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Guest Post: 10 Ways Consumer Insights Help Improve the Customer Experience

This week we feature an article by Uma Bhat, a content marketing professional at Clootrack. She shares how businesses can utilize consumer insights to help improve customer service and experience. Consumer insights have moved on from just supporting data for product improvement to being a core part of the strategic agenda at consumer-centric firms. As […]

This week we feature an article by Uma Bhat, a content marketing professional at Clootrack. She shares how businesses can utilize consumer insights to help improve customer service and experience.

Consumer insights have moved on from just supporting data for product improvement to being a core part of the strategic agenda at consumer-centric firms. As per market research, consumer insights have now become a top priority for as much as 80% of executives of large consumer products organizations. Consumer insights are key to understanding customer experience that enables marketers to direct and plan their product and marketing mix.

Today’s modern tech-savvy customers are expressing their customer experience in the form of product reviews, star ratings, consumer forums, social media, call recordings, comments on the website, and chat transcripts. This raw data can be converted into actionable consumer insights to be used to improve customer experience.

Here are 10 ways consumer insights help improve the customer experience:

1. Connects customer journeys instead of isolated interactions

Consumers have multiple channels of interactions – social media, customer care, online forums, and much more. Customers bounce between channels to express their expectations and displeasure at multiple points of their customer journey.

Consumer insights attempt to connect recognizable customer journeys across several platforms. Consumer insights aim to identify pain points and develop actionable responses with an astonishing degree of accuracy, thereby improving customer experience.

2. Tracks customer perception, not living with assumptions

Consumer insights give you an opportunity to track current customers and online audiences to identify discussions happening about your products. When a business starts tracking brand mentions, it can lead to a collection of honest feedback.

For example, through an analysis of 40,338 guest conversations, Clootrack created a list of customer perception drivers that visitors considered before booking a hotel room. It will give insights into what customers feel about your brand and opportunities to improve customer experience.

3. Reveals deep empathy, and not just data

Scores of unstructured consumer data can be used not just to find out ‘what’ consumers love or hate… but it goes on further to find out ‘why’ consumers like or dislike a product.

Consumer insights can pinpoint with great accuracy the deep empathy embedded in the consumer data. This empathy can go a long way in shaping delightful customer experiences.

4. Continuous insights, not a one-time study

Consumers tend to change their buying behavior very often and unexpectedly. This gives more reasons for brands to stay on top of customer behavior with the help of consumer insights.

Analyzing consumer insights is a continuous process rather than a one-time study. Consumer insights are much needed for the continuous improvements to your customer experience, instead of leaving you scrambling to keep up later.

5. 360-degree review of customers, not just the surface level

With the help of the customer data from different sources, a comprehensive 360-degree review of customers is now possible. Armed with consumer insights, brands can dig deeper to see what’s hidden within the customer data, and by using this, companies can create a cohesive, real-time picture of their customers, thus leading to better customer experience.

6. Drives strategic business decisions, not just metrics 

Highly data-driven organizations are three times more likely to report significant improvement in decision-making, according to PwC research. Rather than “going with a gut feeling,” consumer insights provide a treasure of information, which companies can use to drive strategy, sales, marketing, and product development.

Using granular consumer insights enables companies towards faster and fact-based decision making, and thereby enjoy improved customer experience.

7. Plan product improvements, not disappointments

“Consumers themselves are changing quickly. Insight communities allow us to bring the perspective and needs of our consumers into the product development process early on.” – Kate Pinkham, VP Consumer Insights at Wolverine Worldwide.

Every brand can build a product that is desired by its customers. The only way to do this is to know what people want – by using consumer insights.

8.   Aids customer service, not dissatisfaction

Customer service is all about making your customers fall in love with you. For example, “I don’t like their refund policy” and “I was waiting for 28 days with no clue about my refund.”

The first sentence is generic and suggests that the refund policy is not good, whereas the second example states the exact waiting period. Deep consumer insights enable you to analyze customer pain points.

9. Personalize customer journey, instead of generalizing efforts

Brands have to customize their marketing efforts to give excellent customer experience. It’s important to get deeper to understand how potential consumers perceive different products and what they need from a particular range of products.

With such deep customer data, marketers can personalize customer requirements by offering dynamic content, personalized ads, and product recommendations. This leads to an enjoyable customer experience.

10. Speed is the need, instead of going out of context

To gain delightful and meaningful customer experience, companies need to reach their intended audiences at the right time with the right offers and using the right channels. If it’s too late, the context would have changed, and the entire exercise would be a waste of time.

Consumer insights can be derived almost real-time, and hence most useful to enhance the customer experience.

Key takeaway

“Customer Experience is not just one event, but the combination of interactions that provide value each time,” says Monique Gravel, Customer Experience Manager.

Customer-centric companies have realized that ‘how they deliver’ is as important as ‘what they deliver.’ With the help of consumer insights, companies are learning more about their customers, and are integrating the learning into delivering better customer experiences.

Uma Bhat is a content marketing professional at Clootrack, a market intelligence platform. She writes about consumer insights and market intelligence, and how businesses can improve customer experience using consumer insights.

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