Digital is fast becoming the primary way business gets done.
The digital revolution is upon us. No longer “just a fad,” digital is becoming the primary way business gets done today. According to the August 2016 Forrester report, “How To Unlock Tech Industry Digital Transformation,” tech leaders predict that almost 60% of revenue will be influenced by digital by 2020. A 2016 global study by Verint and Opinium Research found that 65% of consumers worldwide want to use digital channels for simple to moderately complex interactions with a brand.
This new reality poses important questions for CX professionals:
- Is your CX program ready for the digital age?
- What does digital mean for voice of the customer (VoC) initiatives?
- How do you capture feedback across digital and traditional channels?
- How do you integrate the feedback to create a solid, consistent, relevant foundation for your CX program, and a seamless experience for customers?
There is a way to make it happen. The first step is understanding that digital transformation requires CX transformation. Many forward-thinking companies are using innovative solutions and thinking to make the transition successfully on both fronts. We call it Intelligent CX at our company, but others refer to it as Voice of the Customer 2.0. Whatever the label, enterprises that invest in bringing a digital-first perspective to their CX program are enriching the feedback they get from customers, improving experiences and realizing broad strategic value in today’s brave new digital world.
Digital-First Strategies to Leverage Every Touchpoint
We frequently work with customers whose enterprise CX and digital teams are meeting for the first time. No wonder their VoC programs are less than optimal. They might be using email surveys or surveys on their website to gather customer feedback digitally. However, they haven’t taken advantage of all the tools available to gather these responses at every touchpoint of the digital customer journey. The customer interaction might be fully digital, such as making an online payment, or might have a digital component, such as filing a claim. Or it might be a non-digital leg in the customer journey, such as a contact center experience. Regardless of the circumstances, there are opportunities along the way to collect valuable feedback about your CX, as well as to gather data that can help you analyze the performance of specific touchpoints, such as your website or mobile apps.
How many click-throughs and how much time does it take for a customer to get to the page they want to access on your website before they abandon you for your competition? Web analytics applications such as session replay are available now that provide the answer. They are just one component of a digital-first strategy for companies today.
Even physical locations rely on digital technology for two-way customer engagement. Retail associates are frequently armed with tablets, for example, to provide better customer service. Banks might recognize that consumers in a branch often want to provide feedback about their in-branch CX via their smartphone. There are ways to make the physical/digital crossover smoothly to ensure that all digital touchpoints are fully supported and leveraged, and that tools are in place to gather feedback from those touchpoints to optimize the digital customer experience. This is the definition of Intelligent CX or Voice of the Customer 2.0.
We also find that many companies are just beginning to extend digital-first strategies to mobile devices. Studies show that the majority of web traffic globally will be mobile by 2019. This opens the door to a whole new level of CX opportunity. Simply put, mobile is where it’s happening today, and smart CX professionals are investing in ways to capture the voice of the customer effectively on this new channel.
Bringing the Mobile Channel into the CX Fold
In a study of survey data collected by our own customers, we found that well over 55% of all surveys are taken on mobile devices. This is a significant shift and requires organizations have not only a digital-first strategy, but also a mobile-first strategy.
In another analysis conducted across our public cloud database, which consists of more than 52 million customer survey responses from desktops and mobile devices, we found that the mobile responses were approximately 10 points higher. Why? Mobile devices can capture responses “in the moment,” when a customer has just completed a purchase in a store, for example, or has just completed a call with a contact center. The device is in the customer’s hand and instantly ready to capture the customer’s feedback while emotions are running high—the delight from a good experience, the disappointment or frustration from a bad one. The customer doesn’t have to wait to get home to his or her desktop to express an opinion.
Trouble is that we also found mobile survey abandonment rates to be double those on desktop devices. It’s an indicator that many companies have not optimized their surveys for mobile survey participants. To cite one extreme example, one company in Hong Kong was experiencing a huge drop-off rate from the many mobile surveys opened by its customers. We found that the first screen had three paragraphs of legal disclaimers that customers had to click through to get to the heart of the survey. Most of them just didn’t bother. Our recommendation was that this be the starting point for ongoing “cross-pollination” between the company’s enterprise CX and digital teams.
Digital Feedback Management for Customer-Initiated Responses
Digital channels unveil a wealth of new, convenient opportunities for two-way communication between your customers and your brand. They not only provide brands with the ability to reach consumers (e.g., a website where you measure digital CX), but they also provide consumers with the opportunity to provide feedback to brands. While shopping for a product or service on a specific website, it’s customary for the brand to initiate a pop-up survey requesting feedback from the customer on his or her online experience. While this is another valuable opportunity to capture the voice of the customer, it also can be perceived as intrusive and can interrupt the customer’s online experience. We’ve heard partners compare the experience to a waiter interrupting you just as you’ve taken the first bite of your dinner, or when you’re in the middle of an intense conversation with a first date.
This is where digital feedback management solutions are making an impact—by offering a less intrusive way to gather customer feedback immediately. These CX solutions are proving to be a valuable new source of intelligence for a company’s CX portfolio. A structured comment card on the website or mobile app is on screen for a customer to click at any time they need help, identifies a problem or has a comment of any kind. Rather than the “brand-initiated feedback” gathered through online surveys, digital feedback management opens the door for “customer-initiated” feedback through the digital channel.
One of the key advantages of digital feedback management solutions is their ability to drive action. One customer who reports that she clicked a button five times on your website and it didn’t work can serve as a lightning rod to identify the hundreds of other customers with the same experience but didn’t bother to comment about it.
This ability to connect the dots between what people are saying and what they are doing—or not doing—on your website can help you prioritize the work that needs to be done by your digital team, and help you present your case to the executive level that the improvements need to be made. Digital feedback management solutions on mobile devices also can track where customers are when they interact with you—providing valuable insights into customer behavior that can help fine-tune your CX program.
Case in point:
Real-time Alerts and Quick Response Result in Considerable Savings
Digital feedback management alerted a large investment firm that customers were suddenly having issues recovering passwords via their website. The password issue was triggering hundreds of incremental contact center calls averaging eight minutes in duration. Unfortunately, the contact center had no way of understanding the root cause of the issue, as it was related to a specific web browser interacting with a recent website change. Digital feedback management combined with rich contextual web analytics and real-time alerts to key stakeholders enabled the investment firm to diagnose, size and fix the issue in a matter of days—avoiding what was adding up to more than $100,000 per month in incremental contact center expense.
Responding to the Intelligent Consumer
With the enormous amount of information at their fingertips, today’s consumers grow more intelligent every day about the products and services they want. They are also becoming less patient, with more than half reporting that they’ve switched companies because of poor user experiences—including those on digital channels.
It’s good reason for any VoC 2.0 initiative to be grounded in the customer journey. In an age when car manufacturers are considering ways to embed surveys and track customer satisfaction in smart cars, it’s clear that market leaders will be defined by their innovative CX ideas, and the execution of those ideas. To listen to the voice of the customer across digital and traditional channels, to track those interactions in a unified way, and most importantly to take action on that feedback, clearly can make the difference between winners and losers in today’s marketplace.