Customer experience management is today’s key to competing, according to Gartner’s 2015 Marketing Spending Survey. The survey showed that CEM was the top marketing expenditure in 2014, and by 2016, 89 percent of companies expect delivering superior experience to be the biggest competitive differentiator. Big data analytics is driving this trend, enabling companies to leverage customer information in order to understand buyer personas and provide more informed, better-targeted service.
Here are a few ways your company can transform customer data into a superior buying experience.
SEO as a Service
Companies have recently begun to realize SEO can help improve customer experience, says KoMarketing Associates’ Casie Gillette. Gillette cites the 2014 B2B Web Usability Report, which found that 83 percent of B2B buyers will leave a site if they can’t find the information they need. Companies can keep prospects on-site by sharing data between customer service and marketing departments in order to make sure the site content that gets indexed by search engines is relevant to customers’ frequently asked questions.
Start using your customer service department to track which questions visitors ask most often, and pass the information on to your marketing department’s SEO experts to make sure your site has content geared towards your target audience’s needs. Feature the information on a FAQ section of your site, within blog posts and videos, and in white papers.
Turning Sales Data into Service
Your company’s sales records contain invaluable information that you can use to improve your customer service, says Predictive Analytics World founder Eric Siegel. For instance, your sales data can help you create a profile of which type of customer is likely to become a repeat buyer and which ones are prone to buy once and not return. When your sales representative spots a customer who fits the one-time buyer profile, they can then adjust their selling strategy by extending a discount or free trial offer in order to increase the odds of retaining the customer.
Using Inquiries and Surveys to Collect Vital Data
When measuring your customer service performance, there are a number of key statistics you should pay special attention to, says Help Scout content strategist Gregory Ciotti. Keep track of the total volume of inquiries you receive, segmented by channel of communication, so you can see, for instance, whether you’re getting more service requests via live chat, email, or phone. Some other vital stats to track are response time, first contact resolution rate, hold rate, and abandonment rate.
You can collect this type of data from your customer service team, or you can obtain it directly from your customers by using surveys. Customer service solutions offer post-contact surveys that you can use to collect data and measure your customers’ satisfaction.
Following Up for Customer Retention
Collecting data is only one step in the process of improving customer experience. Forrester’s 2015 Customer Analytics Playbook recommends deploying data by applying a four-phase model that includes discovery, planning, acting, and optimization stages. Use the customer experience data you collect to analyze what your customers’ concerns are, so you can develop a strategic service plan. Then adjust your performance to achieve specific benchmarks. For instance, you might discover that your average customer wait time is five minutes and then take steps to cut this in half.