How Employee Experience Initiatives Help Brands Retain Talent, Grow Workforces, and So Much More

This article probably isn’t the first place you’ve seen the terms “Great Resignation”, “Great Reshuffle” or “Big Quit” on the internet, and from the looks of things, the battle to retail talent won’t settle anytime soon. The causes and effects of employee churn are complicated, but the bottom line for brands and organizations the world over is simple: employee expectations have changed, and workplace cultures’ view of the employee experience must change as well.

You’ve probably seen that writing on the wall ever since The Great Resignation kicked off in early 2021, but if you’re not sure where to start, we have you covered! Today’s conversation briefly touches on how employee experience (EX) programs can help you navigate employee challenges big and small, how EX initiatives interconnect with customer experience (CX) and how all of this can lead to meaningful Experience Improvement! 

How We Got Here

The biggest assumption that a lot of the biggest brands have had going for many years is that customers are the most important part of an experience ecosystem. Customers are certainly vital, but we’re going to challenge that long-running assumption by saying that employees are actually an organization’s most valuable asset. Sure, happy customers help a strong bottom line, but passionate, bold, and invested employees are what encourage those customers to keep doing so. Employees are invaluable for creating the human connections that reinforce brand loyalty, which helps your organization stay at or reach the top of your vertical!

One of the reasons we’re seeing the Great Resignation play out so hard for so many companies is that, unfortunately, they didn’t view their employees through this prism. They didn’t adequately invest in employee support resources over a period of years, and when that lack of support came into focus during COVID-19, it was the last straw for many workers. A few other factors have contributed here too, but it all boils down to the fact that employees’ idea of a supportive workplace culture has rapidly changed.

The Rundown on Employee Experience

So, if employees are now expecting deeper and more consistent support from their workplaces, what’s the best way for brands to respond? The phrase “deeper and more consistent support” reads pretty simply on paper, but we all know that’s going to vary wildly from brand to brand, industry to industry. The truth is that there’s no one benefit, idea, or other silver bullet that will guarantee employee retention. Rather, organizations need to go deeper by carving meaningful intelligence out of their employee feedback, then acting upon it.

That advice sounds obvious enough, right? Well, you might be surprised (or not) to learn that a lot of brands and experience platform vendors consider gathering feedback the high water mark of program success, not acting on it. However, numbers and metrics alone aren’t going to get you the employee retention you need to create meaningful experiences—taking meaningful action is the only step that’s going to get you there.

So, with that in mind, shift your paradigm if you haven’t already to designing your experience program with the end in mind. Identify your retention challenges, build your feedback-gathering tools around those challenges, and analyze what your employees are telling you for insights to take action on. This approach differs significantly from what many brands have considered the norm for many years, where they simply inhale mountains of data and then try to scour all of it for any intelligence of value.

Trajectory Takeoff

We’ve talked about how employee experience got here, what employees are expecting from their workplaces, and a top-level methodology for organizations to use as they work to close that gap. But as brands begin gathering data or take a moment to reassess how they’ve been doing it, what type of roadmap might be most helpful for them to stick to as they grow their EX maturity?

Well, we have the answer to that as well! Click here to read a full-length point of view article from expert Michael Lowenstein on the various levels of EX maturity brands can use these ideas to achieve, as well as what each stage of that journey means for your employees, your workplace, and even your customers. Best of luck on the road ahead!

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CX 101: Demographic Segmentation

If you were trying to convince your family to go on a weekend trip, you likely wouldn’t use the same tactics for every family member. Your retired parents may be persuaded by the luxurious rooms at the hotel, but your brother and his spouse probably care more about the activities they could do with their kids. Your college student sibling would likely love the break from school, but they’re more concerned with affordability compared to the rest of the family.

Even within a single family, there are different types of people with different values, concerns, and priorities—now consider how much variance there is in a national or global market campaign. Personality, occupation, and life experience all affect what appeals to a certain person, which is why demographic segmentation is so important in all marketing efforts. Finding out what your audience demographic looks like will help you better understand the needs of your target customers, create more specific solutions, and market those solutions better.

There are 4 different types of segmentation: demographic, psychographic, geographic, and behavioral. Demographic segmentation is just one part of the puzzle, but an essential tool for competitive marketing, especially in the digital space. This article will go over everything you need to know about demographic segmentation and how to take your business to the next level with advanced demographic analysis technology. But first, let’s go over the basics.

What Is Demographic Segmentation?

Demographic segmentation is a method of grouping a target audience or customers by specific traits, most often by age, gender, occupation, income, socioeconomic background, and family status.

If your product or service is meant for luxury and comfort but comes with an expensive price tag, you would want to target high-income households. If your product or service is mostly bought by women, you want to be able to market to them specifically. Let’s say you sell solar panels; the demographic for your product is warmer climates, and knowing that allows you to segment that group of people and market to them while avoiding the uninterested ones. Once you’ve identified the right group, it’s much easier to target their needs and appeal to their preferences.

By dividing the market audience into smaller and more specific categories, businesses can better define who their audience is and ultimately funnel their messaging and resources into focused and effective strategies. The prospective market is clearer, current customers are more accurately advertised to, and businesses can personalize the experience of their brand for each segmented audience.

Not only can you use demographic data to identify and isolate customer groups, but you can also use demographic segmentation for UX design, brand positioning, CX, and other analytic tools that assist with business strategies. The most competitive businesses that are seeing success from their marketing efforts gather demographic data using analytics software, consumer insights, and census data.

Benefits of Using Demographic Segmentation

Using demographic segmentation isn’t just beneficial—with the rise and projection of digital marketing, understanding the traits of your target audience is becoming more essential. Here are five more benefits of using demographic segmentation to hone your target audience research.

Personalization and Relevance

When you segment your audience based on accurate demographic data, you can advertise and communicate with each group according to their preferences and values. That means your messaging, the pain points you solve, and the features you highlight can be different (and more effective) for each audience. Your products or services can be relevant to a range of audiences, but your message won’t resonate exactly the same with every person in that range. To be relevant and persuasive, a customized approach is best. 

Optimized Marketing Strategies

It may seem like going after such specific audiences limits your reach to potential customers, but the opposite is true. By segmenting your target audiences into demographic groups, you can identify common threads within each group and offer more satisfying content or ads. Targeted ads that are especially polished will also increase the visibility of your brand and products, so you will have greater volume and more impactful ads that convert for the right group.

Improved Products or Services

The more you know about the needs of your customers, the better you can serve them by offering improved products and services. For example, a company could learn through demographic analytical tools that the shaving cream they originally advertised for men is actually being bought and used by more women. This would allow the company to tune its product offering for its female audience.

Increased Customer Retention

When the customer experience is better than ever, so are customer satisfaction and loyalty. Knowing what someone needs is a powerful tool when it comes to both business and marketing. By providing improved products or services and personalized solutions, especially over time, customers will return to that company. Customized solutions also add a personal touch to your brand, which is something most customers appreciate and want more of.

Data-Driven Decision Making

It’s much easier to make a decision about what your marketing budget should go to if your audience groups are crystal clear. Instead of putting money and time towards potential customers that you aren’t sure about, you can have a strong idea of the products and solutions specific demographics need.

It’s of course important to remember that demographic information is still working off certain assumptions. However, relying on time-tested statistics gives you much more direction and surety than blindly hoping your message or offering is well received by someone. Intentional and evidence-based advertising is far more effective, which is what demographic segmentation can help with.

What Variables Are Included in Demographic Segmentation?

Many variables can be used in demographic segmentation, but here are the most common and relevant ones, depending on the industry.

  • Age: People have different experiences, desires, and priorities depending on their age. You wouldn’t advertise a dentist’s office to a tween the same way you would to an adult. You also have to consider someone’s level of work and life experience, which often comes with age.
  • Gender: Men and women share many needs, but there are some needs or appeals that tend to lean one way or the other. A nail salon likely gets more women customers than men, so while they may get both, they may want to focus their efforts on the women in their area. But beware of harmful stereotypes—there are plenty of sales pitches that have no need to advertise to only men or women.
  • Ethnicity: Ethnic backgrounds can greatly affect something’s appeal or even its appropriateness. Many ethnic groups take great pride in the traditions of their community and culture, so it’s important to know who you’re talking to so you can actually address their unique needs.
  • Income, Occupation, and Education: Money isn’t everything, but it is an important demographic factor. People in different income brackets save and spend their money differently, so to get the right eyes on your products. It’s important to consider who really wants and can afford what you’re offering. Similarly, a blue-collar worker compared to a professor at a college may even make the same amount of income but have totally different types of education and experience, so each customer type would need to be marketed to differently.
  • Religion: Faith is a big part of many people’s lives, and similar to ethnic appeals, you want to be careful that you’re properly advertising to certain groups to avoid offending or alienating your target audience.
  • Family Structure and Marital Status: It’s wise to look at large families compared to couples or single people. If you only advertise your product to families but your product could easily be helpful to a single person, you may be missing out on an opportunity. On the other hand, you may have a more niche market, such as a jewelry store, so couples getting engaged would be far more relevant for your marketing efforts. Children are a huge part of many parents’ lives, so it’s important to factor them in as well.
  • Sexual Orientation: With such a broad spectrum of sexualities and preferences, it’s important to be inclusive to all while recognizing what a specific group of people may need or like. If a lot of your customers come from a progressive and urban city, it’s going to be important for most of them to see representation in your advertisements.
  • Residence Environment and Location: Speaking of urban cities, where someone is located, whether urban or rural, plays a big role in someone’s preferences. A lot of people in the city don’t drive a car and instead use public transportation, but others that live in the country desperately need their vehicles to get to their jobs every day. How a car dealership markets its cars could drastically change based on who is looking for a car.

More Demographic Segmentation Examples

Here are some examples of demographic segmentation and how it can change the way a company approaches its audience, marketing strategies, and customer experience.

Location: Save Money and the Environment

Let’s use the solar panel example we talked about earlier. Solar companies need to mainly advertise to people in places that get a lot of sunshine. However, solar panels have many benefits, like how they save money on electricity and make less of an impact on the environment. Based on their demographic information, a solar business can adjust their messaging to what’s actually relevant to them. People that live in rural single-family homes and use a lot of electricity will be interested in the savings, while green thumbs—often living in the city—are going to appreciate the environmentally friendly attributes of solar.

Family Status: A Versatile Vehicle

If a car company has a spacious vehicle with a lot of storage and seating, it could appeal to big families who have a lot of children to get around. On the other hand, a small business owner who transports their products everywhere by themselves could also use a spacious vehicle—but the car company would need to market differently to these two potential customers. With demographic segmentation, the company could create two different advertising campaigns, one that focuses on family values and authentic family living versus a woman running her own business independently.

Diversity: Take a Walk in Their Shoes

Foot Locker, a global shoe store, used personalized customer experiences to better their service since it had a broad range of customers with a lot of customer feedback and surveys. Outside of their typical customers, they also had elderly customers, guests with disabilities, non-sneakerheads, and customers with diverse interests. By analyzing their demographic data, they were also to customize both the in-store and online customer’s journey for different demographics, which was better for the brand and the consumer.

InMoment Can Help with Demographic Segmentation

If you’re ready to upgrade your marketing and other demographic tools, it’s time to partner with InMoment. InMoment has the Customer Experience Cloud that helps you perform demographic analysis and segmentation so that you can give your customers the best CX possible.

Book a demo to see how InMoment’s CX Cloud can help you optimize demographic segmentation, improve the solutions for your customers, and make the most of your marketing funds!

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5 Ways to Leverage Net Promoter Score to Boost Customer Retention

You don’t just want to appeal to new customers—you also want to keep your current ones coming back again and again. Not only do returning customers require less introduction to your products and services, but they also tend to spend more than first-time customers, too. 

One user engagement strategy you can use to boost your customer retention is to make use of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system. Simple to understand, this powerful metric can give you a wealth of information that you can use to improve your brand. 

What Is Net Promoter Score?

NPS is a metric designed to measure customer experience. First, you ask your customers a simple question:

“On a scale of 0-10, how likely is it that you would recommend my brand/product/service to a friend or colleague?”

Then, customers are asked to explain in their own words why they chose the score they did.

From this, you can place your customers on a scale, where anyone who answered between 0-6 is a detractor, 7-8 is passive, and 9-10 are promoters. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS) calculation

In order to get your Net Promoter Score, you take the detractors away from the promoters.

Let’s say you’ve surveyed 100 people. Of these 100 people, 30 are detractors, 40 are promoters, and 30 are passive. That leaves you with:

40 – 30 = 10

Promoters – Detractors = NPS

Determining your NPS is important, of course, but analyzing the open-ended responses to the follow-up question is what will help you understand the “why” behind your score and make NPS feedback actionable.

What Do These Categories Mean?

Promoters

This category (people who selected 9 and 10) are your loyal fans. They’re likely to be repeat customers, often spending more on subsequent purchases. They generally have a positive view of your brand (meaning if they do contact you with a complaints, they’re often more forgiving). 

As well as this, they tend to refer new customers to you – accounting for more than 80% of referrals for many businesses – and talk about you on social media/in person. You may see effusive praise, with descriptions like ‘we’ve been able to achieve our goals’ or ‘this is the only software I’ll use’, along with thoughtful suggestions for improvement.

Passives

This group (people who chose 7 or 8) tends to be satisfied, but not in the same way as promoters. They’re happy with their purchase, and they might buy from you again, though not nearly as reliably. 

They are unlikely to complain about you to colleagues, but won’t necessarily spend their time singing your praises or talking about you on social media either. They’re also likely to evaluate competitors if they see an interesting advertisement or offer, rather than being wholly loyal to your brand.

Detractors

You might think that a 6 is a high score to count as a detractor, but generally, this group are unhappy customers. Encompassing everyone who chose between 0 and 6, they’re likely to talk badly about you. At the higher end, there might be some positives mentioned, but they’re still going to have complaints. This is where a lot of customer churn and defection comes in.

Sometimes these customers may seem profitable, as many of them may be spending a lot of money with you. However, an NPS program isn’t about the initial revenue generated by a customer or account, it’s about customer lifetime value. Detractors are at risk of leaving your business and can even give your brand a bad reputation (and the lower scorers are likely to be difficult for your staff to deal with at times).

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What Is a Good Net Promoter Score?

Bain & Company, the originators of the score, consider between +30 and +40 to be a favorable score. (Why are we using +30, not just 30? Because it’s possible to have a negative score if you have more detractors than promoters). As you head up to +50, you’re looking at an outstanding result. If you’re at +80? That’s world class.

However, this will vary based on your industry and your location. Europe and Asia generally mark things more conservatively than the US. So, if you’re comparing your scores to your competitors, make sure you’re looking in the same place rather than at a global average. If your industry is one generally viewed negatively – think debt collection, or property management – then you’re generally going to have lower scores, too.

For this reason, it’s worth investigating NPS benchmarks for your industry, and your location, rather than relying on a general global average. It’s also worth focusing on improving your own score per quarter. If you go from 5 to 15, you may still be below the average, but a jump of 10 points is respectable and means you’re doing the right things.

5 Ways to Use NPS to Boost Customer Retention

Now you know what NPS is, it’s time to take a look at how you can use it to improve your customer retention. 

#1: Make Sure It’s Accurate

Firstly, you need to make sure you’re starting off with an accurate assessment. There are a few common mistakes companies make, including:

  • Asking leading questions on the survey
  • Promising rewards for higher scores
  • Using methods that increase bias (like face-to-face rather than anonymous online surveys)
  • Only surveying happy customers
  • Asking too many questions at once

Using “set and forget” NPS microsurveys can help you avoid these pitfalls.  By starting with an accurate assessment, you can take the right steps. Having a false image of customer success can be harmful, as issues will go unrecognized and unresolved. 

#2: Reach Out to Detractors

Responding to the customers who gave you lower marks is beneficial – both for finding out why they gave lower marks, and saving their business. 

Contact detractors right away.  If you can address their issue right away, you have a shot at keeping them as a customer.  

Even if you can’t meet their needs, it is important that their feedback be acknowledged.

If you lack the time to personally reach out to each detractor, you can still mitigate negative feelings by automating your survey response. Send an email right away to thank them for their response, and ask for more feedback.

Reading through detractor feedback, you’ll gain insights into why they wouldn’t recommend you and be able to adjust accordingly. For example, if half of the detractors respond with ‘processing time is far too long’, then you have something to work toward. 

Sometimes negative reviews are based on service factors, like the delivery company you used or customer support that is slow to respond. Sometimes, complaints won’t be directly about your business. For instance, if you provide companies with a virtual phone number, you might get complaints about it not working. Changing this can instantly boost results. Create the experience consumers expect by prioritizing improvements, drawn from their direct feedback.

Feed this data back into your product roadmap and to your sales team. Designing new products with these criticisms in mind can avoid the same issues in the future. Meanwhile, it also gives your sales team some leeway on what they can offer in response to these criticisms to overcome them at the point of sale or renewal. It’s an extra handy thing to add to their sales playbook

For instance, if a customer is concerned about delivery times, give your customer success managers permission to upgrade them to expedited shipping at no extra cost. If they’ve had issues with subscription software, offer them a feature upgrade. All of these solutions can turn your detractors into passive customers – and potentially even promoters.

Reaching out to Net Promoter Score detractors to boost customer retention

#3: Learn from Passives 

Don’t ignore this group of customers. While detractors are clearly telling you their business is at risk, passives are more likely to silently churn.  It is your job to find out why and whether you should focus attention on this group. 

Segmenting your NPS feedback by business size or other factors will help you decide how important passive feedback is. If passives reside in important accounts or user groups, you may want to understand the “why” behind their lack of enthusiasm. 

One way to do this is to customize the NPS follow-up question. If a customer scores you a 5 or a 6, ask them “What’s one thing we could do better?”   

#4: Engage Your Promoters

Not all of your effort should focus on your unhappy customers, however. You know that this category of people has positive things to say about you – so why not turn that into something official? 

Reach out to them and ask for reviews or personal testimonials you can use on your website.  You might want to automate asking for a review. That way you ask at the right time — moments after a promoter scores you a 9 or a 10!

If you don’t already have referral marketing in place, it’s time to implement it. Roll it out by targeting these promoters, who you know are likely to make use of it. 

This encourages customer retention by giving them special offers, but it also boosts acquisition at the same time. For B2B companies, this is especially helpful if some of your customers are well-known in their field, as businesses are likely to respect their opinion.

Referral and loyalty schemes aren’t always well suited to B2B brands, but customer marketing or a VIP program can work instead. Customer marketing seeks to deepen relationships by providing customers with multiple benefits. One such example might be providing access to your product roadmap as part of an advisory council. Alternatively, you could create a VIP ‘space’, where exclusive content and in-person events are offered.

#5: Thank Respondents

Reach out to your loyal customers, and thank them for being so. 

Getting an email that says ‘thank you!’ is a great boost and encourages them to remain loyal. Video can improve customer experience, so having a thank you video may be worth the investment – especially if it is personalized or includes some behind the scenes content.

While most of these efforts should target your promoters, some of them can be sent out to your passive base, too – potentially converting those 7 or 8 scores into 9s and 10s. Add value to your initial product through a higher tier service, exclusive access to industry information, or trade-in offers. These methods can tempt passive customers into a deeper relationship with you.

Keep Going 

Net Promoter Score shouldn’t be used as a one-off metric, but a regular measurement. To retain more customers, continue to listen to them, learn from their feedback, and take action. NPS is especially helpful for tracking if your tactics are working. You should see an improvement in retention as you begin to implement those suggestions above. 

Equally, you might see a drop if something changes, like an operating system update or switching to an IVR system to route customer service calls.  By regularly tracking NPS, you’ll spot improvements and problems quickly. You’ll know if something is working or not, and be able to mitigate negative effects as soon as possible.

NPS will help you improve the customer experience you’re providing and that’s the best route to customer loyalty

Retain more customers with InMoment, the #1 Net Promoter Score platform for SaaS

How to Write Email Survey Subject Lines That Increase Your Open Rates

Microsurveys are the key to gaining the customer feedback you need to power your CX program, and many of these surveys are sent via email. The first step to receiving that survey feedback is getting your customer to open your email. 

When it comes to open rates, your email’s subject line is more important than you might think it is. Two helpful email stats drive this point home:

  • 69% of recipients will look only at the subject line before flagging an email as spam.
  • 47% of recipients decide to open an email based only on the subject line.

If you’re trying to figure out all the possible reasons why your survey emails aren’t getting decent open rates, it makes sense to start with your subject lines.

5 Tips to Help You Write Engaging Email Survey Subject Lines

Tip #1: Establish the Right Tone

Effective customer interaction is super dependent on speaking your audience’s language. This doesn’t just refer to the words and terms you use in your emails, even though that is obviously also extremely important.

No, we’re referring to your “voice” here – where you pitch the subject line on the “familiarity” spectrum. On the one side of this spectrum is “ultra conversational,” and on the other side, “ultra professional.”

On the conversational side, you’ll use language that makes your recipients feel like they’re being asked a question by a friend or a trusted colleague. These subject lines should make the recipient feel comfortable because they have an approachable tone.

Here are some examples:

  • “A quick question for you”
  • “Leslie, got a sec? ”

On the professional side of the spectrum, you’re using language that builds trust in your brand’s ability to take your service seriously. You don’t have to come off pompous or like you’ve swallowed a thesaurus. Stick to the point, and treat the recipient like someone who appreciates professionalism in the workplace.

  • “We’d genuinely appreciate feedback on our performance.”
  • “Leslie, how can we make you more productive?”

There are quite a few things to consider when choosing the tone of your survey email subject lines. Your brand image is arguably the most important, but things like recipient demographics and the industry you’re playing in should also play a role.

Building buyer personas is a standard practice in digital marketing. Many successful businesses go through this process to understand exactly who they’re selling to. This data is invaluable when deciding on the tone of your survey email subject lines.

Tip #2: Go Beyond Basic Personalization

According to Campaign Monitor, recipients are 26% more likely to open an email if the subject line has been personalized.

What you use to customize the subject line will obviously depend on the data you have on the customer. Using their name is an obvious starting point. However, you can also reference their most recent purchase if your CRM has logged it. Or a virtual event they attended. A modern CX platform can grab this info and personalize the subject line. 

If you’re online mattress retailer Zoma and you’re sending out a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey email to find out how a support query was handled, if the shipping went well, or if the customer is satisfied with the quality of a recent purchase, you could take one of the following approaches:

  • “How did we do on your support query [#66456]?”
  • “James, how was the webinar with DocuSign?”
  • “How’s that Zoma mattress working out?”

Showing evidence that the email comes from a reputable origin (i.e., the actual company they interacted with) is critical if you want to maximize that open rate.

By using their name and referencing their purchase, you’re landing a one-two punch of credibility and massively increasing the chances of a response.

Tip #3: Talk About Benefits

Let’s be frank here. When you send out a net promoter score (NPS) survey email, you’re basically asking an established customer to take time out of their day to reveal their feelings about your brand despite there being no immediate reward in it for them.

But that shouldn’t stop you from letting your recipients know that their feedback will result in long-term benefits for you and them.

Good feedback — both positive and negative — means improved service for everyone. A large number of honest responses will help you get better at designing new product features. Let your recipients know! Make them feel like their voice is important and that it benefits them to be heard.

Here’s an example. If you’re an energy services company like Ecopreneurist, and you’re sending out an NPS survey, you may want to try subject lines like these:

  • “Help us get even better at saving you energy.”
  • “Leslie, your feedback helps us save you money.”

Even though the email content will ask them a typical NPS question like “How likely are you to recommend Ecopreneurist to a friend?” the subject line can illustrate the eventual reward customers will experience by responding.

There’s a genuine correlation between improved service and receiving this type of information from customers. There’s no reason you can’t creatively leverage this relationship to create highly engaging subject lines.

Tip #4: Ask Your Recipients a Question

A good subject line engages the recipient. You’ll want the subject line to make them think and feel something. Trigger their thoughts and their emotions.

A great way to do this is by asking a question. 

The right question can trigger introspection. It can make the recipient think about something they want to share with you.

A SaaS company like ShowMojo might employ a customer effort score (CES) survey to help them spot inefficiencies and/or improve in two areas:

  1. Onboarding. Good onboarding helps ensure “trial subscribers” see the product’s value and eventually become paying customers, and it’s a critical step in maximizing a subscriber’s lifetime value (LTV).
  2. Product features. A CES survey can gauge how easily customers are adopting a new product feature and help you optimize for improved adoption. 

In both cases, positioning the survey in question form is a great way to maximize open rates. For example:

  • “How hard was the migration to ShowMojo?”
  • “How easy was it to create a new rental dashboard?”

You can see in the above examples that the subject lines don’t even mention the survey. The two questions are directed at the customer and their experience. 

Tip #5: Keep It Simple and Short

You should keep your survey email subject lines to under 50 characters to be sure everyone sees it. The number of people opening emails using their mobile phones is increasing every year. And the limited amount of real estate on a mobile device means that subject lines are often truncated.

Yes, it’s hard to make a compelling case for someone to open an unsolicited email using so few words, so take your time writing. Constantly try whittling the number of characters and words down to an absolute minimum without compromising your core message.

Let’s take a look at some concise and effective customer survey subject line examples:

  • “Are we doing a good job, Leslie?”
  • “Where can we improve?”
  • “We’re always looking for honest feedback.”
  • “Give it to us straight; we can take it.”

A Quick Word on Open Rate Benchmarks

What kind of open rates should you expect from your survey emails? Having a sense of benchmarks is critical if you intend to measure how effective your new subject lines are. 

According to our customers’ results, an open rate over 20% is solid, with only a small number of emails achieving a 30% open rate. If you see this level of engagement, you’re probably doing multiple things right. If it’s below this figure, realize there’s room for improvement and review your subject line copy against our recommendations.

Some Final Thoughts

Regardless of what industry you’re operating in, certain best practices will always be relevant when crafting email subject lines.

Here’s a summary of the most important things to bear in mind (along with a fifth bonus tip):

  • Personalize as much as possible.
  • Tell recipients about the benefits of completing the survey.
  • Ask a question.
  • Keep it short and to the point.
  • Try to keep your subject lines under 50 characters.
  • Avoid spammy words like “opportunity,” “offer,” “cash,” “discount,” or “click here.”

There’s little point in rethinking your subject line strategy if you’re not backing up your efforts with data on the success or failure of a new approach.

You’ll want to A/B test your survey emails. A simple way to do this is:

  1. Split your email recipients into two groups (Group A and Group B). 
  2. Target Group A with subject line A. “Welcome! How was the sign-up process?
  3. Target Group B with subject line B. “Answer one question and help us improve.”
  4. Measure each email’s open rate. If Group A gets a higher open, a post-onboarding greeting works well for your new customers.

By A/B testing your email subject lines over time, you gain valuable knowledge about the subject lines that resonate with your customer base. Not only will that information help you with your specific survey, but it can also help other CX-focused teams optimize their customer communications as well.

Start sending customer surveys today with InMoment.

The 12 Qualities of Good Survey Questions

Surveys are a great way to collect information about people’s perceptions, opinions, thoughts, attitudes, etc. But what makes for a good survey or good survey question?

The trick is making sure that you’re asking your questions the right way in order to get the data that you need, as well as ensuring that the people who take your survey will all interpret your survey questions the same way. To help you get started, below are 12 qualities of good survey questions to keep in mind when writing your surveys.

12 Things Good Survey Question Do…

#1: Evokes the truth. However, you should avoid sensitive questions.

#2: Asks for an answer on only one dimension. You will need to phrase the question to extract the exact information you need, and avoid the possibility of someone giving you an ambiguous response.

#3: Can accommodate all possible answers. A good practice is to allow for multiple responses. Don’t assume that you know it all.

#4: Has mutually exclusive options. (i.e. There should be only one correct or appropriate choice.)

#5: Flows well from the previous question. Your question transitions should be smooth and logical.

#6: Does not make erroneous assumptions.

#7: Does not imply a desired answer. Remember to use objectivity in your questions.

#8: Does not use emotionally loaded or vaguely defined words. Also remember not to use unfamiliar acronyms or abbreviations.

#9: Does not ask the respondent to rank more than five items in a given series.

#10: Puts personal questions at the end of the survey.

#11: Gives respondents the option to not answer the question.

#12: Uses one or two open-ended questions. This invokes direct, well thought out answers.

Types of Survey Questions

Here are some of the most common survey question types you could use:

  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Open Ended Questions
  • Close Ended Questions
  • ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ Answer Questions
  • Rating Scale Questions

Good Survey Questions to Ask

Depending on your subject matter, here are some examples of good survey questions to ask about a product/service or a brand/company.

  • What could we improve on?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how easy was it to use our product/service?
  • Would you recommend our product/service to a friend?
  • Why did you choose us over a competitor?
  • Did our product/service help you accomplish your goal?
  • Did we solve your problem?
  • How can we be more helpful?
  • What would you like to see from us?
  • How would you rate our customer service from 1-10?
  • Why did you choose this product/service?
  • Why are you canceling your service? 
  • Where did you hear about us?

Your survey will want to give you the right data so make sure to ask the right questions and phrase it in a way that’ll achieve what you’re looking for.

Looking for More Advice on How to Craft Effective CX Surveys and Good Survey Questions?

Over our decades of experience improving customer and employee experiences with the world’s most beloved brands, our experts have collected plenty of best practices and compiled them into various resources to help you inform your efforts! Wondering how to measure survey success? We’ve got you. What about increasing your response rates? We’ve got you there, too.

Check out this list of our most game-changing survey best practices here:

Focus on Your CX Program to Improve Your Response Rates

Clients frequently ask InMoment XI Strategist Eric Smuda how they can improve their response rates, which is a significant issue in the customer feedback and market research arenas. However, he believes the obsession with them is misguided and stuck in traditional market research methodology. The quality of the feedback you are getting is much more important than how many people answered a given question or the statistical significance of that sample size. Learn more here!

When to Send a Traditional Employee or Customer Experience Survey

What questions warrant sending a survey? Our experts advise a process of elimination that helps you understand which listening tools to use and when—and they’ve laid it out step by step in this asset!

How to Achieve Meaningful Listening Through Surveys

It can be tempting to send out surveys whenever you have a question, but effective surveys are part of a much larger strategy. Wondering how to craft that strategy? Our expert Andrew Park has you covered in this quick article.

How Short Should You Make Your Survey?

Most customer experience surveys are designed to be five minutes in length or shorter. However, we have seen a trend toward companies requesting even shorter customer experience surveys, often due to the impression that shorter surveys increase response rates. Their assumption is that customers are overwhelmed with surveys and therefore will only answer short ones. Is there empirical evidence to back up this perception? Find out in this white paper by expert Dave Ensing!

The Art and Science of Email Survey Invitations

We don’t know about yours, but our email inboxes are constantly flooded with requests from brands! So, how do you make your email survey invitations stand out, fetch great response rates, and collect quality data? Dave Ensing has the answers here!

Looking for more advice on how to craft good survey questions and even better surveys? Contact an InMoment sales representative today to inquire about InMoment Survey Design & Data Gathering Best Practices Consulting Services. And/or, sign up today for one or more survey training courses at InMoment University.

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The Beginner’s Guide to a Customer Journey Map

A customer journey map is a diagram of all the places customers come into contact with your brand, online or off. Each of these touchpoints influences the customer, and by analyzing customer behavior, feelings, and motivations around each touchpoint, you can begin to identify opportunities to establish more positive relationships by giving customers what they need at any given stage of their journey.

The goal of journey mapping is to gain a deeper understanding of your customer, how they interact with your brand, and how each interaction affects your relationship. It’s also a way to ensure that the brand experience remains consistent for each customer across touchpoints.

“With the number of touchpoints a customer has with a brand increasing with the proliferation of technologies and channels, the need to create a consistent experience is critically important.” – McKinsey & Company

But the big picture goal is why there is so much buzz around customer journey maps now:

A Customer journey map can move you towards more conversions, greater customer loyalty, and improved customer experience from end to end (or from end to forever, if you are subscription-based and there’s no bottom to your sales funnel).

But a customer journey map can be complicated to create, and the results can be difficult to track and interpret from end to end. Many businesses are tempted to ignore it altogether in favor of lower-hanging fruit to increase conversions.

However, that hesitancy to use journey maps is quickly disappearing as more companies are seeing the results from properly mapping their customer journeys.

And, if your company is struggling with the question: “Why aren’t customers completing (or repeating) purchases?” – there is no better time to create the map that will lead you to that answer.

SaaS companies optimize the customer journey with this 4-touchpoint approach from InMoment.

Customer Cartography: Where to Begin

“We found that a company’s performance on journeys is 35 percent more predictive of customer satisfaction and 32 percent more predictive of customer churn than performance on individual touchpoints. Since a customer journey often touches different parts of the organization, companies need to rewire themselves to create teams that are responsible for the end-to-end customer journey across functions.” – McKinsey & Company

Gather a Cross-Functional Team

As customers go through the various stages in the sales funnel, they cross departments from marketing to sales to product to customer success and customer service.

So it only makes sense that, when choosing your team for your customer journey mapping project, you have a representative from each of these departments involved. Having a cross-departmental team is vital to gaining the kind of understanding that is the whole point of the exercise.

“When a manager takes the lead to form a cohesive, customer-centric, interdepartmental team, it not only facilitates learning and accountability throughout the whole company, it can even change company culture for the better.” – Jessica Pfeifer, VP & General Manager, InMoment.

Define Customer Segments

Once your team is assembled, ask Marketing to list out each key customer segment.

Customer-Journey-Map-for- a-segments

Example of a segmented journey map

It’s extremely likely that each customer segment’s journey will be different. They’re likely finding you, and communicating with you, in different ways depending on demographic and psychographic variables.

That means, unless you only have one ideal customer persona, that you’ll actually be creating several customer journey maps, one for each segment.

Plot Touchpoints

Once you have your segments identified, it’s time to plot out your touchpoints for each one. How and when does your customer interact with your brand, your product, your team?

You can decide whether you will tackle the pre-acquisition journey, post-acquisition journey, or the whole thing.

touchpoint customer journey map

With touchpoints, there are the ones you have control over, and the ones you don’t. There are the ones you can track easily, and those you can’t. If your company advertises via billboard, for example, that can be hard to track, even if you survey customers.

Of the ones you can control and track, online touchpoints are the easiest. So start there. Ask your marketing team members to fill you in on what the top of the funnel looks like, what links are bringing people to your website, and how those people first heard of you. In the post-acquisition phase, Customer Success and Support own certain customer touchpoints, and are likely already gathering feedback about them from customers. These touchpoints may include the end of the onboarding cycle in SaaS, order delivery in ecommerce, and customer support interaction. The Product team may articulate journey points that are driven by behavior, such as feature adoption in SaaS or a purchase threshold in e-commerce. 

And, if the team doesn’t know already, don’t be afraid to ask the customers themselves – every step of this journey should be grounded in real customer data. At the same time, don’t let the exercise become overwhelming. You and your team may already have an intuitive sense of the journey. Get something documented and work to refine it over time. 

Gather Customer Data

You need more than touchpoints for your customer journey map. You need to know what’s happening at and around each touchpoint. You have to get inside the minds and hearts of the customers at every juncture to find out what they’re thinking, feeling, and needing to do.

Of these three, understanding customers’ emotions shouldn’t be given short shrift: 69% of consumers say that emotions count for over half their experiences.

Unless you have robust research from marketing and customer success departments already, you may want to gather all of this data, asking members of each segment – around every identified touchpoint – these questions:

  • What they’re thinking at that touchpoint
  • What they’re feeling at that touchpoint
  • What they need most at that touchpoint (use this as an indicator of buyer stage – awareness, research, choice reduction, purchase)
  • What their ultimate goal is (why are they here?)
  • What they do/did at that touchpoint (or use a session recording program to see exactly what they did, like hitting the “back” button when they land in the cart, etc.)

To get a pulse across your entire customer base, consider tracking core CX metrics. These include Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score. You can use your customer feedback software program to deploy at specific touchpoints, alerting you to places where people are experiencing trouble that will require more of your attention.

You may also need to conduct analytical research, taking a deep dive into your website/product analytics to find what users are doing and where they might be experiencing difficulty.

And don’t discount the data your customers volunteer on social media and review sites. You can gather valuable anecdotal evidence from a social media listening tool – as well as from the stories of your own customer success and customer service managers.

With this data, you can start to build a customer journey map for each segment persona, for each purchase stage, and each touchpoint, with an overlay for what they are thinking, feeling, wanting, doing, and most importantly, what they’re hoping to achieve.

The Customer Success Component

This is where we add Customer Success to the mix, ensuring that at each step, we have a crystal-clear understanding of each customer segment’s success milestones and ideal outcomes, so we can bridge any gaps between them.

Including customer success metrics, (particularly success milestones) in your customer journey map isn’t often. This is likely because customer journey mapping has been traditionally focused on the top end of the funnel – Acquisition, Decision, and Purchase phases.

But SaaS is different. The funnel doesn’t end with the purchase. The goal isn’t to sell once or twice, but to retain customers via subscription, which requires continually providing and increasing value.

SaaS businesses – you need to chart much more than any other industry and make each post-purchase touchpoint count towards getting your customers closer to their desired outcome.

And that focus turns touchpoints into stepping stones towards success milestones.

In practice, this means you’ll need to consider how touchpoints, especially after purchase, can be used to help your users make real, tangible progress.

Customer Journey Mapping Examples for SaaS, eCommerce, and Brick-and-Mortar Stores

There are so many ways to map your customer journey, and it can be difficult to decide what has to be in, and what may be less important to you depending on your type of business and your goals. Here are a few customer journey mapping examples from different types of industries that are mapping their customer journeys effectively. 

First, let’s look at two of the main ways you can organize your data: Linear or chart.

Linear: Works best when customers have fewer options for how they interact with you, or when you want to map the customer journey along a timeline.

Customer Experience map

Chart: Works best when you have touchpoints that meander in a nonlinear fashion.

Chart format customer journey map

Clearly, both types of charts can hold a lot of widely-varying information. And there are many more ways to map customer journeys too, like with emotion-centered maps.

Emotion-centered-customer-journey-map

Or journey by departments

Customer Journey map with department touchpoints

By need

CX-Map-by-customer-Need

Whichever way you choose to create your map, be sure to include what the customer feels and needs at every touchpoint, as well as how you can improve the one and deliver the other.

Here are some more examples by industry. Notice that no single map has everything.

SaaS example by InMoment

SaaS example by Telefonica

Saas Customer Journey

eCommerce: Lancome’s Brand Experience Map in Two Ways:

Experience journey

lancome cx journey

A slightly different angle:

lancome-brand-exp-journey

Brick-and-Mortar: Starbucks

Starbucks Customer Journey Map

Improving Customer Experience (CX): Start with a Simple Customer Journey Map

As you can see, there are many, many valid ways to approach a customer journey map.  The examples above reflect deep thinking and research — the result of intensive project work by these companies. Use them for inspiration.  Don’t let them stop you and your team from drafting a simple journey flow to get the ball rolling.

By dedicating even an afternoon to a cross-functional knowledge-sharing session you will likely come away with:

  • a more robust understanding of how your customers interact with and “experience” your company.
  • a basic journey map
  • 3-5 “low hanging fruit” opportunities for improvement

Your goal with all of this is to improve customer experience. Remember, there is a good reason for that. As Jake Sorofman, Research VP, Gartner says,  “As competition and buyer empowerment compounds, customer experience itself is proving to be the only truly durable competitive advantage.”

Good luck on your journey!

Measure and improve customer journey experience. Sign up today for free Net Promoter Score, CSAT or Customer Effort Score feedback with InMoment.

I Buy, Therefore I Am: The Psychology Behind Why We Choose Our Favorite Brands

What do the shoes you wear, the coffee you drink, and the car you drive say about you?

In what ways do your favorite brands help create your personal brand? How do they contribute to fulfilling your individual needs? And how do your shopping dollars help craft—and confirm—your personal identity?

Over the past few decades, InMoment has collected and analyzed feedback from billions of customer experiences. We’ve proven—time and again—the direct connection between the meaningful differentiation of these experiences and the success of a brand’s CX objectives, such as willingness to return to, recommend, and, ultimately, promote a business. The customer stories shared at various touch points throughout the customer journey not only capture the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes within each unique experience, but confirm the congruence—or lack thereof—between customer expectations and the reality of the experience delivered.

So, Why Do Customers Choose Their Favorite Brands?

While the intelligence derived from this feedback is critical for an organization to create optimal, personalized customer experiences that drive business value, there is another salient factor that drives consumer behavior: customer-brand identity.

This concept is derivative of social identity theory and describes “an active, selective, and volitional psychological process in which customers compare their own identity to that of the company and identify with the company if it can fulfill one or more self-differential needs.” This connection between consumer and brand is much deeper and more meaningful than a singular experience; therefore, it has a greater potential impact on long-term loyalty, advocacy, and value.

A Few Examples from Best-In-Class Brands

Best-in-class brands know if they create a promise, product, and experience that evokes an identity worth aspiring to, customers will pay to align with and even promote it—increasing the lifetime value of the relationship.

Nike

For instance, professional athletes across the world wear Nike; however, the sweeping majority of Nike customers are not actually world-class and/or Olympic athletes. Yet, when a shoe represents something we identify with or aspire to attain, we’re drawn to it. The truth is, most Nike customers are just like you and me: casual athletes or city dwellers who are drawn to the aura of innovation and inspiration associated with The Swoosh. This is a perfect example of a co-created brand identity that satisfies customer needs while staying true to the brand’s promise.

Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. is another example. The blue box and white ribbon exude elegance, class, and sophistication, and therefore, the legacy luxury brand has both the benefit and challenge of living up to a well-established customer expectation. The exclusivity and allure of the iconic Tiffany Experience throughout the entire customer journey—advertising, web presence, in-store experience, packaging, unwrapping, and ownership (of both the jewelry and box!)—is about so much more than a brilliant piece of jewelry. It’s about how we see ourselves, what we aspire to, our connection with the brand, and our identity. And that’s where true brand loyalty is born.

Retail Pharmacy

The same philosophy rings true for more utilitarian industries, such as a leading retail pharmacy. While these entities are most commonly visited when people are feeling under the weather, this brand has not resigned itself to being just a drugstore. Instead, it has deliberately positioned itself as a center for wellness, from its on-site illness-prevention services to its comprehensive loyalty program (aptly named wellness+) to its online and in-store imagery and messaging focused on healthy families and happy lives. Yes, you can visit Rite Aid to buy diapers or have your prescription filled, but the company’s promise is to be a partner in long-term health and wellness that goes beyond a single interaction.

Becoming a Part of Your Customers’ Lives

Brands like Nike, Tiffany & Co., and others have moved beyond simple, transactional customer satisfaction (which has low self-referentiality), and have found ways to integrate how customers see themselves within the brand’s offering. It’s more than a product or even an experience—it’s an identity. All things being equal, self-perception and aspiration are often the prevailing factors in choosing one product or brand over another.

Creating a strong, enduring customer-brand identity is also a competitive inoculation strategy. It is evident that the more customers identify with a brand, the more resistant they are to competitive attempts at winning their business. In addition, as their identity with a brand strengthens, so does their intent to repurchase and willingness to pay more for goods and services (e.g., waiting all year for a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte or immediately upgrading to the newest Apple iPhone).

5 Steps to Becoming Your Customers’ Favorite Brand

So how does a brand integrate so seamlessly into a customer’s life? Creating a strong customer-brand identity that leads to fervent loyalty may seem like a tall order, only achievable by the most established brands. There are, however, steps organizations can take right now to begin building nearly unbreakable customer relationships.

Step #1: Listen to Your Customers (and Understand What They’re Saying and Feeling)

Most brands have formalized listening channels to track customer satisfaction in real time. And while guiding metrics like NPS and OSAT can serve as barometers for how well the company is meeting customer expectations, do not ignore customer stories (e.g., feedback, social reviews, and conversations) delivered through narratives, videos, images, and audio recordings. Customer stories, both solicited and unsolicited, speak the full truth about your customer-brand identity. For this, you need powerful analytics capabilities that can derive meaning from the explicit and implicit emotions that relate to identity, and arm your company with targeted insights, prescriptive recommendations, and predictive foresight.

Step #2: Understand Your Industry, Position, and Competition

Creating a strong customer-brand identity is also about offering a differentiated experience from your competitors. In addition to customer stories, competitive benchmarking can help your brand understand its position in the market; yet, going beyond simple rankings is imperative. As our team analyzes over one million pieces of customer feedback each day, we find that specific competitors are mentioned frequently—especially when an experience fails to meet expectations. These consumers often cite the reasons why a competitor fits better with who they are and why they may return to that brand despite past negative experiences. Understanding where you sit in your competitive universe is important, but unless you know the reasons why consumers choose products or brands, a clear and actionable path to meaningful customer experiences will remain a mystery.

Step #3: Engineer a Clearly-Defined—and Customer-Aligned—Brand Identity.

Understanding your customer base, and more importantly, what drives loyalty for your brand, is critical when crafting and delivering your promise to consumers. Your presentation and offering must be in line with their self-concept and aspiration—especially those with the highest lifetime value. Remember the Tiffany example? The customer-brand identity is at play throughout the customer journey, from research to purchase to ownership. Your brand’s identity must be omnipresent, continually feeding the customer-brand relationship.

Step #4: Create a Congruent Culture

Have you ever gone shopping and dealt with an employee who clearly did not want to be there? Of course you have. Likewise, it’s evident when employees are not only brand advocates, but likely, customers themselves. For example, at Cabela’s, the frontline staff (also known as Outfitters) are more than just salespeople and cashiers—they’re experienced adventurers with a passion for the outdoors. Further, Outfittersare experts in the department in which they work, allowing them to elicit each customer’s individual needs and give personalized advice. Employees are an extension of your brand, and trust me, your customers have taken notice. Creating products, processes, and a culture aligned with your brand’s identity is infectious. When leaders and frontline employees identify with and advocate for your brand, they will create experiences that exceed customer expectations.

Step #5: Connect Through Experiences

There’s no simpler way to build customer-brand identity and loyalty than through experiences that are meaningful and authentic to that specific, co-created brand identity. In the hospitality industry, nobody does this better than a major North American Quick Service Brand. This home away from home is modeled after a traditional Southern general store with a singular mission: pleasing people. So rather than waiting for your table in a sterile holding area or on a cramped bench, guests can browse aisles of delicious country goodness, creating a seamless retail + dining journey—nary found anywhere else. Experiences that are unique to your brand’s culture, are meaningful to guests, and show you care about your customers are worth their weight in CX gold.

Wrapping Things Up

Understanding the underlying psychological mechanisms that motivate consumers to choose, stay, and advocate for brands is a critical endeavor in creating competitive advantage. By moving beyond fulfilling customers’ basic, utilitarian needs and building an ecosystem where who the customer is—or wants to be—integrates with what the brand offers, companies can develop an identity that actualizes customers’ higher-order needs. Using the aforementioned strategies, it’s no wonder the world’s leading brands have outlasted their competitors—crafting products and experiences that fulfill the deep-seated psychological needs of their customers. If trends in CX continue on their current trajectory, the necessity of customer-brand identification will determine who wins in the marketplace.

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How InMoment Assists with Regulatory Compliance

The challenges involved in regulatory compliance vary greatly between industries, countries, and companies. But many compliance tools lack flexibility or are missing key technologies for parsing complex structures in legal, medical and financial documents. That’s where InMoment comes in.

Leverage InMoment to Lower Your Regulatory Compliance Costs and Risks

InMoment helps you tackle compliance challenges involving text data through “semi-custom” solutions. We combine semi-structured data parsing, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning with other features and technology suited to your specific problems. By working from our existing infrastructure through a staged Proof of Concept, we reduce your initial investment and deliver tangible results more quickly. 

We don’t “solve” or automate your entire industry. Instead, we help you improve existing compliance processes and scale your compliance teams more easily, resulting in lower costs and reduced risk across your organization.

Your Regulatory Compliance Technology Toolkit

Curious about the tech InMoment provides that will help you get the job done? Here’s an overview of your toolkit:

Natural Language Processing Features

  • Sentiment Analysis: Combine natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning techniques to assign weighted sentiment scores to the entities, topics, themes and categories within a sentence or phrase.
  • Theme Analysis: Use natural language processing (NLP) to break down sentences into n-grams and noun phrases and then evaluate the themes and facets within.
  • Entity Recognition:  Identify people, places, and things within a piece of text.
  • Categorization: Categorize customer reviews, support tickets, or any other type of text document into groups based on their contents.
  • Intention Extraction: Determine the expressed intent of customers and reviewers.
  • Summarization: Extract the most relevant sentences from each document so you can quickly understand the main ideas without spending valuable time reading the whole document.

Semi-Structured Data Parsing: A powerful tool for identifying and extracting text data from PDFs, .docx files and other “semi-structured” documents while understanding the structures and relationships of each element.

Machine Learning: Custom machine learning “micromodels” to tackle unique challenges in your data, such as entity recognition on ambiguous company names or classifying news articles into pre-defined topic lists.

Add-ons and Integrations: 

  • ​​Low-level NLP configuration
  • Custom user interfaces
  • Specific technology integrations
  • Feedback loops for model training
  • User and project management tools
  • Database/warehouse hookups
  • Upload wizards and connectors
  • …. And more

InMoment for Regulatory Compliance in Action: A Quick Case Study

InMoment has helped brands across healthcare, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, financial services, and more, but today we will share a financial services case study.

An Australian financial services firm needed help ensuring their compliance with federal disclosure mandates across hundreds of Statement of Advice (SoA) documents. Before, the firm’s auditors manually reviewed a subset, but this process was slow and unreliable.

InMoment focused on improving the firm’s existing audit process. First, we trained our semi-structured data parser to understand the underlying structure of SoAs. Then we configured our NLP to identify, extract and analyze entities within each section. Finally, we built a connector to structure and export this data into an easy-to-scan spreadsheet.

“InMoment’s solution for financial services disclosure compliance identifies, analyzes and structures key data from Statement of Advice documents for internal review.”

This solution substantially reduces the firm’s noncompliance risk by empowering regulatory compliance auditors to review hundreds of documents in minutes. Now they can quickly and reliably spot missing disclosures, suspicious recommendations, and other areas where advisors may not be working in their clients’ best interests.

To learn more about how InMoment can help revolutionize your approach to regulatory compliance, check out our dedicated website here.

Do Companies Recognize the High CX Value of Employee Advocates?

This article was originally posted on CustomerThink.com

Do companies recognize the high customer experience (CX) value of employee advocates? Shouldn’t they want to cultivate the kind of behavior advocacy represents?

That’s my belief. And, because of dramatic, behavior-shaping trends in the world of talent and skills availability, significant and lasting disruptions in the way people work, and the greater independence of today’s employees, I’m convinced they should both recognize and cultivate it.

The EX/CX Connection

Employees are the key, critical common denominator in optimizing the customer experience. Very often, either directly or indirectly, they are at the intersection of customer/vendor experience. Making the experience for customers positive and attractive at each point where the company interacts with them requires an in-depth understanding of both customer needs and how what the company currently does achieves that goal, particularly through the employees. That means that companies must seek to understand, and leverage, the impact employees have on customer behavior. Further, and equally important, they must focus on optimizing the employee experience.

Supporters of employee satisfaction and engagement programs, research and training techniques, with their focus on retention, productivity, and fit or alignment with business objectives, have made some broad, bold, and often unchallenged, assertions with respect to how these states impact customer behavior. Chief among these is that, beyond skills, everyday performance, and even commitment to act in the best interest of their employers, employees have natural tendencies and abilities to deliver customer value, fueled by emotion and subconscious intuition.

Though on the surface this sounds plausible, and even rather convincing, a thorough examination of how employee satisfaction and engagement link to customer behavior will yield only a tenuous, assumptive and anecdotal connection. In other words, there is much vocal punditry, and even whole books, on this subject, but little substantive proof of connection or cause.

Powerful and advanced research can generate insights which enable B2B and B2C companies to identify current levels of employee commitment, and it provides actionable direction on how to help them become more contributory and active brand advocates. Employee advocacy, as an advanced EX core concept and research protocol, was designed to build and sustain stronger and more commitment-based and rewarding employee experiences and also improved customer experiences, driving the loyalty and advocacy behavior of both stakeholder groups, and in turn increasing sales and profits.

It is often stated (especially by corporate CEOs) that the greatest asset of a company is its employees. Emotionally-based research has uncovered specifically how an organization can link, drive and leverage employee attitudes and behavior to expand customer-brand bonding and bottom-line performance. This is advanced EX, some might even say it is revolutionary! Employee advocacy research can be combined with existing customer and employee loyalty solutions to provide companies with comprehensive and actionable insights on the state of their employees’ attitudes and action propensities, and how those may be affecting customer behavior.

Employee advocacy identifies new categories and key drivers of employee subconscious emotional and rational commitment, while it also links with the emotional and rational aspects of customer commitment. At the positive and negative poles, these employee-focused commitment categories include:

Defining Employee Advocates (And Employee Saboteurs)

– Advocates, the employees who are most committed to their employer. Advocates represent employees who are strongly committed to the company’s brand promise, the organization itself, and its customers. They also behave and communicate in a consistently positive manner toward the company, both inside and outside.

– Saboteurs, the employees who are the least committed to their employer. Saboteurs are active and frequently vocal detractors about the organization itself, its culture and policies, and its products and services. These individuals are negative advocates, communicating their low opinions and unfavorable perspectives both to peers inside the company and to customers, and others, outside the company.

In any group of employees, irrespective of whether they are in a service department, technical specialty, or a branch office, there will be differing levels of commitment to the company, its value proposition and brands, and its customers. If employees are negative to the point of undermining, and even sabotaging customer experience value and company or brand reputation, they will actively work against business goals. However, if employees are advocates, and whether they interact with customers directly, indirectly, or even not at all, they will better serve and support the organization’s customers.

Employee Advocates are Essential to Customer Experience—and Overall—Success

Where customer experience is concerned, it is essential to remember that organizations and brands looking to succeed in today’s competitive climate have successfully embedded CX into their cultures, from the C-level executive to the frontline employee. They prosper by using insights generated from a variety of channels and touchpoints, including employees, integrated with customer data from multiple sources, mined by sophisticated text analytics technologies, and then channeled to steer and guide every corner of their businesses.

The more successful the brand and organization, the more evident that the approaches taken are both bottom-up and top-down. This helps ensure a more strategic and real-world view of stakeholder behavior. Truly effective organizations have wisely invested key resources in the stakeholder experience. and at every level of the enterprise. Their leaders, likewise, focus on both individual and collective accomplishment.

This kind of achievement and fulfillment requires that experiences be optimized for all stakeholders. It’s a simple, basic premise, but it works – now and for the future. Ideally, there should be a direct linkage back and forth between the leader, the employee, and the customer. This is where employee advocacy, like the edelweiss flower, can bloom and grow.

The Secret to Improving Your CX Survey Response Rates

It is a fact that CX survey response rates have been declining. Additionally, we are being surveyed more and more every day about every mundane thing in our lives. Even the federal government is in on it—an executive order in 1993 directed federal agencies to gather public feedback on how well they delivered services and to strive to offer a comparable level of customer experience with private companies. Orders similar to that one have continued into the present day.

But, with surveys being the lifeblood of nearly all customer experience (CX) programs, what is a CX practitioner to do to improve their CX survey response rates? Much has been written about the tactical things a survey owner can do: list hygiene,  fatigue or quarantine rules, visual appeal of the invitation, subject line, formatting, time estimates in the invitation, etc.  And while these elements can have some impact, they are temporary band-aids for the over-surveying problem.

The Secret to Improving CX Survey Response Rates Is…

I’ll let you in on a secret: if you truly want to improve and sustain your response rates, look to your CX program (specifically your closed loop processes). There are two critical things any company can do to improve its response rates, and they tie back to the inner and outer loop concepts described in the Net Promoter SystemSM.

You’ve probably heard that it’s vital for organizations to close these loops, as doing so can help you achieve everything from Experience Improvement (XI) to enhanced customer retention and sustained business growth. That’s true!  But effectively closing these loops also provides an incentive and opens a door for continuous feedback from your customers or members.

The Inner Loop

The inner loop refers to the systems, processes, and teams that organizations use to respond to customers one-on-one to address negative feedback. Having an effective inner closed loop process is of obvious importance to any company that wants to keep its doors open, let alone create a differentiated and meaningful experience for customers. Fail to close the inner loop, and you open the “leaky bucket.”

However, if you can build a system that allows you to receive customer feedback, analyze it for actionable insights, and respond both meaningfully and expediently, you’ll have a much easier time retaining customers and extending their lifetime value. You will learn more about their individual preferences and may even potentially cross-sell or upsell them to additional products and services.

There is also plenty of research that demonstrates that customers whose complaints have been successfully resolved tend to leave higher review scores than customers who never had a complaint in the first place! Finally, by responding to customers when they have complaints, you demonstrate that you have listened and acted on their feedback, giving them a strong incentive to provide feedback again in the future.

The Outer Loop

The scope of the outer loop is considerably wider than that of the inner loop and requires more organizational resources, cross-silo cooperation, and team coordination.  Rather than focus on individual customer interactions and complaint resolution, the outer loop is about the actions your organization takes on the collective feedback you’re receiving to drive Experience Improvement and communicate those improvements back to a much broader segment of customers (if not your entire customer base). The one-on-one interactions that comprise the inner loop are certainly important, but the outer loop is all about incorporating those into a cumulative group effort to drive sustained Experience Improvement.

This improves your CX survey response rates by demonstrating to all customers that your organization truly does care about feedback and attempts to take action to improve the overall customer experience. This provides a feedback incentive even for customers who may not have shared it in the past, as they see the direct benefit.

Widening Focus

Click here to read my full-length Point of View on how focusing on your CX program will actually help you achieve better outcomes. In the meantime, take advantage of anything you might have learned here to meaningfully improve your inner and outer loop processes. I promise you you’ll see a difference.

5 Things Brands Need to Know About the Gen Z Customer Experience (and Employee Experience)

If we were to sum up what brands need to know about Gen Z customer experience preferences (and employee experience preferences) in a few words, it would go something like this: they’re different. Revolutionary even. This may seem like an oversimplification, but when you think about it, Gen Z grew up in a world that is more connected than ever, has more access than ever, and accomplishes everything faster than ever. It makes sense, then, that their standards for customer and employee experiences would be higher than ever, too.

Because Gen Z makes up 26% of the global population, their preferences should already be playing a significant role in your business strategy—and their influence will only grow! That’s why we put a magnifying glass over these emerging consumers and employees in our recent 2022 Experience Trends report, to give you the intelligence you need to create a positive impact with Gen Z, whether you’re trying to convince them to become loyal customers or recruit them to be engaged employees. 

Here’s what you need to know according to our data:

What Is Most Important for the Gen Z Customer Experience & Employee Experience?

Tip #1: Seamless and Efficient Experiences Are a Must

We’ve spent a lot of time on the InMoment blog discussing the importance of a seamless experience. It doesn’t matter what channel or touchpoint, your customers and employees should have a sense of consistency every time they interact with your brand. And for Gen Z, seamless experiences are table stakes when it comes to maintaining their loyalty. Gen Z shops both online and in store, so it’s imperative that they are able to experience the same level of convenience, personalization, and general experience excellence across the board.

Tip #2: Gen Z Is Unlikely to Complete a Traditional CX or EX Survey

Get ready for a mic drop moment: Gen Z is simply less likely to fill out a traditional survey. In the course of our research we found that:

  • In the US:
    • Only 19% of your emerging customers (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey
    • Only 22% of your emerging employees (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey
  • In Canada:
    • Only 28% of your emerging customers (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey
    • Only 41% of your emerging employees (Gen Z) are likely to complete a traditional survey

So what feedback collection methods should you be using if you want to gauge the Gen Z customer experience? We suggest  Microsurveys, social media and review sites, and live chat to gain the intelligence you need to compete for Gen Z’s loyalty.

Thinking of adapting your approach to customer experience surveys, and customer feedback in general? Our experts have derived a four step process to help you leverage all of your data, and only send surveys when they’ll be most effective. Check it out for free here!

Tip #3: Social Media Influencers Have Significant Reach

Gen Z’s first exposure to your brand is likely via social media, and more specifically, through social media influencers. We asked Gen Z consumers about whether they used an influencer code to make a purchase in 2021, and if they are likely to use influencer discount codes in the upcoming year. Here’s what they told us:

  • One of three emerging Gen Z customers had used a social influencer code in 2021
  • One of three emerging Gen Z customers were planning to use a code in 2022

From these numbers, it’s clear social media influencers will continue to, well, influence the emerging consumer. If you haven’t considered leveraging influences to acquire new customers, then it’s time to start!

Tip #4: Strong Brand Values Are Make-or-Break 

Gen Z has high standards when it comes to the brands they support, and even higher standards for the brands they work for. When looking into a possible employer, our research found that Gen Z is looking for three primary values. Here they are as explained by Gen Z:

  1. Culture: “[I] am likely to choose a [company] that allows me to express myself […] and [get] creative with mentorship and support.”
  2. Diversity: “I’m looking for [a company] that bring in diverse [experiences and] talents that can challenge one another.”
  3. Connectivity: “I believe that success [means] bringing everyone together […] we all [want] to be part of the equation [not just our executives].”

To successfully recruit this value-driven generation, brands should take care to emphasize these core values in job descriptions, internal messaging, and beyond.

Tip #5: Gen Z Has Little Tolerance for Bad Behavior

We’ve all seen the news stories: customers in store or aboard flights displaying outlandishly bad behavior when confronted with mask policies or low stock of desired items, and taking their anger out on employees. We were curious about what Gen Z thought of these displays and whether it affected their perception of the brand involved.

We asked, “What would you think if you witnessed a customer acting aggressively toward an employee at a place of business?” Gen Z responded with overwhelming compassion for the employee in the situation, and even mentioned that “I would interject […] No one should be treated that way.” 

What Are You Doing to Prepare for the Next Generation of Consumers & Employees?

As Gen Z becomes an even more prominent customer and employee segment, their CX and and EX preferences will become even more important to your business. So what are you doing today to emphasize and enable Gen Z customer experience expectations? How are you connecting with them? How are you collecting feedback from them to understand how they perceive your brand?

You need to have a strategy in place, and our experts are here to help. Learn how our XI Platform can support your efforts to create optimize Gen Z customer experiences by reaching out to us here or in the chatbot at the lower right hand corner of your screen.
You can also read more from our 2022 Experience Trends Report here!

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2022 Experience Trends: What Employees & Customers Think About Evolving COVID Safety Measures

It’s never been more important to stay tuned into employee and customer experience trends. In the past few years, businesses have had to pivot countless times in order to adapt the experiences they provide customers, employees, and the greater market. But keeping up with quickly evolving employee and customer expectations is easier said than done.

This is where InMoment’s newest report comes in. The “2022 Experience Trends Report: Four Trends That Are Changing Customer & Employee Experiences This Year” just dropped, and we wanted to give you a sneak peek! But before we dive into the data, we wanted to tell you more about how the report was created.

About the 2022 Experience Trends Report

InMoment’s Strategic Insights Team collected data from both consumers and employees of brands across North America from 11 different industries including retail, financial services, entertainment, grocery, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, restaurants, and more.

Previous InMoment Trends Reports have focused primarily on the customer experience (CX), but today, businesses have more experience stakeholders than ever before—including your employees and even the folks who may not have made a purchase, yet have an impression of your brand. 

This report encapsulates the perspectives of all of these experience stakeholders so you can use these trends to shape your strategies for customer experience, human resources, digital, marketing, and more!

Using InMoment’s Market Pulse™, the team asked strategic questions around three key topics: 

  • The future stakeholder journey: Customer and employee expectations for 2022; what are the new drivers of loyalty, retention, and acquisition?
  • The ‘new’ world of experience: Understanding how brands across industries need to adapt the digital and in-store experience.
  • Emerging internal and external personas: What will emerging customers and employees look like? How can brands meet their needs?

The report also includes insights from both indirect and inferred data to provide a holistic view of the state of customer and employee experiences. It also cross references data from previous iterations of InMoment’s previous annual trends reports.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the findings of the first of the four trends we revealed in the 2022 Experience Trends REport!

Trend #1: Experience Standards Are Changing… Again

A Word About COVID 

We know: everyone is tired of talking about the novel Coronavirus. But if we didn’t mention it, we’d be remiss, especially since mask mandates and other safety measures are still common. What we wanted to know is how experience stakeholders feel about the possible loosening of these protocols.

We found that 1 in 2 consumers and employees were comfortable with the possible reduction of COVID restrictions and precautions in the coming year.

2022 CX Trends: What customers and employees think about evolving COVID measures

And when we dove deeper, it became clear that both consumers and employees were excited at the prospect of COVID becoming less of a factor in their experiences, especially compared to a year ago.

Check out the differences in the comments from the beginning of 2021 versus the end of the  year:

2022 CX trends report shows adapting attitudes of employees and customers when it comes to COVID-19

How You Can Take Action

Now that you understand the changes that are coming to your experiences, we have a few actions you can take to adapt and succeed next year:

Adapt Quickly and Early

It seems like “agility” has been the MVP in the past few years. With ever-changing restrictions and safety measures, you’ve had to keep your finger on the pulse to meet customer and employee needs. But don’t stop now! With journeys evolving at a fast pace, you need to avoid a “set it and forget it” mentality. Make sure you are continuously coming back to your customer and employee feedback so you can keep up with their expectations.

Above All, Be Human

If we’ve learned anything in the past few years, it’s that your customers and employees need you to truly care about their experiences, and even moreso, the role your brand plays in their lives. Customer response to options like “buy online and pickup in store” are great examples of this; brands understood that safety was the number one priority for customers and provided safe ways to engage. This kind of understanding is essential for moving forward.

Want to read more about the trends impacting the employee and customer in 2022? Click here to review more findings in our interactive report!

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