Customer Success became an important part of Columbus’ 2020 strategy which resulted in the implementation of customer loyalty programs in 11 countries.
“Previously we followed a strategy that primarily pointed inwards in the organization whereas now, with the new strategy, we face outwards towards our customers”, says Esben Christensen, Service Operations Director at Columbus.
The executive board and employees at Columbus worked together to define the new 2020 strategy which resulted in customer success becoming one of four major initiatives.
“Focusing on customer success made a lot of sense as we generally wanted to focus more on our customers plus, seen from a competitive perspective it was necessary. Everyone is focusing on it now”, says Esben Christensen.
Measuring customer loyalty became one of the main focuses within customer success and led to the task of finding the best approach and method to do so.
For 25 years Columbus has helped making their customers digitally superior throughout 11 countries by ensuring that they get full value of their ERP-systems. With more than 3600 customers globally it was crucial choosing a method that was both easy to understand and that could be implemented in all 11 countries.
“Above all we had two requirements that we did not want to compromise on: We wanted a tool that was implemented and used on equal terms in all of the 11 countries, and we wanted a method that interrupted our customers as little as possible, but for the biggest outcome in return obviously”.
Making the decision wasn’t that difficult
The simplicity, ease and the ONE question became the reason that Columbus decided to measure their customer loyalty with Net Promoter Score.
“In our search for the right solution we decided on NPS.Today as they offer a dedicated NPS platform to manage the entire process from start to finish”.
“Together with NPS.Today we completed a successful trial of the platform in one country. Throughout 2016 all 11 countries were onboarded and by January 2017 we were operating fully with the new loyalty program”, says Esben Christensen.
Columbus now asks their customers the ONE question 4 times a year.
“The question is super simple”, says Esben Christensen and continues:
“How likely is it that you will recommend Columbus to a colleague or a friend? The customer answers on a 0-10 scale and after this the real value follows as the customer has the opportunity to elaborate on their score by adding a comment”.
Relevant conversations with the customers
Esben Christensen makes it very clear that the NPS-score must never in itself be the main focus.
“It’s all about the customer process we can have because of the NPS-program. The conversations we now have with our customers are totally different than before, and this is what’s important”, says Esben Christensen with no hesitation.
The focus on customer loyalty is of such importance for Columbus that every single respondent is contacted by an Account Manger to follow up in the answers given.
For this reason, Columbus has fully integrated NPS in Dynamics CRM so that every employee can see scores and answers given by the customers directly in the systems they work in every day. This has been done for everyone to know the customer better and to ensure the crucial follow-up process by making it easy for everyone.
“We have improved significantly over the past year going from a small negative NPS-score to a positive 2-digits NPS-score”, says Esben Christensen and continues:
“For us, however, it is not about the NPS-score itself, it’s all about the dialogue we can have with our customers because of the NPS-score”.
“If a country with a negative NPS-score is improving because they have spoken to their customers as a result of the survey, then this is much better than a country with a positive NPS-score that doesn’t improve their score”, says Esben Christensen and adds a final note:
“What we have achieved with measuring NPS and performing our follow-up process with all customers have made us speak about customer loyalty in a brand-new way”.