Return on investment (ROI) can be a tricky thing to measure, particularly when it comes to business technology. Even with a relatively mature technology, it’s not always easy to assign a hard dollar amount to the results. This isn’t a reflection of the effectiveness of these technologies — broadly speaking, they all can have a net positive result on ROI — but rather on the diverse nature of today’s business landscape.
No two companies are identical, even if they make similar products, sell them in the same geographical regions, and serve the same customer demographic. Even if those two companies used the exact same combination of business technologies — CRM, ERP, MA, CX — they could still see very different results in terms of ROI. Why? Because they may not be using the data their technology captures in the same way.
If one of those companies is generating significantly better ROI, chances are that the difference is in how they make use of technology and customer data.
To understand how this works, let’s take a look at the use of customer experience (CX) data. While there are many ways to measure customer sentiment — including CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) and NPS (Net Promoter Score) — these metrics aren’t always useful when it comes to creating strategies for improving ROI. These KPIs only track specific trends, and they don’t incorporate dozens of other useful, revenue-related data points. As a result, metrics like CSAT and NPS simply can’t tell the full story when it comes to how customers feel about the customer experience. To get see complete picture, companies need access to every scrap of customer data.
Some of the most powerful and useful CX data a company has may be locked away within its CRM, just waiting to be used. This data is more accessible than ever, but you do need to identify it, analyze it, and turn it into actionable insights. This may involve crunching the numbers, and looking at everything from the number of abandoned shopping carts to the percentage of resolved support tickets. The clues to an improved ROI are everywhere, hidden in plain sight. By knowing what to look for, it becomes easier for companies to identify the relationship between their technology investments and ROI.
Consider something as relatively simple as sentiment analysis tools within a support setting. If a company is only tracking the number of support tickets filed on a daily basis, but not tracking the overall sentiment of those tickets, they may miss something crucial. If a small number of loyal customers are furious about a change made to a product, and complaining about it through the support ticketing system, those complaints could easily go unnoticed as long as the total number of complaints didn’t substantially increase.
Customer relationships are fragile, and even the most loyal customers will leave if their concerns go unaddressed for long enough. Sentiment analysis tools allow companies to see these changes as they happen. They use the customer data that a company already has to deliver new kinds of insights.
Consider what would happen if this sentiment change wasn’t addressed in a timely manner. Furious customers would have their tickets addressed one at a time, perhaps missing out on the underlying issue as individual reps respond. The rest of the company remains blissfully unaware of the problem, even as the number of support tickets slowly creep up. Grumbling from current customers on social media increases, and current customers don’t renew their contracts or subscriptions. It’s only when the KPIs start taking a nosedive months later that key decision makers within the company even realize that there’s a problem, and addressing it now becomes an emergency.
Is this a technology problem with the customer support and ticketing software? Of course not. Had the company simply tracked customer sentiment using the data they already had, they could have prevented this damage. What’s the ROI impact from not losing those customers?
Now consider the potential of taking a proactive approach to using this same technology. By using existing customer data — particularly CX data — to notice changing trends as they happen, companies can make informed, strategic decisions with clear ROI implications. Everything from customer acquisition to customer lifetime value (CLTV) can be optimized with the right approach.
Simply by knowing what to look for, and how to find it, companies can improve the ROI of their existing technology investments. The customer data within their current CRM may already contain real insights about growth opportunities, unidentified customer segments, high-response marketing channels, and dead weight that’s dragging ROI down.
Data visibility is essential for these ROI improvements. It allows everyone from the C-suite to the sales teams to make informed decisions that directly drive revenue. Knowing how to identify and track that data, and how to put the right systems in place to exploit it, may be less obvious. We can help. Contact Faye today.