Relationship Goals: Using Surveys to Capture Complete Brand Experiences

If I asked you to picture a survey, you’d probably think of that email you receive after buying something online or having worked your way through a call center phone tree. These transactional surveys, as they’re called, are ubiquitous in today’s customer experience landscape and are effective for learning how customers feel about short-term brand experiences.

But what about long-term brand experiences, though? What kind of survey do organizations use if they want to know how customers feel about every facet of their brand experience from top to bottom? This is where the relationship survey comes into play.

The Impression That I Get

While transactional surveys are designed to evaluate purchases, website feedback processes, and other specific interactions, relationship surveys ask customers to reflect on their entire experience with a brand—not just their most recent. 

Effective relationship surveys ask customers how well a brand is delivering against its principles, as well as for their impressions of recent changes or news. These surveys may also ask for customers’ impressions of a brand’s messaging on key topics, such as the environment.

Take the Good With the Bad

Relationship surveys ask customers about their entire brand experience, so there’s a chance that those individuals will throw some improvement suggestions in with the praise. I’ve never seen a brand score a perfect 10 with its customers all the time, so some disapproval is to be expected with this type of survey. No matter the score, though, getting a survey back means that a brand can begin improving how customers perceive it over time.

It’s important to remember, though, that relationship surveys connect directly to customers’ thoughts and opinions about an entire brand experience. This means that these surveys are an ideal means of identifying problem areas and room for improvement that transactional surveys may not identify. From what I’ve seen over the years, the more of this feedback an organization can gather, the better positioned it will be to achieve meaningful change and close intelligence gaps. 

Being Tactical

What specifically might companies keep an eye out for as they solicit this kind of feedback? Well, for a start, many relationship surveys ask customers to compare their current impression of a brand with the one they may have had previously. In addition, these surveys are an excellent means of asking customers for their opinions on an organization’s values, ethics, and the direction it’s taking.

Survey Synthesis

Relationship surveys are comprehensive, high-speed tools that can deliver a high volume of feedback in a short span of time. Brands that use them can understand what their audience thinks about a variety of different interactions, and create a cumulative sense of how their relationships with customers are changing over time. 

As previously commented, there are other types of surveys that are better for, say, gauging how customers feel about specific transactions and other short-term brand experiences. Organizations that employ multiple types of surveys can gain all of this context and be better positioned for success because of that. 

No matter how many kinds of surveys an organization may use, though, they’re all only as relevant as the action that companies take with them. Proactivity and a willingness to act on feedback are the keys to a successful survey strategy. This is no less true for relationship surveys than for any other kind of questionnaire.

If you would like to learn more about relationship surveys—and how you can pair them with transactional surveys—check out “Uniting Transactional and Relationship Surveys to Capture the Entire Experience” today!

3 Steps for Turning Customer Feedback Into Product Innovation

Optimizing the customer experience for success is a necessity in today’s competitive business environment. And, for any initiative, customer data is the perfect place to start adjusting your strategy. With careful planning, analysis, and execution, you can transform CX intelligence into effective product innovation.

Our webinar, “From Information to Innovation: Using Customer Data to Drive Product Innovation,” helps you identify ways to leverage your CX program to sustain product enhancements that delight customers and drive loyalty. What follows are three notable, in-depth takeaways from that webinar that your organization can leverage to optimize its customer experience strategy.

Start with customer data.

It’s no secret there’s an abundance of data, but it’s rare for that data to produce any drastic change by itself. Often, the hardest part of listening to customers is figuring out which information to utilize and how. Start by taking a hard look at the data you have available, whether it’s surveys, comments, or employee feedback. Then, with either a skilled CX professional or a data-ingesting experience intelligence platform (or, ideally, both), you can begin to piece together information to find common themes.

Scrutinizing the information you already have allows your business to identify problem areas and to improve. Be sure to prioritize the most prevalent issues your company is facing that also have the biggest impact on customer experience. With solid listening tools in place, you can leverage existing insights to drive a better experience for customers across all facets of your organization.  Sometimes, the customer voice at one touch point may even provide insight for a completely different improvement opportunity!

Leverage intelligence tools to fuel strategy.

To go from knowing about a problem to fixing it, you need a plan. Fueling your business with CX intelligence resources and professionals gives product teams specific goals to work toward and issues to resolve. For example, the goal of fixing your product’s layout is much more tangible than broadly improving customer satisfaction (though a properly packaged CX business intelligence tool can enable both).  “Artful” listening allows teams to transcend the superficial to find both deep insights and the root causes of problems.

Your organization’s issues are unique and complex, and should be treated as such. With the right tools, authority, and people, problems can be squashed quicker and more efficiently. Specificity, context, and attention to detail are all unique to CX intelligence—and by leveraging these elements, you can improve your product.

Act quickly, but consistently. 

Achievable success is always the goal, but sustainable growth can be particularly elusive. The key? Proactivity. Data-ingesting experience platforms allow organizations to identify problem areas and develop specific improvement initiatives, but it’s what your teams do after that that really counts.  Bring cross-functional teams together to digest data, tie it to operational processes, and help product teams prioritize long-term change.

Additionally, be sure to measure success so that a model of “listen-understand-improve-monetize” can be repeated. Oftentimes, when working with smart tools, smart people are underutilized. It’s important that your organization treats intelligence as an enabler for customer experience, not a replacement for it.

When companies prioritize CX innovation, they have a much easier time turning hard-won insights into meaningful innovation. After that first win, CX practitioners can establish enough credibility to drive even more success for their organization. Use your wins to both justify the importance of CX to executives and to see the business grow firsthand.

To hear more about how you can utilize your customer feedback to transform your product, watch the full webinar for free today!

How Would You Rate Your Experience? A Primer on Transactional Surveys

Surveys are one of the most direct and effective means of gathering insights. They provide what many customers crave most: an easy-to-access platform they can use to voice their thoughts and opinions about a brand.

To make this process as efficient as possible (and to make it simpler for companies to source different kinds of feedback), several types of surveys have emerged over the years that make it easy to focus on customers’ opinions about transactions, brand relationships, and the like. I’ve found one such questionnaire, the transactional survey, to be an invaluable tool for assessing almost any customer touchpoint. Let’s briefly discuss how it works.

The Meaning Behind The Name

Transactional surveys can be used to gauge many touchpoints, but the one they’re typically associated with (and the one they’re named for) is a key part of the brand experience: the sale. In my experience, transactional surveys are an ideal way to gauge customers’ immediate feelings about a purchase because they can be used to solicit feedback quickly.

I’ve seen organizations use this tool to learn everything about their customers’ short-term brand experience, including ease-of-purchase and how quickly that package actually arrived. Customers keep a company going—it literally pays to listen to them.

Need to Make a Call?

Transactional surveys are a great way for customers to gauge purchases, but their utility extends far beyond the point of sale. I’ve also seen them be useful for evaluating call center experiences.

Poor call center interactions can quickly land an organization in a sea of bad reviews, but transactional surveys can provide an opportunity to ensure smooth operations, source invaluable feedback, and demonstrate that a company cares about their customer experience. Because surveys can be used to gather all of these insights quickly, I’ve found them to be a valuable tool for streamlining both customer experiences and feedback.

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Whether a customer is browsing an about page or trying to file a product claim, transactional surveys can easily be incorporated into website feedback tools. Companies can implement just about any question at just about any website touchpoint, making it simple to quickly collect feedback about website language, page click orders, and a host of other user experience elements.

This type of feedback is where transactional surveys’ ability to deliver feedback in real time is especially helpful. Companies can be made aware of website flaws or customer complaints just after they occur, enabling product teams to correct mistakes and respond to feedback faster.

Survey Symbiosis

There’s no better means of capturing immediate feedback about a short-term brand experience than with transactional surveys. Their speed, size, and ease of use make them an invaluable way to connect customers and organizations.

I also believe, though, that while transactional surveys provide plenty of valuable information on their own, there are other types of surveys that can deliver insights that are just as valuable for other purposes. Companies that blend multiple types of surveys into a single feedback strategy can gain a much richer portrait of their audience.

Regardless of how many kinds of surveys an organization uses, though, they’re all only as relevant as the action that companies take with them. Proactivity and a willingness to act on feedback are the keys to whether a survey strategy is ultimately successful. That’s no less true for transactional surveys than for any other insight-gathering tool.

If you would like to learn more about transactional surveys—and how you can pair them with relationship surveys—check out “Uniting Transactional and Relationship Surveys to Capture the Entire Experience” today!

Step into Their Shoes: Creating Personalized, Inclusive Experiences with Foot Locker

We live in a fast-paced and sometimes disconnected, impersonal world. Many prefer texting to calling or face-to-face communication.  We shop online for convenience—and because some of us just don’t feel like interacting with a sales associate. Waiting in line at a store or having to call into a service center can be painful. When the retail experience can sometimes be a hassle, why would we bother buying at brick and mortar when we can from the comfort of our homes?

Retailers are struggling to find their fit in this new world: How do they overhaul the retail experience, bring it into the 21st century, and re-engage with this new type of customer in a personalized and inclusive way?

Customer feedback across many different industries shows one common thread: People want to connect with the brands they love in more than just a transactional way. CX intelligence can help revamp the entire experience, from in-store to online—even in the way brands listen to customers.

Our focus at InMoment is to help retailers embrace the future of feedback and create inclusive and personalized experiences for every type of customer. At Forrester CXSF, we partnered with Foot Locker to share how the global retailer is innovating the customer experience at three main touchpoints to bring about a retail transformation.                

How Consolidated Data Helps Foot Locker Gain Holistic Insights

Consolidating its siloed data into one platform with InMoment, Foot Locker was able to carefully identify a diverse array of customer types, from the sneakerhead who wants the latest and greatest in footwear to up their street cred, to the senior citizen who just wants a comfy pair of kicks. In between are the in and out power shoppers, non-sneakerheads, and many others.

 By specifying different categories of customers, Foot Locker has been able to design personalized and inclusive experiences in-store, online, and during the feedback process. 

Foot Locker’s Power Stores and pop-up retail spots are celebrating the local culture of the neighborhoods they serve. Different from the traditional brick and mortar store, Power Stores are a hub for local sneaker culture, art, music, and sports—featuring wall designs from local artists, and custom shoe designs celebrating their hometown. 

With its pop-up stores, Foot Locker is literally meeting customers where they are, setting up shop for instance in parks where kids are playing ball. By partnering with big brands like Nike, sports stars, and other celebrities, Foot Locker is building a stronger brand connection for its customers, building relationships that will continue to attract them to brick and mortar stores. 

These innovative in-store designs are the result of Foot Locker truly understanding who its customers are, thanks to data consolidation. 

When it comes to feedback, Foot Locker partnered with InMoment to create a more personalized and engaging survey experience. Using InMoment’s Video Feedback and Image Upload capabilities, customers can tell their own stories in their own way.  For example, Video Feedback helped customers alert Foot Locker about online orders that arrived in damaged or crumpled shoeboxes. With Video Feedback, Foot Locker can see, hear, and better understand the customer’s emotion by their tone of voice and body language, and it’s a fast and easy way for customers of all ages to interact with the retailer without having to go to the store or call customer service. 

With Image Upload, one customer shared with Foot Locker how excited she was that her son with cerebral palsy was able to find brand-name shoes that fit over his leg braces. In response, Foot Locker reached out to him directly and sent him a gift card to get another pair. The boy’s mother then sang Foot Locker’s praises on Facebook, reminding everyone to “fill out those surveys…someone is listening!”

If the Shoe Fits, Wear It

InMoment CEO Andrew Joiner believes retailers will only succeed in the future if they follow Foot Locker’s example by looking at the big picture: Who customers are and where they’re connecting with the brand. 

“Don’t just collect feedback from a single point – you will get data in multiple channels, but if you look at it holistically and across every point you’re talking to customers through, you get amazing results,” said Joiner. 

By cultivating holistic data with InMoment, Foot Locker is embracing this changing retail world. It’s promising customers through action that interacting with its team in person, online or through feedback is going to be an excellent experience—something many retailers are failing to do in this new retail atmosphere. 

Creating these personalized and inclusive experiences has kept Foot Locker at No. 4 on Forbes’ Most Engaged Companies List, and has increased its OSAT score by six points since 2018. 

But scores aren’t important. What’s vital is that customers feel that brands are stepping into their shoes and connecting with them on a more personal level. That’s what locks in customer loyalty. That’s why Foot Locker is changing the game. And InMoment is honored to be a part of it. 

How to Power Your Business Decisions with Customer Experience Intelligence

Last week, I spoke to a group of executives in Singapore about CX intelligence; specifically, how to use it to make meaningful, transformative business decisions. This is an issue for many businesses—according to Forrester, 74% of firms state they want to be insight-driven, but only 29% actually turn analytics into action. How do they do it? By following a few key principles that can help any company unleash its CX data’s full potential.

Principle 1: Structure

I’ve seen companies that have considerable CX programs, but no means of implementing any findings. The only way organizations can make use of CX data is by building governance structures that allow them to do so. These structures should always be accessible to both employees and the high-ranking organizational members for whom that information is useful. 

Businesses that create formal communication channels around CX intelligence and make it easy for business leaders to take action can put intel to greater use than they would otherwise.

Principle 2: Accessibility

Though reporting and action structures are vital to executing on CX intelligence, companies can go further by creating an insights-centric culture. Organizations can achieve this cultural shift if they turn data into intelligence, keep that intel simply formatted, and place customer satisfaction at the heart of their employee engagement strategy. Employees will feel more empowered in their work and will be more driven to keep customers happy.

Principle 3: Accountability

Just as companies that wish to be more intelligence-driven must implement accessible structures and share insights with more employees, so too must they emphasize accountability. Employees should take pride in their successes, but they must also be compelled to own their setbacks. 

Likewise, executives should go beyond merely endorsing CX efforts and give practitioners the resources they need to make their programs successful. Practitioners can get that green light by framing data as a compelling story rather than a set of numbers.

Principle 4: Speed

Every insight has a shelf life. Wait too long to act, and it becomes hindsight. It’s easy for CX programs to become bogged down in endless analysis, but practitioners who can demonstrate their proposals’ ROI, test hypotheses quickly, and execute without fear stand the best chance of arguing that speed really does matter (not to mention sidestepping all the red tape). Typically, managers who are made to understand CX ROI will also understand that time is of the essence when it comes to insights.

Principle 5: Embedment

In my experience, companies that weave CX intelligence into every customer interaction and every stage of their buying journey wield a distinct advantage over competitors that don’t. 

For example, a major UK bank found that some of its customers were angry over how long they had to wait to speak to a representative. After gathering that insight, the bank implemented an action plan: setting their IVR to recognize repeat calls. This system enabled a specialist team to address angry customers faster, resulting in a 20% decrease in complaints. Win-win.

This final principle can only be attained if the four we already discussed are correctly implemented—employees and business leaders who can access a CX-dedicated structure, who are empowered to leverage findings in a timely manner, and who are held accountable for both successes and setbacks stand a far greater chance of succeeding for themselves and their company.

When it comes to using customer experience to help international brands improve themselves, few track records are as impressive as Rob’s. Before joining InMoment as the company’s Customer Experience Strategy Director, Rob used his deep knowledge of customer experience and product management to create meaningful, positive change at Vodafone, MyRepublic and other multinational companies. He strongly believes in keeping people at the center of transformational change, which seems a winning strategy given his clients’ XI success.

How Hospitality and Entertainment Brands Can Future-Proof the Guest Experience

Last week, I led a roundtable discussion at the Future Guest Experience 2019 conference, where I had a chance to chat with executives and CX experts who are searching for ways to future-proof their guest experiences.

One of the biggest challenges that I’ve seen businesses face today is creating experiences that are both consistent and memorable. The truth is that it’s no longer enough to provide an experience that is solely consistent or memorable; the former lacks novelty, while the latter lacks, well, consistency. At the same time, companies must also strive to provide these experiences today and in the future—essentially “future-proofing” their brand against issues that guests might experience with it.

Fortunately, there’s a path to providing better guest experience, and it begins with considering what guests are truly after (it’s much more than a purchase) and leveraging the right strategies that can help you improve the guest experience today and redesign it for tomorrow.

Here are a few strategies to get you started:

Improving Experiences Today

In today’s experience economy, it’s no longer enough for a business to merely provide products. Guests seek much more than a transaction; they’re after an emotional connection that creates a memorable experience.

Consider a guest who meets with their friends regularly at a restaurant; eventually, their experience transcends ordering an appetizer and becomes fond memories of dinnertime conversation. Unfortunately, typical survey approaches cannot capture the emotion that makes these experiences memorable.

Just so we’re clear, questions that offer guests a zero-to-ten scale to define their satisfaction aren’t going to properly reflect those guests’ true feelings. The best way to capture a guest’s experience is to let them describe it in their own terms. 

In my experience, providing surveys with open-ended questions, reading comments and analyzing the common themes therein are an effective means of identifying today’s drawbacks and successes. Using this method, businesses can pinpoint where they might be coming up short and—thanks to that aforementioned feedback—create plans that result in transformative change and consistent, memorable experiences.

Redesigning for Tomorrow

Companies that leverage CX technology to staunch today’s problems are well-positioned to keep them from popping back up tomorrow. The only way to truly future-proof an experience, though, is to stay proactive. 

Future proofing starts with combining guest and loyalty data. Companies that can accomplish this will achieve an unparalleled view of the brand experience that their guests are having. That’s what future-proofing is really about: capturing guest data and preferences at the point of contact, then using that information to design new, more personalized experiences.

Numerous companies are taking advantage of future-proofing. For example, several retailers have begun combining facial recognition technology with CRM data; this information is then forwarded to frontline employees to ensure a more personalized experience.

What You Need to Future-Proof Tomorrow—Now

I’ve seen companies that take the time and effort to use unstructured guest feedback capabilities reap sizable benefits. At the same time, it is important to remember that the intelligence you receive from your guest experience efforts is only effective if you act on it.

That proactivity shouldn’t be limited to guest experience, either. Companies that can combine CX data with the right hiring, onboarding, and training processes to deliver a better employee experience will be best-positioned to future-proof their experiences. The more of these pieces that businesses have in place, the better off their future-proofing will be.

Of course, all of this is easier said than done. Even the most CX-savvy companies may find it challenging to isolate their brand’s signal from the noise and balance short-term fixes with long-term improvements. InMoment’s customizable guest experience platform and inveterate consultants make it an ideal place to start for any company considering future-proofing. 

If you’re ready to take the next step toward improving your guest experience today and creating memorable experiences tomorrow, reach out and schedule a demo today to see how the InMoment platform can work for you!

Eric Smuda has built a distinguished career out of turning venerable brands into CX powerhouses. His novel, impassioned approach to customer experience implementation changed the face of the rental car industry, in which he found award-winning ways to connect customers and companies. It’s only fitting, then, that Eric serves as a Principal of CX Strategy & Enablement at InMoment, lending his seasoned perspective to many of the company’s strategies.

Why Measuring Employee Experience Builds a Better Customer Experience

Customer experience (CX) is often driven by one seemingly universal edict: The customer is always right. But forward-thinking companies are gathering data about what actually pleases customers—and it turns out employees’ own happiness is an integral factor.

InMoment’s own CX Trends research found employees are the single largest factor in making or breaking the customer experience. The data shows a positive link between employee experience (EX) and a great customer experience, in addition to significant financial gains like increased sales and the ability to maximize business performance. In fact, companies in the top quartile for employee experience see triple the return on assets compared to those in the bottom quartile. 

Employees who feel engaged and valued will often remain loyal, productive members of their company. They’re also more likely to turn this positive energy toward tasks that benefit customers, whether they’re helping a shopper choose a new outfit or writing code for a customer-facing app.  

To better understand how to improve customer experience, companies need to harness the positive effects of employee experience. This starts with accurately measuring employees’ true feelings about their roles and the overall workplace. From there, a business can develop an actionable EX index and use it to focus their resources and drive impactful change. 

However, working for a company inspires emotions, purpose, and connections that can’t be measured by only asking simple questions. This means metrics like Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), which doesn’t target these factors and instead is rooted in gauging an employee’s enthusiasm, are inherently inaccurate. The eNPS metric is also based on the misconception that people are as likely to recommend a workplace as they are to recommend a product or service; in reality, they’re notably less likely to do so.

Therefore, companies need to apply behavioral science to truly understand employee experience and employee engagement, and how it ultimately drives customer experience. We recommend measuring the following five elements, which were partly informed by a definition developed by Dr. Wilmar Schaufeli, professor of work and organizational psychology, and his colleagues.

#1: Vigor 

This is the energy an employee invests in their job, and the inspiration they draw on during tough times. Vigor measures an employee’s feelings surrounding their work rather than how they execute that work. 

#2: Absorption 

Absorption measures the way vigor appears in employees’ day-to-day work. In this sense, absorption is defined as the state of being so immersed in a task that employees have no desire to break away. 

#3: Dedication 

Dedication indicates employees’ long-term commitment and pride in their work. It shows how both emotion and action last over time. 

#4: Culture

An employee can’t sustain high levels of vigor, absorption, and dedication without a strong, positive work culture to support them. Culture isn’t just benefits and perks; it’s a sense of fitting into a larger, more meaningful whole. 

#5: Orientation Toward the Customer

A great employee experience does more than keep employees happy: It drives meaningful results for the customer. Companies should check in to make sure employees are directing their energy toward this key goal and others that are relevant and strategic to the brand.

When it comes to employee experience, employee engagement is only part of the story. That’s why, to gain actionable insights and improve customer experience, companies should measure external factors that drive employee behavior, as well as employee experience’s impact on customer experience at their specific company. Are employees directing their vigor at serving clients or impressing their managers? The answer matters to your long-term customer experience—and long-term success.

Learn more about the specific questions you should be asking your employees in this featured article!

5 Factors to Successfully Measure Employee Experience in Your Organization

Employee experience (EX) is quickly becoming a mainstay metric for businesses. Much like customer experience, EX is a critical factor for success with its ability to identify and drive impactful change within organizations. Why? Because employees are the most prevalent factor in making–or breaking–memorable, positive experiences for customers. 

5 Elements for Employee Experience Measurement

The average employee spends just over four years at a given job, and the experiences they have during their tenure are a crucial part of retaining them as part of your staff. Creating a positive environment for employees inspires passion and commitment toward their work–which results in better customer service and stronger performance, both of which contribute to the overall success of the organization. 

Our latest PoV, “The EX Factor: 5 Areas That Effectively Measure the Employee Experience,” takes an in-depth look at the five key elements companies should consider when measuring employee experience. The first three areas were developed by Dr. Wilmar Schaufeli, professor of work and organizational psychology; the last two areas are derived by our InMoment Employee Experience Experts. Whether you regularly distribute surveys or collect feedback on a one-to-one basis, incorporating these elements into your employee experience strategy can help keep workers engaged and interested in their job: 

  • Vigor (Emotion): Measuring employee vigor is about determining their feelings toward work, how energized they are by their tasks, and if they feel their work contributes to their overall career goals. Vigor directly ties to employees’ investment in their job, ensuring they remain enthusiastic and optimistic in their role. 
  • Absorption (Action): Absorption measures how immersed employees are in their work. This allows you to uncover the parts of the job where they feel fully invested, tasks they enjoy, and general sentiment and enthusiasm. Absorption also ties back to vigor, allowing you to pinpoint where–and to what extent–emotions appear regarding work. 
  • Dedication (Commitment): In addition to understanding how excited and invested employees are at your company, it’s also important to gauge their dedication. For employee experience, dedication is defined as the involvement in one’s work and the accompanying sense of significance, pride, and inspiration. Measuring employee dedication allows you to see how their emotions and actions develop over time. 
  • Culture (Support System): Strong company culture isn’t strictly about benefits and perks. It’s about the support your organization provides for employees. Do you have strong corporate values that employees support? Is there a clearly defined corporate identity, mission statement, and brand promise that employees are aligned with? Employees can only sustain ongoing levels of vigor, absorption, and dedication if they feel strongly about a positive culture that they want to be part of. 
  • Orientation to the Customer (Impact): There are plenty of instances where employees are happy with their managers, team, and overall company environment, but feel less-than-enthusiastic about customer interactions. It’s important to survey employees to understand how and where they channel feelings about work–both good and bad. It’s important to gauge employee engagement as it relates to internal team members, as well as how it relates to delivering excellent value and experiences for customers.

Employee experience is about the people behind the company, much in the same way that customer experience is about the people behind the purchase. Understanding what motivates, inspires, and drives action for employees is key to creating better, lasting experiences for them. 

Interested in more tips and insights on measuring employee engagement? Download our PoV, “The EX Factor: 5 Areas That Effectively Measure the Employee Experience” today.

How Today’s CX Leaders Can Connect Customer and Employee Experience for Radical CX Innovation

What do you think of when you hear “radical innovation?” When you look past the buzzwords, you’ll find an idea that is at the heart of technology—the idea that humans can create something that breaks the mold and changes the way we complete tasks in everyday life. 

The theme of this year’s Forrester CXNYC conference was “Changing the Game—Leading Radical CX Innovation,” and since then, I have found myself thinking more and more about what radical innovation looks like in our space.

If you were to look at customer experience from a bird’s eye view, you would see a mass of legacy approaches. Why? Because most companies are still talking about CX in a vacuum. The truth is that experience data is everywhere; it’s in different languages and on different channels and forums, comes from a variety of audiences, and lives both inside and outside of traditional Voice of Customer programs. 

Customer feedback data is important, but it is also limited. It only offers one perspective on how to leverage CX to improve relationships and business outcomes. To be innovative, CX professionals need to tap into the full experience ecosystem, harnessing intelligence across channels,  from whenever, wherever, and however your customers are talking to and about your brand, and integrate that with other sources of customer data and analytics—clickstream data, CRM data, etc. To be radically innovative, however, requires CX professionals to think even bigger—expanding their perspective to also include employee and market intelligence.

This is our focus at InMoment; to look beyond what CX has been to envision the future of feedback, and then create the technology that realizes that future. At Forrester CXNYC, we presented an example of how we are empowering our client Massage Envy to be radically innovative by looking at their brand experience from both a customer experience and employee perspective finding the critical intersections.

The Inseparable Relationship Between CX and EX

The connection between customer experience and employee experience has long been discussed, but what does that actually look like in the data? Our client Massage Envy was able to paint a picture of this connection and discover actionable intelligence when they implemented an EX program to complement their existing CX program.

Massage Envy had been using InMoment to measure points on the customer journey for more than four years. There were strong indicators in their customer data regarding the connection between customer turnover and employee turnover and customer satisfaction. 

Using these indicators, the Massage Envy team partnered with InMoment Employee Experience and Data Sciences team to implement an employee experience program that would mirror the path of the customer journey. 

In the course of the analysis, the team was able to identify key drivers of employee satisfaction and correlate them to customer satisfaction. Massage Envy was then able to act on this intelligence by implementing improved training procedures, which in turn lead to higher employee satisfaction, improved customer experience and better profitability for their business—a definite win-win-win result! 

Combining Strategic Services with Sophisticated Technology

Brands like Massage Envy are truly leading radical CX innovation by implementing technology that assesses the entire experience (customer, employee, and beyond) and delivers true intelligence. 

This success was made possible not only by innovative technology, but also by the philosophy behind our solution: “Machine-driven, human assisted.” This idea of combining strategic services with sophisticated technology is crucial given the sheer amount of complex data today’s companies take in, as well as the amount of meaning we need to derive from it to make it actionable. 

If we rely solely on human analysis, getting meaning from this mountain of data is impossible. There simply aren’t enough data scientists in the world or hours in the day to process the amount of data companies gather. On the other hand, computers on their own are fallible. 

The InMoment solution uses data science—algorithms, machine learning, neural nets, and others—to create smarter, better analytics that are carefully curated by trained data scientists. The machine-driven approach allows businesses to address the complexities of data overload while the human assistance provides the context and direction that delivers truly actionable results.

The success Massage Envy had with this solution is proof that the industry is changing. Relying solely on technology and customer feedback isn’t going to cut it in today’s experience economy. I believe our VP of Data Science, Levi Roberts, said it best: 

“The future of feedback is coming, and it’s becoming more and more clear that technology cannot be the only solution to solve experiences that are emotionally charged. In a world where consumer expectations are rising faster than brands can keep up, it is the right combination of strategic services and tech that will drive experiences forward and unlock future success.”

With a 360 view of experience and the combination of strategic services and sophisticated technology, InMoment is leading in radical CX innovation, realizing the future of feedback today.

The ability to connect employee and customer data and combine strategic services with sophisticated technology are just a few of the many analyses available in the InMoment Experience Intelligence (XI) Platform. To learn about more about how we are radically innovating the world of CX, read the full platform eBook today!

5 Customer Experience Trends to Consider in 2019

Brands are being inundated with talk about consumers’ increasing expectations when it comes to customer experience (CX). And as businesses deliver more creative and engaging experiences, forming impactful customer relationships becomes more difficult.

The 2019 CX Trends Report conducted by InMoment suggests that despite evolving conversations around CX, companies are struggling to balance their own needs and changing customer preferences. While 50% of brands say they’re “definitely” doing better at delivering excellent customer experience, just 11% of customers agree.

So how can brands keep up with the change? Though companies lag behind in providing exceptional CX, there are simple ways to catch up and forge stronger customer connections. InMoment’s study paints a picture of brands chasing down elusive CX success, but also exposes a realm of uncharted terrain. Here are five key CX trends spotted in the data:

1. Lurking v. Listening

Companies spend billions of dollars each year analyzing all types of digital interaction data — from social posts to online reviews. Brands can extract useful information from this research, but they may be missing out on the most valuable feedback. Research shows that 70% of consumers believe direct conversations are the best way for companies to capture consumer sentiment, contrasting with only 40% of brands.

This discrepancy reveals an opportunity for businesses to engage more directly with customers — and through digital CX technology, this is possible to do at scale. Moving forward, companies should prioritize direct communication having tech-powered, intelligent and personal conversations directly with customers.

2. Dismissing the Human Factor

AI and other shiny new technologies are stealing brands’ attention (and dollars). However, this singular focus may be to the detriment of customer relationships: 42% of consumers said “better service from staff” is the most important thing brands can do to improve experiences, whereas brands underestimated this factor. Reliable, committed relationships with staff make an impact, influencing customers’ purchasing decisions and increasing satisfaction more than any other factor.

Companies often address CX and employee experience (EX) separately, but these findings reveal they are closely connected. Improved EX (including using tech to bolster employees’ efficacy and enjoyment) creates a more productive and contented staff. This, in turn, impacts CX, leading to happier customers and, ultimately, higher revenue.

3. Pathetic Personalization

Personalization promises powerful opportunities for brands — but those using it strictly to sell products are destined for disappointment. InMoment found that only 21% of consumers thought personalization efforts made them feel “cared for,” and less than half of brands (42%) agree that their efforts are improving relationships.

Brands fail to realize that many customers know what information companies have about them, and expect them to use it to deliver value — as they define it. Companies should capitalize on this desire by creating a personalized CX that delivers meaningful value beyond just the close of the sale.

4. Neglecting Non-Buyers

The question of why people leave without buying constantly occupies the mind of marketers. Now, they have an answer — and it may prompt substantial shifts in their CX approaches. InMoment’s research uncovered that 72% of digital non-buyers are only online to browse, research or comparison shop. For in-store shoppers, 44% of customers who leave without making a purchase do so for the same reason, and an equal 44% don’t buy because the item(s) they came for isn’t in stock.

For brands with physical locations, fixing supply chain issues offers a chance to close more sales. For companies that sell both online and in-person, there’s another compelling opportunity: Find ways to offer value as early in the relationship as possible, and then build from there. Amazon made a brilliant move by rolling out Favorites lists, giving even non-buyers the opportunity to invest in the brand early, and to recruit friends and family. Instead of looking at non-buyers as mysteries to be solved with just the right email or remarketing campaign, view and treat them as valuable customers from the very first touch.

5. Definition of Loyalty Diverges

All brands aim for high customer loyalty, hoping to cultivate a reliable base of repeat shoppers. But research shows they may be misjudging exactly how consumers demonstrate loyalty. Companies tend to view only positive reviews as signs of loyalty, but a large segment of customers say this trait also includes honest, constructive feedback. Brands may feel inclined to write off customers who provide negative reviews, but it’s important to remember that they are people who cared enough to share their thoughts in the first place.

People who provide both positive and straightforward, constructive feedback may actually be a brand’s most invested and loyal customer base. Over 70% of consumers surveyed say they feel a responsibility for creating a better customer experience. Brands can use these committed customers as a guiding light for improving operations — seeking out and celebrating well-intentioned critiques rather than dismissing them.

While new technology is revolutionizing brands’ customer experience capabilities, InMoment’s findings show that successful CX still relies on some of the basic tenets of human relationships. Companies looking to stay ahead of evolving expectations should focus on improving interactions with customers (both potential and existing) and responding to loyal customers’ feedback. Going back to the basics helps brands develop stronger relationships and create customer experiences that make a lasting impact.

Over the last 12 years, Andrew Park has developed into a recognized thought leader who counsels brands on connecting CX and business success. He now resides as Vice President of Customer Experience Strategy at InMoment, a leader in customer experience management. Beyond helping clients drive both business outcomes and customer satisfaction, Park has spent more than a decade designing, deploying and consulting on customer experience programs for global Fortune 1000 companies. He is CCXP certified, the author of several white papers, an experienced speaker, and regularly contributes to public conversations about customer experience in forums like the Huffington Post, Inc and Forbes.

The Future of Feedback Is Here—It’s Time to Move Beyond Surveys

I recently caught a terrific article in the Wall Street Journal skewering the over-reliance on Net Promoter Scores. As I read it, I couldn’t help but take it one step further.

NPS was created at a time when we didn’t have the technology to understand customer data in its native form. We now have that technology and can move beyond calculating metrics to deriving deep meaning from the natural conversations customers are having through open-ended comments, social media channels, contact centers, video, voice and even images.

In essence, NPS attempts to reduce the human experience to a number. And at a larger scale, structured surveys dumb down feedback regarding the real and complex human experience.

The future of feedback is in allowing customers and employees to communicate whenever, wherever, and however they want, preserving that data in its native form, and then applying advanced analytics to uncover the intelligence that will drive true change in the business.

This philosophy was a big reason Madison Dearborn Partners chose to become new investment partners with InMoment. John Lewis, current executive partner at MDP and now executive chairman of InMoment, shared this validating perspective with us:

It used to be that owning third-party market data gave companies a competitive edge. Today, most organizations are awash in data, and the real opportunity is integrating large and disparate types of data using advanced analytics techniques like artificial intelligence and machine learning to solve problems very differently.

This is especially relevant in the fast-growing area of customer experience, where understanding customers and what you can do to drive increased loyalty is everything. Most vendors try to do this with traditional surveys. In light of the multidimensional relationship brands now have with their customers, that simply isn’t enough.

I couldn’t agree more. The CX market has long been under served by both metric-heavy and market-research-led approaches.

In launching the XI Platform, we are making our vision of moving from basic insights to true intelligence, real — bringing valuable first-party data together with social and operational data, and then applying advanced analytics all in a single environment.

Yes, there will continue to be business leaders—and even experience management platforms—who rely on metrics like NPS and structured, do-it-yourself surveys that dumb down the data, but the industry is changing. And it will not be toward more surveys, but beyond surveys.

The Future of Customer Experience: Why You Should Widen Your Perspective to Experience Intelligence

The world of customer experience (CX) is constantly changing. CX professionals are always on the lookout for the latest and the greatest way to approach their customers, gain insights from their customer data, and leverage those insights in a way that will help improve experiences as well as the bottom line.

So what do CX professionals need to change in order to be ready for the future of feedback?

It’s simple: companies need to broaden their view from a CX-only focus, and embrace the “experience ecosystem.”  

CX has never existed in a vacuum. There’s an entire experience ecosystem that impacts and contains signals about customers’ relationships with brands: employees, products, and services—as well as the competition.

Contextual information from digital behaviors, operational data, audit data, and marketing technologies and analytics also play a role.  Combine this with the fact that experiences today are spoken, shared, lived, recorded, clicked and even socialized, and understanding your customers’ experiences gets pretty complex.

Given the speed at which customer experience is evolving, you might be surprised to hear that most vendors are approaching this brave new world with traditional survey processing technologies.

Why does it matter? Our CTO David Joiner explains it like this:  “Applying an older relational data technology approach to today’s complex experience data problem is like trying to stream live media through an 8-track tape.”

InMoment’s new Experience Intelligence (XI) Platform has a modern technology stack with data science at the core, allowing us to store, retrieve, and put the right analytics lenses to literally any type of data that will add meaningful intelligence to your understanding.

The XI Clouds:  The XI Platform also seamlessly unites three critical perspectives from the experience ecosystem in the Customer Experience (CX), Employee Experience (EX), and Market Experience (MX) clouds.  Because they’re connected at the foundation, users can share between and beyond each cloud, promoting a more comprehensive view of the business, collaboration, and much smarter action. More on the new XI Clouds in our next blog.  

Want to learn more about the XI Platform? Check out the press release!

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