Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 | 5 min read
Businesses live and die based on customer satisfaction. It’s no surprise, then, that marketers base their strategies around what they think customers care about. The question becomes, how much does a marketer really know about how their customers feel? At a time when customers are connected and empowered like never before, the answer is usually not enough.
A lack of customer knowledge can harm acquisition rates and lead to poor brand loyalty. And in the world of social media, where one bad customer experience can spur a viral vendetta against a brand, it’s a serious risk for brands not to know their customers.
Fortunately for marketers, the social web offers unprecedented, instant access to customers’ opinions about brands. Measured at scale, across channels, and paired with input from legacy customer-facing systems, this data can help brands gauge their level of service, spot potential issues, and identify relevant social influencers.
The possibilities are compelling, but not necessarily easy to achieve overnight. As a result, most marketers trying to enhance customer experience feel limited by their resources and constantly play catch-up. Here’s what they should be doing.
The voice of the customer should be the driving force behind everything a brand does, from planning marketing campaigns to tackling product issues. Incorporating holistic customer data into all decisions can increase engagement opportunities, improve conversion rates, and increase the authenticity—and thus the value—of interactions.
Customer experience data can be collected from social channels, customer service surveys, feedback forms, focus groups, and customer advisory boards. Marketers need to view all of this information in one place, in a way that can facilitate deep, contextual insight. Doing so requires a platform to gather data from legacy systems and unite it with the knowledge drawn from digital platforms.
To provide the best possible experiences, marketers must be able to aggregate and analyze thousands of unstructured messages from wide audiences from around the globe. To do so, they need tools for these three functions:
Listening Insights: On social, no mention is insignificant. With social listening, companies can use data to identify, address, and find solutions to complaints that customers have about a product or a specific store location. Brands can keep their digital ear to the ground and stay ahead of issues before they snowball into big problems, all while identifying potential customers based on the opinions they express online.
Visual Insights: Photos posted on social platforms can also help marketers understand how customers feel about their brand. With the right solution, images of broken products can automatically flag the customer care team, while positive images of products can be used in UGC marketing campaigns.
Location-Based Intelligence (LBI): Context plays a big role in customer experience, so it’s not enough to group as much data together as possible; it’s important to know what’s happening at the local, regional, and global levels. For brands with brick-and-mortar outposts, LBI is crucial for understanding customers’ experiences at various stores and improving service across locations.
When combined, these solutions provide marketers with a comprehensive view of customer opinions across the social web, and arms them with the tools and to engage at the right time, on the right platform, with the right message.
With 26 social tools, eight agencies, and 17 social channels across more than 120 countries, McDonald’s recognized the need to better understand their customers’ priorities. The company used Sprinklr’s listening and content marketing capabilities to identify the most common trend amongst its consumer base: the demand for all-day breakfast.
McDonald’s gave customers what they wanted, and the decision was extremely successful:
In an ideal world, marketers would know how their customers feel all the time, and they’d be able to tailor marketing campaigns strategies accordingly. While we can’t know how every single customer feels at any given moment, the explosion of social media has facilitated a massive increase in the amount of information that’s available.
Marketing teams can stay on top of how customers feel about their brand, their products, and in-store experiences by using listening insights, visual insights, and LBI in the right way. The “right way” requires social insights to be integrated with existing legacy data in a unified platform for maximum actionability. Once this integrated framework is in place, there’s no limit to what marketers can do to put this data into action. Better customer experience ultimately means more revenue, less cost, and less risk to the company.