Customer Experience Survey - Rest in Peace

May 14, 2020

Imagine this: As you get out of your car and walk towards the store, the Fitbit on your wrist calculates how you are feeling about your upcoming shopping experience by noting physical changes. In this case, your heart rate picks up and your pace quickens; you are excited. As you open the door and walk in, the store’s emotion recognition algorithms analyze your facial expression to measure baseline satisfaction. You have been excited about this purchase for a couple of weeks, and so your mind is flooded with positive anticipation. You get to where you believe your product should be and realize it is not there. Your wearables detect a sudden skip in your heart rate, a slight clamming of your wrist, and a stop in motion. You start scanning the shelves around you, heart rate matching your mounting frustration. What you don’t know, is that from the moment you approached the store your customer data have been shared with and analyzed by the store’s Customer Experience AI. The physical response data from your customer experience has triggered the intervention threshold, and has instructed the store clerk to immediately find you in aisle 9. Your issue is immediately resolved and no customer experience survey required.

Does this sound a little far-fetched to you? Well it may be much closer than you think, but first, let’s put the Customer Experience Survey to bed.

For years now, the survey has been the go-to method for businesses to gather data on customer satisfaction and experience. You all know the process. You visit a store, perhaps there is a kiosk for you to complete a survey while you are there, or perhaps you receive an email shortly after your visit. The predictable questions emerge: How would you rate your shopping experience? Would you recommend us to friends and family? How could we improve your shopping experience?

There is only one problem, there is more than one problem:

  1. Survey response rates are at best around 30%, and that is when customers are incentivized.
  2. Some people are naturally more prone to filling out surveys than others, therefore skewing the results and making them unreliable.
  3. Feedback provided days after the experience may not be accurate.
  4. Some people find surveys annoying! Survey fatigue is a real thing.
  5. This one is crucial: they are a primarily reactive, rather than proactive method for addressing customer experience challenges.

Now, it is important to note that the shortcomings of surveys arise mainly when they are the sole method of capturing customer experience data. Used in tandem with other strategies, they can compliment findings nicely. But it is these “other strategies” that businesses must start grappling with now.

Trends in automation, AI, big data, and the like, will not only not leave the field of Customer Experience Management unscathed, but serve as undeniable competitive advantages for businesses that successfully harness their potential. What we are seeing by the incorporation of wearable technologies, facial and emotion recognition algorithms, and the internet-of-things, is a seamless melding of Customer Experience Management processes that were formerly orchestrated independently. Smart technologies will allow customer data collection, experience monitoring, intervention strategies, and retention to unfold in real-time within a single customer-business interaction and without the use of a customer experience survey. Imagine our opening scenario unfolding in the dark ages of 2018. The best-case scenario was an unhappy interaction between the customer and staff. The worst-case scenario was that customer leaving the store completely dissatisfied and perhaps in search of an outlet to vent their frustrations with the business. Instead, smart technologies allowed the negative customer experience situation to be solved as it unfolded.

Back to the point about this being far-fetched. The reality is that smart technologies are already being used in the manner described above. Nowhere is this more true than in the health-care industry. Smart hospitable beds notify health-care staff about changes in a patient’s vitals before a crisis arises. Similarly, Fitbits are being used to monitor pulmonary activity of individuals with heart conditions, and have even alerted people to seek medical attention prior to the onset of a serious medical event.

At Duco, we have become completely obsessed with researching the applications of these smart technologies to the field of Customer Experience Management to ensure that our solutions stay ahead of their time. We are now working on creating a Customer Experience Management model based on these emerging technologies for the direct benefit of our clients. Stay tuned for exciting products and solutions