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end of annual barometer

End of annual barometers: Towards a transformation of the Customer Experience

In a world where the pace of market evolution and consumer expectations has never been so volatile, understanding and enhancing the customer experience emerge as crucial levers for business growth.

Once dominated by annual satisfaction barometers and traditional market studies, often orchestrated by external consulting firms, this field is undergoing a profound transformation. The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) is redefining the paradigms of analyzing and optimizing the customer experience.

Customer Experience is at the core of transformations

There is no transformation without a customer, and no customer without a competitive customer experience.

By 2024, it has become evident that knowing your customers is a long-term competitive advantage, enabling not only to transform your business faster, but also to achieve its mission.

Customer Experience management enables to :

  • In terms of leadership, it involves placing customer value at the core of the business.
    For a transformation to be truly effective, it must be initiated by the company’s leaders; without awareness and commitment at the top of the hierarchy, changes will not be able to take root.
  • In terms of team, this gives meaning to their profession.
    Without committed and motivated operational teams, it’s unthinkable to significantly improve the lives of customers, to transform their dissatisfaction into satisfaction, and to successfully carry out the company’s mission.
  • In terms of growth, this enables to grow faster.
    The operational levers identified in the feedback analysis enable :

    • Reduce the cost of dissatisfaction/detractors
    • High and controlled growth, based on a high customer retention rate who not only use our products and services, but also recommend them to their colleagues and friends.

See our article on NPS 3.0 for a more in-depth list.

However, well knowing your customers’ needs isn’t that simple, because there are several obstacles to overcome:

  1. The cost.
    When each satisfaction evaluation or customer experience analysis costs thousands of euros, the costs add up quickly, especially for a company managing multiple customer journeys and types.
  2. The time.
    Offering customers a remarkable customer experience requires the ability to collect thousands of customer feedbacks, to know how to analyze them, and to identify operational levers or weak signals.
  3. Internal technological barriers.
    Often, the complexity of internal systems and the variety of data needed to measure or understand customer feedback make this information difficult to access.

Why shouldn’t customer experience management be outsourced?

Entrusting the management of Customer Experience to survey institutes or external consultants can raise several issues.

Here’s our top 5:

  1. Extremely high costs.
    Outsourcing Customer Experience to “specialists” can prove very costly, especially for in-depth or recurring studies (where the value really lies), which can weigh heavily on a company’s budget.
  2. Completion times not adapted to operational reality.
    In addition to the time it takes to make a commercial offer, issue a purchase order, or create visuals, projects managed by third parties can encounter delays. In addition, when a company relies on external consultants to manage crucial aspects such as the customer experience, it’s inevitably forced to align itself with their schedules and priorities. This time lag can result in a loss of precious time, hindering the company’s ability to adapt quickly and improve it’s internal processes effectively, or simply in it’s ability to react to customer feedback.
  3. Data security challenges.
    Customer Experience data (feedbacks, insights, reports, etc.) are strategic for company transformations. Working with external consultants introduces risks linked to the management and protection of customer data (GDRR compliance), which is crucial for the company, but potentially exposed to security risks. Indeed, survey or market research firms are not subject to the same controls as software publishers. There is often a lack of ISO 27001 certification. Moreover, the data are shared with third parties: the software used for conducting and analyzing surveys.
  4. Lack of relevant insights/information.
    External institutes may not have a complete or nuanced understanding of the specifics of the company and its customers, leading to analyses that don’t fully capture the nuances of the Customer Experience. Indeed, in most cases, feedback is not correlated with business/operational data such as CRM.
  5. Many barriers to ongoing commitment.
    Collaborating with consultants can hinder the establishment of an ongoing dialogue with customers, essential for agile, responsive experience improvement. The company loses this all-important link with its customer.

Entrusting Customer Experience management to research institutes or consultants can introduce significant challenges, ranging from prohibitive costs to a lack of alignment with the company’s operational and security needs, not to mention risks to insight relevance and customer engagement. These challenges underline the crucial importance of an integrated, internal approach to customer experience management, ensuring fast adaptation and continuous improvement in line with corporate values and objectives.

What’s the alternative?

The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the management and improvement of the customer experience is deep and multifaceted, offering new perspectives for understanding, anticipating and responding to customer needs in a personalized, real-time way. This means keeping internal skills and choosing a technology partner like Feedier.

There are different advantages to using internal human resources in partnership with a technology partner:

  1. Control of customer experience and data : Although this data is hosted by a partner, the latter, unlike a consulting offer, is required to comply with strict security standards and submit to audits. It’s often possible to choose the data’s location, as well as to set up a Security Assurance Plan (SAP) that guarantees data processing and the various procedures by contract.
  2. Time-saving detection and action : Thanks to AI and effective data integration, customer knowledge solutions can detect weak signals much more quickly than a human could by analyzing thousands of customer verbatims. They make this information accessible and exploitable by operational teams, significantly improving the productivity of teams in charge of Customer Experience, Quality and customer feedback processing.
  3. Cost reduction : Advances in AI and the ability to analyze customer feedback to identify high-ROI actions make the investment far less consequential than delegating to an external firm. Using internal skills presents a higher return on investment (ROI), which increases with the number of measurements, analyses or reports – unlike consulting firms or survey institutes, where the cost fluctuates with the volume of activity.

Finally, Customer Experience data, such as NPS score, customer feedback, reviews, etc., is strategic and a key competitive factor. It’s essential to maintain control and develop strong internal skills to create unique and differentiated customer experiences. The introduction of AI helps to accelerate transformations, move beyond annual measurements and give control back to operational staff and business lines in the implementation of action levers.

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Customer Experience Consultant and Market Research Institutes

Customer Intelligence Solution

Fixed cost

❌Very high, and variable with the number of satisfaction measurements, reports and analyses. ✅Low and largely fixed (generally 60% fixed and 40% variable based on usage).

Time to detect anomalies, weak signals, dissatisfaction.

❌Annual, quarterly, monthly, or maximum weekly frequency. ✅In real time thanks to AI.

Time to communicate to business teams, departments, or managers.

❌Annual, quarterly, monthly, or maximum weekly frequency. ✅Real-time through one-click shareable reports.

Integration with business systems (such as CRM, ERP, etc.).

❌Rarely possible or implemented in a fixed, non-configurable, and costly manner. ✅Agile and customizable integrations.

Creating a competitive advantage for the company.

❌Insights are exported to a third party with no internal upskilling. ✅Increased team skills and responsibility. No information output.

Respect for customer data.

❌Data is often on employees’ computers with high turnover and varying levels of seniority. ✅Secure servers and ISO 27001-certified software.

Support

❌High-level support but often costly (billing per meeting/day). ✅High level of support, no invoicing as it is managed by a Customer Success who is only incentivized on contract renewal and customer NPS.

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In a context of rapidly evolving markets and fluctuating consumer expectations, mastering the Customer Experience is emerging as a strategic imperative to drive business growth. The integration of artificial intelligence and partnerships with technology players such as Feedier are reshaping this sphere, paving the way for finer analyses, more agile interventions, and ultimately, increased competitiveness based on a deeper understanding and tighter control of customer experiences.

Make Customer Intelligence
your next Competitive Advantage

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