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The Best Way to Make a Customer Feedback Program Work for Your Brand

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How has your brand been handling your customer feedback program? Is it possible that you don’t have one in place? Today more than ever before, the customer is the king. Their powers to make or mar a business have increased tremendously. Here is the best way to make a customer feedback program for your brand.

Your customers have access to many social networks, and the competition has become more intense — now you are subjected to web-based ratings.

Due to the ease of accessing social media, a consumer can, with just ordinary clicks, post positive and negative feedback online, which can either make your brand soar or completely come crashing.

If you are unfortunate and don’t have an efficient customer feedback program that can be deployed to gather, analyze, and act upon the data, you are in the deep blue sea. On the other hand, if you have put in place a robust customer feedback program for your brand, you will avoid all manners of negative and detrimental reviews, with an assurance of a handsome return on investments (ROI).

Nemertes’ 2019-20 Intelligent Customer Engagement research study of 518 companies discovered that 66.7% of companies gather customer feedback. The feedback includes 43.6% use customer health scores to observe developments continuously.

The study also revealed that though about 50% make modifications frequently based on that feedback, 45.7% make adjustments periodically and believe they can do more than that.

The sad aspect of the discovery, however, is that 3.1% of those that gather customer feedback completely refuse to do anything with the information they have at their disposal.

After you have the gathered data — then what?

Once your data analyst has finished working on the gathered data using investments in survey and analytics tools, whatever changes that are recommended must be swiftly applied, which means that your brand’s C-suite must be aligned with the customer feedback program for prompt action.

Key players needed for the success of the program

Everybody who is part of the decision-making body in your organization must be involved in the program to guarantee expediency. However, there are some whose roles are very vital for successful customer feedback.

Some of these key players are as follows:

Chief customer officer (CUO)

In conjunction with the chief revenue officer, chief marketing officer, and maybe some others depending on the brand, should be solely responsible for the development of the business case. This should outrightly specify what relevant information they need from customers, how often this is needed, and which success metrics they will track.

The CUO is also responsible for analyzing the data, recommending change, and overseeing that customer service agents comply with new scripts or processes.

Chief information officer (CIO)

Your CIO should be responsible for selecting the tools you need for gathering and analyzing customer feedback. It’s also the CIO’s business to ensure that you have the best supporting network and server or cloud platforms.

The CIO must work with a team that oversees the training of AI data sets and data scientists, who develop the feedback programs and, in the end, give feedback to the CIO.

Chief marketing officer (CMO)

Your CMO is responsible for ensuring that you are getting positive ratings and curtailing negative feedback, using social media, guest posting, blog, and the web. Whenever you have any marketing program that is not aligned with your customer feedback, the marketing team ensures this is corrected.

Chief revenue officer

Your chief revenue officer oversees your sales strategy and SEO — and decides when to effect changes based on your customers’ feedback.

Mode of operation

For your customer feedback program to be effective, you need to follow the following steps:

  1. Collate your data

Your brand has its peculiarities; hence, your requirements must also be unique. It’s your business to determine the type of data you need and how to gather the data.

Metrics you can rely on to succeed in the collation include customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), transactional net promoter score (TNPS), customer effort score, post-call surveys, or custom surveys.

You may not have enough workforce to do the collation; you can easily outsource this service to a third party. The basic procedure is to send survey requests to customers to gather this information regularly.

It’s not just all about gathering data but ensuring that you get comments that are qualitative and useful at the end. You should be able to deduce from their comments the reasons for rating you either high or low.

  1. Analysis

After you have gathered the data, the next thing is to make sense out of it and this requires analysis. You determine the analytics tools that are relevant to your brand, it should not be an a-one-fixes all sort of affair.

According to Answerrocket, you can even deploy AI-enabled analytics tools to carry out the task where it is necessary. The essence is to determine when comments are negative, positive, and mixed.

  1. Recommendations

The data analysis tools you use should be able to make recommendations for a strategic but non-urgent change or raise an urgent red flag. The change could be due to complaints from a customer who has a point to iron out.

You can also implement changes based on recommendations from your data analysts, who have discovered some anomaly in the way things are handled based on the data. This anomaly could be from your marketing strategies, advertising campaigns, or branding.

Examples of recommendations you may come across include:

Act on the findings

It’s of utmost importance that you act on the data you’ve got and other recommendations. You can’t expect any meaningful impact from your analysis if this is not done.

It’s annoying to realize that some organizations will put in serious efforts to gather and analyze data to haphazardly implement the recommendations. In this era of AI and machine learning, you can deploy both humans and technology to act upon customer feedback.

The recommendations may be based on feedback from an individual, a group of customers with similar circumstances, or all your customers. The action you take will depend on the situation at hand and what the process dictates.

Degree of success

If you have been able to resolve the issues raised by your customers, you mustn’t stop there. There is the need to maintain a good CX, and that warrants that you keep on gathering more information from them regularly to ensure you are on the same page.

If the action you took worked perfectly, that might be a signal for you to embark on bigger projects since you are in the good books of your customers. If, on the other hand, your action did not have the desired impact, you need to innovate.

Whatever may be your outcome, don’t stop measuring success. And finally, revise.

The post The Best Way to Make a Customer Feedback Program Work for Your Brand appeared first on ReadWrite.

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How These 9 Startups are Thriving in the Covid-19 Economy

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The year 2020 will forever be known as “devastating to all businesses,” but the year has been especially brutal to industries such as hospitality, travel, retail, and restaurants. However, companies in other sectors, such as health and technology, have taken off. Here is how nine startups are thriving in the Covid-19 economy.

These 9 startup companies found ways to grow their business by making needed adjustments and serving the community during the pandemic.

1. Nurx

Nurx is a disruptor in the telehealth industry. It connects patients with providers virtually for consultations and prescriptions for a variety of health services, including birth control, PrEP, HPV tests and migraine treatment.

The company offers patients consulting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via text. After paying the initial consultation fee, patients can message providers for a full year. Because patients don’t have to schedule in-person doctor visits to get care, Nurx is both a more convenient and safer option during the pandemic.

With telemedicine surging in 2020, and an additional $22.5 million in new financing, the company is positioned for long-term stability and growth. While telehealth is increasing overall, its niche serving women’s intimate health issues gives Nurx a competitive advantage.

The company has the opportunity to continue expanding the services it provides and to grow beyond the 29 states in which it is currently licensed.

2. Databricks

Databricks uses open source coding for data engineering, collaborative data analysis, and machine learning. Its platform offers clients:

  • Options tailored to their individual needs
  • Reduced supply chain operation costs
  • Web content creation based on visitor activity

The company has raised $400 million in new funding and expanded its customer dashboard capabilities by buying Redash. LinkedIn ranks Databricks as the No. 5 U.S. startup company for 2020.

Databricks’ most significant strength is its ability to make complex data analysis easier to conduct. The information gained from these analyses helps its customers save money and offer better service to their customers.

3. Verkada

Verkada provides enterprise building security with both hardware and cloud-based software. Its controls allow users to access its command platform from any browser with an internet connection. Integrated cameras and environmental sensors enable clients to detect changes happening across their locations and take data-driven action.

As the pandemic spread, Verkada adapted its system to highlight when and where crowds were beginning to form. This allows clients to disperse large groups and maintain social distancing. The company also created a heat map of high-traffic areas so clients could mark those for deeper and more frequent cleaning.

Verkada raised $80 million and doubled its workforce this year. The company’s advantage is its ability to see new opportunities and pivot to meet customer needs in new ways.

4. Nuro

Nuro’s goal is to use robotics and artificial intelligence to take over delivery orders.

The company launched the first self-driving delivery car in 2016. It initially partnered with Kroger in Phoenix to deliver groceries to such customers as:

  • Parents with young children
  • The elderly
  • Individuals who don’t drive

During the pandemic, Nuro has also used its driverless fleet to deliver medical supplies to Covid-19 patients in California.

On November 9, 2020, it announced a Series C funding round of $500 million. Nuro’s greatest strength is its bold ambition to bring robotics technology to Americans’ everyday lives, during the pandemic and beyond.

5. Movandi

Movandi is achieving success with innovative technologies that make 5G more widely available. Its 5G repeaters are designed to improve 5G coverage in public spaces and buildings in ways that expand the signal around corners.

Movandi’s achievements have resulted in the following awards this year:

  • AspenCore World Electronics Achievement Awards Startup of the Year 2020
  • CNBC Disruptor 50 for 2020
  • Orange County Business Journal Innovator of the Year 2020

Covid-19 has shown that the need for robust broadband is greater than ever. By finding new ways to overcome earlier technologies’ line-of-sight challenges, Movandi is making a signal contribution (pun intended).

6. FullStory

FullStory is a provider of analytical software that enables its clients to improve their websites. The company employs heat maps and other tracking tools to discover where visitors go on a website. Its software also helps pinpoint where retail sites lose customers in the sales funnel.

FullStory’s software is so effective that one client gained $5.63 million in benefits (increased conversion rates, improved error resolution, etc.) over three years. The result was a 411% return on investment.

LinkedIn ranked FullStory one of the top startups of 2020. The company quadrupled its workforce between 2017-19 and has raised $67 million in funding since its inception.

Allowing its clients to detect pandemic-driven consumer behavior changes helps them respond rapidly and effectively to these shifts. The quality of FullStory’s service to its clients provides a benchmark to copy.

7. Attentive

Attentive is a marketing and advertising company that uses real-time behavioral data to target customers and convert sales. Over 2,000 businesses currently use Attentive’s messaging platform to drive sales.

The company recently raised $230 million in Series D investments and has grown to over 400 full-time employees.

Attentive’s most significant strength is its consistent performance over time and deep client base. The company succeeds because its messaging platform helps its clients reach their own customers so effectively.

8. Modern Health

Modern Health is a digital benefits platform that provides mental health support for its clients’ employees. The company uses virtual visits and text messages to connect employees to certified coaches and licensed therapists.

During the pandemic, the company began offering free mental health resources, including live sessions with its network therapists, to the public at large. Its goal was to help the community as a whole get through this challenging year.

Like other top-performing startups in telehealth, Modern Health’s competitive advantage lies in finding its niche: in this case, mental health. It has raised over $42 million in venture funding and has been named to LinkedIn’s list of top startups for 2020.

9. FIG

FIG was founded as an alternative to traditional agency marketing. Its goal is to be the storytellers of the information age.

Among its honors, FIG has been:

  • Named to the Inc. 5000 in 2019 and 2020
  • Listed on Ad Age’s A-list of standout agencies for 2018, 2019, and 2020
  • Designated one of LinkedIn’s top 50 startups for 2020

The company has achieved a three-year revenue growth of 150%. FIG is an inspired leadership story of how connecting with people on an emotional level can drive success.

In 2020, many startups floundered due to the ultimate “beyond their controlâ€� circumstances — The Global Coronavirus Epidemic.

The startups listed here are thriving despite the pandemic and ensuing recession.

These companies are succeeding by finding niche specialties, excelling through customer and community service, and adjusting their offerings to help the community during trying times.

Image Credit: ketut subiyanto; pexels

The post How These 9 Startups are Thriving in the Covid-19 Economy appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Is Your Business Ready for Artificial Intelligence?

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If you haven’t implemented an artificial intelligence (AI) solution into your business yet, you may feel like you’re missing the boat. And in many ways, I’d agree with you. But is your business ready for artificial intelligence?

Some studies show that nearly 99% of companies are investing in AI in some way, shape or form. AI isn’t a “will we, won’t we” type of technology. AI will be the de-facto standard, much like an operating system or software, it will be embedded into every business technology in the not so distant future.

But that doesn’t mean you should just jump on the bandwagon for fear of falling behind. There are a lot of considerations to take into account before even dipping your toes in the AI water — or to carry through on my first analogy, to ensure you aren’t putting the cart (or wagon) before the horse.

Proper Planning of AI Implementation.

AI projects fail because of backlash due to a lack of proper planning and scoping. To ensure a successful artificial intelligence initiative, businesses need thoughtful preparation.

Take into consideration things like ensuring that AI doesn’t exist in isolation but is integrated into broader business processes are key to success.

What Questions Should You be Asking?

Plus, before rolling out any AI initiative, you need to ask a number of important questions.

Questions like what is the business opportunity? And do you have the resources you need to implement process transformation? Are there security implications?

What data do you need to solve the problem and what will you need to acquire it?

And maybe most important, are there any ethical implications for implementing an AI solution?

To help you get clear on these questions and more, here are a few things you must consider before seeking out an AI solution or hiring a team of machine learning engineers to build something in-house.

Understand what artificial intelligence is good at, and what it isn’t.

The question may seem trivial, but a lot of organizations we talk to don’t understand what problems are good and not good machine learning problems. Artificial intelligence is not a solve-all so make sure the problem you’re trying to find a solution for is appropriate.

Some common tasks AI is great for includes forecasting, anomaly detection, object detection, pattern detection, auto-generation, enhancement and reconstruction.

Have a well-defined problem

You need to consider what is the problem and why you are trying to solve it. If the scope is too broad, your initiative will quickly fail. For example, pathology of a whole-body offers too many variables but focusing within one body part is much better and will warrant better results.

Keep your scope narrow and build from there.

Identify the performance criteria for AI

Like any well-defined business initiative, before you begin, you need to identify what success looks like. Are you hoping to achieve greater accuracy than a human could achieve? Are you hoping to simply automate a task to save time?

Good performance criteria for an AI initiative will define performance on a narrow criterion with a given percent accuracy rate.

Determine the team and technology capability

Does your organization have the technical ability to work with AI? Currently, there are 300,000 machine learning engineers available and several million open positions.

Machine learning experts can earn as much as football players. Working with AI often requires understanding arcane mathematical and computer science concepts that most software engineers simply don’t have.

Finally, do you have the right tools to create and support artificial intelligence and machine learning processes?

Understand the long-term impacts

As I mentioned, the challenge with bottom up projects is that they often fail because of a lack of political will in organizations.

AI is simply not understood by most people in the organization and even framing a business argument for deploying AI is not always clear.

Obviously, a clear understanding of ROI will help but even this isn’t enough because in the end, like any other technology deployment, the ROI has to be compared to other non-AI alternatives.

Lastly, it is likely that AI will displace individuals. In one of the companies I worked for, we developed an AI solution that resulted in a 60% reduction in engineering issues for a very expensive manufacturing process.

Obviously, this would have had a significant impact on the business but in the end, after two years, the solution still did not gain as much traction as we would have desired because it would have entailed the elimination of an entire team.

Training data for machine learning

Do you have the data you need to effectively train a model? Plus, is that data accessible?

Artificial intelligence governance

Developing AI is only part of the process. Can you deploy and support the AI in production, deprecate it, or determine if the AI is performing to specs? Do you have a mechanism to enable broad deployment and management or the people to perform the work needed?

Few organizations have a complete strategy for how the AI is to be used or managed by their business. For example, a simple question of whether to deploy the AI into the cloud, on-premise, or deploy to the edge is not always clear.

Finally, is your AI solution “future-proofed.� If changes in technology or capability occur – how easily can the organization adapt?

Once you’ve gone through these set of questions and considerations, you’ll be ready to take on an AI solution (AI Dynamics, Inc, Bellevue, WA) or kick off an AI initiative within your organization. And that’s when the fun really begins.

Image Credit: Michael Dziedzic; Unsplash

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