Got Customer Commentary? 4 Steps to Feed It Into the Experience Machine
The crusade to optimize customer experience is one that all organizations are waging — and for good reason. The success equation for anyone doing business today demands customer-centricity. Just look at the “Customers 2020” report that shows customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. That crystallizing fact puts the need to optimize the customer experience — namely making sure that every experience with your brand matters — atop the CMO’s 10 commandments.
The million-dollar dilemma is figuring out what the optimal experience will look like for each customer. Enlightening clues can be found in everyday engagements with customers. Most companies can find them recorded in their customer service transcripts, in 140-character suggestions, in NPS survey open-ended questions and in reviews.
If marketers and their insights teams have access to this valuable feedback and can use it to map out opportunities to surprise and delight customers at every turn, then why is this strategic lens largely underused? Why are so many organizations stunted in realizing their experience goals?
One of the reasons is that they’re drowning in data, and that data exists in silos. Big, little, numerical, qualitative. There is a copious amount of customer data available to all marketers, but is it too much of a good thing? According to an IBM study of 1,700 CMOs, 71 percent feel unprepared to handle the data explosion. It’s hard to steer the ship when you’re struggling to stay afloat. While there’s no perfect solution out there, and no data pause button available in the interim, there are some easy steps marketers can take to get unstuck.
Here are four tips to help you to start using your customers’ commentary to optimize their experiences:
1. Start Today (Not Tomorrow) With What You Have. While it’s easy to procrastinate and do an exhaustive search to find the best analysis and alignment product (one that likely doesn’t exist), it’s not going to get you closer to your goal. Instead, start identifying and compiling the sources you currently have. When you take inventory of your existing assets, you may find that you have more commentary to extract than you first realized.
Related story: 6 Methods of Building User-Generated Content