AI-Driven Analytics and Voice of Customer Capabilities Offer Organizations a Competitive Advantage

By Alex Chang, Kevin Mackey, and Zameer Baber from Point B

Competing for customer mindshare has never been more challenging. To do so, organizations must expand beyond their existing repositories of operational and transactional data.  While these data sources help organizations understand who customers are and what customers do, they don’t offer insights into how customers are experiencing the organizations’ products and services.

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As customers become increasingly vocal about their experiences, needs, and expectations for satisfaction, organizations who can access and understand their Voice of Customer (VoC) and translate it into action will differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. Intelligent automation, social listening, and AI tools can help you capture and understand indirect customer feedback, empowering your organization to:

  • Listen to and understand the voice of your customer across different channels 
  • Translate high volumes of VoC data into relevant, useful insights 
  • Drive more coordinated cross-organization collaboration and action
  • Meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.

This is important now because:

  • Leaders across many industries are prioritizing VoC to compete and stay relevant. In Gartner’s recent Customer Experience survey, AI and VoC technologies were prioritized as top investments for CX improvement.
  • As customers become more digitally savvy and increase their online engagement, organizations can enhance the customer experience leveraging customers’ previous interactions, sentiments, and needs.
  • Customers today expect organizations to act fast. Not next week, but now.

Customer data typically resides in different silos, with each functional team capturing a slice. For example, marketing, call centers or product teams each have their own repositories of customer data. This increases the effort for an organization to understand what customers are experiencing and leads functional teams to interpret data in their own ways. All these are limiting in terms of:

  • Inability to truly understand why customers are satisfied or dissatisfied, and which specific product feature or service led to that sentiment
  • Limited contextual understanding of the customer when VoC analysis solely focuses within the company and not incorporating how customers speak of competitors and their products and services
  • Delay in response time, causing organizations to act too late.

What’s possible now?

Modern solutions and tools make it easier to capture and consolidate VoC data across multiple channels and data sources like websites, surveys, emails, mobile, and more.  This additional dimension of data expands beyond traditional operational or transaction-based data and creates visibility into how and what customers say about your products and services, including customer-initiated indirect feedback such as product and service reviews on ecommerce sites and social sites, and company-initiated direct feedback through surveys and market research.

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Applying AI-driven analytics allows organizations to quickly unpack these unstructured customer verbatims at scale to make sense of their feedback and convert that feedback into actionable insights, including alerts, metric dashboards, customer journey maps and recommended actions. Take advantage of these VoC insights and combine them with existing customer insights to take action in a deliberate, coordinated, and rapid fashion. By employing this approach, you can expect to:

  • Identify early signals of negative customer sentiment and drivers for those sentiments for corrective action
  • Prioritize product or service features based on shifting consumer trends and sentiment
  • Gain context into product or service performance with benchmarks against competitors
  • Improve on customer loyalty and drive down costs of customer acquisition.

Organizations that build and establish VoC capabilities can realize these benefits:

  • Rapid realization of ROI with delivered VoC capabilities and customer insights
  • Insights into VoC and drivers for their positive and/or negative sentiments
  • Access to product and service surveillance capabilities to monitor for emergence of customer issues and insights for informed actions
  • Access to competitive benchmarking through VoC of competitor products and/or services to improve overall customer experience, acquisition, and retention.

Leveling up your VoC capabilities leveraging AI gives organizations a powerful way to capture customer insights that can lead to greater customer satisfaction and a healthier bottom line.

About the authors:

Alex Chang, Kevin Mackey and Zameer Baber are consultants with Point B, a consulting company that helps organizations in the areas of customer engagement, growth investments, workforce experience and operations excellence.

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