Customer Stories FASTSIGNS
Consistently Delivering a Great Customer Experience
In 1985, FASTSIGNS International, Inc., founders Gary Salomon and Bob Schanbaum opened the first FASTSIGNS. Thirty-one years later, FASTSIGNS International, Inc., has more than 615 independently owned and operated FASTSIGNS centers in 9 countries. With 50 new locations scheduled to open in 2016, FASTSIGNS International, Inc., is the largest sign and visual communications franchisor in North America.
Being “More Than”
FASTSIGNS attributes much of its growth and success to consistently delivering a great customer experience, an idea that is prominently displayed on their website: “When you work with a FASTSIGNS location, you get more than just a sign; you get the benefit of smart thinking and skilled execution along with impactful signs and graphics that meet your needs.”
“Our brand is about being ‘more than’ and the way we distinguish ourselves is being consultative and providing signs and graphics that help someone solve a business challenge,” notes Chuck Kaylor, Director of Marketing Services at FASTSIGNS, “We strive to be viewed as a partner by our customers and not just another vendor.”
To ensure that an exceptional customer experience was being delivered across their franchise locations, FASTSIGNS had developed their own customer survey system. While the system enabled them to identify satisfied and dissatisfied customers, determining the root causes of dissatisfaction was a challenge.
“The survey system we developed was working fine for what it was intended to do,” notes Kaylor, “but to ensure that we were consistently delivering great customer service, we felt we needed to improve upon our 15% survey response rate, capture and analyze more detailed intelligence about our customer experience, and have the granularity to drill down, location by location, so that our franchisees could promptly engage with unhappy customers.“ Additionally, FASTSIGNS saw an opportunity to better leverage their happy customers, Kaylor adds, “We wanted to capture sentiment from our happy customers so we could use their testimonials on our franchisees’ websites, as well as, encourage them to post favorable reviews on Google and Yelp.”
In Listen360, we found a solution that would help our franchisees better engage with our customers and ensure our high customer service standards were being met.
— Chuck Kaylor, Director of Marketing Services, FASTSIGNS International
After discovering Listen360 at a franchise industry conference, FASTSIGNS found a solution that provided the broader capabilities they were looking for. “We discovered that, in the previous system, our survey asked too many questions, which was likely contributing to the lower response rate,” said Kaylor. Listen360’s customer feedback platform is based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology and measures customer loyalty by asking two simple questions: “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or business associate?” and an open-ended request for customers to share more about how they feel. Based on this feedback, Listen360 organizes customers into three categories:
“Promoters” are customers who would recommend FASTSIGNS, “Passives” are neutral, and “Detractors” are those with negative feedback.
After implementing Listen360, FASTSIGNS’ overall survey response rate throughout the franchise network improved significantly. “By changing the approach and adopting a two-question survey, as well as Listen360’s best practice recommendations for when and how often to send surveys, we saw a 33% increase in survey responses,” notes Kaylor. While survey response rates may vary, industry by industry, the Net Promoter methodology helps create a higher response rate through a streamlined survey; more responses provides more reliable data points and more opportunities to engage with customers.
The open-ended question in the Listen360 survey captures the “Voice of the Customer” and through text analytics, provides the means of identifying what customers liked and disliked about their experience. By leveraging the Voice of the Customer data, FASTSIGNS’ corporate brand marketing team were able to analyze customer sentiment for keywords such as
”consistency” and “communication,” as well as “reliability” and “convenience.” The comments are then aggregated into meaningful themes and displayed on graphical dashboards with detailed trending analysis. “Rather than rely on assumptions and anecdotal information, Listen360 provides us with a way to validate our data as well as offer new insights,” notes Kaylor, “We can identify trends, positive or negative, and areas that might warrant higher prioritization, while providing our franchisees with granular visibility into the customer experience at their individual location.”
Kaylor adds, “If a problem arises, Listen360 notifies the franchisee the instant a customer provides negative feedback, so they can take action immediately and close the loop.” There have been numerous studies that demonstrate that engaging with dissatisfied customers promptly and making an effort to understand and address their concerns often results in those customers becoming promoters. Kaylor goes on to say that they frequently remind franchisees of the importance of this simple, but often overlooked, practice.
While identifying dissatisfied customers is important, Kaylor also notes the importance of identifying satisfied customers, “We recently rolled out a new website and have incorporated the feedback from customers onto the front pages of center websites, which we believe is a great way to showcase their many satisfied customers.”