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Renewed focus on creating a top-notch customer experience is all the rage – in fact, it’s table stakes. So why are brands missing so many opportunities on the customer experience analytics front?

The 2018 Consumer Experience Analytics Report highlights the ways brands are on target – and the areas where they need to better their aim.

Customer Satisfaction Tops the Priority List

The CX professionals we surveyed – who self-identify as marketing managers, creative directors, data managers, SVPs of marketing, and more – largely noted “improve customer satisfaction” as their top goal.

This is great, of course, but what does that really mean? Customer satisfaction happens across a number of fronts – though many brands tie this to a focus on customer service, i.e., managing customer complaints.

Everything your brand does – from what you stand for, to the ease of your in-store and ecommerce check-out, to customer care – is part of the overall customer experience. And that is what brands need to remember.

Consider the least prioritized item in the chart above: launching new products. Innovating new offerings is as important to customer satisfaction as anything else – but that’s not always part of brand thinking.

Brands Are Focusing on the Wrong Data

The reason innovation – to name one example – is given less weight as a brand goal is because brands aren’t getting a clear picture of consumer preferences from the data they use to inform operational decisions.

Here’s how brands gather consumer data, according to their CX experts:

Though there is, expectedly, a reliance on social data, surveys are still the top data source for the majority of brands, with social media data and web analytics close behind.

In the mix, but less so, are call center transcripts and forums. And it’s interesting how much employee feedback is included. We’ll get back to that.

For now let’s talk about why surveys don’t provide the best consumer insights.

For starters, they only prompt consumers to answer specific questions, chosen by brands, which get in the way of consumers sharing their true feelings. In fact, “feelings” aren’t even part of the equation.

What brands need to gain accurate insights into what consumers really want, is social sentiment. Sentiment analysis should be part of any state-of-the-art social media analytics tool suite, but among the 68% of respondents using social data to inform the customer experience, it’s unclear how many are contextualized by social sentiment.

And context is everything. Social data is only worthwhile if sentiment analysis is part of it. But even if every brand we surveyed uses sentiment analysis as part of their social data, it’s concerning the percentage of respondents using social data to inform their CX isn’t 100%.

But lest you think it’s all about social analytics – or all about us, since that’s what we provide – it isn’t.

Investment in Incomplete Tools Is Among the Biggest Challenges

What brands really need is to bring all consumer data into a single hub. In a perfect world, every item in the chart about would be at 100%.

Here’s where we circle back to the employee feedback referenced above. What makes that so valuable to those for whom it’s relevant is the personal nature of it – the peer-to-peer quality. This is exactly what makes data sources like forums, review sites, and social media so crucial to include in brand data sets.

And it’s particularly important when trying to engage younger audiences like Millennials.

The most valuable recommendations are to consumers from other consumers. Thus bringing all data into one place for complete customer experience analytics is the best strategy.

And the CX pros we surveyed clearly see the value in CX analytics – and yet the most popular tool among them is still a simple Excel spreadsheet! Meanwhile, social listening tools are second to last on the list of tools being used right now.

It’s clear there’s a lot of room for brands to increase their use of CX analytics. Perhaps seeing how other top brands succeed by using them will inspire the necessary changes – especially if those brands are competitors.

We’ve got a few examples of such brands in the report, as well as answers to questions like, “Which channel are you missing in your omni-channel approach?” and a checklist of features any CX analytics tool should include.

So, download the NetBase 2018 Consumer Experience Analytics Report now. It’s the perfect time to set goals and prepare to level up your customer experience for 2019.

Want a customized demo of our customer experience analytics tools? Reach out and we’ll walk you through!

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