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Customer Experience Analytics: Taking a Closer Look

  • February 2014
  • 13 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2043243



Making a profit by satisfying customer wants and needs is the primary objective of every enterprise, from the corner store to the multinational powerhouse. Achieving that objective on a continuing basis, at the pace and scale of modern commerce, isn’t just a matter of firing up the sales force and speeding up the process to provide more goods or services. Ironically, finding ways to successfully go faster and get bigger requires time for good decision-making and careful attention to detail.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the customer-facing portions of the organization, which must now connect with customers via mobile social media—e.g., Yelp, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter —in addition to the established email, Web site and call center channels. The immediacy and visibility of these new mobile social networks makes them ideal for many marketing and customer service initiatives, and also for the rapid, widespread transmission of customer commentary. Unfortunately, negativity bias all but guarantees that a brief corporate social faux pas will get far more attention than the happy customer testimonials on the corporate Web site.
Negativity bias is our inborn tendency to react more quickly and hang on longer to bad news than good news. Political operatives know that negative campaigns win elections. Media outlets know that negative news sells advertising (“if it bleeds, it leads”), and everyone knows that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In cyber space, however, those squeaky wheels sometimes roll over social media marketing campaigns that had nothing to do with customer complaints.

A small case in point is McDonald’s experience with a Twitter campaign in 2012. Partway into the campaign, the company decided to switch its hashtag from #MeetTheFarmers to #McDStories; but the result was a slew of negative tweets. Within a few hours, McDonald’s switched the hashtag back to #MeetTheFarmers, and the negative tweets subsided. According to McDonald’s social media director, negative mentions of McDonald’s on Twitter that day constituted only % of the total; yet, mainstream media outlets dubbed the episode #McFail, and covered it for a week—most without mentioning the overall numbers.2 Obviously, McDonald’s brand was not harmed by this 2-hour event; and other organizations are unlikely to avoid social media completely just to avoid the need to recover from similar missteps. But the episode begs bigger questions about how organizations can wisely take advantage of social networking; and how they can combine existing customer data with social media observations and interactions to discover useful new insights, especially those that can be used to better satisfy and attract more customers. Finding these insights is the purpose of customer experience analytics (CEA), a component of Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan’s newest practice, Big Data & Analytics.

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