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What Customers Want - Part Two: Making information actionable

In Part One we imagined a world where you knew exactly what your customers were thinking, likening this to the experience of Mel Gibson in the blockbuster film What Women Want. Gibson’s character Nick Marshall gets a whole new outlook on life following a lightning moment which gives him the power to read women’s minds, providing him with valuable insights into what they want. Imagine being able to read your customer’s mind? How would you act on all this information? This needn’t just be a Hollywood dream! Find out how businesses can gather actionable intelligence to provide a consistent customer experience, reaching them in the right place at the right time.

Capturing every voice
Just as in the film Nick used his insights to tune into the wants of women, organisations must filter through the hundreds and thousands of voices – spanning multiple channels – to build an understanding of their customers’ needs. They have to take on the challenge of sifting through the noise to identify and understand customer behaviour and preferences. From the way they like to interact, to the time of day and whether it’s via email, social media or the phone. Businesses have the potential to gather invaluable customer intelligence from all these interactions.

Audience insight sits at the heart of Nick finally being able to develop better relationships with his colleagues and friends. Being able to adapt to your audience is key. For instance, a young gaming company may need to prioritise responses to communications via Facebook during the weekends while an insurance firm may need to support requests from working professionals via email and webchat during working hours. 

A multi-channel masterclass                                                                                                                                         Brands are cottoning on to the power of these lightning bolt moments.  Starbucks has launched the Mobile Order & Pay service app for customers on-the-go. The app intelligently remembers the customers purchase history and provides the consumer with the opportunity to pre-order coffee for collection and benefit from exclusive discounts that are tailored to the customer. Elsewhere, retailers JD Williams and Shop Direct have announced plans to implement personalisation technology to engage with customers, maximising data gleaned from digital channels to improve products offered and the overall customer service.

The ability to tailor experiences is increasingly important. Despite a rise in digital channels, customers still want human interaction and need to feel understood. There are ways organisations can do both. For example, listening to Twitter provides a means for brands to broadly understand customer sentiment, while also providing the ability to influence customer behaviour in its favour.

Be consistent

However, if you are going to offer new channels like online chat, you need to make sure you can deliver a consistent experience across all channels. It’s no good providing a chat function if the customer has to wait ten minutes to get a response. With the right tools in place, customer service teams can capture and analyse customer interactions as they happen, routing them to available and trained staff.  These tools can even give automatic prompts to help answer customer queries, reducing wait times and boosting agent productivity. As a result the customer can be given the right answers quickly – a sure-fire route to happy customers.

As customer experience experts, the theme of “What Women Want” certainly gives us food for thought. Being able to understand your customers’ needs and sentiments is only one hurdle to overcome; making this information actionable and putting the right people, processes and technology in place is key. With consumer demands already adding to the pressures of often fiercely competitive markets, harnessing tools that will deliver lightning bolt moments of customer insight will help open doors to far more personalised customer experiences – ones they will want to return to again and again.