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How to harness the science of Customer Experience Management

How to harness the science of Customer Experience Management

By Dr. Gary Edwards, Executive Vice President of Client Services, Empathica.

Identifying 'Markers' – Early Location Warning Signs of Promoters Versus Detractors

Social networking sites are no longer the preserve of the tech-savvy teenager.  Aside from retailers launching their own networking sites, the existence of pervasive, well established external sites brings both opportunities and challenges for retailers.

Despite usage becoming more commonplace, most businesses in general, and multi-unit “bricks and mortar” retail enterprises in particular, are struggling to know how to approach and benefit from this new community environment.
For retailers, maintaining the standards of a brand can be eroded through a dispersion of responsibility across a growing geographics network.

This operational challenge is exacerbated further by the growing influence of online social networks, where there exists little to no control over the spread of both promotion and negativity towards brands. Viral word of mouth, through social media applications like Facebook, cannot be controlled.

Empathica has identified markers of disaffection through customer surveying that provide insight into where specifically negative word of mouth is likely to be generated. For example, the attribute ‘employees appeared to be enjoying their jobs’, while not a direct driver of loyalty nor of positive praise, it is an early warning sign when scores dip that customer disaffection and negative promotion is likely to occur.

Identifying the ‘Drivers of the Drivers’ of Advocacy
So once problem stores have been identified, what needs to be fixed? Most reputable customer experience management firms will identify the drivers of advocacy, but this is not enough. 

It is important to go an extra critical mile in identifying the ‘drivers of the drivers’. To create actionable insights, brands need to have uncovered their own unique pathways to success. This work begins with identifying cues in the environment, both behavioural and in design, which lead to winning at the all important ‘drivers’. 

Moving from Hearing the Voice of Customers to Conversing with Customers

Once you know where to focus and what to focus on, then campaigning for improvement begins. It is imperative this be done with the language customers use.

Empathica deploys its Keyword Analysis Engine, an automated and proprietary Natural Language Processing program that captures the voice of the customer, coding the sentiments (positive or negative) of customers/guests into a proprietary customised brand dictionary

Capturing key moments when loyalty is at risk is essential. Just as critical, these moments are ones that must then be rather immediately redressed with customers. No complaint, however small, should be left to fester.

Similarly, no positive experience should go by without the opportunity to elicit not only positive reinforcement for the employees involved, but also recommendations for the brand on social media applications.

Retailers should not be intimidated by new social technologies. Social networking offers the opportunity for retailers to engage with their customers at all levels of the business, to not only listen, but to interact and engage in dialogue that ultimately improves their long-term relationships with consumers.

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