customer experience | 7 min read

5 Best Practices for Customer Experience Analysis

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Does your customer experience align with your buyers’ expectations? There’s only one way to find out: conduct a customer experience analysis.

Customer experience is an important piece of the branding puzzle. When customers have a great experience, they’re more likely to remember your brand the next time they need what you provide. 

But there’s a customer experience gap that many brands struggle to close, namely because they don’t know it exists. For example, one study found that 92% of brands think that most of the content they create resonates with their target audience. However, 51% of consumers said that less than half of branded content resonates in an authentic way.

To truly learn how customers experience your brand, conduct a customer experience analysis. 

What Is Customer Experience Analysis?

Customer experience analysis (CX analysis) is the process of understanding customer interactions in order to improve the customer experience. The goal is to identify any pain points or areas where the customer experience could be improved. This information can then be used to create a plan to improve the customer experience.

A proper analysis depends on quality data. This data may come from surveys, interviews, focus groups, online reviews, social media data, and observation. It is important to collect data from as many sources as possible in order to get a complete picture of the customer experience.

Once you have gathered data, brands can identify any pain points or areas where the customer experience could be improved. 

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Why Does Customer Experience Analysis Matter?

A customer experience analysis allows you to see the big picture. You can get a sense of what your customers are saying about your company and what they think of your products or services. This information can help you make changes and improvements to your business. 

It can also help you identify problems early on. If you know about a problem, you can fix it before it becomes a bigger issue. Getting ahead of a problem may help you to keep your brand intact as well as prevent negative experiences from getting out of control.

Additionally, customer experience analysis can help you track the success of your changes and improvements. Conducting an analysis today can give you a good starting point. Then, tracking your customers’ experience over time can help you see whether any changes you’re making are working. 

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How Do You Measure Customer Experience?

Customer experience takes into account a number of data sources. Together, these sources give you a clearer picture of how others view your brand, what they’re saying, and how they’re feeling. 

Brands can measure the customer experience either directly, indirectly, or most commonly, a little of both. Here are some options to guide you:

Direct Feedback

Direct feedback refers to information that companies have solicited from the customer. Some examples include:

  • Branded customer feedback surveys and polls
  • Net promoter score (NPS)
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT)
  • Online reviews
  • Phone conversations

Your CRM might also contain some direct customer feedback. For example, if a customer calls your sales team with questions or needs support, they may document the details under the customer’s CRM profile.

Indirect Feedback

Indirect feedback refers to information that has been gathered as a result of customer interactions but wasn’t directly solicited from the customer. Examples of indirect feedback may include:

  • Churn rates
  • Customer renewal rates
  • Average/total lifetime value
  • Social listening data
  • Data from chat logs
  • Average customer spend
  • Average case resolution time

This type of data usually means reading between the lines. It can be revealing about a customer’s experiences, even though the insights aren’t coming directly from their mouths.

Real-Time Feedback

We categorize real-time feedback in a bucket all its own. With platforms like Linkfluence, you can receive real-time insights from direct and indirect feedback sources in a single platform. 

Linkfluence’s consumer insights technology uses AI to listen to and learn about your customers wherever they are online. Examples include social media comments, online forums, solicited and unsolicited online reviews, media mentions, and blogs, for example.

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What To Do With Customer Experience Analysis Data

All the data you collect about the customer experience is meaningless until you use it. Once you gather your CX analysis data, you can apply it to a number of use cases, such as the following.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

Both satisfied and dissatisfied customers talk about your business. But one type tends to tell more people than others. (We’re sure you can guess which one). 

You don’t always hear about poor customer experiences. While those customers aren’t complaining to you, they are complaining to their friends and family. Bad news spreads quickly, and it’s hard to shake once it starts affecting your image. 

Truthfully, you can’t win them all. But when you focus on improving customer satisfaction as much as possible, you can reduce the frequency of bad experiences and the number of people who hear about them. 

Sometimes, all it takes is addressing the problem after the fact. A bad experience might not be enough to lose a customer as long as you handle it appropriately. But to do this, you first need to know the problem exists. That’s where a CX analysis comes in. 

Personalize the Customer Experience

Customers no longer just “want” personalized experiences — they expect it from the brands they do business with. According to McKinsey research, 71% of customers want personalized interactions, while 76% of customers get frustrated with brands that can’t deliver. 

Brands can more easily create personalized experiences when they have a solid starting point. Getting inside the current CX can lead to better decision-making when it comes to choosing how to personalize each interaction. 

Gain Insights You Didn’t Know You Could Access

One challenge that a CX analysis can help to overcome is the “we don’t know what we don’t know” conundrum. When you’re only asking about what you know, you could be missing out on key opportunities to connect that are beyond your current understanding. 

CX analysis data can reveal hidden opportunities you might not know to look for. For example, Linkfluence’s social listening technology can collect unstructured data and translate it into usable insights. This can be helpful in identifying new audience segments, uncovering previously unknown pain points, and finding ways to differentiate your brand. 

Take Linkfluence client True North, for example. Linkfluence helped the brand analyze half a million social media posts to surface new insights and sentiments related to diagnosis. With such a large amount of unstructured data to sort through, the client leaned on Linkfluence’s natural language processing (NLP) technologies to make sense of it all.

The result: More than 135 actionable insights based on a better understanding of the customer experience. They gained a unique perspective from caregivers and patients alike that will be used to develop new treatments and improve patient care. See the full case study

Encourage Customer Loyalty

Customers who aren’t happy with your brand might stick around for a while. But it’s a lot harder to keep their business when they’re considering other options. 

CX analysis can help you discover the causes of customer dissatisfaction faster than you might learn about them via other methods. Taking action as soon as possible can help you to retain loyal customers, reduce costly churn, and maintain your revenue.

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5 Best Practices for Conducting Customer Experience Analysis

Making the customer experience a priority is the first step. Next, you’ll want to decide what data to collect, how to go about collecting and analyzing it, and how to apply it to develop a stronger CX strategy. We recommend including these practices in the process.

1) Start with a Website Analysis

Your website is often the first customer touchpoint. It sets the tone for the rest of their experience and should be optimized to create a strong first impression. 

A website analysis might have several moving parts, such as a heat map analysis, scroll map analysis, and an SEO analysis to find potential UX errors (e.g., long page load times, buttons are too close together on mobile, etc.). 

2) Use a Variety of Data Sources

The more you can enrich your CX analysis with data, the better. Data from multiple sources allows you to get a more comprehensive view of your brand from your customers’ eyes. 

Also, make sure you’re including data from every stage of the customer journey in your customer experience analysis. From discovery to purchase to follow-up and all the smaller points in between, customers experience your brand in different mindsets. Using multiple data sources can help to provide more context into each of these stages.

3) Conduct Competitor Research

As you’re collecting customer data, don’t neglect the power of your competitors. Now is a great time to learn what customers are saying about your competitors. You can discover where they might be lacking in CX and ensure you don’t make those same mistakes. 

Also, go beyond your competitors and look at how world-class brands approach customer experience. Discover what other customers like about the experiences they create and learn from their wins. Chances are, those same brands share a portion of your own target market and may influence their perceptions of what a great customer experience looks like.

4) Manage Your Customer Relationships

It’s not enough to collect data about your customers’ experiences after the fact. If they have a bad experience, the damage is already done. It’s harder to play defense than it is to correct issues on the spot or shortly after they happen. 

But when you’re in contact with your customers on a regular basis, you have a much better chance of gaining insights that can improve their experiences. Being proactive in managing your relationships allows you to ask for feedback from them more often. It also gives them plenty of opportunities to share it. 

5) Turn Data into Insights into Actions

Take analysis a step further by turning your data into insights into action. Data alone isn’t enough to understand your customers’ needs and thoughts. The data means something, and the whole purpose of analysis is to figure out what it is.  

Once you understand how your customers think and feel and what their expectations are, you can develop an action plan to make improvements to your CX. Start by addressing the micro issues that affect customers on a case-by-case basis. Then, if you notice patterns or repeat occurrences, you may need to address those same issues on a macro level. 

Why Choose Linkfluence for Customer Experience Analysis

Linkfluence is a consumer insights platform that helps you dive deeper into your audience’s experiences. With real-time insights across a variety of channels, including social media, blogs, news outlets, review platforms, and other media, brands can extract impactful information about their customers’ experiences and take action immediately. 

By tapping into conversations as they’re happening, brands can get a more comprehensive view of their customers that isn’t possible with just feedback surveys, NPS, or reviews. What’s more, you can also collect data on your closest competitors and world-class brands to always stay a step ahead. 

Learn how you can make customer experience a competitive advantage when you schedule a demo.

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