Voice of the Customer: 7 Ways Tech Companies are using Conversation Intelligence Across Product Management and Customer Experience
Conversation intelligence (CI) is a proven game-changer for sales. That fact shows up in survey data and anecdotal evidence alike. But what’s less well known is the many ways real companies are using this technology to glean insights across their businesses.
We recently hosted a panel discussion with a group of customers that hold roles in sales, product management, customer success and customer experience. While there were plenty of sales examples, the panelist also shared a variety of ways they're using CI in functions like product management, customer support and customer experience to better understand the voice of the customer.
The panelists included:
- Andrew Oliver, Head of Sales, Gatekeeper
- Austin John, Senior Product Manager, Lloyd’s List Intelligence
- Matt Myszkowski, Vice President, Customer Experience, Cision
- Stephanie Ulpiani, Head of Sales, MyTutor
- Bekkie Wetz, Vice President of Client Success, Jiminny (moderator)
Below are a few of the collective highlights from our presenters that stood out for us.
1. Getting “closer to customers”
Leaders traditionally obtained customer feedback from individual employees, such as an account manager or support representative. This is still useful but there’s a degree of detail that can be lost in obtaining information secondhand. For example, an employee relays that a customer found a competitive product is ‘better than yours’ but struggles to convey the context.
CI solves this because it adds another “layer of data” with a “new level of detail” according to the panelists. While leaders can’t listen to every call, CI provides insights across all calls. Employees can even direct a leader’s attention to a specific call, or even a crucial moment on a call. With CI, leaders can hear customer feedback for themselves.
“Jiminny gets you closer to customers,” summed up one panelist.
2. Obtaining better product feedback for setting priorities
CI helps product management understand and measure sentiment around product UX that emerges in conversations the company has with customers. The analytics performed on transcripts of those conversations provide an ability to “understand in detail and depth” what customers are facing. This is useful for establishing product development priorities including fixes, new features and new products.
3. Discovering a better understanding of the root problem
Customer experience teams can use the analysis in CI to prioritise follow-up on calls following customer engagement with support. This can lead to a better understanding – and in some cases a different understanding – of the root problem. For example, one CX leader shared how his team checked in with a customer and was surprised to learn the root cause problem was really about product functionality rather than a support issue.
In another case, his team learned that the customers were attempting to use a feature to perform a task for which it wasn’t designed. Such findings were shared across the company and drove improvements in customer education efforts and product functionality.
4. Listening to learn
Interpersonal communications experts have observed people instinctively listen to respond, rather than listen to understand. It takes focus to train one’s attention on processing what the customer is saying. It’s even harder if your attention is diverted to note-taking on calls.
CI enables support, experience and product teams to focus on the conversation – knowing the notes and analysis will come from the technology later. This leads to what one panelist called “discovery roadmaps.” They are discovering “themes emerging” on these calls and can better focus their line questioning on those themes to learn the depth of the concern.
One panelist noted this is particularly useful for leaders in support and customer experience positions. This is because their teams typically don’t have the training or experience sales professionals usually have at identifying the right questions to ask – and CI gives them the means to coach them.
5. Augment Net Promotor Score programs with context
Net promoter scores (NPS) are a prevalent way to easily get a sense of customer satisfaction at a high level. However, companies sometimes send an NPS survey following an engagement with sales or support – and it’s hard to know if the score given is directed at the engagement or the product.
One panelist is using CI to augment this program at his company. CI is allowing them to collect customer feedback and share it across the business. While the company is still in the early stages of building this process out, they are finding it provides important context.
6. Essential customer intelligence around renewals
One panelist found CI proved invaluable around the time new customers were coming up for their first contract renewals. They could look at data around this cohort and “see where we are at” in terms of satisfaction, sentiment and trends. They also learned about unique goals customers had at renewal time. This enabled them to better position their product, tailor messages and create “battle cards” aimed at helping account managers address key concerns around renewal.
7. Fostering a culture of sharing
Multiple panelists noted CI has had a cultural impact on the sharing of information. The act of sharing used to be a manual process, but CI provides easy ways to identify and share key points. It’s easy to share a link to a crucial 30-second snippet in an hour-long call by email to a Slack channel for example.
Benefits of conversation intelligence
Like the use cases we hear from sales leaders, the panelists noted a range of benefits to their product and customer teams.
First, new employees can “ramp up” more quickly by seeing and hearing from customers firsthand.
Second, CI drives consistency across the business in terms of listening and communicating with customers.
Finally, one panelist noted an uptick in employee engagement after implementing CI. The team welcomed the fact company leaders could hear directly from customers what they were hearing every day.
A recording of the full panel discussion is freely available for viewing on YouTube: The Power of Conversation Intelligence Throughout the Customer Journey.
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