How Do I Love Thee… Let Me Count The Ways

By: Clarabridge Team

February 11, 2014

By:  Shane Axtell, Lead Computational Linguist, Clarabridge

How do i love thee

Around Valentine’s Day, love and loyalty are in the air. It follows that companies will want to also measure the love and loyalty that they are able to generate from their customer base. Customers, because they are human, naturally desire a relationship with a company and this relationship is what drives customers’ loyalty. So how can a company measure their customers’ loyalty and engage with them to generate greater loyalty in the future?

First, a company must listen to customers (a very broad range of customers) in order to comprehend what they desire and how to deliver in such a way that will fulfil that desire. Before CEM and text analytics (essentially the point at which computers became advanced enough to accurately understand human language on a large scale), a small number of people would sit in a room and read customer comments. This was a very slow process and could only reach a tiny percentage (~2%) of the comments. Now, however, CEM hubs can plug into any source of customer feedback data and process immense amounts of data without missing any of the details.

Second, a company must understand what it just heard in the feedback channels. Just like lovers want to be understood by their partners, customers want the companies that they patronize to understand their desires, needs, and passions. Understanding customer feedback is, thus, mutually reinforcing: the customer gets what the customer wants and this creates revenue for the company (by becoming/remaining loyal in the future). CEM hubs know this. That’s why the best CEM solutions include reporting capabilities that provide actionable insights, methods to engage with customers, and means to communicate report findings to all levels of the organization. Without all of these components, it is extremely difficult to get the right information to the right people who can then make the right decisions that will drive customer loyalty.

Third, a company must engage with the customer in order to show that it has listened carefully and understood what it heard. Just as a small nuance can cause an interpersonal relationship to sour, likewise a small nuance can cause customer loyalty to sour. It is very important that a company maintain contact in various ways with its customer base, especially when a customer expresses negative sentiment. Sentiment can be very useful. For example, it can indicate when to engage with an upset customer (when sentiment drops to negative levels) and it can indicate when to engage with rewards for exceptional customers (when sentiment is very high). In both the positive and negative cases, the customer will realize that the company has listened, understood, and reached out to engage. The natural consequence is loyalty.

So, “how do I love thee…  Let me count the ways” by showing my loyalty as a customer. How do you earn your customer’s loyalty?