Important Data Marketers Can Unlock From Customer Service
Your customer service data is a treasure trove of information waiting to be tapped into. In particular, there are three places you can look to find data that can help supercharge your marketing and deliver exactly what your customers want, while improving your bottom line.
Marketers are always looking to get an edge. And data is one of the most popular ways to do it.
You’ve got analytics, email open rates, and A/B testing, and many other such tools. But they can only provide one piece of the puzzle, and you have to fill in the blanks in the rest of your marketing strategy.
Here’s the thing though – you’ve got access to data that can unlock the secrets of exactly what your customers want. And that is customer service data.
What if there was a way to hone in on specific segments of your customer service data to improve your revenue?
We’re going to look at three places you can head to for this kind of data that will help you learn more about your customers.
Why Marketers Need to Focus on Customer Service Data (Hint: It’s all about the Persona)
Learning about your customers should be a constant, ever-evolving process. But too often, marketers aren’t going to the source. Instead, they track various analytics trying to piece together what they think their customers want.
And while any data is good, some data is better than others.
And you should start with the source that has access all sorts of data that can have a direct impact on your brand, i.e, your customer support team. The team has front-line access to everyone who buys your product or service. Talk about a secret weapon!
If you have a system set up that focuses on creating impactful customer conversations, then you’ve already got the tools in place to start gathering the good stuff.
Here’s an example of something you can put into practice easily:
Look at your customer personas or profiles. They can already tell you a lot about your ideal target audience and help you find the information that makes them tick.
Usually, a customer persona will look something like this:
You can see from the image that a lot of data is sitting right at your fingertips.
It’s easy to get the basics like age, gender identification, location, and job title. But, where marketers can really hit paydirt is in the psychographic details–attitudes, values, opinions, lifestyles–that help tell you why customers buy what they do. That’s one of the major benefits of creating a persona.
If you have a good handle on your product and your market, you can fill out a lot of this. That’s a great way to start.
But in an ideal world, you want to dig deep. You want to have an intimate understanding of your customer’s hopes, fears, frustrations, buying patterns, and purchase decisions1.
There’s no better way to gather that sort of information than to speak with your customers directly. And that’s exactly what your customer support team is doing on a daily basis. So take advantage of that.
Note the things that your customer service team knows but other departments like marketing or operations might not.
- What complaints does the team hear repeatedly?
- What are the biggest reasons that people contact the support team in the first place?
- Where is there a bottleneck in delivery or implementation that drives people to the support team?
- Is there language on the site that causes confusion?
Do you see why data is such a big deal?
All this information has practical use beyond just understanding your customers better.
Think about your marketing strategy. The keywords you’re using for your search engine optimization (SEO) and the copy you have on your sales page are already converting, right?
What if you could raise those rates?
With customer data, you have more than numbers, you have conversations.
You can use your customers own words to enhance your copy and pack a powerful emotional punch or delight them with an email campaign customized for them.
Here’s a simple example in action:
Joanna Wiebe of CopyHackers was writing new copy for a Rehab Center. She went to Amazon and searched for books written by people who went to rehab or suffered from addiction. From the reviews, she found some incredible comments and used those in her copy.
The results speak for themselves2; she was able to increase clicks by more than 400% and opt-ins on the lead generation form by more than 20%.
No marketer should ignore the source of information that can be put to use in multiple ways. So dig into it.
Here’s where to look:
#1 Repeat Customers: The Bread and Butter of Your Brand
When it comes to the sales funnel, a lot of attention is given to acquiring new customers.
Getting new customers is great, but you might be forgetting one big part of the equation – customer retention, or getting your existing customers to keep buying your product or service.
The customer journey doesn’t end once they buy from you. That’s just the end of one phase of it, so don’t leave them hanging.
Convincing your current customers to buy repeatedly has a direct impact on your bottom line.
According to research from Bain & Company3, loyal customers can lower operating costs, increase profits, and serve as evangelists for your company.
And here’s the kicker.
The same study found that an increase in customer retention rates by just 5% can have a corresponding increase in profits by 25% to 95%.
That’s one part of it, but don’t ignore another reason why you need to focus on your existing customer data.
Existing customers are more likely to buy and spend more moneysup>4 when compared to new customers.
They’ve already bought once. And assuming they are happy campers, they are primed and ready to go when it comes to buying more.
There are plenty of data points that go into customer retention, including:
- the price of your product or service, eg., how many conversions from opt-ins or quote forms
- how good your website design is, eg., a high bounce rate can indicate your site isn’t well-constructed because people are exiting quickly
- the general performance of your site, eg., longer loading times have a negative impact on conversion rates5
- your product or service delivery, eg., how often are customers contacting customer service because they are having issues and how often the issues are solved during the first conversation
But a huge factor is also how your customer service and follow up is set. What happens after they click the buy button?
If the answer is ‘well, not much,’ then you’ve got a golden opportunity.
Dig into your customer service data and see both what you’re doing right and where you can improve.
A good place to start is the customer journey. Go through it yourself and experience it, not as a marketer, but as a customer.
Along the way, ask yourself these questions:
- Where are there hiccups that are causing friction with your current customers?
- Can your customers participate in a loyalty program?
- Could your customers be served better by having dedicated customer retention or customer loyalty team at their disposal?
- Are customers encouraged to provide feedback throughout their journey??
Spending time developing a strategy around any one of these areas can help you better manage the future relationship with your customer. And it can help you anticipate their needs.
#2 NPS: Understand the Power of Your Most Vocal Customers
NPS stands for net promoter score. It’s a way to track how many customers would recommend your product or service to others.
Typically, this score is derived from customers who slide into one of three camps: detractors, passives, and promoters.
Here’s how to figure it out: Ask your customers to rate their experience with you on a scale of one to ten. Ten being the best and one being…yikes.
Next, subtract the percentage of detractors (the people who rank you 1-6) from the percentage of promoters (the people who give you 9s and 10s). That’s your final score.
The higher the number, the better off you are when it comes to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Now, keep in mind an NPS score is based on a rolling average. It isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a one-time thing. Ideally, you want to constantly ask your customers for feedback so this score can change over time. You can benchmark your scores against your industry averages too.
Detractors are customers who are not happy. And, unfortunately, unhappy customers also tend to vocalize their displeasure. They are three times more likely6 to complain to their friends about a bad experience.
Passives are the customers who pretty much think everything is fine. You walk a tightrope with these customers. While things might seem good, they have a wandering eye. If a new opportunity comes along with another brand they might take it.
And promoters are those customers who love your brand, are loyal, and most importantly, are happy to tell everyone how great you are. Promoters not only stroke the ego, but also offer economic benefits.
A report from the Temkin Group7 found:
“…promoters are over four times more likely to repurchase from a company, over five times more likely to forgive a company if it makes a mistake, over seven times more likely to try new offerings from a company, and almost five times more likely to trust a company.”
You’ll have a very good idea of how many of your customers are loyal and willing to show their loyalty to people outside your brand. That matters because people are far more likely to buy based on the recommendations of their friends and family8.
There are simple ways marketers can approach each in action.
Promoters are the perfect customers to talk to for testimonials or case studies. Highlight the people who love your brand and you can expand their reach beyond just their friends and family.
With detractors, it’s important to follow up. Be proactive and see if you can get to the root of the problem. It might be that you can solve their issues and turn the situation around, making them a happy customer.
Want to see a real-life example of improving NPS in action?
Mention9 was able to develop an approach to NPS that focused on asking specific questions about a free trial of their product.
Then they broke down the users into detractors, passive, and promoters, and segmented these customers into groups.
Detractors were thanked for taking the survey. Passives were offered an extended free trial, and promoters were given an upgrade promotion.
A few months later, the upgrades from the respondents were 3.5 times higher than the average rate. Pretty cool, right?
You can see how digging into your NPS data and finding creative ways to prioritize feedback can have real results over the long term.
#3 First Call Resolution: Insight Into Support Performance
As critical as the customer side is, you don’t want to ignore data from the support side of things either. After all, your support team is your first line of defense when it comes to keeping customers happy.
One way to dig into that is to take a look at first call resolution (FCR).
First call resolution is a way to track how many customers are satisfied with the support they get on the first call. Ideally, they get what they need on that first call and don’t have to contact support again.
What are some of those factors that matter for FCR?
Speed is a big one. Approximately 60% of customers think that waiting on hold for a minute is too long.
Customers today want to be helped right away. But here you have to strike the delicate balance between taking care of your customer’s problems quickly but not so quickly that they end up with poor support and no resolution.
Another factor is convenience. The days of giving customers a number to call during business hours are a thing of the past. Consumers demand support on their time, and at their fingertips.
Hence the rise in live chat and chatbots.
Adding these tools to your customer service arsenal don’t just improve your support performance; they’ve been shown to make customers happier too.
Moreover, chatbots are able to handle many simple issues, leaving more time and resources open for your best customer service team members to tackle the complex problems.
Even small improvements in FCR rates can be correlated with happier customers. Oracle10 found that for every 1% improvement in FCR, you’ll see 1% improvement in customer satisfaction.
So how can you use this sort of data?
First, look at this as an exciting opportunity to improve your customer experience. And if you don’t think this matters as much as, say, social media or email marketing today, think again.
Consumers are rating customer experience and satisfaction as an important factor in deciding where they spend their money. In fact, recent surveys11 have found that 86% of consumers are willing to spend more money for better customer experience.
That number should make you sit up and pay attention.
Your customer support team is now more valuable than ever. Having customer service that’s empathetic, exceeds expectations, and solves problems quickly means you will stand out from the pack.
That’s right, customer support is now a competitive advantage.
Are you capitalizing on it?
There is so much to learn from customer service data.
Focusing on three key areas – retention, promoters, and customer satisfaction, will give you the tools you need to develop solid strategies for having a better relationship with your customer and attracting new leads.
So here’s the real question—
Are you excited to dig into your data and see what you can find?
1 – https://econsultancy.com/customer-personas/
2 – https://copyhackers.com/2014/10/amazon-review-mining/
3 – http://www2.bain.com/Images/BB_Prescription_cutting_costs.pdf
4 – https://www.invespcro.com/blog/customer-acquisition-retention/
5 – https://neilpatel.com/blog/loading-time/
6 – https://www.inc.com/graham-winfrey/the-cost-of-unhappy-customers.html
7 – https://experiencematters.blog/2017/07/10/report-economics-of-net-promoter-score-2017/
8 – https://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/nielsenglobal/apac/docs/reports/2015/nielsen-global-trust-in-advertising-report-september-2015.pdf
9 – https://www.slideshare.net/mentionapp/mention-nps-process-reduce-churn-increase-customer-hapiness
10 – http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/improving-contact-resolution-1599286.pdf