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2018 and Customer Intelligence: Bridging the Gap from Customer to Business

Customer intelligence may be a new concept to many but it is just as quickly becoming a hot topic in a wide range of industries. As customers become more informed, the balance of power has shifted and priority now lies on a greater understanding of expectations.

With the end of year fast approaching, it is the perfect time to do a quick recap on how things went for your business in 2017. Did you achieve your goals? Has it been a profitable year? Has it been insightful one?

Chris Swan, TechPath’s CX specialist, shares his experiences in 2017 and where he sees customer intelligence going in 2018 and beyond:

CX is quickly becoming the tool of choice when rummaging through your strategic toolbox. How you swing this tool is ultimately the key to success.

In a 2013 study from Dimensional Research, 90 percent of people who read online reviews said that their purchasing decisions had been influenced by positive reviews, while 86 percent said they were swayed by negative reviews.

Understanding your customer through journey mapping is important and allows the opportunity to gain insights on your touch points and their overall expectations.

Your reputation as a brand will depend on how well you service the customers’ expectations at each interaction. Using platforms to measure these expectations is the key to understanding the ‘voice of the customer’ or VOC for short. Platforms such as the Net Promoter System (NPS®) are great – if you use these insights to their fullest potential.

 This is customer intelligence at its best. The fine art of using the data you collect in surveys, analytics and customer interactions to help understand why people act as they do when they interact with an organisation. Understanding this behaviour helps us inform our staff and gives leaders the power to develop the right strategy.

Building loyalty is a long journey, one with many ups and downs. Customers can at the push of a button research your product or services, read reviews and compare pricing. Strong CX engagement builds Promoters, people who give reviews through multiple platforms whether its digital or physical. Poor CX leads to Detractors, and the negative footprint these customers leave can be devastating.

How you ultimately repair this relationship is important, but what matters most is limiting these instances with a rich lens of insights that enable you to deliver exceptional service with every interaction.

TechPath launched CX in January 2017 with some very interesting results. A select few customers, which we assumed were happy, in fact weren’t, which gave us an opportunity to dive in and fix some of our processes. We started strong at the beginning of the year, but by mid-year (after receiving over 1,000 surveys) we had begun to level out with an NPS score between 65 and 69.

Looking at our data, we could pinpoint where we were exceling, but also clearly identify areas that needed some change. TechPath commenced strategies to improve customer experience and introduced programs that would engage staff to strive for excellence.

This quarter we set a monumental goal of 74 to be achieved by the middle of December. Hundreds of surveys would need to be completed, with a huge percentage required from Promoters (surveys averaging a score between 9 and 10 out of 10).

Our incentive was a half day off on the last day of the year to enjoy a BBQ celebration with fellow employees. Survey response rates increased by 20%, and NPS soared.

A week into the goal we were hit by multiple Detractors (surveys with a score of 0 – 6), and Passives (surveys with a score of 7 – 8), sinking us back to 69.

It seemed all but lost, so we went to the team to regroup and seek feedback. One of the suggestions they had was live updates on surveys. They felt this would ensure a strong focus on customer satisfaction was maintained at all times. We edited some code in our CX management platform and were able to provide them with live reporting on our feedback scores.

Within two weeks of the change, we received an incredible amount of feedback and today we are proud to report we have achieved an overall score of 74.4 – well above industry standards.

Although we incentivised the goal with a simple BBQ, we noticed something unusual. Staff had barely spoken about the incentive. We received more questions around how to improve individual scores and how well we were doing as a company, rather than “Are we having the BBQ?”

A successful CX program begins and ends with staff engagement, without it there really is no point.

If you build one strategy in 2018 make it staff engagement. If you can excite your staff and change the mindset to customer centricity you will have an insightful year.

Learn more about TechPath’s Customer Experience Program.