"Customer satisfaction is going to drive conversion, loyalty, retention, positive word of mouth, and ultimately, financial success."
Larry Freed, President and CEO, ForeSee discusses the differences in today's consumers and what it means for metrics. He says that there are four major differences between consumers of the past and consumers of the digital age:
- Today's consumers interact with multiple channels. For example, the same customer may have touchpoints that include word-of-mouth, billboards, Facebook ads, in-app promotions, and call centers.
- Today's consumers can "replicate themselves," meaning that they can use multiple devices and channels simultaneously. For example, a user may be shopping in a regular store while comparing prices at a competitor on their phone or tablet. They may be comparing prices and features using two browser windows.
- It is almost impossible to maintain a captive audience. It takes competitors very little time to get to market, and there are competitors in almost every niche.
- Switching costs for most products and services have been eliminated or drastically lowered, again making it harder to maintain a captive audience. As a result, a company's greatest asset is its customers.
Today's web analysts are being replaced by business analysts who need to measure:
- Behavioral data
- Observation – watching individual customers, not just population segments.
- Feedback – feedback is reactive rather than pro-active, so while it is valuable, it's important to be monitoring issues before they reach the feedback stage.
- Satisfaction – understanding intent and satisfaction.
Business analysts should be asking themselves 3 questions:
- How are we doing?
- What should we do? (And it's important to look at causal relationships, not just correlation.)
- Why should we do it? (Will these changes drive behavior? What is the value of improving satisfaction?)
As a takeaway, he offered the following five points:
- You cannot manage what you do not measure.
- Today's consumer has great power.
- You want to measure success by understanding the customer's experience from their perspective, not your own.
- Customer satisfaction is going to drive conversion, loyalty, retention, positive word of mouth, and ultimately, financial success.
- To be successful, you only need to do two things: Satisfy your customers and be fiscally responsible.