Feedback Keeps Flowing: Why You Need Continuous Insights

By: Lisa Sigler

February 6, 2015

CEM Programs
CEM Solutions
Customer Feedback

The Temkin Group recently released a new Insight Report titled, “The Future of Customer Experience Insights: Five Trends That Will Redefine the Role and Value of Customer Feedback and Insights.”  The trends outlined in the report give organizations a roadmap to follow to get the most value out of their Voice of the Customer programs.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at these trends one by one.

Trend #2: Continuous Insights, Not Periodic Studies

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

I assume that the Greek philosopher Heraclitus was not thinking about customer experience management when he wrote that, but he might as well have been.

Just like that river, the customer experience is constantly changing:

  • Interactions between you and your customers can be colored by the issue at hand, the personality of the customer or your support rep, and even the channel of communication.
  • Processes that are delivering results today can crash and burn tomorrow due to technological failures.
  • Product quality issues can creep in due to changes in suppliers or internal processes.
  • Supply issues, website crashes, even bad weather can change the way your customers perceive you.

Each time a customer sticks a toe in the water with you is a new chance to delight or disappoint.

Fortunately, you have a say in directing the current. If you are listening to customer feedback, you get the opportunity to change the customer experience, to influence it and improve it. 47% of consumers will stop purchasing from a company that gives a bad response to a bad experience, while only 6% will churn if they get a good response. Your actions matter.

How do you know what actions to take, if things are constantly changing? If you want to understand the way the river is flowing, you simply cannot take a “one and done” approach to analyzing the customer experience.

This truth is the underlying message behind Trend #2 in the Temkin Group Insight Report, which makes the following suggestions to help decision-makers manage ongoing operations:

Synthesize insights across sources. The customer experience includes every interaction, across every channel. For an ongoing, fluid view of the customer, you must collect and combine omni-channel data for analysis.

Foster a data-centric mindset. Don’t wait for leadership for request information from your customer insights group. Instead, distribute information regularly, so they come to expect and rely on the data when making any business decision.

Regularly expose leaders to customer feedback. Provide opportunities for executives to see the customer implications of business decisions. Show them real examples of survey replies, let them hear customer service call recordings, or even facilitate calls between company leaders and customers.

Iterate insights throughout design cycles. It is very common for customer insights to be used at the beginning or at the end of a project. For maximum value, customer insights should be solicited and used at each stage to refine a product.

Co-analyze with subject matter experts. Rather than expecting insights to flow directly from the data, customer insights groups should work with the various departments to figure out how to best derive insights and put them into action.

Use insights to make real-time adjustments. When you have data and insights available all of the time, it is easy to spot the beginnings of trends and issues. Real-time adjustments can stem the tide of problems before they become critical.

Continuous insights allow you to track trends, answer questions, and support decision-making throughout your organization.