Look for “the Why” When Solving Problems with Customer Experience Data

By: Clarabridge Team

February 26, 2015

Speaking to a packed house of customer experience professionals at the eTail West conference in Palm Springs, Clarabridge Chief Marketing Officer Susan Ganeshan distilled her advice thusly: “Look for the why.”

Essentially, to fix a problem, you have to understand not only what the problem is, but also why it exists and why it is a point of fixation for you and your customers – all answers that you can find with Clarabridge’s text analytics tools.

This and other insights were revealed during a spirited question-and-answer session dealing with some common stumbling blocks encountered by those offering customer experience solutions:

How do you organize to try and provide a seamless cross-channel experience?

Strive to implement and maintain a streamlined communication trail. Collect customer feedback via any and all sources available, including employees at the point of service.  Always treat people as if they are standing in front of you, even when you’re dealing in cyberspace. Constant reliance on all communication channels will ensure that you are always available and reacting to your customer base, even in times where one avenue may be experiencing technical problems.

How can you provide a seamless experience when you are dealing with legacy systems and ensure you have the infrastructure in place?

Integration of data, analytics and reporting can save you when you don’t have time to merge or revamp systems.  If you don’t have IT infrastructure and can’t afford products or integration, you can add people to your workforce. One customer of ours indicated that to fully comprehend their customers’ feedback, it would take two people one year to review 10,000 documents. Think about justifying the cost of technology with this number.  If you must do it manually, think about things like categorizing data – are you hearing about price, product, service, availability, etc.? This enables you to at least find the data when you need it.

What have you learned from obtaining customer feedback? What are the things that customers may expect that you don’t necessarily know?

Collecting and analyzing customer experience data is like turning intuition into evidence.  You already know your business, your weaknesses, your strengths, but how much impact does each of these have, and how urgent are they?

For example, a retail customer had a loyalty program, and customers’ points weren’t accumulating correctly or accurately.  They had their IT put a notice on their website, which reduced call volume slightly.  The question was, should we train call center staff to post the points? Is this an effective use of their time? The retailer wanted to understand the impact this had on customer loyalty and happiness.  Turned out it was big, bigger than the cost of the reps’ time. That’s exceedingly valuable information to have.

What are some pitfalls to avoid in terms of managing cross-channel implementations?

The biggest pitfall to avoid is not measuring.  Make sure to measure volume, sentiment, and customer reasoning.  Understand why people don’t buy, why they do buy, when they buy, and look for spikes.  Measure the emotion of the experience.