Feedback is key as companies look to improve their customer experience
Updated: Jul 7, 2022
From start to finish, customers expect the best from every product or service they encounter and purchase. A start would be the first time they have some contact with a product, via an advertisement they saw or from a recommendation they received from a friend. The finish point can be their continued usage of the product or until they decide not to use it anymore. The entire customer journey is called customer experience as it refers to all of their interactions and experiences with the product along this timeline.
Throughout such a timeline, they can become loyal customers or they may suffer from customer frustration. Consumers expect the best and look for the greatest customer experience possible, but sometimes can become unhappy customers thanks to a product's poor design or due to a sub-par performance by the company's customer service team. Companies work hard to maintain customer retention and many of them employ a customer experience strategy looking to improve the customer journey and have brand-loyal consumers.
Good customer journeys are what it's all about, from first marketing campaigns to easy usage of the product and all the way through great customer service. Companies are looking to have a customer-centric culture, placing the customer first always and trying to make sure that his end-to-end experiences are positive. Good customer experience is also important in maintaining the brand's competitive edge, intended to reduce churn and answer customers' preferences and needs.
In order to understand customer and user preferences, and in order to bring in new customers and maintain existing ones, lots of research is taking place. A customer's experience is accompanied by constant data collection and interpretation, done only by a marketing team but in reality by the entire company. Customer needs and wants, as evaluated from multiple channels of communication with him, leading brands to enhance customer experience. A good customer's journey requires the company's understanding of all key points along the way and making sure that each and every touchpoint with customers receives its full attention and support.
As shown by the following two case studies, there was a need to measure detailed behavioral customer experiences in order to conclude what are the best steps to take. Once the company in each of these cases was able to evaluate its customer experiences, the ways to improve customer satisfaction became clearer.
Case study #1: fintech company improving customer experience by prioritizing usability issues
A leading fintech company, with millions of customers, encountered various complaints about its online service in 2021. The customer experience for its innovative and modern platform apparently was not performing well. The company's service did not meet customer expectations and a major effort was required to improve customer satisfaction, increase customer loyalty and improve the brand reputation.
The first step the company took using Affogata, was to gather customer experience data from the open web such as review sites, social media platforms, forums, and internal sources such as Zendesk. Then, Affogata sorted out the customer complaints into structured groups. When a company collects thousands of different complaints from customers, there's a need to understand how to prioritize negative conversations, and that is determined by the volume of each complaint category. Affogata not only sorted the complaints into seven major categories but also showed the company how many complaints were in each one of them.
Next, the company’s product team was able to prioritize product fixes and build their product roadmap in an improved data-driven way. As a result, gains were measured in several different verticals. Eventually, the brand reputation score and overall brand experience improved, as a result of fewer complaints and improved customer satisfaction.
Case study #2: gaming company improves customer experience by listening to their players’ feedback
In 2021, a world-leading gaming company released a new game to the market and utilized Affogata to evaluate how the game's launch and post-launch were received by its players. Affogata tracked and monitored player feedback at those two time periods. The gaming company was not interested in only the sales and business outcomes of its product but also wanted to learn as much as possible about the customer experience cx. Affogata's analysis helped the brand learn how players felt about each feature of the new game and what the main topics of discussion were, based upon their conversations collected from all over the open web.
The analysis enabled the company to improve its new game in real-time, overcome many of its technical UX/UI issues, and ultimately earn a more positive customer experience. Brand sentiment also improved as shown by the customer experience metrics that Affogata supplies. Customer interactions with the game and brand showed great improvement and indicated just how much the company was customer-focused.
The effects of bad customer experience
Three major problems may endanger companies if their customer journey and experience are bad. They will see a decrease in sales, suffer from less customer loyalty, and witness an increased churn.
As can be seen from the two previous examples, all three problems were avoided thanks to a massive collection of customer feedback and accurate analysis with specific recommendations of how to improve customer experience. Customer loyalty is something not to be taken for granted, as preferences and sentiments change. But a lot relies on how companies listen and react to their customers.
In order to constantly improve customer experience and avoid a fallout, companies must invest various resources: budgets, a great support team, a CRM software, do their own research, and much more. Should they miscalculate or mishandle their customer experience strategy, they may see their sales decrease and go through zero business growth. Their brand loyalty may suffer as well and their efforts to reduce churn may fail. Customers today always have alternatives, so they may not hesitate to purchase competing products and services if they become disillusioned with the company's offerings.
Your roadmap for handling customer experience
There are several methods to target audience satisfaction and aim to offer them a lifetime value and even an emotional connection to your brand.
Know and understand your customers: a purchase history, the current sales figures, or even comparing your product's performance next to those of your competitors may not be sufficient in understanding what your customers need and want. Customers today voice their opinions on many various channels, starting from their own company's website as well as on social media channels and review sites. Research suggests that a great customer experience could only be fully figured out by understanding what customers feel through what they express and comment about. Tracking and analysis of their feedback will lead to fully understanding how they view their customer experience of your brand.
Prepare a customer experience plan and act upon it: a customer experience plan can include many different stages and benefits for better business outcomes. It can also offer customer requests from engaging customers plus great customer service. Customers expect to be treated in accordance with their wishes but may also sometimes like to be surprised by special offers from the company. Customer interactions along the different touchpoints will help the company better plan their customer experience plan and act upon it.
The “emotional factor” of dealing with your clients: products sometimes manage to create an emotional connection for their customers. Such a connection may be created from the comfort or even continued usage of a product. It can also be related to some unknown superior experience or a "secret bond" that a customer may feel towards a product. Customer feedback may lead to knowing what is that "secret sauce" that has caught up with your customers and maintains the superiority, and thus sales and success, of a product.
Collect feedback about your customers' thoughts and feelings for your performance: a good customer experience strategy always starts out by listening to what your customers have to say. While focus groups or customer surveys may not truly represent what your customers feel, gathering their conversations from all over the open web and dissecting such intel will give companies the necessary knowledge of how your products are performing.
What Affogata has to offer
Happy customers have more loyalty towards your brand. By understanding their conversations about your brand, the customer experience, and customer journey become more focused and easier to handle and manage. How the customer interacts with the brand may be better understood by analyzing what he has to say about the experience he has with it. And if done constantly, the chance of succeeding in sales and in churn reduction is greater.
Affogata tracks, monitors and analyzes millions of data points from customers all over the open web, as well as internal sources, so that companies can better understand and evaluate their customers' needs and wants.
There are many ways to improve customer satisfaction, through the effort of different departments within a company, and if each team receives its relevant data, their tasks may become easier:
The product team can get feedback intel on their developments and features.
The marketing team can learn a lot from the feedback on its campaigns and of course what customers have to say about the company's brand in general.
Customer service or any support team can measure its performance through Affogata's quantitative and qualitative analysis of customer conversations and mentions.
Executives can receive daily summaries of the customer sentiment towards the company's brand. So there is something for everyone in the company, as they work their way towards improving the cx strategy.
A great customer experience can be achieved in a calculated effort of collecting customers' thoughts as they express them on many different digital channels and then analyzing them for actionable insights. Improving customer experience is a constant work-in-progress but can be done more accurately and with greater focus once the data is tracked and analyzed properly. Improving customer experience should be on top of every company's vision and goals. With Affogata, what customers say can turn into the company's roadmap for better products and services.
Companies with a customer-centric culture can increase their chances of performing a better customer journey. Their wish to improve customer experience can come true by using the right real-time feedback data, analyzing it correctly, and acting upon it for a great customer journey.