As companies shift to even more “customer experience” focused strategies, the need to gather accurate and timely customer feedback grows as well. The challenge marketers face: Asking customers too often to rate their satisfaction and feedback. Countless surveys and feedback tools have lowered attendance, and ironically, customer satisfaction surveys often prove more annoying to loyal customers, leaving them with a poor experience.
When contacting consumers about their experience via phone, email or social media, companies risk a change in perception of the brand’s experience. Dependence on customer responses is the inherent lack of traditional methods such as surveys and focus groups to gather important customer input. First, customer satisfaction surveys by phone or email are by nature a friction point. Survey requires that brands continually ask customers to participate in a kind of fashion at every touch point – whereas study fatigue and rapidly declining response rates are the result. Worse, most answers are from very happy or very unhappy experiences. The resulting data becomes skewed to the extreme. Declining attendance and extreme positions result in data collected that, statistically, does not represent the overall customer experience.
The traditional tools used to study customers’ opinions and behaviors need to combat numerous cognitive response distortions that may obscure reality. For example, customers may receive a survey and are asked to first rate the overall quality of the product and then rate their recent experience with the call center representative who took their call. The customer is more likely to give the representative a poor rating, even if they handled the call well if they remain frustrated with the product. an insight that could make companies believe that its service delivery is a problem when the product is truly the source of customer frustration.
There is value in research and focus groups, but companies have an opportunity to expand their customer feedback opening rather than teasing their own customers.
TO GET VERY ROUND VIEWS, MEET CUSTOMERS WHERE THEY ARE
Customers are already providing feedback without having to ask for their opinions. Customer broadcasts are present in every call, every email and every chat session your company has with its customers. Comments are made in each exchange in addition to the central issue being discussed. This information is minable and, when collected across all contacts, forms additional views of the experience. This passive feedback is a wealth of information that is rarely extracted.
During live customer interactions, customers describe exactly what they are thinking rather than trying to communicate through the medium to a canned response survey instrument. The natural language that customers use in calls and digital interactions is a much richer form of data than survey points. This call insight provides a selective, very valuable type of feedback. Buyers don’t usually contact companies just to tell them how good they are. They are calling because something has gone wrong or they need help.
Companies that use passive feedback have the ability to analyze 100% of customer feedback in calls and other contacts, which are often moments of truth in customer journey. For example, if a customer calls to report a problem with a software solution and describes their intended task, it is possible to both identify the problem and understand the customer’s desired solution. These multiple paths inside conversations offer a wide range of useful data, ranging from feelings, emotions as well as ideas and opinions that would not often be found in traditional feedback mechanisms.
Gathering passive feedback not only improves the experience, but it also gets 100% participation from every customer who ever contacts your business without having to worry about typical single digit response rates.
The purpose of gathering customer feedback is to understand the drivers of customer satisfaction, customer inventory and sales. Passive and unsolicited feedback gives direct access to the meaning behind customer feedback and keeps satisfaction high by simply not teasing customers for feedback.
HOW TO RECORD AND ANALYZE CUSTOMER BACK
Even a decade ago, it would have been almost impossible to collect and analyze all the passive customer feedback companies that they have available. Call monitoring is usually reserved for improving individual agent skills. So much of the conversation from the consumer is ignored in addition to solving the current problem. Still, there is so much more available in every call or online exchange between consumer and brand.
Now, automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language understanding (NLU) use machine learning and artificial intelligence to transform audio from speech into structured data ready for text analysis. Armed with this rich source of customer information, companies can filter through the keywords and phrases customers use to describe their needs and problems, and turn processes or marketing messages into reducing wear and tear and attract more sales. Adding up all the feedback collected from any source provides a more complete view of the consumer’s view of a brand.
Mining of passive customer feedback quickly goes from a competitive differentiator to an imperative. Utilizing the huge untapped source of customer information stemming from passive data collection requires a platform like LucidvueCX, which can collect both structured and unstructured conversations using automatic speech recognition technology and transform all information sources into actionable insights. By aggregating passive feedback from consumers using technology instead of relying on consumer responses, brands can better know what marketing messages are working and what they need to adjust. All while maintaining the best possible experience for your customers.