Customer experience today is the wildcard that makes or breaks many companies. While one-click shopping, cookie tracking, and same-day delivery have made finding and buying products easier than ever for consumers, good customer service and great customer experiences still play a major role in creating shopping experiences that get customers to buy more and buy more often.
While the competition for consumers has never been greater, businesses today have a wealth of tools at their disposal to help create great experiences and then gather and analyze customer feedback. Let’s dive into ways you can analyze and improve customer experiences, then look at some of the tech tools you can leverage to take action with the data you uncover.
Let’s Talk About Improving Customer Experience
Your company can radically improve its customer experience by focusing on two key metrics: CSAT and NPS.
While not the only two baseline measuring systems for gauging customer satisfaction, these two are important analytics to keep in mind as you seek to enhance your customer experiences and expand your market scope.
What Is CSAT?
CSAT is short for customer satisfaction score. It is a commonly used measure that describes how the products and services supplied by a company meet or exceed customer expectations. Companies can use their score to obtain a leading indicator for consumer purchase intention and loyalty and to uncover problems with customer satisfaction before they begin to have more radical impacts on a company’s bottom line.
CSAT scores can be generated through the use of third-party software tools. Standard solutions ask customers for feedback by email, text message, or on web pages in real-time – for example, a pop-up might ask, “How satisfied were you with your shopping experience today?”
Companies can collect these scores over time to create a baseline and then judge future changes. Some scores can also be displayed in marketing material and benchmarked against industry or sector standards.
How to Improve Your CSAT Score
Now, let’s look at how to improve your CSAT score. Improving this will mean that more customers like you, will stay loyal to you, and may even tell their friends about you.
Keep in mind that poor customer experience is probably the top reason why customers say they will not continue to do business with a company in the future. Even in today’s climate of disengaged, impersonal consumer buying patterns, where we can buy everything from a head of lettuce to a new automobile without ever interacting with a human, customer service still matters and is a major influence behind a person’s decision to do business with someone or something.
Here are several ways to improve your CSAT scores:
- Upgrade your customer support: Bad experiences cause consumers to change brands, and poor service from customer support can often be the culprit. AI tools can help uncover pain points and point toward solutions.
- Use more support channels: Do you only rely on email for your customer support? It’s time to branch out and use text and phone support. Also, make sure to staff your social channels – many customers will reach out using these public forums.
- Empower your workers to make a difference: Having trained, engaged employees ready to help consumers can help people remain loyal to a company.
- Show customers that you care: Sometimes, it is the little things that make a big difference in consumer satisfaction – special discounts, thank you letters, referral bonuses, and addressing customers by name.
- When you get feedback, act on it: Are customers reacting negatively towards a product? Are they signaling your hold times are too long? If you get this valuable intel, act on it!
What Is NPS?
NPS is short for net promoter score. Net promoter score is a popular and widely used market research tool that asks respondents how likely they are to recommend a company, product, or service to someone. These commonly appear as emails, website pop-ups, or text messages sent to customers after a purchase or interaction.
As with the CSAT, net promoter scores can be aggregated to create a baseline score, then used to gauge against future scores and industry or competitor benchmarks. Also, similarly to the CSAT, NPS scores can be generated by contracting with a third-party provider who either sends the surveys on the client’s behalf or codes the survey into your website.
NPS is generally scored based on three categories assuming that the customer is asked how likely they are to recommend the company, product, or service based on a chosen number between 1 and 10, with 1 being least likely and 10 being most likely:
- Customers who answer the question with a score of 9-10 are your promoters – they like you and your product and are most likely to engage in valuable word-of-mouth advertising on your behalf.
- Customers who answer the question with a score of 7-8 are passives – they like what you have to offer but not so much that they would tell the world about how great you are.
- Customers who answer with anything less than 7 are your detractors – they are more likely to hurt your business than help it, they are not satisfied with what you are selling or offering, and they may even express opinions that are negative enough about you that it scares off future customers.
How to Improve Your NPS Score
Once you have calculated your NPS and benchmarked it against industry standards or prior performance, you can put in place a plan to improve it. Depending on your market goals, improving your NPS score may be more valuable than improving your CSAT score since word of mouth plays such a strong role in NPS.
- Follow-up with customers: Conduct interviews to learn more about why the score is low.
- Get everyone on board: Improving NPS is a team effort, and the more staff you have signed on to your effort, the more effective your efforts will be.
- Use NPS feedback to train staff: Feedback from NPS surveys can be used as a basis for helping departments improve.
- Look for patterns: Dig deep into your NPS data. Are scores lower for certain products, or on certain days, or on certain platforms? All of this can be highly useful for improving your NPS score.
5 Tools to Improve Your Customer Experiences
There are five main tools used by businesses today to improve their customer experiences.
Artificial intelligence (AI): AI is intelligence that is demonstrated by machines as opposed to humans. AI can improve customer experiences by offering proactive and personalized customer service, improving lead generation, generating data-driven customer insights, customizing content, streamlining workflow, and preventing employee burnout.
Chatbots: A chatbot is a software application that conducts chat conversation and takes the place of human conversation. Chatbots can improve customer service by allowing customers to automate some basic tasks that fill the gap between, for example, FAQ pages or instructions and actual human interaction. Chatbots can perform tasks such as confirming reservations, answering basic questions, and seamlessly escalating customer requests.
Machine learning (ML): Machine learning is the use of algorithms that improve processes through experience and use of data; it is a component of AI. ML can improve customer service by shortening time to resolution for cases, helping customers find the most effective customer service desk, proactively emailing customers who are searching for items on your website, and mining data to improve a product or process.
Natural language processing (NLP): NLP is a subfield that combines linguistics, AI, and computer science. It refers to the ability to automatically compute human language. In use for years but constantly improving, NLP can be used to analyze customer feedback, route support tickets, route phone calls, and determine sentiment.
Predictive analysis (PA): PA encompasses modeling, ML, and data mining to analyze current or historic facts and make predictions about future or unknown events. PA can help companies target and retain customers by creating a proactive, personalized customer experience that delivers optimal value to customers at every stage of their buying journey and after.
Robotic process automation (RPA): RPA is a type of business process automation based on AI that allows almost anyone to automate digital tasks. RPA can help customer service agents and customer experience operations by handling back-office work such as claims or invoices, taking care of repetitive tasks, reducing the amount of time spent identifying customers, and reducing costs overall. RPA can be integrated into chatbot operations and self-service operations to cut down on the amount of time customers have to spend on hold or waiting for service.
NPS and CSAT scores give you deep insight into your operations and how customers view you. With several advanced tools to choose from today, improving these two metrics can go a long way toward asserting your market dominance and improving your scores. Next month, we’ll take a look at two companies offering innovative solutions to help improve your CSAT and NPS scores.