How To Use Customer Experience Data to Improve Customer Service


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The divide between mature and immature companies isn’t based on the amount of budget dedicated to customer service or experience, but rather the attention given to gathering customer data and acting on customer insight.

A survey of companies and agencies translating experience data to customer service action was a key differentiator between companies succeeding in their business goals and those struggling to stay relevant to customers.

Ronald Stevenson on his Adventures in Financial Marketing pointed out some of the ways that successful organizations differentiate in their approach to service experience design and the role of data in creating an exceptional customer experience.

Ronald approaches this from the Marketing standpoint, but the overall message is clear: data is the key to getting service right.

Differing Perceptions of How To Provide a Positive Customer Experience

The findings show that mature and immature companies have a different perception of the attributes required for delivering a positive customer experience:

  • Mature companies are far more likely to regard ‘motivated and empowered staff’ and ‘efficient customer service’ as among the most important goals.
  • Immature companies are more focused on visibility of customer behavior across channels and the need for a single or joined-up customer database.

Better Customer Experience Data  = Better Customer Service Outcomes

This doesn’t mean that mature companies aren’t concerned about technical and data-related issues, but that they have already mastered these areas and can now go on to reap the benefits by focusing on key performance issues.

Immature companies that are still worried about technology and systems, are losing sight of the importance of customer service and empowered staff.

According to Richard Sedley, Commercial Director at Foviance:

Companies that have benefited most from improving their multichannel customer experience are those that have recognized the importance of combining quantitative and qualitative customer insights.

If your company isn’t already capturing ‘voice of customer’ via onsite surveying and social listening and integrating it with data from web analytics and search there has never been a better time to start.

Better Data = Better Service

Integrating service data into their customer records, organizations targeting customers can use information to better shape campaigns, alert their companies to potential problems, and aid in product design and the service experience.
The great thing is that customers are willing to share meaningful feedback to help you improve products, resolve disputes, uncover errors and increase revenues – for free.
However, this information typically remains isolated, not shared across customer-facing departments and results in the loss of valuable opportunities for the businesses to incorporate service data into their customer records, and use it to improve the overall experience.

How To Collect Feedback

Marketers have many opportunities to collect feedback, formal and informal. The informality of a channel does not minimize the value of the data that can be gathered. If you employ multiple channels to collect feedback, you get the benefit of hearing the perspectives of disparate customer segments, which avoids getting feedback that is heavily weighted with a certain customer type that isn’t representative of the entire population.

Collecting customer experience can be done primarily by:

1. Formal Surveys to Test the Experience

Surveys should follow each step in the customer experience to understand the  important drivers of customer satisfaction.

Tailoring each set of questions to customers’ use of specific products or services both expedites the process and demonstrates knowledge of customers’ preferences.

2. Participate in Online and Social Media

Have channels available for consumers to provide feedback and insight on the service experience in a personal way. Today’s technology enables organizations to collect data in real time.

Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, etc. enable businesses to connect with different customer segments. These channels provide a wealth of ideas and serve as the foundation for innovation.

Ensure active engagement by employees who are knowledgeable and empowered to speak on behalf of the company.

3. Real-Time Customer Experience Interaction

Real-time data collection can be challenging activity, but it is extremely valuable to have a database that tracks transactions. This provides quantitative support that helps balance the qualitative feedback marketers collect.

Ultimately, the more businesses learn about their customers, particularly their most profitable ones, the better off they will be. By continually collecting feedback and disseminating this information so that it is available throughout all customer-facing channels, businesses will reap financial rewards and engender strong loyalty.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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