Understanding the Customer Experience Using These Alternative Approaches

John Krautzel
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Understanding the customer experience is a critical component of a successful business. Thanks to the proliferation of big data, companies have even more ways to evaluate how their customers are feeling and meet their needs. Using these alternative methods, companies can analyze customer engagement, social media and employee engagement to make the customer experience positive, effortless and successful.

A customer's initial feeling is probably the most honest as he hasn't had the time to really break down the experience or censor what he might say. Try to learn these initial feelings by surveying your customers as soon as they interact with your business. You may want to know what your customers thought about their online shopping experience or how they liked your new website design. You could be searching for feedback after they've utilized your services or want to know what they thought about your latest innovative product. There are many different reasons to analyze the customer experience.

Consider giving your customers a short, open-ended-question survey designed to gather data about their emotions. Ask them how they are feeling. You could also provide a list of emotions or visual representations of emotions. The responses that people give to open-ended questions can be analyzed using text mining, also referred to as text analytics. This type of qualitative research identifies trends or patterns that can help companies determine any issues or problems that may not be readily apparent in the customer experience. Emotions can also be analyzed by using sentiment analysis to determine whether customers feel positive, negative or neutral about your company or products.

To stay relevant, many companies are using platforms such as Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook to interact with their customers. These social media platforms are the perfect place to scrape mentions of your company, brand, products or services to find out what people are saying about you. More mentions aren’t necessarily a good thing. You need to analyze the context in which your company is being mentioned and address any concerns. People who feel positively about a company feel more connected to the brand and are more likely to be repeat customers and share their positive customer experience with others. If a customer isn't feeling satisfied or happy, this is the perfect time for the company to show it cares by addressing the customer's concerns and offering solutions.

The customer experience is also affected by employee engagement. If your employees aren't happy and aren't engaged with your company, they're not going be fully engaged with your customers either. Consider surveying your employees and use text analytics to search for trends or patterns in employee satisfaction. Your employees also have a direct line to your customers. Ask for their opinions about how customers are feeling and ways your company could improve.

Without customers, your business would not thrive. The customer experience can be enhanced if you take the time to analyze what makes customers satisfied and follow through with the results. Don't just collect the data; use these metrics to structure the data and really understand your customers.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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