Customer Experience is Today’s Biggest Opportunity
Companies believe the Customer Experience is the most exciting opportunity in business today (Econsultancy and Adobe). It’s no surprise that measuring it has become a major focus.
In fact, by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator (Walker study).
To measure the all important customer experience, brands continue to rely upon a variety of sources. They piece these together to create a portrait of the customer.
Assembling a Customer Portrait
To get a well-rounded depiction of the customer’s interactions with a brand, today’s companies use a combination of:
- Social Media Measurement – what are the trends in social comments (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more) about a brand, whether directed at the brand or at other community members?
- Focus Groups – a guided discussion about a product or brand, typically before a product launch to provide feedback.
- Surveys – data collection from a predefined group to obtain feedback about particular aspects of a brand or product.
- Net Promoter Scores – a gauge of customer loyalty, typically in the form of a one-question survey.
- Customer Service Analytics – an aggregation of issues gleaned from customer service calls, chats, and tickets.
The Missing Piece
The five methodologies above are rightful and time-tested ways of understanding the customer experience. But there is one piece that was born out of the Amazon movement and must be measured to get a well-rounded picture: product reviews.
Many companies think they have product reviews “handled”. This often means replying to the bad ones or sending them off to customer service to deal with. What they are missing is that there is gold in this feedback regarding the overall customer experience.
Product reviews are published by real buyers (consumers who have purchased) who are communicating with prospects considering a purchase. This means they have two way influence: first over future shoppers and second over the brand itself.
66% of customers say product reviews play a major role in defining brand loyalty, just behind a “previous good experience” (Salsify, 2018). And 83% of product reviews are positive (Channel Signal data), which means there is a lot of powerful, positive messaging going on about products, brands and their performances. This is information that Marketing Departments can use in their messaging to reinforce native messaging being created by the buyers of their products.
Marketing should measure the missing piece, capture the complete customer experience, leverage the many positives and increase sales.