One of the harder things to plan for is obtaining solid customer insight. We’ve talked before about this sort of problem when it comes to user experience analytics acquisition, and the problem with Heisenberg effects (what you study you also change). But, in the case of customer support, it’s less about Heisenberg and more about efficiently acquiring data without annoying the customer and disrupting things.
Customer insight acquisition is traditionally handled entirely by harvesting metrics from customer service and support itself, and from its logs and reports, as well as CRM statistics in recent times. This information does provide solid data, but it takes entirely too much of it to get anything useful and to create a big picture view of things.
How, then, can we track this data more organically, and more proactively? Well, there are limits to how unobtrusive this can be. If you really want this kind of insight, you have to first make customers understand that some instances of bothering them a bit is for their own benefit, as learning from it will help serve them better. Following that …
#1 – Onboard Tools like WalkMe
This is the least annoying thing to do, and while it’s not the only step to logically take, it’s the biggest and most effective step for sure. WalkMe was designed to create interactive tutorials that integrate into web forms. From there, it can interact with the elements of the forms, and surmise user activity, and prompt users step by step through complex processes easily.
It also possesses a an analytics tool which can help to use WalkMe to monitor user activity to determine where problems are coming up and users are being confused or frustrated by a design, providing real time insight into problems that users may be reticent to complain about, or even forget to bring up.
#2 – Using Dynamic Web Elements
Ok, let me explain. Using things like AJAX and HTML5 to add dynamism to interfaces is nothing new to you, but one good way to implement a voluntary provision of insight by the customer is to include elements in every step of a process that allows them to point out something they dislike or that they don’t understand, or seems to be a problem, and press “report this problem”, without their process being disrupted or reset (barring problems that completely derail things). YouTube and other Google services have taken to doing this, and there’s no reason you can’t work tis same technology into your forms without too much difficulty.
#3 – Incentivizing Questionnaires
Finally, it’s a common practice to ask users to take surveys after support or periodically while using services, to give insight. Often, they just don’t want to be bothered by this unless they have something to complain about, meaning your data will be one sided from this, and too sparse on its own.
So, incentivizing this by reducing costs or offering boosted features or something of the sort, for a short-lived cycle upon completing questionnaires even during status quo operation is a good tactic to make this more effective.
Customer insight is always going to be a little intrusive to obtain if you want large scale data with reduced Heisenberg effect. WalkMe is the best thing to happen to insight acquisition in a long time, and it’s probably the most “silent” solution as far as customers go, but for true massive data acquisition, you’ll have to compromise beyond what WalkMe offers. Considering how much WalkMe brings in, these sacrifices are minimized significantly, though, and you and your customers can live with what’s left!