Driving the Future: Integrated CX in Automotive Customer Journeys

The automotive industry is in the midst of a huge transformation. It’s driven, in part, by product innovation. Advancements in electric vehicles are leading to increased adoption, and concepts that were once pipe dreams—such as connectedness and autonomous vehicles—are becoming a reality.

At the same time, we’re seeing a massive shift in the way consumers want to browse and buy vehicles. Automotive brands need to understand customers’ needs and preferences, and then adapt accordingly, to deliver outstanding experiences that win and retain customers. Data is foundational to achieving these goals. 

Let’s take a closer look at how integrated CX platforms, and AI-powered tools in general, enable automotive brands to deliver intelligent, bespoke experiences that successfully attract, convert, and retain customers. 

Hyper Personalized Experiences for Every Car Shopper 

Each car shopper has unique needs and preferences. They expect brands to understand them in turn, and then use those insights to deliver ultra personalized experiences, communications, and offers. Delivering these ultra-personalized experiences to every customer, every time, can seem like an impossible task; AI not only makes it possible, but achievable at scale.

Integrated CX platforms, powered by AI, pull customer signals from various sources, such as purchase history, past engagements, surveys, ratings and reviews, and social media interactions. Collectively, these signals provide a 360-degree view into each customer. Auto brands can tap into these insights to deliver personalized experiences throughout the entirety of the purchase journey. 

With integrated CX, automotive brands have insights to understand:

  • What happened: Descriptive insights describe what has happened. For example, let’s say a customer purchased a specific vehicle five years ago—and has returned to the dealership for 10 service appointments. Perhaps they wrote a positive review about their dealership experience. Recently, they’ve started spending more time on the business’ website and engaging on social media. 
  • Why and how it happened: Diagnostic insights enable automotive brands to understand the reasons behind a customer’s behavior. Then,  they’re better equipped to deliver experiences that align with that reasoning. 
  • What will happen in the future: Predictive customer analytics leverage data to make predictions about a customer’s future behavior. For example, an organization can analyze purchase history and other interaction data to make a prediction about when a customer will be in the market for a new vehicle. When automotive brands can anticipate customers’ future needs, they’re better positioned to proactively address those needs. 

Automotive brands that leverage integrated CX to deliver personalized experiences will be better positioned to capture shoppers’ attention—and win their business. In fact, personalization is proven to drive bottom line results. Research from Deloitte found that 69% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that delivers personalized experiences. 

Outstanding Online Buying Experiences

It’s no secret that e-commerce continues to grow. Insider Intelligence predicts that global ecommerce will grow 9.4% this year, reaching $6.876 trillion. To put this in perspective, over 20% of retail sales are expected to happen online.

We’re also seeing an increase of consumers purchasing products online that were traditionally purchased in brick-and-mortar locations—vehicles are one example. A recent survey from PwC found that 64% of automotive dealers believe online sales will comprise 20-40% of all sales by 2030. 

There are many reasons why more consumers are willing to buy vehicles online, with convenience topping the list. Yet, one of the clear advantages of shopping for a vehicle in-person is the ability to ask questions and get personalized recommendations. 

AI Enables Brands to Bridge This Gap

Automotive brands can deploy chatbots to interact with automotive buyers throughout the purchase journey. These chatbots can answer customers’ questions at any hour of the day. This is essential, as 77% of consumers expect instant engagement when they contact a business. By addressing purchase blocking questions in real-time, automotive brands can boost shoppers’ confidence—and their likelihood of making a purchase.

In addition, chatbots can deliver personalized recommendations to car shoppers based on existing customer data and any additional data that’s collected during the chat. For example, a chatbot can recommend a specific model with added features that address the needs of the customer. 

Conversational intelligence tools can be developed to address many different types of customer queries. However, there will always be situations where human involvement is required. Chatbots can identify these situations—and ensure customers are routed to an employee that’s equipped to handle the situation. That means customers will get their questions and issues addressed quickly, which will boost satisfaction. 

Optimized In-Person Experiences

A growing portion of consumers are open to purchasing vehicles online. But that doesn’t mean that car dealerships are a thing of the past. The majority of consumers still buy cars in a physical car dealership. A survey from J.D. Power found that 85% of car buyers visited a dealership during the purchase process. Per research from Progressive, some of the top reasons for visiting a dealership location include:

  • The ability to do a test drive
  • The ability to compare vehicles in person
  • Habit (it’s the way I’ve always done things)

Many shoppers leave the dealership leaving less-than-satisfied. Automotive brands must work to optimize in-dealership experiences. Collecting and analyzing feedback is key to understanding customers’ pain points—and then working to alleviate them. 

Collecting customer feedback certainly isn’t a new concept. Even before the growth of ecommerce, many car dealers asked their customers to share their feedback by completing surveys and comment cards. Today, many automotive customers are willing to share their feedback. But they do so in different ways.

Seamless Experiences Across Channels

As we’ve already explored, consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with purchasing cars online. When it comes to car buying, it’s often not a question of online vs. in-dealership. Instead, many consumers do both. 

Imagine a consumer in the market for a vehicle. They start the purchase journey by researching their options and asking questions online. This approach is common. An analysis from Google and comScore states that twice as many vehicle buyers start their research online, opposed to a dealership. 

Automotive brands must ensure consumers have seamless, connected, and personalized experiences across all channels they use. Consumers expect this. Per Salesforce, nearly eight in 10 (79%) expect consistent interactions across departments. 

With integrated CX platforms, brands can effectively and efficiently synthesize and analyze data across channels to understand a customer’s behavior and intent. InMoment’s integrated CX platform is the highest rated in the market for this end. 

Fostering Loyalty by Delivering Ongoing Value 

There’s an old adage that retaining a customer is less expensive than acquiring a new one. But retaining automotive customers can be challenging, as they aren’t as loyal as we’d like to think. Consider the fact that in 2022, 37% of new vehicle buyers bought a brand they’d never owned before. This is up from 31% the prior year. Optimized experiences foster loyalty and repeat business. However, those experiences must extend beyond the sale.

Automotive brands can leverage AI to deliver outstanding post-sale experiences that foster loyalty. For example, brands can engage with customers to let them know when it’s time for routine maintenance—which can be scheduled via chatbot. Customers can also pose maintenance-related questions via chatbot and get instant answers.

In addition, automotive brands can use AI to analyze signals indicating a customer may be in the market for a new vehicle. Then, the brand can proactively engage with the customer to meet their needs. 

A Final Word 

We’ve only just scratched the surface of AI’s massive potential. Yet, it’s already completely transforming the way consumers engage with auto brands, and the world in general. With integrated CX providing a holistic view of the customer base, auto brands can tailor their products, services, and experiences to exactly what their customers want. 

The auto brands that follow this blueprint will remain at the forefront of the industry.

References 

Mckinsey & Company. The value of getting personalization right—or wrong—is multiplying  (https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/growth-marketing-and-sales/our-insights/the-value-of-getting-personalization-right-or-wrong-is-multiplying/). Access 1/16/24.

Salesforce. State of the Connected Customer Sixth Edition. (https://www.salesforce.com/resources/research-reports/state-of-the-connected-customer/).  Access 1/16/24

Deloitte. Embrace meaningful personalization to maximize growth. (https://www.deloittedigital.com/content/dam/deloittedigital/us/documents/offerings/offering-20220713-personalization-pov.pdf). Access 1/16/24

Insider Intelligence. Ecommerce growth worldwide will pick up before tapering off. (https://www.insiderintelligence.com/content/ecommerce-growth-worldwide-will-pick-up-before-tapering-off). Access 1/16/24

Forbes. Global Automotive Market: Predictions for 2024. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarwantsingh/2024/01/11/global-automotive-market-predictions-for-2024/). Access 1/16/24

J.D. Power. 2022 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. (https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2022-us-sales-satisfaction-index-ssi-study). Access 1/16/24

Progressive. Consumers embrace online car buying. (https://www.progressive.com/resources/insights/online-car-buying-trends/). Access 1/16/24 

Google/comScore. U.S. Automotive Shopper Study. (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/consumer-trends/digital-car-research-statistics/). Access 1/16/24.

Auto Dealer Today. Customers less satisfied with buying process in 2022. (https://www.autodealertodaymagazine.com/369850/customers-less-satisfied-with-buying-process-in-2022#). Access 1/16/24

Edelman. Trust Barometer Special Edition. (https://www.edelman.com/sites/g/files/aatuss191/files/2019-07/2019_edelman_trust_barometer_special_report_in_brands_we_trust.pdf). Access 1/16/24.

How Contact Center Optimization Can Improve Your Bottom Line

Companies of all sizes are always looking for ways to improve their bottom line. Whether that be through cost-saving measures, increased operational efficiency, or strategic initiatives to boost revenue, the pursuit of financial success is a constant in the business world. 

As you look to improve your business, consider contact center optimization. This will improve your business by enhancing operational efficiency, elevating customer satisfaction, and fostering a more agile and responsive customer service environment. 

What is Contact Center Optimization? 

Contact center optimization refers to the process of improving the efficiency, effectiveness, and overall performance of a contact center. A contact center is a centralized facility or department used by organizations to manage customer interactions through various communication channels, such as phone calls, emails, chat, and social media.

The goal is to enhance the customer experience, streamline operations, and achieve cost savings.

What Are the Benefits of Contact Center Optimization? 

An optimized contact center offers numerous benefits for organizations aiming to enhance their customer service operations and overall business performance. By optimizing your contact center, you can significantly reduce the number of pain points your customers experience at different points in the customer journey. Here are some of the key benefits of optimizing your contact center:

1. Increased Efficiency

Contact center optimization focuses on streamlining processes, reducing wait times, and ensuring customer inquiries are handled promptly and efficiently. This is done by allocating resources more effectively. By reducing the idle in your case management, you’ll notice faster issue resolution times and a more agile contact center. 

2. Cost Savings

By optimizing staffing levels, implementing self-service options, and leveraging automation, organizations can achieve cost savings in their contact center operations. This is especially important in managing operational expenses while maintaining or improving service quality.

3. Improved Agent Productivity

Providing agents with the necessary tools, training, and technology to perform their tasks efficiently. This leads to increased agent productivity, reduced handling times, and improved customer service.

4. Enhanced Scalability

Optimized contact centers are better equipped to handle fluctuations in call volumes, seasonal variations, and unexpected surges in customer inquiries. This scalability ensures that the organization can adapt to changing demands without sacrificing service quality.

5. Competitive Advantage

Organizations that optimize their contact centers are better positioned to differentiate themselves in the market by delivering superior customer service. This can contribute to a competitive advantage and increased customer loyalty.

Features to Look For in Contact Center Optimization Software

When selecting contact center optimization software, it’s important to consider features that align with your organization’s specific needs and goals. Here are some key features to look for:

Agent Scorecards

Agent scorecards are a crucial component of contact center optimization that provides a systematic way to assess and track individual agent performance. These scorecards typically include customer experience KPIs and metrics such as case resolution times, customer satisfaction ratings, and overall call quality. Supervisors and managers can leverage these scorecards to identify areas of improvement, offer feedback, and implement training initiatives.

Conversational Analytics

Conversational analytics utilize advanced technologies to analyze spoken or written conversations. These tools can extract valuable insights such as sentiment analysis, key topics discussed, and the effectiveness of agent responses. By understanding the nuances of customer conversations, organizations can adapt strategies, refine training programs, and identify opportunities to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

AI-Driven Text Analytics

Text analytics are a powerful feature that automates the analysis of written communication including emails, chat transcripts, and social media interactions. By employing natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms, this tool can categorize messages, detect sentiment, and predict what a consumer is most likely to do next. This capability enables organizations to gain a comprehensive understanding of customer sentiments, automate response prioritization, and refine communication strategies. 

Transcription Services

Transcription services play a vital role in contact center optimization by converting audio records of customer interactions into text. This not only facilitates quality monitoring, but also enables the application of advanced analytics to the transcribed content. Transcription services enhance the efficiency of reviewing and analyzing interactions by providing a textual record that can be easily searched, annotated, and used for training purposes. 

Strategic Services

Strategic services in contact center optimization involve consulting and support from experts who provide guidance on aligning contact center operations with broader business objectives. These services may include customized training programs, process optimization recommendations, and assistance in implementing advanced technologies. Strategic services empower organizations to make informed decisions, maximize the value of their contact center solutions, and adapt to evolving customer needs and industry trends.

Popular Contact Center Optimization Strategies

Not every contact center can be optimized the same way. What works well for one business’ contact center may not work for another. However, there are a number of contact center best practices that transcend industries. 

Continuous Training

First, make sure that your contact center staff has continuous training. As with any position, contact center agents and supervisors require training to be successful. This training needs to extend beyond the normal onboarding process, but exist in a semi-regular fashion such as quarterly, biyearly, or annually. This training will help employees feel comfortable in their positions and achieve constant success. 

Focus on Employee Experiences

Second, work to improve the employee experience. Employees who feel valued, supported, and engaged are more likely to deliver exceptional customer service. A positive work environment contributes to higher job satisfaction, reducing turnover rates and ensuring continuity in the workforce. 

Set Important Metrics & KPIs

Lastly, in order to begin and implement any contact center optimization strategy, you need to start by identifying your main metric. Whether it is NPS, first call resolution, or customer churn rate. This metric will give you a baseline of where you are starting and help you measure the success of your contact center optimization. 

How to Implement Contact Center Optimization

Implementing contact center optimization requires a strategic approach. In order to do so effectively, there are certain steps that should be followed in order to make sure the entire organization is on board. The steps to begin contact center optimization can be broken down into three phases: pre-implementation, during implementation, and post-implementation. 

Pre-Implementation Phase

  • Define Objectives and Metrics: Clearly define the objectives of contact center optimization, outlining specific goals and key metrics that align with overall business objectives.
  • Current State Assessment: Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current state of the contact center, identifying pain points, areas for improvement, and potential optimization opportunities.
  • Technology Selection: Research and select contact center optimization software that meets the organization’s requirements, considering features such as performance analytics, quality monitoring, and workforce management.
  • Integration Planning: Plan for seamless integration between the chosen optimization software and existing systems, ensuring compatibility with CRM, ticketing, and communication tools. 
  • Training Program Development: Develop a comprehensive training program for agents, supervisors, and system administrators to ensure a smooth transition to the new technology.

During Implementation Phase

  • Technology Deployment: Implement the chosen contact center optimization software, ensuring that the technology is correctly deployed and configured to meet the organization’s needs.
  • Training Execution: Execute the training program, providing agents and relevant personnel with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively use the new tools and processes.
  • Quality Monitoring Implementation: Set up and implement quality monitoring processes, including the development of evaluation forms, scoring systems, and feedback mechanisms.
  • Automation Integration: Integrate automation tools, such as chatbots and IVR systems, to streamline routine inquiries and enhance the overall efficiency of customer interactions.
  • Multi-Channel Support Activation: Activate and optimize multi-channel support, ensuring that the contact center is equipped to handle customer interactions seamlessly across various communication channels.

Post-Implementation Phase

  • Performance Monitoring and Analysis: Monitor performance metrics using the analytics tools provided by the optimization software, analyzing real-time and historical data to identify trends and areas for improvement.
  • Continuous Improvement Iterations: Implement a culture of continuous improvement, making iterative adjustments to processes, technology, and training programs based on performance data and feedback.
  • Customer Feedback Analysis: Analyze customer feedback collected post-implementation to understand satisfaction levels, preferences, and areas requiring further refinement.
  • Continued Support and Training: Provide ongoing support and training to agents, supervisors, and administrators to ensure that they are proficient in using the optimized contact center tools and processes.
  • Strategic Guidance: Consider engaging with strategic services or consultants specializing in contact center optimization to provide additional insights, guidance, and assistance in aligning operations with overall business strategies.

How Contact Center Optimization Improves the Customer Experience

Contact center optimization plays a pivotal role in enhancing the overall customer experience, ensuring that interactions are seamless, efficient, and tailored to meet individual needs. Here are key ways in which CCO positively impacts the customer journey:

Reduced Wait Times

Efficient resource allocation and workforce management through contact center optimization result in reduced wait times for customers. By optimizing staffing levels and employing advanced forecasting techniques, contact centers can ensure that customers receive timely assistance, minimizing frustration and enhancing satisfaction.

Personalized Interactions

Contact center optimization enables agents to access comprehensive customer profiles, including previous interactions and preferences. This information empowers agents to personalize their responses, creating a more engaging and tailored experience for customers. Personalization fosters a sense of connection and demonstrates a commitment to understanding and meeting individual needs.

First-Call Resolution

With the implementation of quality monitoring and performance analytics, contact center optimization focuses on improving first-call resolution rates. By addressing customer inquiries effectively during the initial contact, organizations not only save time and resources but also contribute to a positive customer experience. This reflects a commitment to resolving issues promptly and efficiently.

Multi-Channel Support

Optimized contact centers seamlessly integrate multiple communication channels, such as phone, email, chat, and social media. This ensures that customers can choose their preferred method of interaction, leading to a more convenient and flexible customer experience. Unified interfaces enable agents to manage interactions across channels efficiently.

Continuous Improvement

Contact center optimization fosters a culture of continuous improvement. By regularly monitoring performance metrics, analyzing customer feedback, and making iterative adjustments to processes and technology, organizations can adapt to changing customer expectations. This commitment to improvement demonstrates responsiveness and dedication to delivering an exceptional customer experience.

In essence, contact center optimization is not just about operational efficiency; it is a strategic initiative that directly influences how customers perceive and interact with a brand. Through reduced wait times, personalized interactions, improved first-call resolution, multi-channel support, and a commitment to continuous improvement, contact center optimization creates an environment where customers feel valued and understood.

Discover How InMoment Can Elevate Your Customer and Agent Experiences

If you’re trying to resolve customer issues faster, improve agent performance, or reduce cost to serve and handle time, we can help! No matter where you are at in your contact center optimization journey, InMoment’s conversation analytics software can help you. Check it out today! 

Elevating Guest Experiences in Hotels with Integrated CX

The hotel industry took a major hit during the pandemic, but the aftermath was even more curious. So much time locked inside caused a massive correction. Out of nowhere, citizens were flocking in droves to distant lands, as travel by plane, sea, and car surged.

The coming year is no exception, as consumers across the globe plan to make travel a priority, despite ongoing economic uncertainty. According to a recent report, 81% of consumers plan to travel the same amount or more in 2024, compared to 2023. 

Hotel guests have lofty expectations for excellent experiences; they also have feedback data coming at them from all directions. It’s a common struggle to effectively analyze this data, and then leverage it to optimize their customer experience (CX) efforts. This is where integrated CX comes into play.

What is Integrated CX

Integrated CX platforms unify customer feedback signals from a multitude of feedback signals (listed below), blending them into a cohesive whole. Utilizing AI, this system organizes and deciphers the collected data, and makes sense of it thereafter. This method represents a novel and comprehensive strategy for an industry that, for many years, has predominantly focused on survey data, offering a limited perspective. 

Here are some of the main feedback signals: 

  • NPS 
  • Surveys
  • Call Center Data
  • Reviews
  • Social 
  • Insights/Spotlight

Integrated CX platforms have the power to interpret these varied, disparate signals into a unified view. Hotels can then leverage these insights to elevate guests’ experiences before, during, and after their reservation. 

Let’s take a closer look at how integrated CX and other AI-powered tools are shaping hotel experiences—and how the best hotels and resorts are leveraging this winning combination to provide intelligent, customer-centric experiences that grow sales and foster loyalty. 

Hyper Personalization for Every Traveler 

Modern consumers have an overwhelming amount of choice across all product and service categories. Generic, one-size-fits-all communication and experiences aren’t an effective way to reach them. Instead, 71% of consumers expect personalization from the businesses they choose. What’s more, they expect brands to adapt to as their needs and expectations inevitably evolve. Hotel customers are no exception.

Each traveler is different, with unique needs, preferences, and motivations for travel. Hotels must work to understand their customers’ preferences and use those insights to deliver tailored experiences throughout the journey. Integrated CX makes this a reality. 

Integrated CX consolidates customer signals from a whole host of sources, including transaction history, reviews, surveys, website activity, and social interactions (among others). These signals give hotels and resorts a 360-degree view of each customer, which can be used to fuel ultra-personalized experiences. Research from Salesforce found that 61% of customers say most companies treat them as a number. Hotels can set themselves apart from the competition by strategically leveraging integrated CX and AI to fuel personalized guest experiences.

Real-Time Service, Any Time of Day

In the past, consumers would book a hotel by working with a travel agent or picking up the phone. That’s no longer the case. Instead, a recent survey from Statista found that 72% of consumers prefer booking travel online. 

Consumers are using their mobile devices to browse and book hotels. They’re engaging with hotels from any number of channels, including web browsers, mobile apps, messaging channels, social media, and review sites—among others. They expect instant engagement—any time of day. Today, AI-powered digital assistants or chatbots enable hotels to meet these expectations.

After the stay, hotels can leverage AI-powered chatbots to collect customer feedback and resolve outstanding issues. Chatbots can be an effective tool for enrolling guests in loyalty programs, increasing the chances of repeat business. 

Intelligent Digitized Experiences

Hotel guests expect an experience. Friendly service, clean linens, and delicious food and drinks—the givens. But increasingly, guests also want outstanding digitized experiences—whether they’re researching their options, in the middle of their stay, or reflecting on their experience. Upon arrival, many want a mobile check-in experience, which allows for speed and convenience. During their stay, guests may use their mobile devices to get guidance on where to eat and things to do

AI-powered bots can help customers find the property that best suits their needs. Bots can also answer questions and provide information on things like availability, rates, and amenities that build customers’ confidence—and their likelihood of booking.

Guests can also use a hotel’s mobile app to get personalized content and recommendations during their stay. For example, they may find restaurant and attraction recommendations, based on their past interactions and feedback they’ve shared with the hotel brand. 

Streamlined Operations and Experiences 

Hotels have long collected guest feedback, transitioning from paper surveys and conversations at the front desk to digital channels. However, the prevalence of surveys has led to “survey fatigue,” especially among younger generations like Gen Z. These guests are less inclined to fill out surveys but are actively sharing their experiences on travel review platforms and social media.

This shift in feedback channels presents both an opportunity and a challenge for hotels. The feedback, whether direct or indirect, contains valuable insights for enhancing guest experiences and operations. The main obstacle is the nature of the feedback—a mix of structured and unstructured data, making it difficult to compile, analyze, and derive actionable insights.

AI Has Its Shortcomings, Too. 

While AI holds the potential to revolutionize guest experiences in hotels, it brings with it significant challenges. The need for personalization in customer service requires an extensive collection of data, posing privacy concerns. Hotels must balance the use of AI with the responsibility of keeping customer data secure. A misstep in handling this data can severely damage a hotel’s reputation.

Moreover, the intricacies of AI, such as its potential for bias and inaccuracy, add another layer of complexity. The workings of AI systems like ChatGPT can be opaque, and their recommendations may not always be reliable. With the widespread use of AI in various sectors, the risk of data misuse and breaches increases.

In light of these challenges, the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer highlights the growing importance of trust in brand relationships. Consumers are more likely to engage with and stay loyal to brands they trust. For hotels, this means prioritizing ethical AI practices and data security to build and maintain this trust. Successful navigation of these issues is crucial for harnessing the benefits of AI while ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty.

A Final Word 

AI has only recently hit the “mainstream”, but it’s already transforming the hotel guest experience. This will only continue as the technology evolves.

Hotel customers expect top-tier, personalized experiences at every touchpoint. While these enterprises have a plethora of data and customer feedback at their fingertips, it’s not always easy to analyze and leverage it. Integrated CX platforms, powered by AI, enable hotels to not only analyze this data, but identify opportunities to use it to improve CX.

In the coming year, consumers are prioritizing travel. However, they have plentiful options when it comes to hotels. The hotels that thrive will be those that deliver intelligent, AI-driven CX throughout the customer journey that’s personalized, yet secure.

References 

Skyscanner. Travel Trends 2024. (https://traveltrends.skyscanner.com/). Access 1/19/24.

Mckinsey & Company. The value of getting personalization right—or wrong—is multiplying  (https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/growth-marketing-and-sales/our-insights/the-value-of-getting-personalization-right-or-wrong-is-multiplying/). Access 1/19/24.

Salesforce. State of the Connected Customer. (https://www.salesforce.com/resources/research-reports/state-of-the-connected-customer/). Access 1/19/24

Statista. Travel Bookings: Online vs. Agency.  (https://www.statista.com/chart/29622/travel-bookings-online-vs-agency/). Access 1/19/24

BusinessWire. Recent Study Reveals More Than a Third of Global Consumers Are Willing to Pay More for Sustainability as Demand Grows for Environmentally-Friendly Alternatives. (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211014005090/en/Recent-Study-Reveals-More-Than-a-Third-of-Global-Consumers-Are-Willing-to-Pay-More-for-Sustainability-as-Demand-Grows-for-Environmentally-Friendly-Alternatives). Access 1/19/24.

Cornell. At the Forefront of ESG Leadership. (https://stories.business.cornell.edu/hotelie-100/forefront-of-esg/). Access 1/19/24.

Edelman. 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer. (https://www.edelman.com/sites/g/files/aatuss191/files/2023-06/Edelman_BrandTrust_Top10.pdf). Access 1/19/24.

Understanding the Importance of Social Media Marketing

In today’s digital landscape, the importance of social media marketing cannot be understated. Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, X (formerly called Twitter), TikTok, Instagram, and LinkedIn (among others) are essential for businesses looking to attract customers, gather valuable feedback, and foster customer loyalty. 

According to research:

  • 47% of consumers reach out to brands on social because they have a product or service question. 
  • Answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by 25%. (Convince and Convert) Customers who feel engaged by companies on social media will spend up to 40% more with them than other customers.

Social media is also an important source of data essential to understanding the kind of customer experience your company is delivering: social signals contain a wealth of information that can help you make informed decisions about product development, marketing strategies, and customer service improvements.

Why is Social Media Important?

Social media is vital for its ability to connect companies with their target audience, enhance brand visibility, facilitate engagement, and provide valuable data for informed decision-making.

Social Media is a Vital Part of an Integrated CX Strategy

Social media provides a platform for real-time interaction, feedback, and relationship-building between your company and your customers. It is also a valuable source of unstructured data, which is crucial for achieving a more complete, accurate view of the customer as well as delivering improved experiences.

Unstructured data refers to information that does not have a specific, predefined data model or structure. Unlike structured data, which is organized into well-defined tables or schemas (e.g., a database), unstructured data lacks a consistent format and is not easily searchable or analyzable with traditional data processing techniques.

  • According to IBM, as much as 80% of all data today (including enterprise-relevant information) is unstructured.

Social media (comments, posts, and interactions) often contains a significant portion of unstructured data. Using information from unstructured data, companies can gain valuable insights into how to improve their brand, products, services, and overall customer experience. 

Companies that can collect and analyze unstructured data using tools like natural language processing and AI customer experience technology also often have a more complete understanding of their customers, and can therefore more easily measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Moreover, businesses that effectively harness unstructured data may gain a competitive advantage. That’s because analyzing unstructured data can reveal trends, emerging market opportunities, and competitive threats that may not be easily apparent through structured data alone.

Social Media Marketing Builds Brand Reputation

Social media marketing is also a powerful brand reputation management tactic. Consistent positive engagement, authenticity, responsiveness, and a commitment to customer-centric values contribute to building a strong and favorable brand image on social media platforms.

Social media is an excellent platform for sharing expertise, insights, and valuable information. Brands that share educational content and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry can enhance their reputation. 

Social media also allows you to showcase your brand personality. By sharing behind-the-scenes content, company values, and employee stories, brands can humanize themselves, creating a more relatable and transparent image that’s essential to growing a positive brand reputation. 

Social Media Boosts Brand Awareness and Search Visibility

An effective social media marketing strategy can enhance brand awareness, improve search visibility, and contribute to overall brand success in the digital realm. By creating and sharing engaging content, you can immediately improve brand awareness and visibility among a diverse and extensive user base. Shares, likes, and comments on social media contribute to the organic spread of brand content, exposing it to a wider audience.

Social media can also impact the search engine performance of your brand and business locations. Social signals such as likes, shares, and comments are considered by search engines as indicators of a brand’s authority and relevance. High engagement on social media can also positively impact your search engine rankings. Moreover, your brand’s social media profiles will likely appear in search engine results, providing additional opportunities for users to discover and engage with your business.

Social Media Helps You Generate and Nurture Leads

With strategic planning, you can generate and nurture leads from social media. Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok have billions of active users, providing companies with access to a vast and diverse audience. This broad reach allows you to connect with and nurture potential leads across different demographics and interests. Typically, these platforms also offer a more cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising channels.

You can also leverage social media analytics to gain insights into user behavior and develop the ability to segment your audience based on demographics, interests, and engagement levels. This segmentation helps in crafting more personalized and targeted lead generation and nurturing strategies.

Social Media Listening Promotes Better Customer Understanding

The conversations that are happening on social media about your brand can be used as a powerful tool to help your company identify trends and improve your market position. 

With an effective social media listening strategy in place, you’ll be able to influence a wide range of processes, including product research and development, business operations, advertising approaches, and customer experience management. Ultimately, social listening will help your company gather valuable unstructured feedback and make better business decisions based on social media analysis and data.

Social Media Supports Great Customer Experiences

Integrating social media data with your customer relationship management system provides a comprehensive view of customer interactions across various channels, enabling your team to deliver more personalized and cohesive experiences. It also enables the formation of communities around your brand: communities where customers can connect, share great experiences, and provide peer-to-peer support. 

Social media also supports great customer experiences by allowing for more personalized communication with customers. Your organization can use social media data to tailor your messages and offers based on individual preferences, creating a more personalized and relevant customer experience.

Social Media Plays a Crucial Role in Crisis Management

Negative comments, feedback, and reviews on social media can spread quickly. Before you know it, a single negative review, comment, or tweet can grow into a full-blown brand crisis. By proactively monitoring your brand presence on social media channels, your organization can quickly identify and mitigate these threats to your brand reputation.

Integrating social media into your crisis management activities lets your team jump into critical user-generated conversations. This makes it easier to resolve issues, respond to customers, and minimize the impact that negative social media comments may have on your brand. 

  • According to EveryoneSocial, 79% of consumers expect brands to respond within a day of reaching out over social media, but average brand response rates across all industries are lower than 25%.

Says best-selling author and customer service expert Chip Bell: “In the customer’s mind, the clock starts when he or she posts a negative comment or review, and your reputation drops with every hour you delay in providing a response. Be honest, be apologetic, and offer the aggrieved customer an easy way to access you. In the social media world, you are assumed guilty until your response alters public perception.”

Social Media Analytics: Transform Insights into Action

The most successful brands listen to and act on social media analytics and insights in order to understand customers better and deliver improved experiences. Here are some considerations you can make as your team looks to do the same.

  • Define clear objectives. Clearly define your objectives and the specific questions you want to answer through social media data analysis. This will guide your analysis and help you focus on relevant insights.
  • Choose the right metrics. Identify the appropriate metrics most relevant to your business objectives. Also, focus on platforms where your customers are actively engaging with your brand.
  • Monitor brand mentions and sentiment. Use social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite to track mentions, comments, and conversations related to your brand. This allows you to identify customer sentiment, concerns, and feedback in real time.
  • Respond to feedback. When you invest in a social media software platform, there’s a temptation to let your data management tools do all the work. This shouldn’t exempt your company from engaging with and listening and responding to customers who have shared their feedback. Technological capability is great, but it won’t close the loop on your behalf.
  • Analyze customer feedback. Don’t make data collection your goal. More information, after all, doesn’t necessarily equate to smarter business decisions. Focus on how you can gather actionable insights from social media data and customer feedback, as well as how you can address challenges based on the information available.
  • Track trends and industry insights. Apart from tracking information being posted on social media about your brand, it’s also useful to compare your social media data against benchmarks, industry standards, or competitors to gain a broader perspective and identify areas for improvement.
  • Invest in a social media marketing software platform. The world’s top brands are using Hootsuite to manage social media, monitor customer conversations, collect unstructured data, and gather meaningful insights from these conversations and data. Your company can make a similar investment to foster an organizational culture in which everyone from the C-suite to the frontline is empowered and equipped to listen to the Voice of the Customer.

Maximize the Importance of Social Media Marketing with InMoment and Hootsuite

By understanding the importance of social media marketing and analyzing unstructured data from social media platforms, you can gain valuable insights into the customer experience. This, in turn, empowers your organization to make informed decisions and positively impact customer experiences. To drive efficiency, leverage Hootsuite and its integration with InMoment’s reputation management software so you can act upon social signals, access the full spectrum of conversation around your brand, transform social data into actionable insights, and accelerate experience improvements.

References 

Sprout Social. “The 2023 Sprout Social Index Report” (https://sproutsocial.com/insights/index/). Access 12/27/2023.

IBM. “Structured vs. Unstructured Data: What’s the Difference?” (https://www.ibm.com/blog/structured-vs-unstructured-data/). Access 12/27/2023.

EveryoneSocial. “The 20 Social Listening Statistics Your Company Must Know” (https://everyonesocial.com/blog/social-listening-statistics/). Access 12/27/2023.

Google Reviews: Steps for Businesses to Succeed

Google reviews are synonymous with success in today’s business environment. Whether you operate in retail, financial services, insurance, or any other industry, consumers will not purchase your product or services if you have poor Google business reviews. 

Some people may think that Google reviews are out of their control. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You can create a strategy to handle the end-to-end process of Google reviews for business. This strategy can be used in tandem with your online reputation management strategies. 

What are Google Reviews? 

Google Reviews are user-generated evaluations and comments about businesses and services that are posted on Google’s platform. Users can leave reviews for various establishments such as restaurants, hotels, shops, and more. These reviews often include ratings, written feedback, and sometimes photos. The ratings typically range from one to five stars, with one star indicating a poor experience and five stars representing an excellent one.

Businesses can claim their Google My Business listing, which allows them to manage and respond to reviews. Positive reviews can enhance a business’s online reputation and attract more customers, while negative reviews may have the opposite effect. 

Why Are Google Reviews Important?

Over 80% of consumers look at Google reviews before visiting or shopping at a business, and according to research by InMoment, customers don’t trust companies with lower than a 4-star rating average. Up to 94% say a negative review or social media comment has convinced them to avoid a company. These online reputation management statistics show that the reviews that show up related to your business and your products/services have increasing power in driving customer acquisition. Along with customer acquisition, there are a lot of other reasons that make Google reviews important. 

  • Consumer Trust: Positive reviews build trust and confidence in a business, while negative reviews may lead potential customers to reconsider.
  • Online Reputation: Google reviews contribute significantly to a business’s online reputation. A strong, positive online reputation can attract more customers, improve brand image, and differentiate a business from its competitors.
  • Local SEO Ranking: Google takes into account the quantity and quality of reviews when determining local search rankings. Businesses with more positive reviews are likely to appear higher in local search results, increasing their visibility to potential customers.
  • Customer Engagement: Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, allows businesses to engage with their customers. It shows that the business values customer feedback and is committed to providing a good experience. Engaging with reviews can also help address concerns and resolve issues publicly.
  • Social Proof: Positive reviews serve as social proof that others have had a positive experience with a business. This can be a powerful motivator for potential customers who are considering a purchase or service.
  • Customer Insights: Reviews offer businesses insights to the emotions and experiences of their customers. This can help identify pain points and lead to making decisions that positively impact the customer experience. 
  • New Opportunities: Similarly to insights, reviews can also unveil new opportunities to introduce or improve something that your customers want. By doing this, you improve customer retention and also gain a competitive advantage over your competitors. 

Another importance of Google Reviews is their correlation with the Google Local Guide program. Participating users of this program earn points by writing reviews, or sharing pictures and videos. This program benefits both parties as the business gets added social proof with the reviews and pictures or videos while the customers get rewarded with different items, events or promotions from Google. 

How Google Reviews Impact Your Business Performance

Google business reviews can be directly correlated to how your brand shows up in search engine results. Positive reviews contribute to an enhanced online reputation, influence Google’s local search algorithms, and boost your business’s visibility in relevant searches. The quantity and quality of reviews serve as a key factor in determining the local SEO ranking, ensuring that your brand is more likely to be featured prominently on search engine results pages.

This increased visibility attracts more potential customers and establishes a positive first impression, as consumers often prioritize businesses with a strong and positive online presence. Effectively managing and responding to reviews becomes crucial, as this engagement not only fosters customer trust but also signals to search engines that your business is actively involved and responsive to customer feedback, further enhancing your position in search engine rankings.

How to Start Managing Your Business Google Reviews

In order to start managing and receiving reviews, you first need to claim your Google My Business account. Through Google My Business, you can update essential business information such as name, address, phone number, pictures, and so forth. Here is the best way to get started with your GMB account. 

1. Claim Your Google My Business Account

Visit the Google My Business website and sign in with your Google account. If you don’t have one, create a Google account for your business. Search for your business on Google. If it’s already listed, claim the existing listing. If not, create a new one by providing accurate and detailed information about your business.

2. Verify Your Business

Google will send a verification code to your business address. This is typically done through a postcard. Once received, enter the verification code in your GMB account to confirm and authenticate your ownership.

3. Complete Your Business Profile

Fill out all relevant information in your profile, including your business name, address, phone number, website, business hours, and a concise business description. Ensure that this information is accurate and consistent with your other online platforms.

4. Add High-Quality Photos

Enhance your Google My Business profile by adding high-quality photos of your business, products, and services. Visual content can significantly impact a potential customer’s perception and decision-making.

5. Enable Customer Reviews

Finally, make sure that customer reviews are enabled in your account settings. Now you can start receiving reviews and responding to them to build your online reputation. 

How to Track Google Reviews

Tracking Google reviews can be done within the platform itself, however this is only feasible if you are a one-location business. For more developed businesses managing multiple locations, the smartest way to track your Google reviews is to utilize reputation management software. 

InMoment’s featured partnership with Google My Business allows you to have access to a comprehensive solution to monitor and manage Google business reviews, as well as reviews from other sites like Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Facebook. This CX integration gives you capabilities that include, but are not limited to:

  • Review monitoring, which pulls in and aggregates all your reviews
  • Review response, which allows companies to respond to Google reviews directly from the InMoment dashboard
  • Review generation, which helps businesses proactively ask for reviews and customer feedback through email and SMS campaigns.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Google Business Reviews

When dealing with large amounts of reviews, reputation management software allows you to be able to respond and track every review you receive. InMoment software provides a functionality for users to respond to reviews automatically, leveraging the power of AI. These response prompts can be generated based on the content of the review or brand guidelines, or they can be generated using conditional logic to change the tone and formatting. For example, a five-star review response will be different from one for a one-star review. 

However, our software does not stop at giving you the ability to respond to a large number of reviews, we also give you the power to track what is being said in those reviews. The platform meticulously monitors the number of ratings, offering insights into the overall star distribution, which is crucial for businesses gauging their online reputation. Additionally, InMoment employs advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and keyword extraction techniques to conduct customer sentiment analysis. This comprehensive approach enables businesses to delve deeper into the qualitative aspects of customer feedback, identifying sentiments expressed in reviews.

Track Your Google Reviews with InMoment

Google business reviews play an important role in how today’s consumers discover and judge businesses. They can also shape a brand’s online reputation, as well as reveal valuable insights into a company’s operations, showing areas where an organization can improve customer service and experience.

By tracking, responding to, and generating reviews on Google — and by applying best practices in reputation management — you can improve your brand’s search visibility, outperform competitors, and acquire more customers. Schedule a reputation management demo today to see how we can help your business! 

References 

Luisa Zhou. Online Review Statistics: The Definitive List (2024 Data) (https://www.luisazhou.com/blog/online-review-statistics/). Access 1/24/24.

InMoment (integrated) Experience: Changing The Game

In the rapidly changing consumer market, the highest customer-rated Integrated CX company, InMoment, took a bold and proactive approach. On Thursday, January 25th, we hosted the “Changing The Game” event in Austin, TX—a crucible for innovative ideas and game-changing strategies to address the consumer market in 2024 and beyond. 

The event brought in senior leadership from analytics, CX, insights, and VoC programs  from 44 different brands, all with the common goal: sharing how integrated CX is making groundbreaking changes to their companies, customer experiences, and the market as a whole. 

Dive in with us as we share key takeaways from our panels—Integrated CX: Listening Differently, ROI: Measuring Success Beyond NPS, and Reimagining CX with AI— and see how some of the biggest brands in retail, auto, hospitality, B2B, and consumer goods are reshaping their interactions with customers and setting new standards in their respective industries.

Major Hospitality Conglomerate Masters The Art of Engagement

At the heart of one of the biggest dining, entertainment, and hospitality conglomerates in the nation lies a balanced approach to customer feedback: they’ve mastered the art of both reactive and proactive engagement. 

What’s particularly remarkable is that their expansive operation of over 600 locations and reviews is managed by a lean team of two.

By responding to over 95% of negative reviews, their company guarantees that customer concerns are not just heard but addressed; the art of engaged, active listening. This reactive approach is complemented by their proactive strategy of acknowledging and responding to positive feedback—something that businesses often overlook. 

Responding to both positive and negative feedback can’t be overstated enough. Studies have shown that companies that engage with customer feedback can see up to a 5-10% increase in customer retention rates. It lets customers know that there’s a human behind your brand, and you’re open and receptive to changing your processes if inefficiencies are continually being called to attention. 

Engaging with positive and negative feedback consistently, across a vast number of locations, shows that scalability is possible with a small team if the approach is thoughtful and customer-centric.

Worldwide Furniture Retailer Redefines Comfort through Integrated CX

One of the biggest companies in the furniture space is pioneering a future where relaxation meets technology. They’re reimagining  ‘dad’s recliner’ into a modern-day relaxation experience. By merging AI with their products, they’re crafting personalized experiences that evolve with the user. 

McKinsey’s Global Survey on artificial intelligence has reported that businesses adopting AI can see a significant improvement in their performance, with some sectors witnessing profit increases of up to 20% attributable directly to AI. This isn’t just in industries like tech or finserv—this tech is breaching every market. 

Their story exemplifies that the utilization of AI can keep any business competitive and relevant by modernizing their approach. Companies like theirs can meet current consumer expectations while anticipating future needs, securing a leading position in innovation and customer satisfaction.

Major Tech Company Takes a New Angle on NPS Scores

One of the biggest, multinational tech companies in the world is utilizing every available feedback signal—reviews, call center transcripts, social media, and many more—to benchmark against the competition as well as to ensure a balanced view of feedback and signals across different areas of their own company. 

A Harvard Business Review study found that a 12-point increase in NPS leads to a doubling of a company’s growth rate. This approach, especially when applied alongside other feedback mechanisms, offers a comprehensive view of customer and employee satisfaction, enabling businesses to fine-tune their offerings and internal culture. This holistic understanding of feedback signals ensures companies stay ahead in competitive industries by maintaining a pulse on both customer loyalty and operational efficiency.

Through their comprehensive analysis of various feedback signals, they’ve created and maintained a distinct differentiation in their CX program apart from the competitors in their industry. Their detailed assessment offers deeper insights into customer loyalty and competitive positioning in the tech industry, ensuring that they have a complete and actionable view of both their business and the market as a whole. 

Top Car Manufacturer Provides a Human Touch in the Digital Age

One of the leading car manufacturers in the world spoke on a compelling narrative of human-centric customer experience. 

Amidst the digital transformation, they emphasized personal touches, like writing thank-you notes to employees. Emphasizing the employee-customer link has done wonders for their business, where appreciated employees are more engaged and happy at their jobs, which ultimately affects their customer interactions. 

The ability to offer personalized experiences is a critical differentiator for brands, particularly those where customers are dealing with high-cost, heavily-considered purchases such as automobiles and luxury goods. Personalization goes beyond mere customization of products or services; it encompasses understanding and anticipating the unique needs and desires of each customer, forging a deeper connection. 

A study by Epsilon found that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. This statistic underscores the importance of a human touch in creating meaningful customer interactions. Brands that master the art of personalization significantly enhance loyalty and a competitive edge. In the context of high-value transactions, it can be the deciding factor that tilts the scales in a brand’s favor, with a higher probability of both a sale and a lifelong customer.

Mobility Industry Expert Reshapes Customer Experience

The journey of one of the big three in the car rental space evolved from traditional survey methods to dynamic feedback systems. Their focus on swift personalization reflects a deep understanding of modern consumer desires. 

A study by Salesforce revealed that 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. In this context, their company’s strategy reflects an acute awareness of modern consumer demands, emphasizing the importance of agile, responsive customer service frameworks that cater to individual needs.

They  prioritized employee well-being alongside customer satisfaction, emphasizing the importance of nurturing a growth-centric ecosystem. Their transformation signifies a broader shift in their identity, from a holdings company to a mobility company, attuned to the nuanced needs of today’s consumer.

Energy Leader Finds AI at the Forefront of Customer Service

A key player in the U.S. energy sector focused on how AI is revolutionizing how call center operations are managed and optimized, particularly in the processing and comprehension of call transcripts. 

InMoment’s toolkit excels in extracting meaningful data from these transcripts, which are often unstructured and varied. The algorithms sift through the data, identifying key themes, customer sentiments, and specific queries, unifying them in a holistic view. This process involves not just transcribing words, but also understanding the context and nuances of each conversation. 

Going a step further, their  AI-powered predictive analytics have been at the forefront of interpreting and extrapolating on data in real-time, helping brands gain a competitive advantage in the ever-evolving marketplace. 

It goes beyond data analysis by setting the foundation where decisions are anticipated, and deeper understanding of current trends helps mitigate future risk. The strategic use of this technology to inform decision-making processes is an advanced approach to business strategy.

As a result, what was once a simple record of customer interactions becomes a rich source of insights, allowing for a deeper understanding of customer needs and experiences.

With AI assisting in call center operations and making systems more optimized, they’re not just retaining loyal customers but also setting a new standard in an industry with historically poor customer feedback mechanisms. Their approach reflects a deep understanding of the need for efficient and personalized customer interactions in the coming decade.

Footwear Retailer Utilizes Unstructured Data as a Training Tool

One of the largest sneaker retailers in the country was one of the earliest adopters of Spotlight, by InMoment. This AI-powered CX software captures and analyzes all customer feedback signals to deliver stronger, more actionable customer experience insights. Like the company mentioned in the previous section, this retailer is also using this tool to pull unstructured data from call transcripts, and taking strategic actions based off of the analyzed data. 

According to IBM, 90% of all data generated by devices such as smartphones, tablets, and connected vehicles is unstructured. The untapped potential of unstructured data is staggering. Leveraging AI to analyze this data, companies can significantly enhance their understanding of customer experiences, leading to more informed decisions and better-aligned strategies.

By using real customer complaints as part of their training, this company ensures that their employees are well-informed and empathetically aligned with customer needs. This approach is a brilliant use of data to enhance customer interactions.

A New Era of Customer Experience

The InMoment (integrated) Experience | Changing The Game was more than a gathering of industry leaders; it was a showcase of the future of customer experience. Each brand, in its unique way, demonstrated that innovation, whether through technology, human touch, or the combination of both, is key to staying relevant and creating customer experiences that drive loyalty. 

As these brands continue to push the boundaries, they’re not only changing the game for themselves, but setting new and revolutionary standards for consumers. It marks the dawn of an era where innovation transcends tradition, compelling the entire industry to follow suit or risk obsolescence. They’re not just leading the change–they’re becoming the change—inspiring a future where excellence in CX is not an aspiration but a given.

Ready to revolutionize your customer experience strategy? Discover how InMoment’s integrated CX solutions can empower your business to listen differently, measure success beyond traditional metrics, and reimagine customer interactions with the power of AI.

Schedule a Demo Today

Using Hootsuite to Manage Social Media and Improve Your Brand Reputation

Social media can play a crucial role in your organization’s ability to manage and deliver more meaningful and integrated customer experiences. Social media facilitates real-time interaction, serves as a valuable source of customer feedback and insights, shapes your brand reputation and visibility, and can even function as a platform for market research.

With Hootsuite, the social media management platform for the enterprise, and InMoment, the leader in improving experiences and the highest recommended CX platform and services company in the world, your company can integrate customer experience data from social media sources to uncover the insights that enable the smartest actions.

What is Hootsuite?

Hootsuite is one of today’s most widely used social media management platforms. It helps the world’s top brands and enterprise organizations manage their social media efforts in one place. 

Founded in 2008, Hootsuite supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok. Hootsuite also enables access to valuable insights, analytics, and real-time results to help teams understand and improve their social media performance. The platform also has a growing App Directory that lets companies connect existing marketing, content, and other business systems to Hootsuite.

With Hootsuite, organizations can enhance the effectiveness of their social media management efforts, build a stronger brand reputation, and gain valuable insights into the customer experience.  

The Impact of Social Media on Brand Reputation

Social media can significantly impact brand reputation, influencing how a brand is perceived by existing and potential customers. Your brand presence on social media can be either positive or negative, and this largely depends on how your team manages social media and engages with your audience on social platforms.

Brands that actively manage their social media presence, engage with their audience, respond to online reviews and customer feedback, and demonstrate authenticity are better positioned to maintain a positive reputation. 

  • Outside of online review websites (like Yelp, Google, and Tripadvisor), consumers turn to social media platforms to learn more about businesses. 46% of consumers turn to Facebook, 35% to YouTube, 32% to Instagram, and 20% to TikTok.
  • Answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by 25%.

Positive social media interactions can turn customers into brand advocates. When satisfied customers share their positive experiences, it contributes to building a strong and positive brand reputation. Encouraging and recognizing brand advocates can further strengthen your brand’s image.

Hootsuite Features to Manage Your Brand Reputation

Hootsuite is a comprehensive social media management platform with a range of features designed to help users manage, schedule, and analyze their social media activities. Below are some features your team can use to manage your company’s social presence and brand reputation management.

Social Media Publishing

Hootsuite’s social media publishing features allow teams to create and publish content across multiple social media networks in one place. The platform tells you when to post on social media to get the highest engagement; there is also an option for using the bulk social media scheduler. 

Streamlined approvals also reduce risk and ensure that all your posts are ready to go thanks to a simple approval process that allows team members to review. Meanwhile, if your team is looking for creative inspiration for posts, Hootsuite has built a new AI tool that can instantly generate captions and new post ideas.

Brand Monitoring and Social Media Listening

If potential and existing customers wish to engage with your brand, they aren’t always going to visit your website, send you an email, give you a phone call, or fill out a survey form. Thanks to social media, they now have the option of tagging your brand on Twitter or Instagram, posting Facebook reviews, or sharing their feedback on other digital channels like Google, Tripadvisor, and Yelp.

Hootsuite’s social listening tools help your team avoid delays in responding to customers, regardless of where they choose to engage with your business. Out of the box, the platform lets your team add multiple user accounts so that you can see your brand’s entire social media presence in one place. Specifically, you can create different feeds or “streams” for each account. This allows your social media team to easily keep an eye on (and respond to) different types of user-generated content being published on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter from a single page.

Social Media Analytics and Hootsuite Insights

Hootsuite users can also access insights, analytics, and real-time results to help them understand and improve their social media performance. This lets your team cut out the guesswork with social media analytics tools that tell you exactly how to grow your brand on social. With Hootsuite, you can track essential metrics like follower growth, post effectiveness, and engagement metrics; you can also generate customizable reports to assess the impact of your social media strategy.

Employee Advocacy

Amplify is a feature of Hootsuite designed to facilitate employee advocacy on social media. Employee advocacy involves employees sharing company content and messages on their personal social media profiles to help amplify the brand’s reach and engagement.

With Amplify, Hootsuite lets team members share pre-approved content, such as company news, blog posts, promotions, and other relevant updates, directly from the Hootsuite platform to their social media profiles.

Show Off Reviews

With Hootsuite’s social publishing features, teams can show off great feedback and share the best reviews with their social media followers. These types of posts offer valuable social proof to prospects and can serve to guide their purchase decisions. 

Hootsuite Reputation Management: Keys to Success

Reputation management starts with comprehensive monitoring, and Hootsuite offers a solution to meet those needs. Here are some of the ways you can use Hootsuite to stay on top of the latest social conversations, feedback, and reviews about your brand.

Track Mentions and Conversations

Creating the right streams is incredibly useful especially when it comes to mentions. People are talking about your brand, and a dedicated mention stream allows you to quickly monitor these posts and engage when necessary. 

Often, people use social media to get customer service, and this provides another opportunity for your team to meet the demands of your customers and make them happy. According to research, 59% of consumers have a more favorable view of brands that respond to customer service questions or complaints on social media.

You can also use Hootsuite to track more specific elements, such as keywords, hashtags, and location data. This type of monitoring is helpful for any company that wants to keep tabs on its reputation on social media even when the conversation isn’t necessarily directed toward them in posts. The Voice of the Customer is especially loud on social media, and these insights help you find ways to improve customer service and experience for future patrons.

Respond to Reviews 

Responding to reviews is extremely important, especially for companies that are looking to convert prospects, casual visitors, and review readers into loyal customers. Taking part in the conversation and demonstrating that your brand cares about reviews and unsolicited feedback can have a significant impact on your company’s reputation and bottom-line performance.

Apart from monitoring social media content, teams can use Hootsuite streams to quickly respond to online reviews. Using the Hootsuite-ReviewTrackers integration, users can post review responses through Hootsuite, helping build brand trust and demonstrating that your company cares about customer feedback. 

Interpret Data and Act on Insights

Gaining customer insights from social media is crucial for several reasons, as it provides your organization with valuable insights that can inform strategic decisions, improve customer satisfaction, and enhance overall performance.

You can use Hootsuite to capture valuable customer feedback and actionable insights into the customer experience. Given the capabilities of Hootsuite’s social media analytics and reporting tools, you can learn what customers want, fix specific pain points that are impacting the customer experience,  analyze and interpret social conversations at scale, and spot opportunities to improve your brand reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Using Hootsuite

Let’s dive deeper into Hootsuite’s capabilities as a social media management platform. Here are responses to the most frequently asked questions about using Hootsuite.

What is the Most Popular Feature of Hootsuite?

Apart from its comprehensive social listening capabilities, Hootsuite is also known for its social media content management tools. Users can organize and manage their content efficiently, including creating and editing posts, saving drafts, distributing pre-approved content to employees, and collaborating with other team members within your organization.

What Does the Reports Feature Do in Hootsuite Analytics? 

Getting insightful reports is quick and easy with Hootsuite Analytics. The Reports feature in Hootsuite Analytics offers fully customizable collections of social media analytics data. Each Report has a flexible, interactive interface that tailors it to include the exact metrics you want, letting you drag and drop an unlimited number of “tiles,” which are individual displays of a specific metric. 

The number of Reports you can create within Hootsuite Analytics is unlimited. Apart from analyzing metrics on specific platforms like Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube, Hootsuite also offers paid ad analytics as well as integrations with Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, ensuring all your social and web data is in one place.  so all your social and web data is in one place.

What Apps Integrate with Hootsuite?

Hootsuite offers a wide range of integrations with various apps and services. These integrations enhance the functionality of Hootsuite and allow users to manage their social media activities more efficiently. For example, you can link your social networks, track Google reviews, create visual content designed in Canva, and integrate your CRM data right into your Hootsuite dashboard.

InMoment also integrates with Hootsuite to enable the monitoring of social media data and reviews in one central place. With InMoment’s Hootsuite app integration, you can view online reviews in a Hootsuite stream — with filtering options for organizing and managing customer feedback — alongside social media comments and signals. As part of its review management feature set, the integration also allows you to quickly share your best reviews across your social media pages and profiles, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google.

Supercharge Your Social + Reviews + Reputation with InMoment and Hootsuite

Social data and reviews can be harnessed to help your company discover and interpret key insights into the customer experience. By leveraging Hootsuite and its integration with InMoment’s reputation management software, you can cultivate a healthy brand reputation and act upon social signals to drive improvements in products, services, customer experiences, and overall business success.

References 

EveryoneSocial. “The 20 Social Listening Statistics Your Company Must Know” (https://everyonesocial.com/blog/social-listening-statistics/). Access 12/22/2023.

Status Labs. “52 Online Reputation Statistics for 2023” (https://statuslabs.com/blog/reputation-management-stats). Access 12/22/2023.

InMoment Advanced AI: Supercharging CX

Data is gold. Data is truth… but Data is useless if you can’t rely on it. 

Understanding customer and employee sentiment is more than just a competitive edge—it’s essential, with companies in every industry and sector focusing resources on comprehending it. 

We have a revolutionary tool that we’d like to share, one that has helped businesses large and small navigate this space. InMoment Advanced AI turns diverse data streams into valuable insights companies can use for their strategy. It’s been the change clients in various fields have relied on. So for starters…

What is InMoment Advanced AI??

InMoment Advanced AI is a comprehensive data analytics tool that integrates and analyzes structured and unstructured data using advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI. It offers a deep understanding of customer and employee feedback, transforming complex data into clear and actionable insights. 

Central to InMoment Advanced AI’s functionality are predictive analytics and customizable dashboards, which enable businesses to understand current data trends and anticipate future customer patterns and behaviors across these data sets. 

InMoment Advanced AI’s power lies in its ability to analyze both historical customer experience data and real-time data sources like social media and reviews. This dual capability offers businesses an advantage over competitors who may excel in historical data analysis or current data interpretation, but struggle to integrate both into timely insights. InMoment Advanced AI’s integrated approach provides a comprehensive view, turning past and present data into powerful, actionable insights for immediate strategic impact.

InMoment Advanced AI enables businesses to process virtually any type of content, enrich and understand that content, and visualize it through a powerful set of dashboarding tools. The engine that enables this enrichment uses AI and NLP to understand the content and derive valuable metadata, including: intent prediction, effort signals, and emotion detection. 

Let’s go over what these are and their broader implications.

Intent Prediction

Intent prediction is a crucial component of data analysis, focusing on deciphering the underlying intentions behind customer interactions. This technology uses deep learning models to predict a customer’s future actions or needs. 

For example, in customer service interactions, intent prediction can determine whether a customer is likely to purchase, seek support, or churn. By understanding these intentions, businesses can proactively address customer needs, enhancing the overall customer experience and increasing sales and customer satisfaction.

Effort Signals

Effort signals involve analyzing customer interactions to gauge the degree of effort a customer exerts in their journey. This metric is key in understanding customer satisfaction and loyalty, as higher effort levels correlate with negative customer experiences. 

By analyzing data such as the length and complexity of customer service interactions, businesses can identify areas where customers face difficulties. Addressing these high-effort points can significantly improve the customer experience, increasing satisfaction and loyalty.

Emotion Detection

Emotion detection is identifying and analyzing emotional states in customer interactions. This aspect of sentiment analysis uses a BERT deep learning model to assign an emotion to the speaker or subject of a sentence or thought. 

This technology can distinguish between emotions like happiness, frustration, or disappointment. Emotion detection helps businesses tailor their responses and strategies to align with customer emotions, enhancing personalized customer experiences and building stronger emotional connections with the brand.

Types of Data

Structured: The Backbone of Predictability

Structured data is the cornerstone of conventional data analysis, representing the world of quantifiable and measurable information. Characterized by its specific, organized format, structured data neatly aligns in rows and columns, reminiscent of spreadsheets or relational databases. This meticulous arrangement makes it well-suited for quantitative analysis, offering clear, objective, and mathematical insights into various aspects of business and customer behavior.

It is the language of logic and mathematics, offering a clear, structured view of the world that is easily interpreted by computers. Its strength lies in its straightforward aggregation and manipulation, allowing businesses to accurately quantify and measure trends, performance metrics, and other key indicators.

This data type is the foundation of data-driven decision-making, enabling enterprises to translate complex phenomena into understandable metrics. While it might lack the nuanced storytelling of unstructured data (we’ll get there in a second), structured data offers the definitive “what” in the story of customer and business interactions—the concrete, quantifiable facts that are essential for informed strategy and planning.

Unstructured: The Streaming Thoughts of Your Everyday Life

Unstructured data, the most raw and unrefined form, is abundant and profoundly human by nature. Emerging from sources rich in personal expression like open-ended survey questions, reviews, social media, and SMS messages, this data type offers a window into the authentic human experience. 

According to IDC, The Digital Source, 85% of customer data is unstructured and it’s growing at 55% per year, highlighting the vast and rapidly expanding landscape of human communication that structured data cannot capture. Tools like InMoment’s Advanced AI are essential in harnessing this wealth of information, translating natural language complexities into actionable insights, and unlocking the deepest understanding of customer experiences and needs.

What sets unstructured data apart is its embodiment of language. It directly reflects our unfiltered and unstructured thoughts in their most natural state. While structured data can be seen as the mathematics of human behavior, unstructured data is pure, unadulterated human communication.

This richness, however, presents a challenge: unstructured data is the hardest for computers to decipher, as it requires understanding nuances, context, and the subtleties of human language. Despite this complexity, our deepest and most meaningful insights lie in these unstructured narratives. Tools like InMoment’s Advanced AI are essential in harnessing this wealth of information, translating natural language complexities into actionable insights, and unlocking the deepest understanding of customer experiences and needs.

Bringing Them Together: The Full Story

Integrating structured and unstructured data is a key aspect of InMoment Advanced AI and, arguably, its strongest feature. Structured data provides precise, quantifiable insights, such as the exact factors contributing to customer churn

While structured data gives you the numbers, unstructured data provides the “why” behind these figures. It’s found in customer verbatims and feedback, revealing the customers’ personal stories, opinions, and suggestions. It’s the narrative that puts context and meaning behind the numbers. But on its own, unstructured data can be overwhelming and hard to navigate to find the most impactful insights.

Combining structured and unstructured data tells the full story. This integration allows businesses to quantify aspects of the customer experience and understand the underlying reasons behind these metrics. With InMoment Advanced AI, companies can sift through the rich, detailed narratives in unstructured data, guided by clear, actionable insights from structured data. This holistic approach enables a deeper understanding of customer needs and preferences, leading to more informed and effective business decisions.

InMoment Advanced AI bridges the gap. 

Spotlight Addresses Key Business Challenges

Understanding and Predicting Customer Behavior

We mentioned this earlier, but we’d like to go more in-depth—this one’s important. One of the paramount challenges businesses face today is their inability to predict future customer behaviors. InMoment Advanced AI  excels in this area using AI-powered, advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms. 

According to Gartner, by 2025, customer service organizations that embed AI in their multichannel customer engagement platform will elevate operational efficiency by 25%, underscoring the efficiency gains possible with advanced AI solutions. This capability enables businesses to move beyond surface-level insights, delving into predictive analysis that anticipates future customer actions and preferences.

By understanding these predictive patterns, companies can tailor their strategies proactively, ensuring they are always one step ahead in meeting customer needs and expectations. This forward-looking approach is vital for maintaining competitive advantage and fostering customer loyalty.

Data Unification and Analyzation: A Single Source of Truth

Data silos are a significant barrier to effective decision-making in many organizations. 

Tyler Saxey, Director of CX at Foot Locker, states, “InMoment now ticks all of the boxes. InMoment AI solves for any previous text analytics issues. Analyzing call transcripts and getting to the root cause brings a big ROI.” InMoment Advanced AI addresses this issue head-on by offering data unification capabilities, consolidating data from various sources and providing a comprehensive and unified view of customer information. This holistic approach is vital for creating consistent and effective customer experiences across all touchpoints.

By breaking down these silos, InMoment Advanced AI ensures that all decisions involve a complete and accurate picture of customer data—no decisions are made in isolation. This unified view is invaluable for creating consistent and effective customer experiences across all touchpoints.

Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring Communication Standards

We live in a time with increased scrutiny of companies’ regulatory compliance. InMoment Advanced AI is essential in ensuring that customer communications meet the necessary standards. This aspect is crucial for highly-regulated businesses in industries like finance, healthcare, and telecommunications. 

InMoment Advanced AI can help monitor and analyze customer communications, ensuring they adhere to industry regulations and standards. This compliance monitoring not only helps avoid potential legal issues but instills trust among customers, who are increasingly concerned about how their data is handled and used. With nearly 65% of the world’s population expected to have its personal data covered under modern privacy regulations by 2023, up from 10% today, according to Gartner, the importance of incorporating advanced AI for regulatory compliance cannot be overstated.

Why Spotlight is Essential for All Businesses 

Enhancing Experiences: Tailoring Strategies for Satisfaction and Loyalty

InMoment Advanced AI significantly enhances customer and employee experiences. 

Tony Darden, COO of Jack in the Box, shares, “The use of the InMoment AI solution will allow us to easily analyze feedback in all its forms to receive more detailed and immediate insight from a wider variety of guest experiences. Our team is focused on using the additional insight to make business decisions without delay—having a faster time to guest improvement that will positively influence their experience with our brand leading to increased loyalty.” 

By leveraging advanced analytics to understand sentiment and feedback, businesses can tailor their strategies and offerings to better meet their customers’ and employees’ needs and expectations.

Reducing Churn: Anticipating and Addressing Customer Needs

Customer and employee churn is a major challenge for businesses, resulting in lost revenue and increased recruitment and training costs. InMoment Advanced AI’s predictive analytics capabilities play a vital role in identifying the early signs of dissatisfaction or disengagement. By anticipating these factors, businesses can proactively address issues before they lead to churn. This proactive approach helps retain customers and ensures that employees feel valued and engaged, reducing the likelihood of them seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Strategic Decision-Making: Prioritizing Initiatives for Maximum Impact

Data-driven decision-making is at the heart of modern business strategies. InMoment Advanced AI provides comprehensive insights that help businesses prioritize their initiatives, focusing on areas yielding the greatest cost savings or revenue increases. These insights guide businesses in allocating resources effectively, whether it’s refining marketing strategies, optimizing operational processes, or enhancing customer service. By basing decisions on solid data, businesses can maximize their ROI and align their strategies with their overall goals.

The Takeaway: A Holistic Approach for a Winning Strategy

InMoment Advanced AI’s ability to integrate data across multiple channels is a game-changer, providing a unified view of information from various sources. This cross-platform integration is crucial for strategic planning and executive decision-making. It allows businesses to make informed decisions based on a comprehensive understanding of their operations, market trends, and customer behaviors. 

By breaking down data silos, InMoment Advanced AI ensures that a complete and accurate picture of the business landscape backs every decision. A study by McKinsey & Company found that companies that utilize customer analytics comprehensively are 23 times more likely to outperform competitors in terms of new-customer acquisition and nine times more likely to surpass them in customer loyalty.

InMoment Advanced AI’s ability to transform this unified data into actionable strategies makes it indispensable. Its benefits are wide-ranging and impactful, from enhancing experiences and reducing churn to aiding in strategic decision-making and facilitating cross-platform data integration. Adopting InMoment Advanced AI is not just a step towards better data analysis, but a leap towards a more informed, customer-centric, and efficient business model.

For businesses considering Spotlight:

  • How are you currently gathering and interpreting customer and employee feedback?
  • What tools are in use for understanding customer and employee experience?
  • How is this data being used to drive experience initiatives?

A Final Word

InMoment’s InMoment Advanced AI stands out in the realm of customer experience management. Its ability to harness structured and unstructured data, combined with advanced analytics, positions it as an indispensable tool for businesses aiming to enhance customer engagement and make data-driven decisions. 

Adopting InMoment Advanced AI translates into not just collecting feedback but transforming it into a strategic roadmap for business success. Stay ahead of the pack and contact us to learn more about how InMoment Advanced AI can directly impact your business.

How to Select the Best Customer Experience Management Software

Did you know that 92% of CEOs agree that customer experience (CX) improvements have a direct impact on their bottom line? It’s clear that a customer experience program is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. 

The process of choosing the best customer experience management software can be tricky and extensive, so there are some things you need to keep in mind as to find the perfect CX partner for your business. 

Benefits of Customer Experience Management Software

Delivering consistent, memorable experiences is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. Consumers are more likely to become repeat customers if they have great experiences. But, in order to achieve this, you need an actionable customer experience strategy. That is where customer experience management software comes in. Customer experience management (CXM) software offers several benefits for businesses aiming to enhance their customer interactions and satisfaction such as:

  • Improved Customer Satisfaction: CXM software helps businesses understand customer needs, preferences, and expectations. By addressing these effectively, businesses can enhance overall customer satisfaction.
  • Enhanced Customer Loyalty: By consistently providing positive experiences, CXM software contributes to building customer loyalty. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers and advocates for the brand.
  • Personalized Interactions: CXM software allows businesses to collect and analyze customer data, enabling personalized interactions. Personalization enhances the customer experience by delivering relevant content, recommendations, and offers.
  • Brand Differentiation: Providing an exceptional customer experience through CXM software can set a business apart from competitors. Positive experiences contribute to a positive image, and improved brand reputation management, which aids in differentiating your brand in the market.
  • Employee Engagement: Happy and engaged employees are more likely to provide better customer service. CXM software can also contribute to employee satisfaction by providing tools and insights to enhance their ability to serve customers effectively.

How to Choose the Best Customer Experience Management Platform

Choosing the right customer experience management is a critical decision for businesses aiming to elevate their customer interactions. A robust CXM platform can significantly impact customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall business success. But, choosing the right partner for your business is a complex process. In order to ensure you choose the right vendor, there are some preliminary steps you need to take. 

Look at Third-Party Evaluations

When evaluating CXM platforms, it’s essential to consider third-party evaluations and industry reviews. Independent research firms like Forrester and Gartner provide assessments, such as the Gartner CX Magic Quadrant, that provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of different platforms, helping you make an informed decision. Look for reviews from reputable sources, industry analysts, and customer experience experts. Assessments often highlight features, scalability, integration capabilities, and overall performance. By leveraging third-party evaluations, you can gain a well-rounded perspective on the platforms you’re considering, ensuring that your choice aligns with industry standards and best practices.

Look at Customer References

Another crucial aspect of selecting a CXM platform is examining customer references. Real-world experiences from businesses similar to yours can offer unparalleled insights into the platform’s practicality and effectiveness. Focus on understanding how the platform addressed their specific needs, the level of support provided, and any challenges faced during implementation. Customer references provide a firsthand account of the platform’s performance in diverse business environments, aiding you in making a decision that aligns with your unique requirements. 

For example, if you are looking for an example of how a customer experience platform helped a large organization put loads of data into one place, look no further than Foot Locker. Foot Locker utilized InMoment’s AI technology to gather data into one place, and sort by sentiment so that customers with negative experiences could be contacted and prevented from churning. 

Look at Their Integrated CX Offering

When considering a CXM platform, it is important to choose a partner that will allow you to do more than one thing. You don’t want a partner who can only do surveys or contact center optimization, you want a partner who will give you an end-to-end look into the customer journey. 

That is why Integrated CX is so important. Integrated CX allows you to bring in data from multiple sources into one central location. From there, you can uncover holistic insights that lead to data-driven decisions. 

10 Questions to Ask CX Companies

When in discussions with your top CX companies, it is important that you delve deeper into their specific product offerings and understand how they go about supporting their customers. You want to ensure that you have a dedicated partner that will help you reach your goals, not just a platform that you will be left in the dark with. In order to do so, make sure you ask questions that will allow you to make an informed decision on a vendor that will work best for you. 

1. What Percentage of Your Total Customer Base Relies on You for Enterprise CX Programs?

When you’re looking for a partner in business, you want them to be an expert in their field. This holds true for customer experience, yet some major companies only dedicate a small percentage of their resources to CX expertise. For example, some major companies claim to specialize in CX, but really the vast majority of their business is devoted to market research. For great customer experience, pick a vendor that is 100% dedicated and will not be distracted by other ventures.

2. What Percentage of Those Customers Have Been With You for Over Three Years?

Some vendors will tout big numbers of clients, but the information that really matters is how long those clients have been with the company. With a strong partner, you get what you were promised and clients are more likely to stick with them longer. Get past the smoke and mirrors and find the right vendor by asking about client longevity.

3. How Many of Those Customers Exceed 1 Million Interactions with You?

If you’re an enterprise, you want to differentiate those who say they can handle a large program with over a million responses and those who are just running a small research survey at

a big company. So how do you tell? Some companies will charge extra with “custom pricing” for responses over 1 million, which highlights their high cost of business and limited experience. You want a partner who doesn’t blink at 1 million.

4. Who Specifically Will Provide Implementation and Strategic Consulting Services?

Continuing the point from the previous question, it’s one thing to claim to be collaborative, but another to have a blueprint for partnership. Ask who specifically will be helping you implement your technology and help you map out your CX strategy to pick out the vendors who walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

5. How Often Will Those Resources Be Available to Us? At What Rates?

Strategy sessions and check-ins are vital to a healthy partnership with your CX vendor. Though they’re vital, many vendors charge extra for the bare minimum amount of sessions. It’s best to clarify that these partnership best practices are included in your contract, rather than an add-on that will cost you more than a pretty penny.

6. Will We Be Charged for Survey Responses? Why?

Some major vendors in the CX industry do not charge you as you’d expect. They don’t charge you based on the number of surveys you send or other elements, but by the number of survey responses you get. If you’re thinking this seems backwards you’d be right, especially seeing as the number of survey responses you’ll get is difficult to estimate going into a contract.

7. What Happens if We Over or Underestimate Our Responses? 

When you sign a contract with a vendor who charges based on the number of survey responses, there is a high probability that you will overestimate and therefore pay more money for services you don’t need. However, these companies do not offer any refunds; in fact they charge steeply if you overestimate. Weed these vendors out to make sure you aren’t backed into a very expensive corner.

8. Are We Subject to Any Parent Company’s Policies and Contracts?

This question is especially relevant due to recent acquisitions across the CX landscape. Now more than ever, it’s important to know if you’re partnering with just the technology vendor or if you’re signing something that makes you beholden to a parent company’s interests and policies. Ask this question to clarify if your vendor is working for you or for their parent company.

9. Can We Review the 24-month Product Roadmap?

Crafting a roadmap for your initiatives is necessary to not only get the quick wins you need, but to set long-term goals. However, not even CX professionals can see the future. There will be unexpected events that may necessitate adjustments to your roadmap, yet some vendors don’t allow tweaks to the plan. Clarify this with your vendor to make sure your program is future-proofed.

10. Which Customers Can We Speak to Verify Your Responses?

Strong partners create strong advocates. It’s as simple as that. Ask prospective vendors if you can speak to current customers and the best of them will refer you to an advocate that will be more than happy to tell you about their experience.

InMoment as a CX Partner 

InMoment has best-in-class NLP capabilities and has the highest user ratings of all Voice of the Customer companies according to Gartner Peer Insights. Schedule a demo today to see what we can do for your business! 

References 

Dimension data. (https://www.dimensiondata.com/en-us/insights/blog/how-ai-analytics-and-cloud-can-elevate-customer-experience). Access 1/25/24.

How We Think The Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ Can Help Shape Your CX Strategy

When it comes to creating your customer experience strategy, and deciding which partner to execute that strategy with, it is always important to look at third-party research. That is where InMoment believes that evaluative Analyst reports like the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ can come in. 

What is the Gartner Magic Quadrant?

Gartner defines this report as: “A Gartner Magic Quadrant is a culmination of research in a specific market, giving you a wide-angle view of the relative positions of the market’s competitors.”* Based on InMoment’s experience, the Gartner Magic Quadrant is a research methodology and visualization tool that can provide a graphical representation of a market’s direction, maturity, and participants developed by the research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc. The Magic Quadrant evaluates technology providers in a specific market based on their ability to execute and their completeness of vision. 

How does a Gartner Magic Quadrant work?

“A Magic Quadrant provides a graphical competitive positioning of four types of technology providers, in markets where growth is high and provider differentiation is distinct. Use a Gartner Magic Quadrant as a first step to understanding the technology providers you might consider for a specific investment opportunity.”*

The Magic Quadrant employs a distinctive methodology to assess and categorize technology vendors within a specific market segment. This categorization involves placing these vendors into one of four quadrants on a two-dimensional graph, a representation that serves as a visual aid for understanding their relative positions in the market landscape. The placement is determined by evaluating the vendor’s “Ability to Execute” and their “Completeness of Vision.” 

The vertical axis typically represents the vendor’s ability to execute, encompassing evaluation criteria such as product or service, sales execution/pricing, and overall viability. On the horizontal axis, the completeness of vision is assessed, considering a vendor’s sales strategy, vertical/industry strategy, innovation, and market understanding. The resulting quadrants are labeled as:

  • Leaders: Leaders execute well against their current vision and are well positioned for tomorrow.
  • Challengers: Challengers execute well today or may dominate a large segment, but do not demonstrate an understanding of market direction.
  • Visionaries: Visionaries understand where the market is going or have a vision for changing market rules, but do not yet execute well.
  • Niche Players: Niche Players focus successfully on a small segment, or are unfocused and do not out-innovate or outperform others.*

How the Gartner Magic Quadrant Can Provide Value 

InMoment believes that the Gartner Magic Quadrant serves a multifaceted purpose that can benefit both technology buyers and providers. For buyers, it acts as an evaluation tool that offers a visual representation of how different technology providers compare within a specific market which can aid in informed decision-making. Moreover, the Magic Quadrant provides a market description and overview helping organizations understand the broader dynamics of a market for strategic planning. 

For technology providers, the Magic Quadrant offers insights into competitive positioning which can guide strategic planning and marketing efforts. Overall, the Magic Quadrant enhances market transparency, providing an objective framework for evaluating vendors in complex and evolving technology landscapes, empowering organizations to make well-informed decisions.

Do We Think the Gartner Magic Quadrant is Reliable?

For customer experience professionals, InMoment recommends reading the Gartner Magic Quadrant within specific industry trends and considerations. As a snapshot of the market at a given moment, it can provide valuable insights into technology vendors’ positions based on execution ability and vision completeness. 

However, InMoment cautions users to be mindful of the dynamic nature of markets as vendor evaluation can change due to various factors. The subjectivity inherent in the evaluation process, based on analyst judgment, adds another element of interpretation. We think it’s crucial for users to comprehend the methodology and criteria used in each Magic Quadrant and recognize the limited scope of the assessment, which may not capture all relevant aspects for every organization. 

While the Magic Quadrant serves as a useful reference point, it should be complemented with ongoing research, customer references, and a broader set of data points for a comprehensive decision-making process. Users should view it as part of a larger toolkit rather than a singular determinant in their technology procurement strategy.

How InMoment Recommends Leveraging the Magic Quadrant in Your Evaluation Process

In our opinion, the Gartner Magic Quadrant can be a valuable resource for buyers navigating the complex landscape of technology solutions. Incorporating the Magic Quadrant into your evaluation process can be particularly beneficial during key stages of vendor selection. Here are instances when we believe referencing the Magic Quadrant can provide valuable insights:

Market Landscape Understanding

We know that in early stages of vendor selection processes, the Magic Quadrant offers a concise overview of the market landscape. It helps you identify some of the players in the market, their positions, and the overall maturity of the market. We think this foundational understanding can inform your initial considerations and narrow down the list of potential vendors.

Shortlisting Potential Vendors

Once you have a list of potential vendors, we feel the Magic Quadrant can become a powerful tool for narrowing down choices. By assessing vendors based on their Ability to Execute and Completeness of vision, you can identify those that align closely with your organization’s needs and objectives.

Understanding Vendor Strengths and Weaknesses

Dive into the details of the Magic Quadrant when you need a more granular understanding of a vendor’s strengths and weaknesses. “Completeness of Vision reflects the vendor’s innovation, whether the vendor drives or follows the market, and if the vendor’s view of how the market will develop matches Gartner’s perspective. Ability to Execute summarizes factors such as the vendor’s financial viability, market responsiveness, product development, sales channels, and customer base.”** These insights aid in a comprehensive evaluation.

Risk Mitigation

As you move closer to the final stages of your decision-making process, we think organizations and procurement departments can use the Magic Quadrant to mitigate risks by assessing vendors’ positions in terms of Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision.

Remember, while the Magic Quadrant is a valuable tool, it should not be the sole factor in your decision-making process. InMoment strongly recommends combining this with other research, customer references, and a thorough understanding of your organization’s specific requirements for a comprehensive and well-informed vendor selection.

InMoment’s Recommendations for Utilizing Your Takeaways from the Gartner Magic Quadrant in Vendor Discussions

Engaging in discussions with technology vendors can be a nuanced process. Here’s how InMoment suggests organizations leverage your Magic Quadrant learnings effectively in conversations with vendors:

Set Expectations Clearly

Share with vendors the specific criteria that are significant for your organization. This might include factors such as product or service, market responsiveness/record, and alignment with your strategic objectives. We recommend CX professionals use the Magic Quadrant as a reference point to clarify the importance of these criteria in your decision-making process.

Seek Vendor Perspective

If you’re engaging with vendors who are featured in the report, you should encourage those vendors to share their perspectives on their placement in the Magic Quadrant. This can provide valuable insights into their self-awareness, strategic vision, and plans for improvement. Ask about their roadmap and how they plan to enhance both their ability to execute and completeness of vision.

Explore Future Innovations

Discuss a vendor’s future vision and innovation roadmap. Understand how they perceive market trends, and inquire about upcoming features, technologies, or strategies that align with your organization’s long-term goals. This can help you assess the vendor’s potential to stay ahead in a dynamic market.

Build a Collaborative Relationship

Approach vendor discussions with a collaborative mindset. Use Analyst reports like the IDC MarketScape, Forrester Wave, or Gartner Magic Quadrant as shared reference points to collaboratively identify areas for improvement and opportunities for mutual growth. A transparent and constructive dialogue can contribute to building a strong, long-term partnership.

By integrating your Gartner Magic Quadrant takeaways into your vendor discussions, you empower your organization to make well-informed decisions and foster transparent and collaborative relationships with technology providers. Remember to balance the Magic Quadrant insights with a holistic evaluation that considers your unique requirements, user feedback, and the vendor’s responsiveness to your organization’s needs.

How We Think Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Can Help Influence Your CX Strategy

Choosing a CX vendor based on evaluative Analyst reports isn’t solely about improving customer interactions—it’s about crafting a holistic customer experience. By exploring vendors positioned in the research, you not only ensure they meet the criteria for execution and vision, but might also lay the foundation for a comprehensive CX strategy that addresses diverse touchpoints and facets of the customer journey.

We believe the insights from the Garter CX Magic Quadrant will aid you in how to choose a CX vendor.  According to us, it helps in finding not only a technological fit for but also a strategic partner.  It empowers organizations to make decisions that resonate with their unique objectives and ensures that the chosen CX vendor is not only a technological fit but a strategic partner in achieving comprehensive success.

References 

* Gartner, https://www.gartner.com/en/research/methodologies/magic-quadrants-research, as of January 22,2024. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved

 

**Gartner, How Markets and Vendors Are Evaluated in Gartner Magic Quadrants 10 October 2022

The Google Local Guide Program: How It Impacts Your Reputation Management Strategy

The Google Local Guide program features a global community of users that companies can engage with to support their marketing activities, build brand reputation, manage online reviews and ratings, and improve online search visibility and exposure.

While the impact of Local Guides on brand reputation management strategy is largely dependent on the quality and quantity of the contributions from the Guides, businesses can respond to these contributions and leverage the program to enhance their online presence and manage their reputation. 

What is the Google Local Guide Program?

The Google Local Guides program is a community-driven initiative by Google that encourages users to contribute information about local businesses, places, and attractions. Participating users are called Local Guides, and they share their knowledge and customer experiences by writing reviews, adding pictures and videos, updating information found on business listings, and answering questions about various locations on Google Maps.

Local Guides earn points for their contributions, which they can accumulate and use to unlock different levels within the program. Each level comes with various Local Guide benefits and perks, such as early access to new Google features, exclusive events, and special promotions or discounts. 

The Google Local Guide program is designed to improve the accuracy and completeness of local business information on Google Maps, all while fostering a sense of community among users who are passionate about sharing their insights about and experiences of the places they visit.

By participating in the Local Guides program, users help enhance the overall quality of information available on Google Maps, making it more useful and reliable for people seeking details about businesses, landmarks, and other points of interest in different locations around the world.

How Do Customers Become a Local Guide?

Anyone with a Google account can become a Local Guide. To start making contributions, users simply have to download the Google Maps app on a mobile device or access it through a Web browser. To join the program, users can follow these steps:

  • Open Google Maps and sign in with your Google account. 
  • Tap on the three horizontal lines in the top-left corner to open the menu. 
  • Scroll down and select “Your contributions.” Tap on “Join Local Guides” and follow the instructions to sign up for the program.
  • Alternatively, users can sign up by visiting https://maps.google.com/localguides/. 

To earn points and enjoy Google Local Guide benefits, users can score a place with ratings, describe their experience with reviews, share photos and videos, respond to questions about certain places, submit edits to help update business information, add missing places, or verify information by checking facts.

The Local Guides program is for individuals, not businesses. Contributions from businesses or business pages will not count towards Local Guides levels or benefits.

Google Local Guide Benefits and Perks

Local Guides earn points for every contribution they make on Google Maps. The more points they accumulate, the higher their Local Guides level will be. Here is a list of the types of contributions that Google Local Guides can make, alongside the corresponding number of points per contribution.

  • Review: 10 points per review 
  • Review: with more than 200 characters: 10 bonus points per review 
  • Rating: 1 point per rating 
  • Photo: 5 points per photo 
  • Photo tags: 3 points per tag 
  • Video: 7 points per video 
  • Caption (In photo update): 10 points per caption 
  • Answer: 1 point per answer 
  • Respond to Q&As: 3 points per response 
  • Edit: 5 points per edit 
  • Place added: 15 points per place added 
  • Road added: 15 points per road added 
  • Fact checked: One point per checked fact

Levels range from 1 to 10, and as users reach higher levels, they may unlock additional benefits. At Level 4, users will be able to unlock their first Local Guides badge, which helps their contributions to places get noticed. 

Google Local Guide benefits and perks include early access to features and services on Google Maps, discounts on Google products, invitations to special events, parties, and meetups, eligibility to test new Google products and services before public release, and thank-you gifts for high-quality contributions to Google Maps. Some Local Guides even receive additional Google Drive storage as a perk.

How the Local Guide Program Contributes to Local Business Listings

Google Local Guides contribute to the accuracy and completeness of local business information on Google Maps, making it easier for others to find what they’re looking for, while also helping support businesses by enhancing their discoverability and search visibility. 

In short, Local Guides help make Google Maps, an important business discovery platform, work better. 

By actively participating in the Local Guides program, contributors play an important role in enhancing the quality of information available on Google Maps. This, in turn, benefits both businesses and users looking for reliable and accurate details about local establishments. The program relies on the efforts of Local Guides to keep local business listings (officially called Google Business Profiles) comprehensive and helpful.

Google Local Guide: Implications on Reputation Management

The type and quality of contributions that Local Guides make can work in your favor and support your online reputation management strategy. Here are some of the ways the Local Guide program impacts the reputation of businesses, no matter the size and category.  

Detailed Reviews and Ratings

Positive reviews written by Local Guides can help enhance your brand reputation, while negative feedback can drive away potential customers. 

Interestingly, Local Guides’ reviews and ratings tend to show up at the top of listings because the content is usually longer and includes photos and videos; they also contribute to the overall star rating displayed prominently on Google Business Profiles and Maps listings, which can influence potential customers’ decisions. 

Online Search Visibility and Exposure

Google Business Profiles with a steady stream of positive reviews and a substantial amount of information provided by Local Guides may see an increase in visibility on Google Maps and other Google services. This improved visibility can attract more potential customers.

Moreover, businesses that attract active participation from Local Guides may experience higher levels of user engagement on Google Maps. Detailed reviews, helpful information, and updated details about a business can encourage users to interact more with the Business Profile to ask questions, get directions, book an appointment, and more.

Brand Trust and Credibility

Content generated by Local Guides can also contribute to your brand credibility and trustworthiness. Users often rely on reviews from real customers to make informed decisions about where to go and what services to use. By having user-generated content published by Local Guides on your Google Business Profile (instead of promotional brand content), you can inspire greater consumer trust and confidence. 

Local SEO Impact

Whether it’s a review, a set of photos and videos, answers to Q&As, or image captions, content generated by Local Guides can positively impact your business locations’ search engine optimization (SEO) performance. If your Google Business Profile features more detailed and positive content from Local Guides, you may be able to rank higher in local search results.

Community Building

Brands that actively engage with the Local Guides community may foster a sense of community support. This engagement can lead to more positive interactions with customers and potentially create brand advocates within the Local Guides community. 

Customer Experience Management

While positive reviews can be beneficial, negative reviews from Local Guides can also provide valuable customer feedback for companies as they try to identify areas for improvement. Responding to reviews, especially constructive criticism, can show that a business is proactive in addressing customer concerns. More importantly, unsolicited feedback shared by vocal customers can serve as a valuable source of insight into how to deliver better customer experiences. 

How to Drive Google Local Guides to Your Business

Spotting a Google Local Guide in person is tricky unless you recognize their face from their profile photo. The key to getting recognition from a Local Guide is to treat all your customers like one, working to exceed their expectations and deliver great experiences. 

Here are some keys to successfully engaging with Google Local Guides:

  • Manage your Google Business Profile. Optimize your Business Profile with correct, complete, and up-to-date business information. At the top of the list of updated items should be the business name, address, operating hours, and phone number.
  • Respond to reviews. Local Guides (and, in general, all of your customers) care about being responded to. In fact, according to InMoment research, 53% of customers expect a review response within 7 days. But as much as 63% say that they have never heard back from a business after leaving a review. Timely review responses can immediately improve consumer perception of your business.
  • Don’t incentivize or buy reviews. Contributions from Local Guides as well as from your customers should happen organically. Don’t buy Google reviews or get into the practice of creating incentivized reviews just to capture more feedback. Both methods violate the Google review policy, and government agencies and regulators like the FTC are cracking down on companies using these methods by handing out massive financial penalties.
  • Analyze Local Guides’ feedback for insights. Candid, authentic, detailed feedback from Local Guides can help your company achieve a more complete, accurate, and integrated picture of the customer experience. Text content found in reviews, in particular, holds rich information that you simply cannot ignore. Focus on how you can gather actionable insights from Local Guides’ reviews, as well as how you can address challenges based on the information available.

Drive Engagement with InMoment’s Reputation Management Software

Your company can gain a competitive edge by learning how to capitalize on content generated by the Google Local Guide program. With InMoment’s reputation management software, you can drive higher engagement levels with Local Guides, build a stronger brand reputation, achieve greater search visibility for your business locations, and leverage AI-powered technology to capture powerful customer experience insights — all from one powerful software platform.   

AI in Financial CX: The Future of Banking Experiences

The financial sector is at the forefront of a significant transformation, driven largely by the buzzword of the decade: artificial intelligence. This somewhat novel tech isn’t just a tool, but a revolution of sorts. CX will be forever changed in the world of retail banking in the coming years by the unstoppable wake of AI. Our take: most industries are already there in large part. 

AI’s ability to analyze and interpret vast data sets is redefining how financial institutions interact with their customers, offering more personalized, efficient, and secure services. 

We’ll explore the multifaceted role of AI and integrated CX in reshaping the financial customer experience, highlighting how it’s paving the way for a future where banking is not only about transactions, but intelligent, customer-centric experiences. 

Hyper-personalization at Scale

AI’s role in personalizing the banking experience is, in a word, profound. By integrating customer signals from a multitude of sources, such as surveys, reviews, social media interactions, and transactional data, we’re now provided with a 360-degree view of the customer. 

AI uses these three types of data to further aid banks in personalizing their customer experience: 

  • Descriptive Insights: These insights offer a detailed view into the customer’s financial dealings, including transaction history, spending trends, asset holdings, and the performance of their financial portfolio. This level of detail helps sketch a comprehensive picture of the customer’s financial activities.
  • Diagnostic Insights: These insights delve into understanding the reasons and mechanisms behind customer behaviors. They provide answers to the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of financial behaviors, giving banks a deeper understanding of their customers’ financial habits and preferences.
  • Predictive Insights: These are forward-looking insights that help banks predict future financial scenarios for their customers. They can alert customers about potential financial challenges like cash flow issues, unexpected large payments, or even opportunities for advantageous loan settlements. Predictive insights are also key in identifying and preventing potential fraudulent activities by recognizing patterns in customer data.

It won’t replace financial advisors in offering financial advice–at least for now–but it can expedite the process of providing customers personalization at scale; a windfall for institutions with a large clientele. 

This level of personalization not only enhances customer satisfaction but can also significantly boost engagement and loyalty. Banks are now moving beyond one-size-fits-all products to create unique, individualized banking experiences for each customer.

Efficiency and Accessibility

The efficiency and accessibility of banking services is changing, too.  

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are capable of handling a multitude of customer queries in real-time, from balance inquiries to complex transactional queries. It’s not just about efficiency, but about redefining accessibility. Customers can now access banking services outside traditional banking hours, from the comfort of their homes, and in their preferred language. 

Implementing these chatbots and virtual assistants enables banks to offer a continuous, tailored experience to their customers. These conversational AI tools not only facilitate seamless interactions but also efficiently discern when a customer’s query necessitates human intervention, directing them to the right staff member. This approach significantly cuts down on waiting times and enhances customer satisfaction.

A prime instance of this technology in action is Bank of America’s Erica, a digital financial assistant. Erica engages customers in customized, forward-thinking, and insightful dialogues, drawing on data like account balances, previous transactions, spending habits, payment notifications, and instances of double charges. In a similar vein, the UK’s Monzo bank utilizes user behavior analysis to pinpoint specific issues customers face. This strategy enables their customer service team to resolve 85% of daily inquiries independently, reducing their reliance on Monzo’s data team for assistance.

This proactive approach, fueled by an integrated understanding of customer data from various touchpoints, is setting new standards in customer-centric banking.

Security and Advanced Fraud Detection

Security is the fortress of financial institutions; AI is the standing army. 

By leveraging machine learning algorithms, AI systems can detect and analyze patterns across a vast array of transactions to identify potential fraud. This capability is enhanced by integrating data from various customer interaction points, providing comprehensive risk assessment. 

AI’s real-time processing abilities mean that suspicious activities are detected and addressed quicker than ever before, safeguarding customer assets effectively. 

The advent of AI-driven biometric technologies, like facial recognition and fingerprint scanning, has introduced a new era of secure customer authentication, adding a robust layer to the overall security framework in banking. 

The encryption will get even more sophisticated in time, constructing an impregnable wall between valuable customers and bad actors’s incessant, attempted breachings.  

Challenges and Ethical Considerations

The integration of AI in banking, while transformative, is not without its challenges. 

Key among these is the balance between personalization and privacy. Banks must ensure that the use of AI in analyzing customer data from various sources, including social media and personal transactions, adheres to strict data privacy standards. 

Three Key Things to Know:

  • AI is a “Black Box”: Where does the information come from? What datasets and algorithms are being implemented? What happens when the wrong person has control? With progressively more large institutions constructing and implementing their own, internal machine learning algorithms, the information output can be better understood–corrected quickly if necessary. 
  • AI is Everywhere: From pet communication devices, smart toilets, dating coaches–AI is becoming intertwined with every facet of society. With its reach touching virtually everything, what happens when this technological web is used for mal intent? It’s a precarious line we tote, and one that needs hurried, buttressed policy support. 
  • AI is Biased: AI can be biased, or in worst-case-scenarios, give incorrect information entirely. It can be the most problematic for banks when using external systems & software, that, as the aforementioned paragraph suggested, is less understood, and can’t be as easily corrected. As AI is used more frequently by financial advisors, the assurance of accurate and objective information is paramount; especially when this novel tech begins to play a bigger role in helping advisors give financial advice. 

Ensuring transparency in AI processes and maintaining an ethical framework is essential in building and retaining customer trust. As AI continues to evolve, banks must remain vigilant and proactive in addressing these challenges to harness AI’s full potential responsibly. We could say the same for any industry. 

A Final Word

AI’s role in transforming the financial customer experience is undeniable and growing. 

By leveraging AI to integrate and analyze customer data from diverse sources, banks are offering unprecedented levels of personalization, efficiency, and security. 

This revolution is not just enhancing the way customers interact with their banks but is also redefining the very essence of customer experience in the financial sector. 

As we move forward, the successful integration of AI in banking will hinge on balancing innovation with ethical and responsible use of technology. The future of banking, therefore, lies in creating AI-driven CX that are not only intelligent and personalized but also equitable and secure, fostering a new era of trust and engagement in the financial world.

If you want to build your CX strategy and understand it in a broader context, InMoment’s unified dashboard compiles your customer signals from across the web to give you a holistic view. It structures all of your data, ensuring that every decision you make for your CX strategy keeps the bigger picture in mind. 

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