Customer experience has slowly overtaken both price and product as the most critical brand differentiator. Therefore, only brands that build flawless customer experiences through swift, reliable, and pro-active customer service have a chance to set themselves apart and capture (as well as retain) the lion’s share of the market.
Customer Experience is an Ongoing Process
Customer expectations are always changing, and brands must continually monitor their communication touchpoints to identify and eliminate any bottlenecks that impede the overall experience. This process involves two stages: mapping your customer journey to identify key customer touchpoints, and continuously evaluating your customer service to gauge how users feel about it.
Let’s start by understanding what customer journey mapping is.
The customer journey can be understood as the collection of all the experiences that customers have with your brand until they make a purchase decision, and even beyond. Mapping this journey from the start to end gives you a holistic view of all the steps that a user takes to purchase your product or service. Once mapped, it becomes easier to review each of these steps to understand user expectations and identify any pain points they face to curate a better overall experience.
Once you map your users’ journey, decide upon the critical moments that you want to monitor and improve. One of them is bound to be the customer support interaction. It is time to check your customer service state. Is it swift, responsive, and helpful? Is the experience the same across all the communication channels or different? Most importantly, what do customers think of your engagement and support levels?
How to Analyze Support Interactions for Improving Customer Journey
Customer satisfaction is the key to improving brand loyalty and leads to more sales in the long run. But how do you bridge the gap between customer expectations and the level of support offered by your company?
Unfortunately, customer service metrics focus mainly on operational data like average reply time and resolution rate. However, while these metrics are essential, they barely offer context on how a user felt about the service received by him or her. For organizations looking at a customer-centric approach, it is essential to measure experience data in addition to operational data for a holistic view.
Below, we have identified some proven methods to analyze support interactions (experience data) and identify the bottlenecks (and eliminate them) for improved customer satisfaction and retention.
- Live Chat Integration
Live chat integration within your SaaS product ensures real-time interactions for better support and helps in capturing key customer data to improve the overall experience. Modern live chat software tracks user behavior, giving you critical insights for better personalization. Such software also offers intelligent reporting, with data like how long a customer had to wait for a response, the most popular times for chat support, and how many times a user had to connect with support before the issue was finally resolved. You can also use live chat to share short surveys after every chat to get instant user feedback.
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Surveys
CSAT, like NPS, is a useful metric that can be employed at various stages in the customer journey to follow up on support interactions. You can ask customers the following questions about their experience:
- Was their problem solved?
- How was the communication with a particular agent?
- What do they feel about your company in general?
By analyzing the answers to each of these questions, you can understand how users feel about your support quality and your service agents’ performance. To implement this, you can use an automated system that sends your users a personalized CSAT survey via email or in chat once a support case is closed. Of course, larger companies may not be able to go through all the responses they receive for which one can always employ sentiment analysis using machine learning algorithms to get to the real meaning behind the words.
- Get Feedback on Your Onboarding Experience
A seamless onboarding experience is crucial to prevent churn and optimize customer experience. If users have to work too hard to get started with your product, they’d probably give up and shift to a competitor. Thus, it is vital to evaluate how much effort users need to put to start using your product or service correctly.
A Customer Effort Score (CES) survey can be used to measure how difficult it was to accomplish a given task during onboarding on a pre-defined scale. The feedback can be used to follow up with customers that faced significant issues (to solve them) and also simplify problematic tasks for better onboarding experience. It will also give you information about customer support if that was a factor.
- Planned Email Communications for User Feedback
Email remains one of the most potent tools in any marketer’s arsenal. However, email can also be used to improve the overall customer journey by using it to seek customer feedback. Of course, your users won’t have the time to respond to a lengthy email all the time, but they sure value personalization, and most wouldn’t mind responding to a short, well-crafted survey.
The golden rule is to keep it brief by asking only limited and relevant questions. In addition, you may tell people what will happen as a result of their feedback to improve the response rate. It is also an excellent practice to eventually close the feedback loop with a follow-up email regarding the success of the measures adopted based on user feedback. Along with that, you just have to become better with email deliverability.
- Text Analytics for Social Media, Reviews, and Support Tickets
Text analytics is an automated process that leverages machine learning algorithms to identify and extract opinions from the text. With sentiment analysis as part of your customer experience strategy, you can gain an in-depth understanding of the drivers for customer satisfaction and pinpoint reasons for churn. One of the best ways to gain feedback using sentiment analysis is through social listening after specific events like a product launch or update, or changes in the price structure.
Algorithms pre-trained for your industry vertical can analyze thousands of comments in a few seconds to gauge the general public opinion about your brand. Sentiment analysis can also be used to detect topics in survey responses and customer support tickets to track potential pitfalls and eliminate them.
Be sure to share insights
By following the methods outline above, you can gain crucial insights into the customer service touchpoint. This information can be used to devise a more effective support strategy that focuses on seamless customer support from start to finish. Keep in mind, you will also gain insights that will be valuable to other teams in your organization like Sales and Product Development. Customers reach out to support throughout their journey with your organization. As a result, Customer Service has an eagle-eye view of the entire post-acquisition customer journey. Sharing what you learn about the pain points at every touchpoint will empower the whole organization to revamp user experience for maximum success.
Learn how Wootric can help you measure and improve the customer support experience. Book a consultative demo today.