Like it or loathe it, we live in a data-driven world. As customers, it seems like we can’t go anywhere or buy anything without our details being collected. On the other side of the coin – whether you work in marketing, sales, product development, or customer experience management – we all know that data is big business for businesses. In fact, it’s one of the most valuable assets a company can have.
It’s hardly surprising – data is powerful stuff, after all. Used the right way, it can transform medical care and help us tackle issues like climate change. Conversely, the misuse of our data can be truly terrifying, with far reaching consequences. But it’s not all serious… Just look at this AI technology beloved of Hollywood producers, which can predict what the impact of casting Jennifer Lawrence over Emma Watson will have on a film’s success.
The real power of data
Okay, so we’re being a little bit dramatic – many businesses just use data to tailor marketing offers, understand the customer journey, or to predict what we’ll do and plan accordingly (like stocking toys that will be big at Christmas). But collecting customer data shouldn’t just be about trying to make more sales. If you want to improve customer experience (CX), there’s nothing more valuable than customer feedback data – providing, of course, that you can interpret it intelligently.
If you’re interested in customer experience management, customer feedback is a hugely valuable resource. Capture this data, and you can use it to identify customer needs and establish what customer expectations are. Because, let’s face it, we’ve probably all been guilty of using out ‘gut instinct’ at one point or another. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that our instincts are aligned with what customers actually want. Cold, hard data is a much more reliable source of guidance. (Of course, in our books, ‘cold hard data’ also includes warm, fuzzy emotional sentiments…)
However, there is a teeny stumbling block in the way of all this insight. Capturing a whole load of customer feedback data is one thing – but getting your employees and your organisation in a position where they can act on it is quite another.
The importance of visualisation
No, we don’t mean closing your eyes and thinking of a white sand beach… we’re talking about data visualisation, which can be used to present your findings in a meaningful way. Chances are, the majority of your frontline staff aren’t experts in interpreting a 2,000 line Excel spreadsheet of responses. So, without data visualisation, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to use your data to improve the customer experience – simply because it’s not easy to get a strong grasp on what the insight hidden in the data actually is.
To do that, you need to make sure employees across the business can interpret customer feedback data in a meaningful way. The Upland Rant & Rave platform, for example, can help your organisation to understand the bigger picture. By combining multiple data sets, employees can discover data in a more powerful way than ever before, turning data into insight and insight into action. Data can be presented through state-of-the-art graphics – and better still, you can even gamify the experience to create a more engaged and empowered workforce.
Surf the trends of customer experience management
Capturing, processing and visualising customer feedback data can also help you identify trends. Obviously, jumping on all trends isn’t recommended – you only have to look at noughties fashion to see why that’s not a great idea. But when it comes to customer experience, trends can be hugely helpful, and data can help you establish if any common themes are emerging.
Maybe your customers want to communicate via text. Perhaps a growing segment are becoming unsatisfied with the level of aftersales care they receive. Whatever it is, using data to spot trends, identify customer needs and understand customer expectations can have a significant impact on the CX strategies you implement – and thus the overall level of service that you’re able to deliver. Which – as all savvy CX professionals will know – can be just as valuable to the bottom line, as a tailored marketing offering.
Make your data even greater
Data is a valuable resource. But unless you can turn it into easy-to-understand insight, the likelihood is, you won’t be able to unlock its full value. So, when you’re plotting your CX strategies, make sure to put data visualisation capabilities at the top of your list – it might just help you rule the data-driven world.
Want to see how other brands are turning customers into Raving fans? Download The Big Book of Ravers for more inspiration.