Making uninformed decisions always introduces risk. Yet, CX leaders frequently decide on technologies, staffing, and operational processes absent the necessary data.
Take, for example, companies that promote and staff for digital-first interactions with their customers—without feedback about customer preferences or the analytics to show whether those channels improve business metrics. They could be wasting resources and risking customer satisfaction.
To ensure technology decisions are rooted in reality, CX leaders must invest in a customer insights and analytics program. They can leverage customer feedback by correlating it with key metrics, such as employee performance or specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), revenue, costs, and employee productivity to name a few.
Gathering Customer Insights
Companies can gather crucial information from their customers using a variety of methods, including interactive (1:1 interviews, focus groups, or live chat); responsive (survey tools, online reviews, SMS snap polls, social media, or kiosks); and implicit (website or call data statistics, artificial intelligence reports from sentiment analysis or Natural Language Processing).
When asked which are most valuable, those that involve direct interactions with customers, as opposed to passive methods including website statistics or IoT/embedded devices, rise to the top. The most valuable method is 1:1 conversations, cited by 24.8% of companies, followed by non-AI-enabled surveys (19.1%), AI-enabled surveys (11.5%), focus groups (10%), and live chat (8%), according to Metrigy’s Customer Insights and Analytics 2023-24 global research study of 579 companies.
Though most opt for customer satisfaction (CSAT) ratings or customized post-interaction surveys when they want to gather feedback, multiple methods provide more accurate and more useful responses. On average, our research success group (companies with higher-than-average business success metrics resulting from their customer insights program) use approximately four methods. For example, conducting focus groups, sending post-interaction surveys, having structured 1:1 conversations, and reviewing sentiment analysis would be a good combination to gather a multi-faceted analysis on customer views.
Once CX leaders have identified the best methods for gathering customer feedback, they need to start taking action. Only 61.5% of companies take action from their customer feedback (up
substantially from 2021, when only 26.4% did, but still not high enough). It sounds simple, but if you’re gathering information, do something with it! Otherwise, it’s a waste of time and money.
Those acting on their feedback are focusing on a few areas:
- Sharing feedback with employees (64.3%), including frontline workers, as well as those in marketing, on project teams, executives, or experts in the field. When agents know where they’re struggling, they can fix their problems and improve KPIs.
- Making adjustments – to marketing strategies (42.3%), sales strategies (34.5%), and customer interaction scripts (27.4%). By quickly adjusting strategies and scripts, based on real-time customer feedback, companies can optimize interactions to improve business metrics and agent KPIs.
- Making technology decisions – adding/increasing technologies that align with positive feedback (31.3%), removing/reducing technologies that align with negative feedback (22.9%), or changing customer interaction channels in use (24.1%). When technologies align with high CSAT scores, expand their usage—and vice versa.
Of extreme importance, 77.3% of those that gather customer insights correlate that information with employee performance. They can determine whether happy customers correlate with specific employees, technologies those employees use, or types of training in use. From there, they can make informed decisions on what changes to make. For example, if customer service agents using video or screen sharing always score higher on CSAT, why not use video or screen sharing more often? (For the record, CSAT is best when the interaction happens over voice, according to our research.) Or, if select inside salespeople using agent assist correlate with higher CSAT, it makes sense to expand the technology to all sales reps.
Integrating feedback with automated workflows helps improve customer experience even more, by preventing small problems from becoming big ones. Only 54.2% of companies integrate feedback into automated workflows, by adding it to supervisor reports, company dashboards, incorporating it into online agent training, or automating outreach to customers to resolve issues.
Customer Insight Programs Deliver Measurable Results
Companies are seeing impressive results when they execute on a customer insights and analytics program. Those who have seen an improvement resulting from their programs report the following:
- 20.1% revenue increase
- 18.1% operational cost decrease
- 20.1% improvement in customer ratings
- 23.7% boost in employee productivity
To hear more about the way companies are using their customer insights and analytics—and the ensuing value they have measured—join my session at Enterprise Connect, entitled “Using Advanced Analytics to Get the Full Picture of Your CX Performance” on Tuesday, March 28, at 3pm. You’ll learn how many companies are using feedback to recognize employees, coach them, promote them—and even terminate them. You won’t want to miss this session!
Enterprise Connect 2023 will be held from March 27-30 at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, FL. You can check out the attendance options here and dive into our line-up of sessions and keynotes here.