2018 will always be known as the year where the conversation surrounding data collection and compliance changed for good. Following the discourse on the 2016 presidential election and the misuse of data for ad targeting, companies have started to restructure their digital strategy to establish a culture of trust with their customers.
The question on everyone’s mind: how do you understand customer preferences and create personalized experiences while honoring users’ heightened desire for privacy? One way to do so is by leveraging a source of organic feedback — textual conversations. If you’re really listening, customers typically tell you what they want — here is why now, more than ever, is the best time to start looking at this data:
1. Organization’s are prioritizing customer success
Companies today are laser-focused on building up trust and creating personalized experiences for their customers. It’s the reason why people absolutely love companies like Zappos, and rave about their customer support on social media. It’s also why Starbucks feels like a safe space wherever you go in the world. No matter how you look at it, people recognize that companies that allocate resources towards building a culture of customer satisfaction and trust ultimately have a competitive advantage.
Retaining customers as a result of establishing brand loyalty and increasing customer happiness starts with learning about your customers’ needs and behaviors. Companies are tracking customer happiness more than ever. KPIs (key performance indicators) for customer success have started to emerge and monitoring how internal actions are influencing those metrics have become common practice. Companies are starting to double-down on customer experience — a superficial understanding of user actions isn’t going to cut it anymore. Sitting down to look at granular data is a requirement in today’s day and age for customer success.
2. The customer success profession is evolving
As companies place higher value on customer success, the path to CS leadership is changing. Since the industry is so rapidly evolving, CS leadership now demands skills such as data analysis and financial modeling (e.g. figuring out how churn could decrease affect Q3 revenue) and a large part of being successful in the field requires staying up-to-date on best practices. As CS now has a greater responsibility to translate user feedback to the rest of the company, professionals now have to be able to speak multiple languages as they work closely with different teams including product development and operations.
This trend is so prevalent, that even universities are starting to follow suit. For example, the University of San Francisco recently implemented a specialized program focused on customer success and retention. There are also countless support groups and educational Meetups emerging that all focus on bringing customer success professionals together to continue developing the field and bring forth innovation.
With this in mind, companies now have an incredible opportunity to hire high-quality talent that is focused solely on improving the customer experience.
3. Specialized customer success tools are emerging and more powerful than ever
As customer success responsibilities have started to overlap with customer experience, tools to help make CS professionals more efficient are emerging and proving to be very effective. It’s no secret that everyone is shifting towards digital– it’s predicted that by the end of 2018, over 65% of customer support interactions will take place on digital channels. Tools for omni-channel customer communication now exists to deal with the increasing amount of organic customer feedback coming in through chat, email, forums, and social media platforms. In addition, developments in artificial intelligence and natural language processing now facilitates customer exploration and delving into granular insights in a way that is unparalleled to what was possible in the past.
Looking at individual customer conversations is an impossibly hard task– but using tools to look at insights can reveal key information as to how to best move forward in building your company. It can help uncover why customers are upgrading their subscription plans but still carry a generally negative sentiment towards you. It can also provide information on whether customers are asking about certain services, or whether they are interested in how you might be using their data.
But why text analytics?
Companies can start to look at data that they might not have considered before. Everyone is concerned with the many KPIs associated with customer success, but for many, it’s hard to map this data to the customer journey. How do you know at what point a customer’s mind changes about what you’re offering? Text analytics from customer conversations can provide invaluable information on how to address these issues.
Granular customer feedback also provides information that user research will likely never fully capture. Looking at data from customer conversations solves challenges such as low response rates on surveys, gathering reviews or dealing with response biases. Now, each time a customer organically reaches out to you via customer support, you’re given an opportunity to learn about their needs and concerns.
Having this information at hand gives you a competitive advantage — you can directly address these concerns and create educational content & self-service tools for your customers to engage with. That is the first actionable step towards building trust between you and your audience.
If you’re new to ScopeAI, request a demo to learn more about how to start acquiring actionable insights from your customer conversations.