Monitoring, measuring and improving the customer experience is a high priority for most forward-thinking businesses in this day and age. Company owners are largely aware that they should be gathering feedback at various ‘touchpoints’ along a customer’s journey and many do have programs in place to capture the data, either to get an overall rating of customer satisfaction levels or to evaluate experience at each of the touchpoints in turn.
However, many businesses are failing to make the most of the technology available to them, gathering only a tiny fraction of the available data, using valuable manual resources to process and analyze the data they do get and presenting the findings in an incomplete or unnecessarily complicated way.
By leveraging the latest customer experience technology, businesses can now streamline all areas of the above process:
The first task in measuring customer experience is to capture feedback, and many businesses use surveys and questionnaires to achieve this. However, a lot of data is missed by ignoring sources of unsolicited feedback (e.g. on forums, blogs, social media sites and review pages), and not contacting customers fast enough or by using their preferred platform. For example, a customer who has just made an order for a service using their mobile phone is less likely to respond to an email survey a week later than they are to an SMS survey within the hour. In addition, they are less likely to have rationalized their feedback based on prior or more recent experiences.
Social media monitoring and advanced survey platforms are just two forms of technology businesses need to be looking into right now.
Once sufficient data has been collected, this needs to be collated and analyzed to produce predictive patterns that can inform future business development. The main challenge companies face here is with sampling and use of resources. Incomplete or ‘dirty’ samples (where information has been recorded incorrectly) can skew results, while manual data integration and analysis ties up staff who could be employed doing other things. By implementing automated data integration technology with sample control and cleaning functions can lead to more accuracy and efficiency, and can also avoid flaws such as ‘over surveying’ individual customers.
Finally, there is little use in collecting reams of data and crunching the numbers at supersonic speeds if the reporting at the end of it makes little sense to anyone, especially those in charge of directing business policy.
Again, technology can come to the rescue, with programs specialized in enterprise-wide visual access that can be user-access controlled. In this way, data can be summarized and presented in the most appropriate way for the department viewing it.
Perhaps the greatest news of all is that the kind of technology mentioned above is no longer only within the price range of large, cash-rich corporations. The advance of open source technology and a competitive marketplace has made leveraging technology easier and more affordable than ever.
Once the powerful, up-to-date customer experience technology is in place, you will find that employees who had previously been bogged down in data processing and compiling reports can be redeployed to other parts of the business or trained to interpreting patterns in the numbers and to help shape company strategy. Ultimately, everybody in the business, from senior directors to customer-facing agents, will experience more clarity about how the business is performing in the eyes of its customers.