Why H&R Block is upping the ante on voice of customer

Tax consultancy invests in new voice of customer technology to drive insights and innovation

Getting to the bottom of customer churn and finding new ways to lift customer performance have prompted H&R Block to invest in a fresh voice of customer (VoC) management platform and approach.  

H&R Block marketing and digital innovations director, Louise Cummins, told CMO the tax preparation and accounting firm has had a Net Promoter Score (NPS) program in place for some time and seen its results lifting each year. However, an increase in customer churn prompted a desire to dive deeper into results and “find the gold” that could further understanding around how customers truly feel when working with the organisation.  

To help, H&R Block has partnered with InMoment to adopt its CX management platform, XI. The company is in the final stages of piloting the technology, with live rollout scheduled to occur in time for the new financial year from 1 July 2021.  

“H&R Block is committed to differentiating itself from competitors by deep-diving into each customer’s experience along the process of preparing taxes. In an evolving, digital-first world, customer expectations are rapidly changing and H&R Block plans to push industry boundaries and proactively meet customer’s needs,” Cummins said.  

“We want to understand the root cause of churn with the current program and turned to InMoment to roll out a CX program and start looking into the underlying churn causes to deliver the best service to our clients.”    

The rollout is being managed by H&R Block’s marketing and digital team and has seen ownership of the existing NPS program shift from HR to marketing. Nevertheless, Cummins said it’s a true a cross-functional collaboration exercise.  

“While responsibility is migrating to marketing, everyone in the business has owned it. You’ll go into the office and they’ll know what the NPS scores are, why it’s a bad score, and want to act on that,” she commented.  

H&R Block includes NPS targets in staff KPIs and shares a weekly customised NPS report to each of its 400 branches so teams can keep a regular pulse on how they’re going with customers. There’s also a monthly deep dive analysis in VoC.  

As a result, Cummins said H&R Block field staff had actively embraced NPS as a measurement system and way of understanding customer sentiment. Having additional VoC capabilities onboard will help ensure the customer is driving company goal setting, reporting, benchmarking, recognition and rewards, she said.    

“We are also on a digital transformation approach, and we’re looking at how to provide more omnichannel products and services,” she said. As part of this transition, H&R Block recently launched a new client portal on Salesforce Community Cloud.  

“As we move to hybrid delivery models… making sure that clients remain number one is key. It’s easy to let the tech go in one direction, but at the end of the day it needs to work for our clients.”   

Closing the customer loop 

Cummin’s ambition is to provide more insightful and actionable analysis of results through InMoment’s text and driver/correlation analysis functionality. This, in turn, can inform performance improvement projects. H&R Block also plans to integrate NPS ‘service defects’ and detractor insights with other complaint sources such as inbound calls, in-office visits, website enquiry forms, Facebook, Google Reviews and Product Review, so it has one complaint ticket management system that “closes the loop” on customer challenges, she explained.  

As part of the process, the H&R Block team has worked closely with InMoment on building out a better understanding of the CX journey and maturing an experience improvement program over time, Cummins continued. Off the back of this, H&R Block will implement listening posts across critical moments in its own customer journey.  

“The idea is to identify and prioritise the high impact and high emotion moments to connect with our customers and employees,” Cummins said.  

Another planned step is to integrate InMoment data into H&R Block’s Salesforce platform. This will also help with tailoring communications to the group’s loyalty program members.  

Success for H&R Block is not only about improving the baseline churn and NPS scores, but importantly, using the customer insights to enact change.  

“The other part of success for me is that understanding what we need to change and acting on those insights – so where we have really listened to the customer and actioned tangible changes as a result,” Cummins said.    

In all, Cummins saw the new capabilities unlocking richer customer insights by gathering solicited and unsolicited feedback, leading to innovative ways to deliver improved digital experience for customers.  

“We’ll work to further embed and build on these CX efforts – keep building on our new insights to provide better delivery solutions for our clients,” she added.  

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