The global marketplace puts businesses in a position where you need to compete with organizations from around the world. Standing out on price becomes a difficult or impossible task, so the customer experience has moved into a vital position of importance. Customer loyalty and retention are tied to the way your buyers feel about your brand throughout their interactions. Customer experience analysis tools provide vital insight into the ways that you can address problems and lead consumers to higher satisfaction levels. However, knowing which type of tool to use and the ways to collect the data for them are important to getting actionable information.
Problems With Only Relying on Surveys for Customer Satisfaction Metrics
One of the most common ways of collecting data about the customer experience is through surveys. You may be familiar with the Net Promoter Score system, which rates customer satisfaction on a 1-10 scale. The survey used for this method is based off a single question — “How likely are you to recommend our business to others?” Other surveys have a broad scope, but both types focus on closed-ended questions. If the consumer had additional feedback on topic areas that aren’t covered in the questions, you lose the opportunity to collect that data.
Using open-ended questions and taking an in-depth look at what customers say in their answers gives you a deeper understanding of your positive and negative areas. Sometimes this can be as simple as putting a text comment box at the end. In other cases, you could have fill-in responses for each question.
How to Get Better Customer Feedback
To get the most out of your customer experience analysis tools, you need to start by establishing a plan to get quality feedback. Here are three categories to consider:
This input is given to your company by the customer. First-party data gives you an excellent look at what the consumers are feeling when they engage with your brand. You get this data from a number of collection methods, including survey results, studies and customer support histories.
The customer is talking about your company, but they aren’t saying it directly to you. You run into this type of feedback on social media, with buyers sharing information in groups or on their social media profiles. If you use social listening tools for sales prospecting or marketing opportunities, you can repurpose those solutions to find more feedback sources. Reviews on people’s websites, social media profiles, and dedicated review websites are also important.
You can make an educated guess about customer experiences through the data that you have available. Analytics tools can give you insight on what your customers do when they’re engaging with your brand.
Once you’re collecting customer data from a variety of sources, you need a way to analyze it properly. A sentiment analysis tool looks through the customer information to tell you more about how they feel about the experience and your brand. While you can try to do this part of the process manually, it requires an extensive amount of human resources to accomplish, as well as a lot of time.
Looking at Product-specific Customer Experience Analytics
One way to use this information to benefit customer loyalty and satisfaction is by analyzing it on a product-specific basis. When your company has many offerings for your customers, looking at the overall feedback makes it difficult to know how the individual product experiences are doing. A sentiment analysis tool that can sort the feedback into groups for each product makes it possible to look at the positive and negative factors influencing the customer experience and judge how to improve sentiment analysis.
Some of the information that you end up learning is whether customers want to see new features or models with your products, if they’ve responded to promotions during the purchase process, and if products may need shelves or need to be completely reworked.
Improving the Customer Experience for Greater Loyalty
If you find that your company isn’t getting a lot of highly engaged customer advocates, then you may be running into problems generating loyalty. To get people to care more about your business, you need to fully understand your typical customers. Buyer personas are an excellent tool to keep on hand for this purpose. Use data from highly loyal customers to create profiles that reflect those characteristics. Spend some time discovering the motivations and needs that drive them during the purchase decision.
When you fully put yourself in the customer’s shoes, you can begin to identify ways to make them more emotionally engaged in their brand support. One way that many companies drive more loyalty is by personalizing customer experiences. You give them content, recommendations and other resources that are tailored to their lifestyle and needs.
Addressing Weak Spots in Customer Retention
Many factors lead to poor customer retention. Buyers may feel like the products were misrepresented during marketing or sales, they could have a hard time getting through to customer support, or they aren’t getting the value that they expected. In some cases, you have a product mismatch, where the buyer’s use case doesn’t match what the item can accomplish. A poor fit leads to a bad experience.
Properly educating buyers on what they’re getting and how to use it can lead to people who are willing to make another purchase from your company. You don’t want to center your sales tactics on one-time purchases. Think of that first purchase as the beginning of a long-term relationship. You want to be helpful and support the customer so they succeed with your product lines.
Sometimes that means directing them to a competitor if you can’t meet their needs. This strategy might sound counterintuitive, but the customers remember that you went out of your way to help them, all the way up to sending them to another brand. They’ll happily mention this good experience to their peers. If their needs change in the future, you could end up getting them back.
Customer loyalty and retention are the keys to a growing business. Make sure that you’re getting all the information you need out of your feedback to find strategies to build these numbers up.