Conversational Analytics: The Answer to Why Surveys Are Not Enough

conversation analytics title image

By: Sid Banerjee

June 5, 2019

Clarabridge Analytics
Customer Experience
Voice of the Customer
Net Promoter Score

Your customer informs the company that she wants to cancel her service. She’s been a loyal customer for 5 years, always paid her bills on time, but now she’s gone. Seemingly the company had no warning.

This scenario plays out every day in contact centers around the world. It costs 5-6 times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing customer, and companies have collectively spent billions of dollars on NPS and CSAT survey programs to better understand customer loyalty precisely to minimize this outcome from happening.

But what happens if the detractor hasn’t filled out a survey? Only about 2-8% of our clients’ customers fill out surveys—perhaps a statistically meaningful sample for understanding customer insights and trends, but insufficient to handle the 90+% silent majority who don’t respond but are nonetheless churn candidates.

Even if your detractors are filling out NPS surveys, surveys are lagging indicators of loyalty—customers identify themselves as a detractor, often long after the initial negative experiences have occurred (when they finally get around to filling them out).

Many factors drive churn. Products don’t work. Service levels are insufficient. Trouble tickets are opened and closed but never truly resolved. Or customers simply have bad experiences—on the phone, over chat, trying to self-serve, and more. If a customer doesn’t give you survey feedback, can you identify them? Can you proactively reach out to them, and turn them from a potential detractor back into a loyal customer?

The Predictive Power of Words

At Clarabridge we’ve found predictive power in words—specifically the words you hear from customers when they talk to you—in chats, over the phone, through messaging apps, even when they seek out the support from companies and fellow customers in social media. Those words help companies better understand the drivers of satisfaction, loyalty, and produce insights that lead to actions to minimize churn, reduce customer effort, and improve customer profitability.

You’ve probably had this experience yourself as a customer of a product or service. You have a problem. You try to fix it yourself, perhaps by going online, using the company’s website or online forums, but are not successful. Next perhaps you engage in a chat conversation and find the agent (or chatbot) experience extremely unproductive. Then you may call a contact center and have an experience (or multiple experiences) with agents that put you on hold, transfer you, force you endure long wait times, and fundamentally don’t resolve your issue.

As each interaction occurs, a funny thing happens to your language. It starts neutral, productive. Then you express effort—things are harder than they should be and you’ve tried to self-service or called support multiple times. Then, if things persist, you express emotion and negative sentiment. You’re frustrated. You’re angry. You’re dissatisfied with agent performance, or product utility, or the company’s entire support model.

Even if you never fill out a survey, you’ve left an incredibly rich trail of signals in your conversations indicating satisfaction, effort, emotion, and sentiment.    

Advanced text analytics solutions like Clarabridge tease out effort, which is the earliest indication of loyalty from language. When companies find and fix the issues that are hard, you reduce effort and improve loyalty.

We also tap into customer voice and text to understand the experiences that drive negative emotion.  Fix the experiences and you’ll improve emotion, reduce time and effort, and save money along the way.

Finally, we surface all the negative features of products and services, using sentiment analytics, and work to fix the negative features that mostly likely correlate to customers who churn. You’ll make better products, and reduce call volumes, save money, and drive up customer loyalty, driving revenue growth and profit.

And most importantly, with conversational analytics applied to the voice of your customers, you’ll be able to address the needs of all your customers, not just the small fraction who fill out a survey.

Sid Banerjee is Chief Strategy Officer and founder of Clarabridge. Follow Sid @sidbanerjee.

To learn more about how Clarabridge can help you with conversational analytics, be sure to request a demo.