Voice of the Client: how does Customer Experience research support the company's development?Benefits, areas and context in the Customer Experience study
Who knows customers better than the marketing department? A few years ago, 480 experienced marketing managers were brought together to conduct a survey in which they tried to guess customers’ preferences on their own. Not only did they fail, but they proved that even the most empathic of managers find it difficult to get into the shoes of a consumer. Fortunately, there is a way to regain control over the company’s results instead of being guided by illusions. You just have to start asking questions and gathering data about the real customer experiences.
Each of us has a history in which he or she found out how positive experiences pays off. It happened when I was coming back from my family home with the help of the BlaBlaCar application. In the car, I was accompanied by a couple of friends coming to the same city. At some point, the boy started to complain about the need to buy new corrective glasses. The girl fired with enthusiasm bordering on adoration: “Order with M. (here is the name of the company)! They have great frames and send you a few pairs that you can return for free”. I immediately thought: “how small the world is”. I knew the owner of this 3 years old company. Now, random people from the other end of Poland helped the company grow by recommending the products as the best existing solution to the problem. The key was to create experiences that responded to the needs of the young generation.
A study published in the Harvard Business Review, conducted by Medallia, found that for a company operating in a transactional model, a customer who had good experience with the company spends 140% more on subsequent purchases than the one who considers the interaction to be bad. Subscription companies gain a lot more by building unwavering loyalty that directly translates into an increase in customer lifetime value (CLTV). A customer who has been disappointed in relations with the company and indicated the lowest rating, uses its services for just over a year on average, while a customer who feels the highest satisfaction from experience remains faithful to the brand for an additional 6 years! Although the introduction of changes may entail training costs, the implementation of new processes and systems, in the end we gain much more by taking care of the positive feelings of our customers.
Each opinion matters
According to Nielsen’s report “Global Trust in Advertising 2015” as many as 83% of us fully trust the recommendations of friends and family, which makes this type of recommendation called word-of-mouth (WoM) the most effective advertising. Additionally, ⅔ surveyed in 60 countries around the world, admitted to using online opinions about companies and their products. Nowadays, by discouraging one customer, we lose the opportunity to gain a positive impact on at least another 9 people. How painful can this have consequences?
The London School of Economics researchers sought answers to this question by measuring the impact of consumer opinion on sales at retail banks, mobile operators, car dealers, and supermarket chains. Companies with a 7% higher word-of-mouth rate of positive feedback, or those that reduced negative feedback by 2%, increased revenue by 1% faster each year. In addition, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) rating of 1 point higher correlated with a £8.82m increase in sales, and a 1% decrease in WoM’s negative votes added £24.84m in additional revenue. All in all, the positively assessed companies grew 4x faster than those that consumers had a worse opinion about.
The importance of positive opinions for the company’s results is also confirmed by YourCX research conducted on the Polish market. In many industries, it has been proven that customers who rate high satisfaction from purchasing experience recommend the brand more often than others, contributing to the increase of positive opinions in whispered marketing. The portfolio of these customers is where their heart is because brand loyalty is followed by a tendency to more frequent purchases and higher value of each transaction. How has this been examined?
Nowadays, when most of the experience is transferred to the online sphere, it is extremely easy to conduct this type of research. In order to effectively search for correlations between the experiences offered and the behavior of customers, advanced analytics is used. It places the client’s assessment in context. By tracking the paths of users that correspond to the pages they visit, and by enabling cohorts to be segmented according to objectives, along with an analysis of how easy it is to achieve them, companies can take a closer look at the reasons for negative ratings. On the other hand, based on the purchase conversion rate, it is possible to discover what problems the customer declares in the survey affect the low propensity to spend money on an e-commerce site. Going further, you can observe the deferred conversion and here it was confirmed how a positive or negative opinion in the CX study affects subsequent purchases in the perspective of even many months.
From survey to knowledge
Small companies and large corporations use a universal NPS indicator based on a simple question about the willingness to recommend a brand or service to friends. In simple research programs, you can measure this indicator for the customer community and analyze the results, focused on the search for opportunities and risk areas. However, it is worthwhile to go one step further, looking at the data carefully and contextually. In order to make the right decisions and extract valuable insights from the data, it is necessary to create customer journey maps, which allow you to track and analyze different versions of the “customer journey” with the brand.
The overall NPS ratio will not tell us much about how to improve the company’s performance, so the first point to be specified is the place of interaction in the customer’s journey, i.e. touchpoint. Such a point of contact may be, for example, a visit to a bank’s office or contact with the company’s hotline. However, not only the place should be taken into account, but also subsequent events – e.g. travel agencies or hotel chains may ask about their experience after checking out of the hotel, i.e. the actual use of the service. The experience measured in relation to the previous point begins to create a context. In order to fully understand it, the client’s goal or intention must also be added. For example, the customer assesses his or her situation differently when he or she makes a purchase and lodges a telephone complaint, or when, after purchasing a product, he or she inquires about the details of installation or use. How to distinguish between these situations?
A hint can be a different phone number used for returns and complaints, a ticket created after a call, or behaviors online before a call. The data collected by companies tell a variety of stories. By using the information we have on a single client, extracted from trading or analytic systems, we deepen segmentation and avoid making the same decisions for a group of different cases. We cannot apply one survey to all because we don’t ask everyone about the same experience! Therefore, in the analysis of customer experience, it is advisable to use the existing information from big data programs, which is already available to marketing departments, quality departments, call centers or other departments in the company for the purpose of segmentation and personalization of the offer.
Such solutions are enabled by YourCX tool, with the help of which we can intersect satisfaction indicators with available data revealing specific situations, which allows us to find meaning in results and contextual guidelines for improving experiences. The platform integrates with web analytics systems, which makes it easy to combine negative comments revealing customer problems with information about the content of the visit. Thanks to this, it is possible to study the impact of experiences on sales, and even calculate the value of a given problem for the company, drawing knowledge from questionnaires. For example, we can see that the “problem with a return in a traditional store” influenced the lower value of subsequent purchases by an average of PLN 90, which means a loss of PLN 90,000 over the next 3 months. From here we are only a step to the decision to solve the problem.
From words to deeds
Of course, even the deepest knowledge about customers, their frustrations and needs, does not mean anything if we do not take action. Developing your customer experience research program, or optionally a Net Promoter Score program, it will be necessary to set up a system to respond to the feedback received. In time, all departments in the company participating in contact with the customer at the key point of contact should be involved in Customer Experience programs. Insurers will engage agents, telecommunication will use call center employees, the bank will include branch employees in the program, medical clinics will encourage nurses and doctors, and hotels their reception workers. As a rule, the received feedback should not be retained in the research department, but rather circulated throughout the entire organization. It is necessary to create processes of immediate reaction to negative assessments, allowing for quick decision making and strengthening employees in pro-client actions. For individual cases, it is worthwhile to involve e.g. call center department, which will receive an alert from YourCX system with a low rating and its reasons. Process changes should be constantly discussed at meetings of departments with the management board, then be given higher or lower priority, planned and budgeted.
Customer Feedback is a mine of knowledge for the whole company. Marketing departments, product managers and designers responsible for digital experiences can also gain a lot. Online applications of a bank, e-commerce sites of large retailers, loyalty applications, any product or digital channel of customer contact can now be researched and improved in accordance with the feedback received from customers. The voice of customers should also be used in the preparation of marketing campaigns, advertisements and content for websites. Customers are a reliable source of information here, just ask.
How to get started?
The first step with research may seem difficult. Complicated terminology, need for extensive research expertise, new processes and business size can overwhelm an individual in a company. Start with research in your department, with the first few surveys for the most important points of contact and share the results with heads of other departments or departments. Over time, your organization will not only develop curiosity, but also a willingness to listen to your customers’ voices, which will open the way to the introduction of a wide multi-channel Voice of Customer (customer voice research throughout your organization) or the creation of a Customer Experience department.
If the problem is knowledge about research, it is worth starting with the right partner who has experience and know-how about customer experience. In this context, YourCX team has many years of experience resulting from cooperation with the largest entities in the telecommunication industry (Play, T-Mobile, nc+, Plus, Netia, Virgin, Cyfrowy Polsat), e-commerce (Decathlon, Rossmann, Leroy Merlin, Militaria.pl), tourism (Rainbow, TUI) and others. A dedicated consultant will help you analyze your business objectives and choose the optimal tools and methods of research. He or she will design survey questionnaires and provide reports with data.
Choosing YourCX you will receive, first of all, reliable software, unlimited access to the research platform, with the help of which you can easily build surveys and analyze the results on your own. New and active research programs can be modified in terms of survey content and appearance. You can deepen your analysis based on additional data e.g. integration with Google Analytics to track tracks, conversion rate or conduct cohort analysis of behavior over long periods of time since your first visit.
It is said that designing positive experiences and eliminating customer problems is new marketing. Don’t wait, let your customers equip your company with the knowledge necessary for its development. Start customer experience research together with YourCX, fill in the form on the website or contact our representative.