In an unsteady 2023, consumers are increasingly selective about their preferred brands and buying experiences. Even the most loyal will jump ship if their needs are unmet at any point in their customer journey. People know what they want without compromise — and at this very moment, they’re publicly talking online about which businesses are doing it right and the ones falling flat.
To pinpoint today’s top consumer demands, brands can’t rely on outdated voice-of-the-customer (VoC) processes and strategies. The antiquated methods of collecting, tracking, and analyzing data via Google Docs, spreadsheets, basic review aggregators, or even “trusting that old-school intuition” won’t stand a chance as more organizations invest in powerful deep listening brand intelligence (BI) software.
Chatmeter’s President GTM (and former Chief Revenue Officer), Cynthia Sener, joined the Millennium Live podcast to discuss technologies she considers true game-changers in our fast-paced, ever-changing business environment. With the ability to hear, interpret, and deliver action to every word of the customer chatter that matters, brand leaders can mine next-level VoC insights and implement exceptional data-backed CX strategies ready to weather any storm.
In the podcast from the Millennium Alliance, Sener provides nuanced and panoramic insights and predictions regarding the new age of strategic CX. “You can panic, or you can lean in,” says Sener. “Now is the time to lean in and grab that market share.”
Here are some highlights from the podcast:
1. Better Data Mining Through Deep Listening Technology
So, what exactly is deep listening? “Deep listening means you’re mining your unstructured data for BI that might not be right at the surface of your primary data collection,” says Sener. Instead, the VoC data is hidden beneath ground level, and tapping it takes a nuanced approach.
Sener discusses traditional customer data-capture methods, such as surveys, which only capture answers to the specific questions asked — many of which are leading. This leaves brands with often-skewed responses that only glean information about the specific questions. The most valuable and authentic data and insights come from more profound listening that collects every word and customer sentiment in real-time.
Additionally, many demographics and markets avoid taking surveys for a multitude of reasons, further minimizing the scope of your customer-led data efforts. “You need to monitor the content beyond surveys alone,” continues Sener. “The best brands are listening. Listening to the frustrations and the delights of your brand.” With previously untapped information, you’ll have an entirely fresh and perhaps unexpected treasure trove of first-hand customer intelligence ready and waiting for you to act on.
“That’s deep listening,” Sener says. “That’s how you get beyond the NPS score.”
If you’re not rushing to build an innovative, data-backed CX strategy for your customers, your competitors certainly will. To move the needle and maintain loyalty in today’s market, brands must quickly dig beneath the surface — and start listening now!
2. For Amazing CX, Listen and React To Customer Feedback
While essential, it takes more than listening alone to make a true impact. For brands to thrive, Sener believes they must focus on two major things — “Listen to your customers and react,” she says. “It’s that simple.”
While theoretically simple, implementing an effective deep listening strategy followed by direct action is more complex. After all, most brands gathering VoC and BI data do so via many channels, including Google, Facebook, Yelp, OpenTable, ZocDoc, or online surveys, to name a few. Multiply that by how many locations your brand has, and you’ve got a lot of data points to process.
Sound overwhelming? It can be. It’s also why organizations are investing rapidly in the leading technologies that collect, analyze, and interpret this deluge of structured and unstructured data. Especially for multi-location brands, the question isn’t if they should invest in deep listening software. It’s which one is the best choice for their organization. In 2023 and beyond, forgoing the technology altogether shouldn’t be an option.
Are diners eating at your Memphis locations thrilled about a new menu item, but those in Miami couldn’t care less? Do people only complain about messy retail stores in Seattle, but find them clean at every other location? Have exceedingly long lines at your bank’s Midwest branches caused people to turn around and leave — perhaps straight to your biggest competitors? With customer-sourced knowledge like this, your team can implement agile actions to enhance location-based or enterprise-wide CX.
Deep listening capabilities give you visibility into countless insights directly sourced from customer chatter. “Visibility at every part of the business gives that customer-first mindset for growth,” says Sener. With a location-based CX platform, brands gain the invaluable internal and competitive analytics necessary to create an exceptional customer journey custom-made for every region, city, and neighborhood, down to the specific store.
Deep listening isn’t just about understanding your brand’s strengths and pain points. It also puts your biggest competitors under the microscope so your team can glean invaluable intelligence about their strengths and weaknesses. “Listen to the brands you want business from or aspire to be like. Tap into what customers say about them,” Sener says.
All it takes is a quick tech integration, and you’ll soon attain an entirely new toolset to brilliantly grow your market reach and revenue.
3. Deliver Revenue-Building Results With AI and NLP
While the terms once felt almost futuristic, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are now modern table stakes for brand success. In short, if AI and NLP aren’t core to your CX strategy, you’re behind the curve.
“AI and NLP are the only ways to be successful,” says Sener. “For every single piece of survey-derived structured data, you can get ten times more from unstructured data!” The real challenge for most brands is figuring out how to tap into their plethora of unstructured data.
The answer — invest in a powerful deep listening platform combined with machine learning, customer sentiment analysis, and AI and NLP technology. With these tools, you’ll seamlessly locate, analyze, and decipher your most essential structured and unstructured data.
“AI gives you the models to understand and learn from user content. It gives you the agility to say, ‘this is good data, and this is bad data,’” Sener continues. AI also reveals answers to the questions you aren’t directly asking — or even thinking to ask — your prospects and customers.
NLP and AI technology add an all-important nuance to data, essential for understanding the sentiment behind your online reviews and feedback. “Words mean different things in different contexts,” Sener says.
Sener uses the word “cold” as an example. Imagine being a corporate marketing team member for a large restaurant chain that notices the word “cold” suddenly trending on Yelp. Without context, the reviews could refer to happy customers who love the “ice cold beer,” disgruntled diners disappointed at their “sad cold steaks,” or somewhat satisfied eaters who enjoy the food but find a server’s personality “off-putting and cold.”
With AI and NLP technology, brands can trust their customer sentiment platform to instantly report if the word “cold” pops up in reviews for positive, negative, or neutral reasons. With this new context level, your can team can make the perfect strategic changes to keep your customers happy, loyal, and coming back for more.
This blog only scratches the surface of Sener’s eye-opening exploration of deep listening, and her in-depth CX expertise. Be sure to listen to or watch the entire conversation and gain every ounce of revenue-building, brand-strengthening intelligence.
See how Chatmeter’s deep listening and location CX platform will deliver next-level results for your brand. Schedule a demo today and discover what our technology can reveal about your customer’s needs, desires, and expectations in real time.