Customer insights from your voice of customer program allows your organization to continuously refine CX strategy. In 2022, expect to see more departments at your organization wanting to get closer to the customer. We've also seen trends to suggest more insights in 2022 are focused on improving their storytelling capability, increasing their depth-of-insight, centralizing VoC data from multiple, diverse sources and of course measuring the ROI of CX.
Each of these trends is an opportunity to improve customer experience, increase key metrics (such as NPS/CSAT) and drive stronger financial results. To that end, we've sourced the most important customer insights trends for 2022 and how you can take advantage of each.
Everyone wants to get closer to the customer - so help them!
More departments are asking for VoC insights than ever before. ESOMAR found that 62% of surveyed insights and research agencies experienced an increase in demand for insights reports in 2021. 64% expected this demand will continue to grow beyond 2022. This reflects the growing demand for insights from different departments across the organization.
Why? The case for using voice of customer analysis is strong. Entrepreneur says, “Backed by data, your organization makes better strategic decisions, enjoys high operational efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, and amazing ROI.”
They also found that data-driven organizations benefit from:
- 23X higher customer acquisition
- 6X stronger customer retention
- 19X higher margins
Supported by budgets
An increase in demand needs to be tied to an increase in the budgets for these projects. 17% of respondents said analyzing more in-house voice of customer data was their primary reason for increasing budgets (ESOMAR). 14% also said expanding the range of skills in the team was their number one concern (ESOMAR).
Grow headcount and find the right skills
For 23% of respondents, the most cited challenge dealing with increased demand was unlocking extra capacity. In companies with fewer than 1000 employees, two-thirds have less than ten people on their insights team. Unsurprisingly, organizations with smaller teams were also missing an injection of key skills. This skill shortage is exacerbated by data analytics skills already in high demand. McKinsey research actually discovered 43% of insights leaders listed data analysis as the most in demand skill.
Increase the depth of your customer insights
VoC programs must provide deep and meaningful insights. Just reporting high level NPS/CSAT scores are no longer enough. When refining your VoC strategy consider how you'll dig deeper than surface level insights.
Consider the following examples:
1) NPS increased +5.7 last quarter.
2) NPS increased +5.7 last quarter but could've been +6.98 if we had address the four main CX issues impacting the post-purchase stage of the customer journey.
Which is more useful to your organization?
Improve your insights narrative to increase executive buy-in for CX initiatives
Insights storytelling is a way of presenting ideas as part of a larger narrative. As we've come to learn over the past year, storytelling is increasingly seen as a key differentiator in the VoC insights space. Insights should always drive actions that help organizations hit their high level business objectives. This won't happen however, if decision makers don't understand the story you're trying to communicate.
ESOMAR has highlighted storytelling as a high demand skills for around two-thirds of organizations surveyed.
What's limiting your ability to tell impactful stories with data this year? Is this problem solved with hiring the right people and expanding the team, identifying and onboarding technology solutions to make this job easier or finding a mix of these two pathways?
Centralize your VoC channels to link survey feedback to CX action to financial ROI
ESOMAR's research found that US companies are using an average of 5.4 tools to formulate VoC insights. This shows just how hot omnichannel VoC data collection has become lately. Data volumes are increasing year-on-year as more organizations adopt a customer-centric outlook.
Each of these channels comes with at least one system where customer data is stored. As more VoC programs grow their data collection across diverse channels, you'll need a strategy for how you're going to centralize it. What are the benefits of data centralization? Increased productivity allowing your insights function to do more with data already in-house.
In a recent article, Ryan Stuart, CEO of Kapiche, noted why technology for text analytics is important:
"Customer insights teams would get large amounts of time back, allowing them to spend more time doing what they do best - taking the time to understand how what people are saying impacts their behaviour and sharing actionable insights with the business. … this is what insights should be about!"
Measure the ROI of CX with a dedicated insights platform
Everyone wants to measure the ROI of their CX efforts. There has been serious investment put into CX in the last few years. While nobody doubts the importance of customer experience, CEOs and CFOs are starting to ask the hard question, 'What's the ROI of this?'.
Insights technology utilizing AI can provide this much needed efficiency boost. A google search for 'dedicated insights platform' will get you started. PwC for example, found that 64% of companies embracing AI had more efficient operations and increased productivity. Deloitte also views technology in this area as a strategic asset:
"High-quality data enables the use of artificial intelligence (e.g., visual analysis, natural language processing, predictive analytics) to further automate complex processes, glean unique and predictive insights, make machine engagement more human, craft new products, services, and even entirely new business models, and enhance brand trust."
Linking these time and cost savings to financial ROI is key. Peter Harris, CEO of Bastion insights has told us, "there needs to be some kind of accountability on what outcomes are we achieving through the investment in customer insights. That's the only way I can say it is working is just tracking, measuring ROI and reporting back on it.''
2022 Action Plan for customer insights:
- Produce specific reports for each department as more become customer-centric in their outlook. These actionable insights inform how that department is able to influence your organization's key metrics.
- Evaluate the depth of the insights you're reporting now. A good way to see if your insights are helping decision makers refine CX strategy is to just ask them. If they would like to do more with insights but cannot, start looking for a dedicated insights platform that can deliver deep and meaningful insights reports.
- Develop a VoC data centralization plan to get on top of this trend. Without a plan for how you'll centralize customer data, it will be much harder to connect the dots between what customers say and financial ROI (more on ROI in the next section).
- Evaluate how you're currently measuring the ROI of CX and if these measurements give your organization confidence to invest $Xm in CX
- If you have less than full confidence then consider the technology solutions that help you more easily measure the exact impact each customer experience issue is having on NPS/CSAT.