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3 Steps to Channel Customer Feedback Into Product Innovation

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There’s no doubt that optimizing your customer experience (CX) pays off. When products and services come with great experiences, consumers are willing to pay up to 16% more, according to PwC.

However, for many organizations, it’s hard to know where to start. Most CX departments already have access to enormous quantities of customer data, captured from channels ranging from customer service conversations to feedback surveys to online reviews. So, how do you turn this avalanche of information into lasting product innovation that drives customer satisfaction and loyalty?

It’s a transformation that requires careful planning, strategy, and analysis—but it’s within reach of most CX teams. In fact, there are several steps you can take to build a culture of CX intelligence-driven innovation at your company.

Read more: Is Your Customer Experience (CX) Roadmap Still on Track?

Analyze Data and Possibly Collect Some More

The first step toward increased innovation is to understand the customer data you’ve already collected. Look for themes or patterns—for example, are customers frustrated with the same step of your onboarding process? Do they dislike an aspect of your product’s design? 

This analysis can be done manually by a sharp-eyed CX professional scanning through structured survey reports, comments sections, and other data sources. But if you have a large quantity of data to analyze, having the right tech tool like an experience intelligence platform can accelerate the process by surfacing trends automatically and continuously. 

Howsoever you do it, analyzing CX data helps your team identify specific customer pain points more quickly and accurately so that it can be shared cross-functionally in your organization in a timely manner. As you analyze, you may also discover gaps in data or opportunities for more detailed customer feedback. That might mean you need to collect more data: Ideally, you should be asking your customers for feedback continuously throughout their life cycle.

Develop a Specific Action Plan

Goals for product innovation are often broad and vague: “Improve customer satisfaction” is a worthy aim, but not one that suggests a particular course of action. However, if they’re packaged properly, trends and insights from CX data give product teams specific goals to work toward, driving real and lasting change.

For example, through experience intelligence, an Australian cafe group, The Coffee Club, learned customers didn’t like its new eco-friendly paper straws, which got soggy in cups of coffee. The Coffee Club switched to a new provider, building trust with customers by showing that the company listens to their feedback. 

In another case, a major pizza chain created an entirely new way of fulfilling carryout pizza orders. By listening to their customers, they found a deeper problem to solve—namely, having to stand in line to pick up an order—and were able to create an innovative process that addressed the issue. The result: happier customers, all thanks to CX intelligence.

Read more: Five Ways to Win More Deals Through Strategic Response Management

Structure Transformation for the Long Term

Solving a one-off problem is a great start, but establishing a lasting culture of CX-driven innovation is the ultimate goal. To accomplish this broader transformation, proactivity is key.

First, don’t overlook smart people just because you’re using smart tools. While an experience intelligence platform efficiently surfaces insights, only human beings can act on them. To ensure CX data translates to action, bring together cross-functional teams to evaluate insights, connect them to specific processes, and help product teams prioritize which customer pain points to address first. 

Once you have some early wins, leverage them to gain buy-in and drive future success. There’s a 78% gap between the number of brands that say they’re “definitely” doing a better job delivering excellent customer experiences and the number of customers who say the same about those specific brands. Sharing CX intelligence across your organization can begin to close that gap—and gain support for product innovation initiatives. As your customer experience team drives some early “wins” for the business, you will create demand across the business for even more innovation driven by your CX program.

The Power of Experience Intelligence

When it comes to customer experience, lagging behind is no longer an option. Companies that want to delight customers and win their loyalty must go above and beyond. For most organizations, this means using experience intelligence tools to identify customer pain points at scale. The true winners, however, will also build effective internal processes and culture for translating those insights into action—improving products, bolstering customer relationships, and driving business success.

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