When data drives positive change, pain-points disappear.

{A Note to Readers: This is another in a series of guest blogs focused on Customer Experience from the amazing Katy Wild. Working with Katy, I can always expect to learn something; I trust you will, too. ~ bph}

Our Freeman family is widely known for the outstanding service we provide our customers.  It’s our culture, it’s in our DNA, and it’s what we do!  But we also know that we can always improve our performance.  Bill Gates, business magnate, investor, author, and philanthropist, had a quotation that I refer to often – “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Freeman, with the help of IPSOS, a global leader in customer research, recently went through an amazing educational process known as customer journey mapping.  This mapping experience included customers across our diverse business units and gave us tremendous insights into areas where we excel and where we can still improve.  When our employees listened to some of the verbatim customer comments, you could see the surprised expressions on their faces, followed by such remarks as: “Don’t they know we can do that?”; “How do they not know that’s not our service?”; “Where did they get that idea?”; and maybe most important, “I had no idea that was such a big problem.”

We were all surprised at a few areas identified as our biggest pain points – while others were simply confirmation of weaknesses we were aware of and already working on.  Additionally, we surfaced some issues that weren’t really service gaps, but simply gaps in customer education, requiring us to communicate proactively. With the tremendous knowledge base in the Freeman enterprise, we know we can look forward to solutions from the vast experience of our specialists to address these issues.  Fortunately, we were also pleasantly surprised in a good way – where customers assured us that some of the services we questioned ourselves are ones they said they couldn’t live without!  Who knew?

Bottom line – knowledge IS power! And we have the power to implement change. Our clients know we care enough to ask what they love about Freeman… and what they don’t.  We have already made a number of process improvements to remedy these service bumps.  Some of the stumbling blocks are easy to resolve and some will take more time. We’ll tackle them by applying our design-thinking methodology to produce just the right solutions for our customers.  We can do this!