Last updated on July 4, 2023
Every company wants to know what its customers think of its product- but few think of simply asking them directly.
Conversations with customers are the ideal way to get valuable insight and feedback into an organization’s performance. It allows companies to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses and work on these issues quickly and flexibly.
Garen Di Bernardo, Product Marketing Manager for Lumoa- a feedback analytics platform- provided some valuable tips on how to read customer conversations in an insightful webinar. The webinar showcases how companies can use the conversational analytics platform to see entire customer conversations, cut through the clutter, gain meaningful insights and act on these issues in real-time.
Here’s a synopsis of the essentials from the webinar
Customer insights gleaned from feedback can be beneficial in several ways. It can help a brand innovate with new products; improve its reputation in the market; help outshine the opposition; and eventually, it can help increase sales and profits.
Apart from that, it can also help the brand refine the overall customer experience while giving them a better idea of its target audience and, thus, being able to customize its marketing strategies.
However, it isn’t enough to simply engage the customer in conversation to see these benefits. Understanding how to read this feedback is essential, so time isn’t wasted in guessing and sifting through unnecessary information.
Here is an easy step-by-step process that will help your organization streamline its customer insight process, basis the learnings of the webinar.
The first and most crucial step in the process is gathering and storing customer feedback. This feedback could come from questions posed to customer support, reviews left on social media, or surveys answered by your most valued customers. Without this information, it’s impossible to know what customers are looking for, and thus leaves your product and brand stagnant.
Constantly keeping track of all the complaints and positive feedback left by your customers is the first essential step to understanding how your brand can innovate and market itself to potential customers better.
Focus on the Keywords
After engaging with many customers, you’ll often be left with hours or even days of conversations that could be quite painful for an individual to sift through.
To save time and energy, focusing on only the most critical bits of these conversations is vital— questions explicitly related to a product, for instance, or requests for refunds. To get to the bottom of what the customer is actually trying to tell you, it’s important to cut out all the irrelevant bits and identify the most major talking points.
Focusing on the keywords makes it much easier to sift through the noise and develop speedy solutions.
Say, for example, you notice that the keywords “availability” features heavily in conversations customers have with customer support; this means you’re left with a concrete, identified problem that you can focus all energy on solving.
Categorize Your Feedback
Once you have all the feedback consolidated by keyword, it can help to categorize these keywords further by topic. These broader buckets, such as “product,” “delivery,” or “shipping status,” can help you identify problems and positive feedback and allow you to work on them in a structured manner.
Apart from topics, it could also be helpful to categorize the feedback by customer segments. For example, if you notice that some of your most highly valued customers are using a keyword very often, addressing those issues should be a top priority
Categorizing your customers by location could also be helpful in this regard, as it helps you deal with region-specific issues, such as a lack of product availability or problems with shipping in a specific area, for example.
Once you have consolidated and categorized all the feedback by keyword, it’s time for the next critical step — looking for patterns. There’s no point collecting all this feedback if it doesn’t help you find the right solutions, after all.
Do you find, for example, specific issues that constantly come up in customer conversations? Are there any common themes you should be looking out for but are currently ignoring? Are there Certain times of the year when some keywords appear more often than others?
Once you start seeing patterns in your feedback and conversations, you’ll be able to gain quite a bit of valuable insight into what you could be doing better.
Say, for instance, that customers often complain about the quality of a specific product but tend to praise related products. It’s a sure-shot sign that something needs to change.
Use Analysis Tools
Following through with steps one to four could require immense human effort and valuable time. So when trying to consolidate and understand customer conversations, it isn’t a bad idea to consider using tools like sentiment analysis or text analytics. Some of these tools are designed to specifically help you sift through large amounts of customer feedback- accurately and swiftly.
These tools can help you identify common themes and sentiments and categorize them into neat buckets. They can further assist you in sifting through words that appear in both positive and negative contexts while compiling the frequency of keywords.
Some platforms, such as the one offered by Lumoa, are easy to implement and offer real-time analysis that impacts key metrics. Once you figure out the insights that are actually relevant to your business and save a lot of time having to do all of the above manually, there’s no stopping innovation.
As most companies will probably already know, engaging with customers is an ongoing process, one that requires immense time, effort, and ongoing follow-up. However, as we’ve learned from the insightful webinar, simply engaging with customers isn’t the end goal. Learning to read insights from these conversations and finding solutions is. When organizations save time answering unnecessary questions and sifting through noisy material, it saves them a lot of time for innovation and customizing their product to the right customer.
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