eMetrics: Do You See What I Hear? How The Voice Of The Customer Impacts Customer Experience At Dell by Annette Priest
Wednesday's keynote address by Annette Priest of Dell reinforced the theme that traditional web analytics data (clickstream) is a only one tool in a suite of approaches that you should be using to listen to your customers. You have to "move from data to empathy" if you want to optimize your site and your bottom line.
Design and content impact prospects and customers at every stage of the customer journey: learning, buying and using your product. Consider the typical browsing experience: customers poke around for information when interested in a topic and often rely on the sources of information they know and trust, such as ratings and reviews. As a brand, conversations are occurring all about you. First, you have to be aware of those conversations. Second, you have to participate in them. Dell launched their own blog, but it was largely pushing content instead of having a conversation. Realizing their error, they relaunched it as IdeaStorm - a place for users to voice their ideas. The response was immediate, including an overwhelming number of requests for Dell systems with Linux. The result? Dell used this feedback to develop new products.
Listening to the customer experience on your site is best achieved with a variety of tactics. Web analytics are your base, augmented next by survey responses, usability testing and ethnography. As you explore and categorize the qualitative data from customers who participate in your research, you'll prioritize which problems you address the first. Look at the frequency of the complaint, the severity of that complaint on the customer experience and the likely monetary lift that could result if the complaint is resolved. For the advanced analyst, use personas with web analytics to know which customers are most valuable in order to prioritize actions.
In a world of limited time and resources, problem solving requires an organized approach. Annette suggests a problem solving pyramid, prevention at the base, systematic solution in the middle and quick wins on the top. Start with the quick wins and work your way down.
"My job is telling people that their babies are ugly." In an organization where egos and politics may dictate design choices, customer preferences need to rule the day. It's not uncommon for a site to change because of a HIPPO - the highest paid person's opinion (originally coined by Avinash). The good news is that what the HIPPO really cares about is money. A good analyst has to convince the HIPPO that research does equal money. Multivariate testing is a great tool to prove that point.
As yourself, "Are customers walking the hallways of your company?" If not, explore the ways you can integrate the voice of the customer more closely.