Companies thrive or die faster than ever before because the pace of business and customer expectations have all increased exponentially. Because your customers communicate with you and with so many others about your brand around the clock, it is very hard to effectively sort through this mountain of data in order to extract information that will be helpful for you to truly know your customers. To know your customer means you will be able to provide them with better products and services and potentially increase the time and money they spend with your brand.
So take a hard look at your organization: Do you take the time to really listen to your customers on their terms or do you rely on old-school methods of having to incentivize them to respond to a surveys or have to cajole them to attend some focus group? These traditional methodologies take time to prepare, deliver and analyse and on top of that, costs can be huge to implement on an ongoing basis.
However, if you listen carefully, you will find lots of insights in the communication channels they are already using with your organization. With the right tools, you will be able to get a much clearer picture of what exactly they are calling for and why. You can also glean information about their specific needs, pain points, what they think of your product, what are they expecting from you, what the competition is offering them and many other nuggets of information gold.
So, given all the ways customers connect and communicate with your brand, how can you effectively leverage those cost-effectively in order to bring usable insights back so you can remain a strong, relevant and customer-centric organization? That’s the power of effectively listening to your customers!
Listening to your customers carefully will help you capture everything that the customer is saying about your business, product, competitor and everything related to your business. Thanks to advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation, you now have a set of tools to leverage to quickly and efficiently listen to your customers. Some of the ways in which you can truly listen to your customers are as below.
Today every brand worth its salt has a live chat feature which is mostly managed by a chatbot and also could be overseen by a human. This is a great place to listen to your customers. During the chat the customers ask questions, share negative experiences, tell you what’s wrong with your product or service… all of which is pure gold for your brand. Using the power of artificial intelligence, analytics and automation, it is possible to deploy real-time intelligence in your customer conversations to not only steer them towards better answers but also extract input for future offerings. Even more powerful when it can be done in real time! Think about this example: You are an online travel agency and one of your customers tells you via chat about some construction going on at the resort where you booked them. After verifying that in fact, the resort is doing some renovations they had not told you about, you can quickly make the decision to book your guests at a nearby resort, thus avoiding future disgruntled guests calling your agency, looking for a refund.
One other potent channel for listening to customers are social media channels. Social media is a treasure trove of information and with proper tools, you have multiple ways to make sense of what your customers are talking about. Unlike one-way communication, social media helps to build engaging and enduring relationships that not only impact one customer, but because of their connections, you can impact a who group of potential customers. One of the biggest strengths of social media is that it lets you have a direct, real-time, one-on-one conversations with your customers AND their followers.
Emails and Feedback
Though email is such a 20th century technology, it continues to be leveraged in today’s hyper-competitive fast-moving business world. Many brands solicit customer feedback using the feedback forms via email and some use email for general customer service. You can learn about your customer’s mindset just by asking for feedback about a recent purchase, a service experience that they just had or if they would consider another option. Again, companies have mountains of emails and feedback forms but often cannot find a way to make the usable without incurring huge costs. This is where AI, automation and machine learning come in. Just like conversational analytics can help make sense of both recorded and real time conversations after the voice track is converted to text, you can take those same tools and use them to analyst and process text-based communication as well and build a knowledge base from the output.
Recorded and Live Call Data
Your contact center is another great place to listen to your customers. There are thousands of hours of recorded calls in a contact center and you can discover a lot about your customers thanks to this conversational data. Most companies don’t have a cost-effective way to listen to all those recorded calls where you can learn about how they feel about your product, what they think about competitors, what are their complaints related to your product, are they referring your product to their family and friends, and such kinds of data. However, now there are conversational analytic tools that can effectively listen to, analyse and process large amounts of recorded data, to then deliver usable, tangible insights.
When it comes to live calls, again AI can help you to closely listen to your customers. Conversational AI solutions can help you spot for keywords but most importantly you can understand the true intent and sentiment of the customers as they are speaking, thanks to advanced features of voice AI and voice analytics. You can decipher a customer’s diction, stress words, way of speaking and such other nuances. This way you have insights into what actually the customer is saying and how best to deploy this knowledge in real-time when the agent is still speaking to the customers. The AI layer can offer the agents real-time alerts, notifications and other nudges so the customer expectations are truly fulfilled, and you can take pride in offering a great customer service experience!
The Future is Now: Just Get Started
These are just some of the ways in which you can effectively listen to your customers regardless of the business vertical. And even more exciting options are on the way like the ability to deploy an intelligent voice bot who will call your customer right after they made a purchase. These intelligent customer support ‘bots’ spend just a minute or two engaging your customers in a conversation about their experience. No forms to fill out. No emails to send Just a personable bot speaking naturally and normally and then entering the information gathered from their interaction to your internal systems for continuous improvement. Can’t wait? Don’t! Click here to request a demo.
For further reading, check out this related blog on the power of voice and listening to your customers!