Michelle de Haaff

At Medallia, we talk a lot about embedding the customer into the daily operating rhythm of an organization. That means gathering feedback from customers everywhere and pumping the feedback throughout an organization in a way that creates dialog, insight, and, ultimately, effective action: engagement, recovery, promotion, innovation.
This morning at the Gartner & 1to1Media CRM Excellence Awards ceremony, I sat next to the lead executives at Intuit and Best Western who were there to receive awards. What exciting stories! Both use Medallia. Both embed the customer into their operations. Both know that Customer Experience Management (CEM) is not a one-off, but an ongoing effort to improve experiences. Here’s a bit more about why they won.
Intuit’s Maniacal Focus on Improving the Customer Experience
Intuit won in the Customer Experience Excellence category, which judges “the impact of the organization’s customer experience to increase customer engagement (demonstrated by improvements in such areas as loyalty, retention, and advocacy), and enhance business performance.” Evaluation criteria of the customer experience category included strategy, execution, and business results.
Intuit’s Accounting Professionals Division (APD), which offers software and services for accountants and tax preparers in public practice, focuses on accelerating growth by creating customer-focused products, services, and programs. The Intuit division implemented Medallia to gather customer feedback from all channels (social media, surveys, web, panels, phone) and act on it. In fact, APD excels in leveraging feedback to innovate relentlessly.  For example, based on feedback, APD instituted a new-customer onboarding program, which increased customer renewal rates 49%.
As a result of its maniacal customer focus, APD’s NPS (Net Promoter Score), customer retention, customer satisfaction with key touchpoints, and market share have all increased. That’s what brought Intuit into the winner’s circle today. Continued focus on improvement will keep it there.
Best Western’s Engagement with Customers Across Channels
Best Western won in the Social and Mobile Engagement category, which focused on “the use of social and mobile channels to increase customer engagement and improve business performance”.  As with the customer experience category, the evaluation criteria for the social/mobile engagement category included: strategy execution, and measurable business results.
The goal of Best Western’s social initiative was to improve the online reputation of each of its 4,200+ locations across 100 countries. Specifically, Best Western aimed to increase: online reviews, TripAdvisor rank and score, and active Facebook and Twitter followers for each of its properties—all while maintaining a consistent brand voice.
The company also wanted to show that it actively listens to all customers, including those who post on social media, by resolving issues and making improvements based on customer feedback from all sources.
Best Western implemented Medallia’s real-time CEM system, which immediately notifies properties when a guest posts a review of a hotel or provides feedback in surveys, in text messages, or even in letters or comment cards. Managers can then respond instantly—through the application, on the review site, over email, in a direct call, or in whichever fashion is appropriate for the situation.
The Medallia system offers other advantages. It allows hotel managers, with a single login, to compare solicited and social feedback in tandem, manage the full guest experience, and identify significant differences in their hotel’s social vs. solicited satisfaction levels. And, with all of Best Western on one social management system, managers and corporate can identify top performers and learn best practices from them.
Using Medallia, Best Western achieved its objectives and more. It won in the CRM Excellence Award because of the immediacy of managers’ online responses. The responsiveness tells both customers and prospective customers (the ones reading the reviews) that Best Western listens, cares, and is making improvements based on feedback.
Best Western also generated significantly more reviews and engagement with reviewers than its competitors. And, to top it off, 31% of the Best Western global portfolio received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence. To the properties, this translates to increased bookings and the tools they need to continue to understand and improve the customer experience.
So, a hearty congratulations to both Intuit and Best Western! We are thrilled to have played a role in your growth and success!
Photo credit:  ewen and donabel