If you’re an insights professional or in customer experience, you’ll know what a difficult and complicated process it can be to understand and act on your customers’ feedback. Endless different datasets, data governance, a dizzying array of new technologies to analyse it all, and, right in the centre, the weirdest and most complex thing of all – people.
We Wordnerds want to help you with this endless challenge. In our privileged position working with some of the most accomplished data professionals at the UK’s most customer-obsessed brands, we get to see what best-in-class Voice of Customer programmes look like.
Want to know what the best insights teams are thinking about in 2024?
Fancy some new thinking to give you ideas that might transform your team, your organisation, and above all, your customers?
Here are my big dos and don’ts for customer insights in 2024:
- OUT: Insight | IN: Impact
A weird place for the CEO of a customer insights platform to start? Not at all! One of the major changes that we’re seeing in the best insights departments is a move from improving insights to maximising the impact of the insights we create. Prioritisation metrics, action logs, ROI calculators—if you’re in an insights role, these are the things that are going to make your work indispensable.
- NOT: Customer opinion | HOT: Customer Behaviour
Figuring out customers’ wants and needs is a vitally important skill. But what you really need to know is what they’re going to do. Whether it’s retail companies looking for the issues that make customers go elsewhere, or local authorities trying to get people to stop using their cars, behavioural science is becoming an important tool in the insight arsenal. You need to know your BS from your, ahem, BS.
- GOING DOWN: Reporting for SLT | GOING UP: Reporting for customers
Of course you’re going to report to your Senior Leadership Team—that’s a given—but the most innovative insight teams are also making sure that customers see their work. Involving customers at every stage of your process improves transparency and builds trust. But the real prize for insights teams? If customers see their feedback being used, they’re far more likely to fill out the survey in the first place.
- NO POINT: Asking for feedback | ON POINT: Asking for advice
A very subtle one this, but it’s been world-changing for our team. Stop asking for feedback when you reach out to your customers, start asking for advice. People hate giving feedback, but they love giving advice.
- COLD FISH: overtrusting ChatGPT | HOT TAMALE: consistent application of LLMs
Again, talk about biting the hand that feeds us. We use Large Language Models extensively, and are seeing really interesting developments in customer insights (question answering, automated summarisation), but the big challenge of LLMs right now is that they’re inconsistent. Ask them the same question on two different days, you’ll get two different answers. Consistency of output is vital for trust in the process and confidence in the actions you take. Rule of thumb: if you can’t put a number on it, don’t use it. Remember, data isn’t the plural of anecdote.
- BROKE: Delight | WOKE: Effortlessness
Customer delight has been the gold standard for customer experience teams forever. Imagine our shock when Matt Dixon’s research proved that delight doesn’t move the needle when it comes to customer loyalty. If you want to ensure customers stick with you, remove the friction and make their experience as effortless as possible. We’re now seeing glimpses of how this concept will be implemented in customer feedback teams. When you’re classifying customer sentiment, adding a new dimension looking at Customer Effort Score will massively increase the impact of your insight.
Want more? Join our “Cheat Code for VoC” Webinar
The biggest challenge of all? How do you pull all these different elements together, and turn them into a coherent, understandable, achievable process?
Happily, your friendly neighbourhood Wordnerds, working alongside our best customers, industry regulators and CX experts, have pulled together a framework that helps you develop a world class data, insight and impact strategy – the Wordnerds Feedback Framework.
On Thursday 8th February, at 11am (GMT), I’ll be letting Wordnerds co-founder, Steve Erdal, out of his data cave to help me show how insights professionals, CX managers and customer-facing execs can follow a simple, replicable process to achieve best-in-class Voice of Customer at our free webinar: “A Cheat code for Voice of Customer”
Show up, turn up, bring all of your customer feedback questions and comments—God knows I’m not qualified to impart fashion tips.
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