High customer satisfaction translates to customer loyalty, and loyalty is one of the biggest drivers of corporate growth. Let’s face it – customer satisfaction is at an all-time low in our country. So, what exactly is going on?
For one thing, in responding to customers’ needs, companies often rely too heavily on their customer surveys in which only a small percentage of consumers participate. In addition, even high CSAT scores do not necessarily translate directly into customer loyalty and profitability. Despite these facts, over three fourths of customer service organisations rely exclusively on CSAT scores to understand their customers’ experiences, according to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review. Certainly, surveys can offer valuable information, but they’re only a tiny piece of the overall puzzle. Customer expectations of in-store, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and online systems that deliver services and products are very high, and we all know where ignoring the bigger picture leads.
As we’ve seen, when a company fails to meet customers’ expectations, they take action. Consumers cancel cable services, they switch cell phone providers, they change banks, and they refuse to book a flight on the airlines that lost their luggage. They also share their experiences and not through surveys. Instead, they tweet, they chat, they blog, they assign ratings, and they make recommendations and give warnings. In short, many more customers are sharing their opinions and their preferences with their virtual next door neighbours—thousands of like-minded friends—in real time. Word-of-mouth has assumed an additional dimension. The more humorous and the bigger the rants, the more people are likely to read, watch and listen.
To understand customers—what customers are doing and what they’re saying—companies need to examine the customers’ interactions with their products and services through a different lens and discover where these are falling short. Fortunately, the “know your customer” adage has been taken to an entirely new level by experience analytics platform providers. In fact, Forrester has said that an experience platform ClickFox offers provides the unique capability to “identify discrepancies between system design and actual interactions across multiple channels to provide meaningful insight.” Tracking actual customer behaviours and experiences across retail, online and contact centres provides powerful insights into the root cause of issues like poor satisfaction. Fast growing, successful companies retain and gain customer loyalty by doing more than simply resolving an existing problem. They avert common downstream issues by being proactive.
To be proactive, companies must gain insights into their customers that reach far beyond survey data. Here, a comprehensive view of the customer experience from beginning to end with the opportunity to drill down to understand specific interactions becomes extremely valuable. By identifying repeated patterns, complaints and areas for improvement, companies can focus on and remove the greatest obstacles to the consumer, reduce repeat calls over the same issue, and avert future problems. Companies have the opportunity to understand customer behaviour and improve satisfaction rates. This leads to greater customer retention and company growth so that companies can rely on the strongest marketing engine that exists: the customer.
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