What is the role of verbatim in measuring emotion?

Posted by Yiannis Maos

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August 13, 2016

What-is-the-role-of-verbatim-in-measuring-emotion.jpgOperationalising a Voice of the Customer programme that gets your customers engaged and presenting feedback is a challenge. Picture the emotional connections you have with just one person. Now imagine this scaled by the 1,000 people working in your Contact Centre and your 3 million customers. That’s hundreds of thousands of connections every day, so how can you possibly ensure that you have meaningful interactions with everyone? Studying customer verbatim (what they are actually saying in their responses) could be the practical answer.

What can I find out from examining verbatim?

The Experimental Engineering Research Group at the University of Warwick concluded that as the word count of a response increases, the customer satisfaction score decreases. The emotional responses with a word count of more than 100 were mostly related to low satisfaction scores (95% responses for scores 0 to 3, and 99% responses for scores under 5).

So customers are more likely to write and share their feelings when they have had a negative experience with a brand.

How can I use this?

By giving customers the space to share their verbatim, it means you can understand the reason behind the score and work out how to rectify their problem. Rather than looking for a number to measure emotional engagement, measure it in a more holistic way.

Start by reframing what you ask your customers, don’t just ask them for a score, ask them to write down the reason why they gave you that score. By doing this you can start to understand what really matters to them whilst also improving response rates and gaining more insight into what the scores mean to customers.

Also look at what customers share about you without you prompting them to do so, whether on social media or elsewhere. This will give you an even richer view of how customers feel, what they think and will give you a better understanding of what gets them engaged and why.

How does this help me?

As a business, you want to know if you’re on the up; are you improving and creating a strong emotional connection with your customers? If you create a stronger emotional connection with a larger part of your customer base, you will be in a better position than your competitors to deliver a better customer experience and, ultimately, create a loyal and returning customer base.

By looking at the number of suggestions that you’re getting from customers you’re also measuring their input or, in other words, their emotional engagement with you. By unpacking this verbatim, you can really start to understand when customers engage with you and why.

Also, if only 50% of your customers are giving you any insight, then it shows you’re not engaging with them emotionally and you need to make a change. This could be a result of the framing of the feedback question, how you’re asking for the feedback or when you’re asking for it. By examining verbatim, you can start to uncover the problems and begin making changes to resolve them.

Verbatim helps you hear the voice of your customer

The beauty of verbatim is that it provides companies with access to the real Voice of the Customer. In doing so it helps companies to understand their customers emotions on a much deeper level. By gaining this rich text evidence, companies can really start to immerse themselves in their customer’s voices and begin to implement it into their VoC programme.

To explore emotion further check out our latest eBook 'The Essential Guide to Emotional Engagement: The Secret to Customer Experience Success' which explores the role of verbatim in greater detail and how to emotionally engage your employees.  

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Topics: Emotional Engagement, Customer Emotion

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