the global pandemic.

  • Ownership
    To be a leader is to be an owner, and leaders act for their entire company, not just themselves or their team. Leaders think long term and don’t focus solely on short term gains.
  • Customer Focus
    Companies looking to be leaders start with the customer and then work backward, incorporating customer feedback along the way. Focusing on customer experience is especially useful in a time where the world is struck by a pandemic, and customers’ needs have undergone a paradigm shift. 
  • Think Big
    Leaders think differently and think big. They’re always looking into new ways to engage with their customers or create a new customer base entirely.
  • Leaders are right, a lot
    Leaders have good instincts and strong judgment. They spend a lot of time testing if their beliefs are aligned with market reality. Even when they’re wrong and their bets don’t pay off, leaders can find ways to salvage solutions from their failures for future projects.
  • Learn and be curious
    Leaders are curious about new opportunities and are never done learning or improving themselves.
  • Hire and develop the best
    A leader can recognize exceptional talent and tends to raise the performance bar with every hire.

Now more than ever, these leadership principles have shone through in Amazon’s efforts to step up and meet customer needs - even in verticals where they weren't a major player. And this isn’t happening in a few developed countries - it’s happening globally. All of this while ensuring a good customer experience at almost all touchpoints.

Ever since its inception, Amazon has maintained a “Day One” mentality which helps them approach every aspect spiritedly like it's the first day. With a “Day One” mentality at its core, Amazon believes in integrating the scope and capabilities of a big company with the spirit and pliability of a small one. 

Customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied, even when they report being happy and business is great.

What Jeff Bezos meant by these words is that customer are always dissatisfied. They're always on the lookout for a better option, and that makes it essential to constantly invent beforehand. Since customer trust is hard to win and easy to lose, Amazon follows a customer-first approach to constantly improve their services and features.

Examining why Amazon has flourished even at the time of the pandemic can help companies optimize for customer centricity.

Voxco is trusted by researchers across verticals in 30+ countries. Our powerful Omnichannel Customer Experience survey software can help you systematically measure & improve CX.