The topic of customer experience has been trending throughout this year. More and more companies put a customer at the center of their business operations. At Lumoa, we believe that it’s only the beginning. Customer experience and engagement are already changing the way businesses work covering larger and larger industries.
To stay ahead of the time and to be successful, it is crucial to follow the newest trends in CX. There’re great professionals who feel the customer pains and embrace their successes. We introduce a new column in our blog – “Experts in the Spotlight” with our first guest, Jim Tincher.
Jim, CCXP (Certified Customer Experience Professional), is a founder of a CX consulting agency, Heart of the Customer, and sees the world in a special way: through the eyes of customers. Jim is a big fan of customer journey mapping and helps companies of all sizes – from startups to largest corporations to improve customer-focused results.
We had a talk with Jim on the future of customer experience and current trends in the field and wanted to share our findings with you.
State of CX – where are we going?
“Since I started, customer experience and, specifically, customer journey mapping have become much more popular than before. The challenge is that you have to adapt, learn very quickly and grow with it.
Right now, companies are working on bringing value through customer experience. How can we drive business value through customer experience? It’s relatively easy to start “doing Customer Experience” in a company, but how can you ensure results that will benefit both your business and your customers?”
The paradox of choice – too much or too little?
“In America and also in Europe, the individual choice rules consumer behavior in many aspects. Everyone wants to feel unique and make their own unique choices. The companies follow the customer desires – so they provide us with a variety of choice. At the end of the day, sales numbers fall because customers are lost and overwhelmed.”
Jim referred to a famous jam study, conducted in 1995 by Sheena Iyengar, a professor of business at Columbia University and the author of “The Art of Choosing.” In a supermarket, the professor with her students set up two jam testing sessions. Every few hours they switched from demonstrating 24 jams to 6. After customers tasted the jams, which on average in both cases were 2 tastes, they received a discount coupon to buy the jam.
As we know, larger choice drives higher satisfaction rates. 60% of all shoppers stopped at a booth with 24 jams and the number dropped to 40% when there were only 6 jams presented. The surprising discovery was that when six jams were presented, 30% of shoppers purchased, whereas when 24 were offered, the purchase rate was only 3%.
“Customers want choices, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to choose.” – Jim concludes, – “When you analyze customer satisfaction, more choices will usually win, but when you check the business results, managing fewer choices works better. Although it’s important to have those choices available, you need to filter them down to a manageable size, then give your customers what they need.”
The future of the feedback analysis – text and voice analytics.
“Collecting customer feedback might seem very easy, but it all escalates very quickly if you don’t have a system in place. Make sure the right people are following the process and the feedback is curated in a sustainable way.
Some larger organizations might immediately get 5.000 to 10.000 individual comments. How do you manage that? Are you going to read through every each of them? Probably not. How can you make sure that all of the comments are reviewed in such a way that they have an impact on your business? You need technology that can sort them out.
I am a big fan of text and voice analytics. There’s a recent study in the automotive sector that the more surveys your customers receive, the less they spend on your services. So, companies need to be smarter about how to collect feedback. We’re moving away from the standard “give-me-a-number“ survey and are going towards “how-did-you-feel-about-the-service“, open-ended questions. Text and voice analytics dive deep into that and essentially, if you wish, create a score based on how customers actually felt. Hopefully, that system will change the way we analyze feedback in 5-10 years.”
“Text analytics help you to hear the real voice of the customer.”
Jim mentioned another case, study of Jiffy Lube, an oil change provider in the United States. The company used an NPS® survey, yet they couldn’t tie the scores to any business results. Once they analyzed the text, they found if their customers wrote words “ease” or “efficiency” at least 1% more often, the revenue went up by $14k. When customers mentioned words such as “management” or “respect,” sales were lower. “That’s where text analytics really help – you understand what your customers are actually saying, not only the numbers they happen to click on the survey.“
It’s not about the score, but the system: NPS.
“Plenty of customer experience professionals refer to NPS as very predictive, while others completely disagree. I say that it varies by the company or the industry. For example, we worked with the financial services company and asked the standard NPS question: “How likely are you to recommend [company] to a friend or colleague?” A surprising amount of people said they don’t discuss finances with their friends or colleagues. As a result, the scores were low, even though the customers actually liked the service.”
Recently, Bruce Temkin found out that 43% of CX professionals prefer NPS to other metrics, but also 42% of those consider NPS just “another metric”. “We’re stepping away from the idea that NPS is “the only” metric and thinking more like it’s “just another” metric.”
“For me, the main problem of NPS is that people focus too much on the wrong ‘S.’ They think about the Net Promoter Score instead of the Net Promoter System. Companies miss out when they just focus on the score and don’t go deep into the text responses. Text analytics let you see all kinds of customer motivations, and show you whys.
If you want to bring customer feedback into your organization – requirement #1 is to have a broad cross-functional team. Have all your employees involved so that they’re interested in and active in the process and you don’t have to push your organization alone. If you want to be successful, you should think strategically, find the right people to join you, and also learn the best practices from others (you could check Jim’s blog for great insights! – author’s note). Follow the changes and trends in customer experience, I do believe we’re going to see more of text and voice analytics at work.”