Are You Using Emotions To Manage Your Customer Experience?

by Vibhu Bhan

Many websites proudly showcase four to five star reviews on their website across all the reviews received. This was an excellent ploy but the expectations have moved forward. Just showcasing the counts and most frequent words leaves emotional contexts on the table. Why not show what was said whenever customers loved a certain product or service experience? Why not use emotional contexts to differentiate, refresh your content, and build relatable campaigns?

In this blog post we cover the power of customer feedback and how we applied emotions from NPS (Net Promoter Score) reviews and social media chatter to help find contexts extracted in support of keeping brands future content calendar fresh with relatable ideas and build campaigns around key positive and negative contexts related to money making features of the product suite.

What Are The Different Sources Of Customer Feedback?

Customers have always been very upfront about their preferences, and digital innovations have allowed them to express themselves as quickly as they feel the emotion. They have a variety of channels available, for example social and corporate customer channels. Public channels like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram are popular destinations where you will most likely find your customer talking about how your product and services made them feel.

However, routinely businesses express that getting honest customer feedback can be like pulling teeth and this is where we want to help supercharge our client's capability to extract emotions related to products and services. Brands like Nike, Starbucks, Spotify, Netflix, and more are using these social channels as their primary service touchpoints. This makes sense as their channels are familiar to customers and currently offer the least friction for them to ask their questions or leave emotional feedback.

Google reviews is an excellent source of customer chatter, specific to a given physical store location which can then be easily associated with existing trade area analysis and other geo-spatial specificities. talkAItive helps enable this level of analysis for any business who is ready to engage with their customers emotionally using the "Voice Of Customer".

Also, tools like Yotpo allow you to harvest reviews in-moment and related to a given customer journey point, like delivery, checkout, check-in and others. This includes both survey type questions and free text reviews which customers love to leave as it gives them the best chance to express how they feel!

Some key methods to obtain customer feedback, ranked in order of effectiveness below:

Social Media:
A great way to engage and communicate with customers. Business pages and posting content is free and coupled with talkAItive’s emotional contexts, you can come up with fresh ideas to post more frequently. You can post your top customer positive experiences - every week along with gaps you are currently working to close. Over time you will build meaningful relationships based on this feedback loop.

Hubspot/Facebook Bots:
Already available on your Facebook or Hubspot account, these options help you promote active feedback behaviour with your customers. If your customers know that you are paying attention, they will naturally adopt leaving feedback for you at identified spots. Your website is an ideal location to activate this feedback harvesting bot - Ask us if you are interested in enabling feedback harvesting capabilities.

Review Sites:
There are well established review sites and you can encourage your customers to leave reviews there. This is another free activity you can promote on your social business page and website. Google reviews is another great channel you can build for free, maybe your customers are already leaving reviews there. Talk to us and we can give you a free estimate of available reviews.

Emails/Survey Forms/Phone calls:
When was the last time you enjoyed a cold call or responded to email based survey blasts. No doubt, your existing customers are the best resource to get honest customer feedback. However, calling out the blue with specific questions puts your customer on the spot, which is not a great feeling. The methods described above differ because they allow you to build transparent and consistent feedback gathering based on what your customers want to talk about, naturally.

What Do You Do With Collected Reviews And Social Chatter?

Over the last 6 months we have processed over 2 million reviews from these NPS campaigns and helped our clients find focus areas related to "knowledge gaps" with delivery or specific order management journey points which the customers are expressing as part of the customer experience. Customer experience is a moving target, and changes as the preferences of your customer base. talkAItive is an ideal tool to keep a pulse on those transient emotional contexts related to your customer experience.

E.g. Attached image shows a time slice and the customer chatter related to the negative context of “Login”.

In this time slice "Login" is related to a peak in negative sentiment between July 2020 and August 2020, and "Login", as for any similar experience, is a key step measured for usage friction. Now you have another angle to measure the friction or ease (think CES - customer effort score)!

We believe that your new digital reality deserves brand new customer feedback intelligence. One that is adept at listening first and recommending insights which are impacting your brand from both positive and negative perspectives. At the risk of oversimplifying, we see building this intelligence capability as a three step process:

First, you need a continuous flow of chatter from a myriad of free online channels available to businesses both virtual and physical, for example, Twitter handle, Facebook pages or chat bots. Users tagging your brand across social networks enable turn-key, low cost channels.

Second, you need talkAItive to keep processing this chatter and help you to maintain an active pulse on your customer’s emotions. Just collecting the feedback and extracting most frequent sentiment terms does not inform you of emotions and the contexts within which they were expressed. talkAItive extracts what they said about their experience related to a given product, at a given time, in a given location.

Third, you pick and apply these emotional contexts to enhance your engagement, using emotionally intelligent contexts across key customer touch points. E.g. use the positive contexts related to your products as primary or filler text across your content, use positive and negative contexts as opportunities to engage in specific contexts with your customers. This will build trust with the customer, in your dedication to learn and improve at a subconscious level.

How Do Reviews Help Learn Emotional Feedback?

Reviews are effective in building and maintaining public perceptions related to your product. This engagement on your social channels is quickly replacing the cold and cookie-cutter touchpoint mechanisms of today, like cold calling or survey forms distribution.

There are two types of reviews - solicited and unsolicited. Solicited are through your existing surveying and NPS based outreach, and when done right, fully automated and embedded as part of your customer journey touchpoints. Unsolicited, which we consider extremely valuable, are the ones left across the public social and internet domains. Forums, Google Reviews, destination websites, and social networks are just some of the examples. What makes unsolicited reviews more valuable is the embedded force of emotion, which is enough to get your customer to go online, gather their thoughts and then emotionally express them as a comment or review. This cognitive effort is a pure form of giving feedback.

In the attached image you can see the top emotional contexts to banking apps from Google and Apple Play Store reviews, that helped our client drill down with "Experience" context and found that the majority of the positive emotion was directed towards the ability to deposit money into the app. Other contexts like "Awesome", "Customer Service", and "Money" display the emotions like "Trust", "Happy" and "Satisfaction".

The hardest part is actually not collecting customer feedback but using and applying it to unlock new paths of growth, reasons for customer experience degradation, and ideas to make your product more customer centric. In most of our engagements, we have come across clients who have run NPS based programs for 2 to 3 years and gathered almost 2 million NPS based responses. The survey based responses were aggregated and used to calculate NPS, however the free text feedback was under-utilized. Besides the intelligence based on most frequently used words, the text was not used to extract emotional contexts, sentiment scores expressed towards products, services and brand. This is what talkAItive has been busy helping enable across our clients.

Negative Reviews - Source For Continuous Improvement Ideas:
Our observations based on processing reviews over the last four years is that negative feedback is rich with new innovations and improvements which can be adopted. This adoption gives you relevant topics to respond effectively and a foundation upon which you can build genuine relationships. The top features and service adjustments are the best insights which can be extracted from negative feedback.

Positive Reviews - Source For Fresh Content And Marketing Themes:
The positive feedback on the other hand helps build a catalog of fresh ideas, which can be extrapolated to generate fully fledged, customer centric, and relevant marketing campaigns, content assets, and the highly sought after key contexts of differentiation from your competitors and industry.

Custom Categorization - Rank Your Product And Brand vs Competitors:
You need capabilities which are malleable to learn what is important to you. This is where talkAItive’s custom categorization helps. All the client has to do is define the category label like "Customer Service", "Product Name", or "Delivery" along with words which define the label. For example, for "Customer Service", these words would be "service standard", "in-store service", "call center", "called call center", and more.

As part of our mobile payment apps theme engagement, our client defined specific categories which were of importance and related to already established KPIs, for example, "customer experience and customer service", "security and login", "money transfer and payments". These are the first steps towards building that emotional context map related to your brand, product, or service. Our client in this case also received a ranking of their brand vs competitors across user-defined categories.

What Do Reviews Tell You About Product Or Feature Level Emotions?

Understanding Emotional Context across the brand is an excellent start, but talkAItive helps you go further and drill down to emotions and sentiment trends at product, product feature, brand value, or any other arbitrary definition of success or service excellence KPI.

Our client fared better than the competition but saw contexts and sentiment taking a dive in the last couple of months with negative feedback under this category. This was a high value early warning sign that was acted upon.

Enable Empathy Analytics:

You are already showing reviews on your website, sometimes even dedicate a full page to that. Why not make that a better experience for your customers. You can help them find reviews based on emotional contexts, which you want to associate and promote for your brand. You can show a rank of features using the emotional intensity as measure which talkAItive is adept at identifying and measuring.

The talkAItive Difference

Learning language by words is not enough. Usage based learning of feedback is what we specialize in and are excited to help brands use the last 4 years of R&D to help them build meaningful relationships with their customers and communities. We believe that these analytics should be part of the management review to assess brand health and customer loyalty. talkAItive’s team will help you craft the right metrics across categories which matter because chatter matters!