The omnichannel customer experience (CX) is a hot topic for most B2C brands today — and for good reason. With increased cross-channel competition, businesses must be agile and innovative to attract and retain consumers. That takes a laser focus on customer satisfaction throughout every step of the buying journey, online and off.
The latest Salesforce State of Marketing Report found that 84% of customers consider their overall shopping “experience” as important as the “products and services” purchased. Businesses can’t afford to underestimate the power of how CX can influence the bottom line.
Every year, avoidable CX-related issues and complaints cost brands over $35 billion due to subsequent customer attrition. While some churn is inevitable, costs could be significantly reduced by gleaning essential voice-of-the-customer (VoC) business intelligence from unstructured data. This data is all the customer “chatter that matters” from emails, social media, online reviews, images, photos, emojis, customer service calls, chats, and messages.
It is in unstructured, emotion-based data where the richest insights into your customers’ minds live. You’ll find clues revealing your blind spots, misplaced assumptions, and incorrect assessments about the people you call your buyers. Tap into your unstructured data sources and achieve a profoundly nuanced 360° understanding of your customers’ needs, wants, and expectations at every step of their journey.
What It Takes to Turn Unstructured Data into Actionable Insight
The deep mining of unstructured data from an array of sources is daunting. Fortunately, machine learning, AI-powered solutions using Natural Language Processing (NLP) helps brands tackle the task by scraping millions of online reviews and comments and analyzing relevant keywords, prevailing topics, and the sentiment expressed.
Further streamlining this process are end-to-end CX platforms. These solutions help marketing and operations teams better understand their customers by monitoring, tracking, and analyzing buyers through the entire omnichannel customer lifecycle — from the first touch to the final sale. With VoC data that includes trending keywords, customer sentiment, star ratings, Google ranking fluctuations, and direct online review feedback, brands can build strategic, loyalty-boosting experiences.
Many end-to-end CX management platforms are worth exploring. Some are better suited for multi-location enterprise brands looking for rapid expansions. Others are perfect for small, local businesses dedicated to a particular industry. The most effective solutions offer innovative technologies that include:
- Data Management: Data aggregation across every part of your brand should be central to the platform. You must be able to trust, understand, and interpret the data to create a holistic view of your customers and take strategic actions.
- Automation: Invest in a platform that collects customer data 24/7. Look for platforms that offer functionalities like monthly report generation, review response templates, and alerts for pre-set keywords.
- Artificial Intelligence: Choose technology designed to get smarter over time. In 2023, that means selecting an end-to-end CX platform with AI capabilities so your team can gain intelligence and better understand customers.
Here’s an example from a restaurant franchise. The team noticed the keyword “cold” rising considerably within a region. Did this indicate customers were happy about cold beers? Or disappointed about cold burgers? By drilling down into feedback and sentiment analysis, they determined that a growing number of diners were frustrated by slow service resulting in cold food.
After pulling up recent customer feedback, reviewing customer sentiment analysis metrics, and talking with employees and managers at various restaurant locations, they discovered that a breakdown in communication from the kitchen to the wait staff significantly slowed down service leading to cold food. To reverse this troubling CX trend, they met with regional management and revamped the logistics of getting food from the grill to the server to the table. Within two months, the brand saw far fewer complaints about cold food.
Countless other examples highlight how sentiment analysis software acquires intelligence from unstructured data and delivers those metrics back in an easily-digestible form so businesses can pivot, respond, and make it right.
What Should Brands Look for In an End-to-End CX Platform?
End-to-end CX solutions provide organizations with BI from online reviews and feedback — an essential component of the ongoing relationship between a brand and its customers. Don’t mistake this for a standard online review aggregator. CX platforms can also leverage AI and deep listening technology to capture ongoing online conversations across channels from Google to Yelp to Bing to industry-specific directories like OpenTable or ZocDoc.
If you’re searching for the right CX management solution for your team, choose highly intuitive platforms that support multi-location businesses in:
- Organizational Transparency: Improve workflows and cross-departmental communication by generating and distributing custom reports enterprise-wide.
- Revenue-Building BI: Track sentiment trends and identify areas of operational improvement, gain invaluable insights based on hyper-local competitor comparisons, and monitor customer feedback on new products or initiatives.
- Advanced Analytics: With hard metrics, pinpoint the locations that may storefronts struggling with CX. Or, move ahead with product launches that prove more successful than anticipated. Analytics allow brands to get the knowledge necessary to make smarter decisions.
Before narrowing your list of end-to-end CX platforms, consider these questions. The answers will be vital in helping you choose the perfect solutions for your unique organization:
- What are the top goals I want the platform to assist my team in achieving?
- How many locations will the platform need to cover?
- Who are the key team members that will use this tool regularly?
- Will I need a customized solution to process enormous amounts of data?
- Do I need a user-friendly and low-to-no-code solution?
- Which APIs or other integrations will the platform need to be compatible with?
As customer expectations rise and evolve, end-to-end CX platforms are quickly becoming must-haves. According to a Forbes analysis, almost three-quarters of brands that rank above average in customer experience perform better financially than competitors with lower CX ratings. By investing in deep listening platforms built to provide insights on developing human-centered, authentic consumer relationships, you can create brand champions who proudly share brand love and loyalty for a lifetime.