Surveys have been a tried and tested method of understanding how customers think about you, and provide the insights needed to make the most effective improvements across the customer journey.  Unfortunately, the cheap – or free – offerings from the likes of SurveyMonkey, means everybody and every company department is creating their own surveys, often with no processes being followed. Combined with uncontrolled “scripts-by-committee” the result is that the same customers from which you are trying to capture feedback, are also being bombarded with long, indiscriminate, impersonal surveys at the same time.

Customers are now both inundated with feedback responses AND have less and less time available, so old-school survey methods no longer cut it. Response rates plummet, and large parts of the audience are ignoring your invitations. Things are changing fast and VirtuaTell are leading the way in how to cope.

What Issues Lie Ahead?

That significant shift in customer demographics means a growing percentage of your audience connects with you in new and different ways, and you need to adapt. When you consider that 30% of the younger customers are now interacting with smartphones via voice recognition, as well as more of your audience utilising voice based devices like Alexa and Google Home, it means that new ways are needed to collect and measure the behaviours and satisfaction levels of customers.

According to Accenture, 80% of customers said that no retailer or service provider has ever communicated with them in a way that felt too personalized.  And while a recent Forrester report showed that 54% of US consumer are expecting a poor customer service experience from chatbots, based on the evidence they have seen so far, the fact that there are over 100k Facebook chatbots, we know that those “dumb bots” will quickly become a thing of the past.

AI-related technologies are being widely used to measure and analyse data, to identify unusual patterns, and better predict customer outcomes to head off issues. Along with this, interaction using Natural Language Understanding (NLU) are increasing at an incredible rate, further changing how we can engage with customers, and respond to them personally and in real time.

How to Face the Challenges Head On

At VirtuaTell, we see there are three critical areas of Customer Experience feedback that need to be addressed to overcome the challenges of a changing customer demographic, while adapting to the technological changes.

  1. Surveys need to be conversations, not a one-way list of questions. Already you can use a chat style approach to build the relationship and integrate visual enhancements to make the feedback experience more engaging and memorable. Customers are proven to respond to this more visual approach very positively with resulting increases in response rates by as much as six times that of traditional surveys.
  2. At the same time, you must make use of all the knowledge you have about the customer, as well as the event you want to measure, to create a more personalised approach. Using AI technology to deliver survey scripts that are relevant, compact, quick, stealth-like and embedded as part of the customer contact experience will improve accuracy and speed and ensure relevant insights get to the right people in your organisation, fast.
  3. Being able to capture feedback on every available contact channel and doing so in a fast and interactive manner is a vital piece of the Customer Experience (CX) capture puzzle. Building on that, feedback opportunities should now be merged into every day experiences, using limited questions, embedded micro surveys, collecting intelligence within all customer contact points.

What does the future hold?

The focus is going to be on delivering a conversational approach to collecting feedback and making the experience personally and event-relevant, through the use of technologies such as VirtuaTell’s CXBot®. Among its many capabilities, it offers innovative feedback approach that integrates the customer data in a way that is proven to increase responses by more than 30%.

Real-time metrics will be enhanced by analysis of comments and other unstructured text which can be understood, categorised and assessed by conversation bots, using sentiment analysis and text analytics. AI tools will make it possible to uncover meaning, identify issues, sentiment and emotions, and guide actions to provide proactive solutions to help you drive improved customer experiences.

Customers are willing to provide feedback, as long as it can be fast, relevant to their contact event and personalised to them, uses plain language, and is supported by some of the advanced customer experience techniques and technology we’ve described.

Are you ready for the challenges ahead?

The future of Customer Experience feedback is going to be very different to the common 20+ question survey used to date and VirtuaTell are already leading the way forward.

You will be offering “stealth” feedback anywhere on the customer journey. You will use all existing client knowledge you already have to drive personalised questioning. The feedback dialogue will be in a natural language and probably in a chat format. And results will be analysed by AI and NLU searching for insight, unusual patterns and used for predicting outcomes before they occur.

It’s an exciting future, and one that VirtuaTell is already delivering today. To find out more …

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