Are You Listening--Really Listening--to Your Customers?
| Published: June 05, 2014 | Comments
Multichannel analytics give us a much deeper understanding of our customers, which gives us the knowledge we need to strengthen the entire business—not just the contact center.
When it comes to your customers, what you don’t know can hurt you.
Of course, we all know that on some level. It’s a key attribute of marketing: know your audience. No matter how great your product or service is, you still have to persuade people that they need it or want it. And you can’t do that unless you clearly understand your target market: who they are, what they buy and why they buy it.
Successful companies do their homework. Through surveys and formal research, they get familiar with both the demographics and psychographics of their customers. They are tuned in to the Voice of the Customer, one of the newer research approaches that provides a detailed set of customers’ expectations, preferences and turn-offs.
Then there’s the more literal Voice of the Customer. What your customers tell you in their own words, on their terms, in the conversations they have with your company through the contact center all day long. Huge value is hidden within those conversations. But how do you get to the treasure hidden in the troves of customer intelligence?
The challenge is, once you collect all of this unstructured data from the multiple channels, it becomes a Big Data issue. And that's where analytics programs—for speech, text, desktop—come into play. Modern analytics solutions hold the key to uncovering business opportunities and harnessing the data in your customer interactions to improve business results.
Turning conversations into data; building knowledge into wisdom
Companies record millions of interactions in their contact centers, but it’s impossible to review every single one. And it’s even harder to analyze the interactions as a whole to zero in on trends. Some companies only review a miniscule fraction of the data by manually listening to conversations. Speech and multichannel analytics makes it possible to monitor and review 100 percent by turning those conversations into organized and searchable data, and then refining that data so it can be analyzed easily—made ready for action—by just about anybody in the organization.
Once you have organized these troves of information, you don’t just have recordings of the customer’s voice, you have the true Voice of the Customer – and that is wisdom.
Obviously that wisdom is useful within the contact center—for understanding and optimizing the performance of the customer service operations (i.e. escalations, script compliance, first contact resolution). But the true value of knowing your customer—of listening to and mining the wisdom in what they’re telling you—can be felt throughout the organization.
Consider the benefits for:
Sales & marketing: By analyzing conversations, you can isolate the literal words and phrases customers use to detect patterns and build customer profiles, differentiate between customers, and give sales agents the guidance to better inform future decisions—while helping marketing shape more effective campaigns and messages.
Customer retention: Multichannel analytics help companies realize when they’re losing a significant number of long-term customers and, more importantly, what specific complaints or pain points are causing the drop-offs.
Optimizing operations: When a customer complains on social media, how do you determine whether it’s a marketing problem or an operations problem? The answer is: turn to conversations in the contact center. A lone voice on social media may simply be a rant – a marketing problem. Multichannel analytics can help validate social media comments as true technical or operational breakdowns, versus marketing opportunities, leading to quicker operational awareness and faster fixes. Simply put, they can simply identify an opportunity to appropriately market to the problem.
Pricing: Businesses can analyze the Voice of the Customer to determine how prices should be set, to optimize timing for promotional pricing in certain regions, and to ascertain how many customers bought a product or service because of a specific promotion. Analyzing voice data can also help companies decide whether to move away from across-the-board pricing to differentiated-target pricing for customer sub-groups.
Executive decision-making: Executives who recognize business trends and act on them—swiftly—are true visionaries. By analyzing multichannel data, executives can discover those trends and drill down on specifics until they understand what other data sources will yield further insight on that trend. And then they can take action, knowing that they have the data to back it up.
The importance of integration and simplicity
Multichannel analytics also holds promise for HR, Legal and every other business function that has anything to do with the customer (and that’s all of them). The value is undeniable, and when you integrate multichannel analytics with performance management and workforce optimization—and make the entire system clear and easy to use for everybody in your organization—that value only deepens.
They say knowledge is power. And in the era of Big Data, that’s especially true. By really listening to the true Voice of the Customer, your organization can tap into that knowledge and power, and use it to bolster every single aspect of your business.
Customer Experience, Multichannel Contact Center
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