Conversational Customer Experience and Engagement
At a recent roundtable at the CX Marketing Summit, the conversation turned to measuring customer satisfaction. While many businesses regularly survey their customers, are they getting the true sentiment of the customers or are they guiding their customers towards a prescribed answer?
Surveying your customer at the end of an online interaction or following up at a later date with an email can certainly help, but the validity of the survey itself really depends on what you ask. It’s easy, even unintentionally, to add in questions that will allow you to predict the answer.
A way to guarantee “the right answer” might be good if keeping your job depends on delivering KPIs, but not so great if you truly want to know what your customer thinks and to discover insights that will help you drive your business forward.
Using conversational AI allows you to extract more from a conversation than the usual prescriptive feedback survey; it allows you to truly get into the heads of your customers. Indeed, intelligent features such as sentiment analysis help enterprises gauge more accurately the mindset of their customers, while in-depth analysis of free-format conversational data delivers insight as to what you’re doing well, and how you can improve.
In between survey fatigue and ambiguous rating systems, discovering what your customers really think is getting harder every day. However, including a conversational element to your online customer service or sales not only increases engagement, but delivers a vast amount of additional data and insight, even with stricter data privacy regulation such as GDPR.
This is because customers reveal a startling amount of information during a conversational interaction, despite knowing they are talking to a machine. Too often organisations use automated interactions that utilizes technology only capable of yes/no type responses. There’s no humanlike response of “going somewhere nice” when a customer requests to change money from one currency to another to be collected from their bank tomorrow.
If there was, then you might learn that it’s for a holiday, or a business trip or to bail out their eldest child who’s run short of money while travelling. All of these answers provide an insight as to why a customer is using your service and potentially, if you continue responding in a humanlike way, the opportunity to sell a related product or service, such is the power of conversational AI.
Once the interaction is concluded, the customer is far more willing to deliver their opinion to “someone” who has already taken an interest in what they had to say.
And if they didn’t reach as far as the survey because you didn’t have shoes in their size, your delivery time was too long or a competitor had a better offer, then the chances are you’ll already know the reason why because your customer told you, even if their response was only “can’t you deliver by Monday?”.
There is a lot of talk at the moment about taking the customer temperature. But before you dash off to devise yet another survey, take a step back and consider the longer term. Implementing a truly conversational AI element into your online interactions will not only increase engagement, but potentially deliver the focus group you’ve dreamed of; one that is honest, informative and insightful with every conversation.
The Future of Customer Engagement and the Role of the Intelligent Virtual Agent White Paper
This White Paper looks at how customer needs are evolving and how intelligent virtual agents can enable enterprises to meet customer service demands now and in the future.