How to Gather and Use Customer Insights to Improve the Consumer Experience
Consider that over half of all customers expect that brands will anticipate their needs.
How can you anticipate customer needs if you have no idea what they are? This is where customer insights come in.
By understanding how your customers behave and how they feel about your business, you can better serve their needs in a way that suits them.
This improves the consumer experience.
Not sure how to gather and use your customer insights?
Read on to learn how.
Why Are Customer Insights Important?
Customer insights give you feedback on how you’re performing so you can pinpoint any issues and address them before they harm your reputation.
You can also use customer insights to improve your services and develop new lines of products. With an intimate look into your customers’ behavior and needs, you can enhance your products and services to outshine the competition.
These insights will also help you to understand how you can improve your quality of service to refine your overall customer experience (CX).
What’s more, insights into existing customers give you a better view of your target audience. This allows you to customize your marketing to better appeal to your niche.
8 Methods of Gathering Customer Insights
By interacting with your customers, you can get a keen look at what makes them tick.
Here’s how to gather customer insights to improve your CX.
1. Feedback Questionnaires
Have you ever thought about simply asking your customers what they think?
59% of companies do this by surveying customers to get feedback.
Surveys and feedback can be a great quality management system, as they allow you to get qualitative insights into your brand’s performance.
You can use questionnaires to ask customers about your overall performance or narrow down on particular services.
Brands tend to get nine new reviews every 90 days. This gives you nine opportunities to receive qualitative customer insights.
Despite this, only 52% of companies track online review sites and social media reviews.
If you’re not tracking reviews, not only are you missing a prime opportunity to interact with your customers, you’re also overlooking customer insights that could potentially damage your reputation.
Look at Swagbucks, for example.
By monitoring Facebook reviews, Swagbucks can get a better understanding of the glitches on its website and fix any issues with the customer experience.
3. Customer Sentiment Surveys
Customer sentiment surveys are less in-depth than customer questionnaires. Instead, they’re designed to help you understand the overall feeling of your customer base.
There are different formats you can use, such as ‘like and dislike’ buttons, star ratings, and emoji faces.
You can also introduce a Net Promoter Score (NPS) where you ask customers how likely they’d be to recommend your brand.
Right now, only a quarter of companies track NPS scores, so you’d be ahead of the curve.
Try adding pop-ups to your services that ask customers to rank your brand or certain features of your service.
4. Behavioral Data
Behavioral data refers to the data you collect on how your customers behave when using your products and services.
The most common way to gather these insights is to collect them from your website or social media analytics.
This behavioral data will show you triggers that convince customers to either convert or drop off.
By collecting this data, you can get insights into bottlenecks in the customer journey that prevent users from buying.
If your brand offers an app or online service, you can also collect product data to see how your customers are using your product. By performing workflow analysis, you can get a picture of the most popular features and those that aren’t utilized enough.
Look at Buzzsprout’s platform stats, for instance.
These statistics show Buzzsprout how users utilize the platform, enabling Buzzsprout to improve its service to work more in line with how it’s already being used.
5. A/B Testing
57% of businesses say that product user data has a significant impact on the decisions they make.
That’s why A/B testing is so useful. If you’re trying to decide which features work best or where to place critical elements, there’s no better way to collect real-time user data to help you make decisions.
Imagine you’re building a sales process, and you want to work out which version of a journey would be more appealing. With A/B testing, you’d release both at once. Some customers see one version, and others see the second.
You can determine which is most appealing by collecting data on which version of the sales journey returns the most conversions.
6. Social Listening
Social listening is the practice of using tools like Digimind to track key conversations that relate to your brand.
You can track industry-related keywords, product names, brand mentions, and competitor tags to see what your audience is talking about in relation to your industry.
That way, you can better tailor your services to meet those trends.
Currently, over half of marketers are using social listening to get quick information about their target audiences. Don’t get left behind.
7. Support Tickets
Your support team is another excellent source of customer insights.
64% of businesses say that customer feedback from support tickets and similar methods had a significant impact on future decision-making
If your customers are struggling to understand your product or are having difficulties, they’ll head to customer support.
Look for any common themes in support tickets as these will highlight key areas of improvement.
8. Chatbot Data
Last year, nearly 20% of companies chose to implement a chatbot as a means to boost customer service.
But chatbots don’t just provide slicker customer service in the moment; they can also help you improve your overall customer experience.
Just like with support tickets, you need to monitor the common issues that arise in your chatbot data.
Just look at the delivery route planner, Track-POD.
Track-POD has a chatbot on its website that collects data, which can be used to further improve its customer experience.
6 Ways to Use Customer Insights to Improve the Consumer Experience
Once you’ve collected data, CX and project management becomes a whole lot easier. You can use these insights to work out the steps you need to take to improve your brand’s customer experience.
1. Streamline the Customer Journey
67% of product professionals admit that they aren’t sure where and why customers drop off from using their services.
By analyzing customer data and collecting feedback, you can get a better understanding of what turns users away during the customer journey. That way, you can optimize the buying process and user journey for a more streamlined customer experience.
As Giles Colborne, founder of cxpartners, explains, “We often look for customer pain points when we examine a user journey. If we can fix those pain points, people will notice; they will tell stories about it; you will get increased loyalty and marketing from word of mouth. So, designing for delight is about finding a pain point that is worth fixing, and fixing it in a way that people feel the difference.”
2. Enhance Product Functionality
If you want to work out how to improve the functionality of your product, why not turn to your customer insights?
By figuring out how your customers use your products and asking them for ideas on improvements, you can work out how to develop your products so that they can do more.
This enables you to usurp competitor products and appeal to new audiences while improving the customer experience for existing customers.
3. Optimize Product or Service Quality
If functionality is about what your product can do, quality is about how well it performs.
By speaking directly with your customers and monitoring reviews, you can find out about the quality of your products and services.
Is it efficient? Is it well-designed for the job? Is it reliable?
Customer insights are one of the first places to look when considering improvements in quality.
4. Improve Customer Service
93% of customer service teams agree that customers have higher expectations than ever before.
Not only that, but customers are also more likely to share their experiences now than they were in the past.
This means that if you’re not meeting expectations of quality customer service, you’ll risk reputational damage through bad reviews.
However, these reviews also serve as a source of customer insight to help you understand the customer service issues in your firm and how they can be addressed.
5. Develop New Products or Services
By listening to your customers, you’ll find out how you solve their problems and how you don’t.
You may find that while your products and services tackle one issue, customers have related problems that aren’t being addressed.
With an ear to the ground, you can gather insights to work out how to extend your own product and service lines, so you can cross-sell and upsell to your existing customers, as well as entering new markets.
6. Inform Your Marketing Strategy
Use your customer insights to find key traits among your existing customers.
By listening carefully to reviews, customer survey data, and other insights, you’ll find common concerns and similar needs among your audience.
These prevalent trends can form the basis of your marketing strategy. If you understand what your target audience wants through insights from current customers, you can provide a stellar customer experience for new customers from their very first interaction with your brand.
Customer insights are your secret weapon to understanding how you can improve your customer experience in a plethora of ways.
Not only can you get a better idea of how to optimize your existing products, but you can also use this data to develop new lines and net future customers.
Need help tracking customer insights? Try Digimind.
Written by Ray Hein
Ray Hein is the CEO and founder of Propel PLM, a cloud-based product success platform. He is a SaaS veteran with 20+ years of PLM, development, and product launch experience in both hardware and enterprise software organizations. Ray has held multiple executive positions at companies such as Agile Software, Apttus, Vendavo and Centric Software.