It's time to move beyond surveys
According to SurveyMonkey, 98% of Fortune 500 companies use its service (1). While this is a fairly simple and inexpensive way to collect customer feedback, Forrester reports that, in fact, surveys only capture between 2% and 7.5% of customer interactions (2).
Because of this limitation, businesses should refine their customer experience programs and analyse data that is more representative of the Voice of the Customer (VoC). In order to run a state-of-the-art CX program, organisations must analyse all data sources, improve and adapt the survey experience, and operationalise insights across the business.
Listen to Every Customer Touchpoint
In addition to representing an increasingly small percent of overall customer feedback, surveys are often answered by individuals who have either very positive or negative experiences. To modernise feedback collection and get a more accurate representation of VoC, businesses should tap into the other channels customers use to contact them. Channels such as call centres, chat, email, messaging, reviews and social media are crucial to generating a more advanced customer experience program.
Survey responses are also limited to the structure of the questions asked, so respondents are unable to provide feedback about topics that are not covered. As a result, a survey-only approach is likely to miss critical aspects of the customer experience. Since customers have complete control over the feedback they share on digital platforms during phone conversations, these channels are especially helpful in understanding the truth of a customer’s struggle, emotion, sentiment and preferences. By tapping into these unstructured sources of customer feedback, organisations are able to discover insights that would otherwise go unnoticed.
By embracing an omni-channel strategy and applying sophisticated text and speech analytics, organisations can analyse interaction and feedback data more efficiently and accurately than ever. This approach enables them to find incredible business value by identifying patterns and trends, uncovering root cause, monitoring for quality assurance in the contact centre, and more. Mature CX programs take into account all communication channels and forms and integrate the resulting insights to inform action and create impactful change.
Create a Better Solicited Feedback Experience
Surveys require significant time and effort from customers, which may result in survey fatigue or even annoyance. Innovative brands should unburden customers by either avoiding surveys completely or evolving them to enhance loyalty instead of deterring it.
Common alternatives include analysing call transcripts and digital communication channels, but companies just beginning to transform their CX programs can get started by revamping their surveys. For example, Uber still relies on survey data for collecting feedback, but has created a convenient in-app experience to minimise customer effort. Consumers are asked immediately how they'd rate their experience based on a number of factors. They could further improve this process to gain richer insights by leveraging their other communication channels — call centres, chats, social, etc. — to understand the full customer experience, beyond the pick-ups and drop offs.
Mature CX programs analyse existing customer conversations to identify common complaints, emotions and preferences to better understand and predict behaviour without placing additional burden on the customer.
Operationalise Customer Insights
The final step of creating an effective CX program is sharing insights throughout the company. When important information about VoC data is shared with teams such as customer service, marketing, product development, and sales, businesses are able to grow in line with customer preferences and needs.
For example, marketing teams can utilise data on customer preferences identified in contact centre interactions to inform an influencer campaign or create more engaging ad experiences. Meanwhile, product teams can translate common complaints into product enhancements and new offerings that directly address existing problems.
Operationalising crucial insights across all areas of the business will also develop a culture that embraces and centres itself around the customer. This attitude allows different areas of the company to systematically enhance loyalty, increase revenue, and provide a better brand experience.
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Fabrice Martin is Chief Product Officer at Clarabridge. Fabrice brings to Clarabridge 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, product management, marketing, and enterprise software sales, with specific domain expertise in SaaS/PaaS, data visualization/discovery, Business Intelligence, and analytics for marketing and contact center...