I recently attended the CX Forum where brands shared and discussed not only their CX successes but also their key challenges. Three of the principles particularly resonated with me, since they spanned the sectors and have existed as challenges since CX programmes were first established. All three are relevant for businesses in any stage of CX implementation:

  1. How to gain a deep understanding of what motivates consumers and why they behave in a certain way
  2. How to engage senior stakeholders and drive change within an organization
  3. How to encourage customers to complete feedback to deliver strong response rates

It strikes me that being able to have more conversations with customers would help to minimize all of these challenges. In an ideal world, customers would be able to have conversations with senior stakeholders in organizations. Customers would feel listened to and stakeholders would be more connected to customers, finding it hard not to act on what they hear. The gap between brands and their customers would narrow. However, this is clearly not practical, especially at scale. Which raises the question, how can we move closer to conversation?

Going Deeper, Getting to the ‘Why’

A common question you see in CX surveys is ‘why did you give that score?’ and it’s clear to see why. A score on its own provides a measure of how you are doing, but without the underlying ‘why’ it’s almost impossible to know where to make improvements. With so many factors influencing consumers, we need more guidance to help shape the experience for our customers, and we need to know what a good experience looks like for them.

Quotes from free text responses are great and text analytics can help to quantify our customer’s ‘why’. These responses breathe life into scores and give a voice to customers. But with modern day technology, it’s possible to go even further with video.

Not only do respondents say at least 4 times more words in video than they would in an open text response, but these words provide more information, and generate around twice as many codes2. Videos reveal richer insights not only in terms of what people say but also how they feel from their facial expressions, tone of voice, and what they are doing.

Rather than having to imagine the customer, you can see them, you can hear them. They can express themselves in their own words and it starts to feel more like a conversation, providing a greater sense that they are talking to you directly. And the technology exists to incorporate video into your CX programmes, to extract and analyze the rich data it provides at scale – just as if you’d met all of those customers face to face.

Insight with Impact

Often a CX programme boils down to some regular headline figures. These are essential for tracking progress and quantifying efforts for improvement. But, they can feel quite disconnected to the actual customer and the experiences they have as individuals.

Metrics simply can’t reflect the delight of buying a new car, the nervousness of applying for a first mortgage, the frustration of not being able to manage utilities easily online, the joy of a wonderful meal for a special occasion, or the anger of feeling that a new customer gets a better deal than loyal customers. Metrics and quotes can be easy for some people to dismiss, with the mindset that, ‘my customers wouldn’t have said that’, or ‘I know there are worse stores than mine,’ etc. It’s much harder to ignore someone talking to you directly, when you get a true sense of how an experience has impacted them, negatively or positively.

We all know how important emotional connections are, since they drive behavior. That being said, isn’t it about time we apply emotional connections to our CX programmes? We need to be able to tell great customer stories.

Stories give the metrics meaning, they engage our colleagues, they’re memorable, and they drive action. Videos are the ideal medium for storytelling, allowing you to put your customers in the boardroom.

And Let’s Not Forget the Customer!

Video has seen a huge surge of popularity in recent years, which is quite evident when you look at any social media feed – 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter1. It’s become a key method of communication and a way for people to express themselves. While not everyone will want to provide feedback using video, it will be the preferred method for some, and reaching every customer in a way they feel most comfortable is crucial to data collection. The customers who prefer to talk with video will share more with you and find the feedback experience with video more engaging – which is never a bad thing!

Just like SMS and email haven’t been obliterated by social media, video can augment text within the CX space. The leading CX programmes aren’t choosing between text and video, they’re using both. Incorporating video and audio feedback alongside text-based answers provides your customers with choice, they can decide what works best for them, helping you to maximize the feedback you gain from each individual. Let your customers be part of the conversation.