As a customer experience champion, you are at the forefront of the battle to make experience your company’s competitive edge. You listen to the voice of the customer–endeavoring to understand what customers are thinking and feeling, identifying gaps, and driving the cross-functional changes needed to ensure customers stay engaged and loyal fans.
Voice of customer feedback programs are challenging, and the rate of digital innovation is shaping customer expectations rapidly. Customers expect companies to automatically personalize experiences and not only predict but also proactively address their present and future needs. So there is pressure to extract insight and act on feedback quickly.
Fortunately, innovation in CX management software is keeping pace with customer expectations and the needs of businesses. Here are the top trends that are helping CX professionals succeed.
Persuading a customer to respond to a survey and give you thoughtful feedback starts with acknowledging that the survey itself is an experience of your brand. The following innovations make the survey itself a lightweight experience and get you more actionable feedback.
– Microsurveys that capture metrics and sentiment at specific customer journey touchpoints. Microsurveys help you achieve high response rates and capture relevant qualitative data. For example, a product team might use a Customer Effort score survey to ask “How easy was it to build your dashboard?” when a customer first uses a new analytics feature, making sure to invite the software user to explain their rating in their own words.
– Personalizing the survey experience. Customers expect you to know who they are and their relationship with you. Personalization can be as simple as including meaningful context in the survey. For example, case number and topic when asking about a support interaction, or an image of the boots the customer purchased if you are asking about product satisfaction. And, nothing says “you have no clue about me” like getting multiple surveys within a short period of time. Modern software can automatically exclude customers that recently responded to a survey to avoid over-surveying.
– Multi-channel feedback (in-app web and mobile, email, SMS) has been a trend for a while. What is the right channel for the survey question you are asking? Where do your customers expect to engage with you? For example, get higher response rates and more relevant feedback when you use an in-app survey to ask a software user about a new feature experience. On the other hand, sending an email survey may be the best way to get feedback from a decision maker who rarely logs in to the platform. Creating a customer journey map can help you identify when and where customers come into contact with your brand and thus when and where you should be collecting customer feedback.
– Ease of customizing & delivering versions of surveys to different segments of customers. You have so much information about your customers. CX software now makes it easy to leverage that data. Let’s say you’re measuring Net Promoter Score for a mobile app that is used by artists across the globe. You want to survey these users in their language–be it Finnish, French or Farsi–after they have been using your app for a month. When an iPhone user gives you a high NPS score, you want to end the survey by inviting these iOS users to review your product on the AppStore. At the same time, you want to send Android users to Google Play store. With the latest CX software technology, a few clicks and you can set this up to run automatically.
– Conversational surveys use chatbots to branch the conversation to get more specifics from a customer without burdening them with a lengthy survey.
– Bringing employee experience into the CX equation. Companies that lead in customer experience have 60% more engaged employees, and study after study has shown that investing in employee experience impacts the customer experience. CX leaders are partnering with HR to keep a pulse on employee sentiment with employee engagement surveys.
There is no shortage of customer feedback data! Machine learning helps you leverage all the qualitative feedback you possess. With advanced analytics, you can unlock a more complete understanding of customers desires and predict which requests to act on to have business impact.
– Text analytics for understanding the “why” behind the score. When business questions arise, instead of thinking “We need to ask more questions,” use natural language processing to learn what is important without burdening customers. Great for monitoring and improving customer journey.
– Sentiment analysis for understanding emotion. Look for machine learning analytics that can tell you not only what a customer is talking about but also how they are feeling about that topic. This is key to understanding intent and predicting what actions will improve customer experience.
– Combining VoC data with user metadata and company operational data. When CX software ingests information about a customer’s purchases, location, role, etc, it becomes easy to identify a segment of customers that are unhappy and why, and to know the revenue risk associated with continued dissatisfaction. For example, learning that enterprise sales directors in an important enterprise vertical are frustrated with the reports feature in a software product.
– Organizing feedback topics with tag hierarchy. For example, your customers are giving feedback about delivery–speed, the delivery person, fee for delivery, etc. CX platforms can help you by tagging all feedback related to “delivery” into a single parent category with subcategories that enable more granular analysis.
– Holistic view. Mining the verbatim survey responses you possess is often the best first step, but customers are giving you feedback in so many more ways. Bring other sources of feedback–reviews, support tickets, social, even employee engagement feedback–into a CX software platform for a unified view of experience.
Another trend is getting data and insights into the hands of stakeholder teams–think Product, Success, Support, Operations, Training.
– Automated alerts that initiate a closed-loop process with stakeholders in real-time. Imagine a product manager at a software company getting an alert when the volume of negative feedback about a particular feature starts to trend upward. She is empowered to take action faster.
– Data democratization. CX software that is intuitive and easy to use helps with internal adoption. For example, create custom dashboards for stakeholder teams that display only data that is relevant to their role so they don’t waste time. It’s also important to keep in mind that data silos can lead to customers spending too much time explaining the same problem to several different departments in your organization, creating a very poor customer experience. Fortunately, there are several ways to democratize your data and save time on both your end and the customer end.
– Leveraging existing systems. Getting voice of customer data into platforms that teams already use like Salesforce, ZenDesk, and Slack keeps the voice of the customer front and center. This makes it easy for teams to close the loop with customers–an all-important step in the quest for superior experience. Not only that, but sharing responses across teams also gives everyone a sense of how their work is valued by customers, creating a more customer-focused culture.