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The Power of a Community of Critics

Listening to the Voice of your Customer is an intoxicating proposition. The results of effort put into developing solutions to help them take advantage of an opportunity or meet a challenge come into pinpoint focus in a single moment of truth.

Have you been successful?

Is your customer satisfied?

Did your experience create a loyal advocate, or a plain speaking critic?

As the leader in gathering actionable, in-the-moment Voice of Customer on behalf of hundreds of the world’s best-known companies, we realize that a plain speaking critic is often your most loyal advocate–someone who cares enough to take the time to provide you either positive or constructive feedback truly wants to help you improve and build a better company.


OpinionLab recently gathered with dozens of our East coast customers at award winning chef Tom Colicchio’s renowned Craft restaurant in New York City to eat, drink, be merry…and listen.

We are fortunate to have many loyal customer advocates, some we have served for over a decade. This community of advocates provides us clear direction on what we’re doing well to help them achieve their business objectives, and where we should be taking our solution next to deliver incremental value. They provided great feedback on our recent Summer Release.

A night of networking and discussion amongst CX leaders resulted in many great ideas on where to deliver new innovation and how to optimize our existing solution to add additional value. We received great validation that our fundamental value of combining Voice of Customer feedback with associated context to drive immediate action helps our customers serve their customers better every day, and we observed once again how powerful it is to have a community of our users sharing best practices and ideas with us and with each other.

What should we as the world leader in Voice of Customer solutions always be thinking about? The same thing that OpinionLab empowers your organization to listen to: the incredible power of a community of critics.

When did listening to customers become so complicated?

When did listening to customers become so complicated?

Asking your customers what they thought about your brand used to be pretty easy. Easy for you, at least, because you defined the “when”, “where” and “how”.

If you wanted your customer’s perspective on your website, you picked a random sample of visitors and popped up a feedback survey.

To get an idea of how your store experience was perceived by your customers, it was easy to add a survey link to your store receipt.

What happened to the days when you got to decide when, where and how Voice of Customer flowed into your organization?

The empowered customer happened.

In a world of pervasive mobility and instant gratification, your empowered customer now defines when (within their customer experience), where (many times through a digital channel) and how (by “raising their hand” when they’re ready) to provide feedback about your brand. Then they expect you to take timely action based on what they’re telling you. If you don’t, there are many alternatives that are only a click away. Your brand, and your ability to win the empowered customer, is differentiated primarily by your omnichannel CX.

So, how do you act upon location feedback that comes in via your website?

What do you do if a mobile app user provides you feedback on what happened at one of your “real world” locations?

How do your customers convey their location to you, so you can take effective action on their feedback?

How do you get a sense of what your non-buyers experienced in-store to dissuade them from purchase?

OpinionLab, always a leading advocate for Customer Initiated Engagement, just took a big step forward in providing you answers to these questions with the introduction of location-based feedback innovations focused on making sense of the cacophony of cross-channel feedback flowing from your customers.


Among these innovations:

  • A location selector that enables your customers to easily associate feedback with one of your specific locations when they’re seeking to provide location feedback through one of your digital channels.
  • A powerful location analytics platform that empowers your organization to immediately diagnose and act on your customers’ location feedback.
  • Communication solutions such as real-time alerts to get the right information to the right people in your organization, allowing you to connect the dots between digital feedback and location-specific action.

These innovations, built on the foundation of OpinionLab’s Voice of Customer expertise, provide a solution that improves the consistency of your omnichannel CX to ensure that your customers become — and remain — loyal brand advocates.

With our Summer Release, listening to your empowered customers (and taking action on what they tell you) isn’t so complicated after all.


The Arrival of Omnichannel Requires A New Approach to CX

In today’s world of pervasive mobility and connected screens, it’s becoming more and more common for a customer’s interaction with a brand to span multiple channels, even for a single transaction. Research and comparison on a smart phone, scanning reviews on a desktop, selection and purchase on a tablet, pick-up in a store, and service via a call center is today a very realistic cross-channel customer journey.

Heightened customer expectations regarding how they’re served during their cross-channel customer journey have changed the way brands need to interact with customers in order to deliver a high quality and consistent customer experience. Customers expect their interactions with a brand to be high quality and consistent across a brand’s channels, and seamless between those channels. Omnichannel often is used to describe this environment of seamless connectivity back and forth among channels.

Whether they’re frustrated or delighted, customers expect to be able to speak with a brand when they want to, at any point during their journey, through any channel. And, customers expect brands to hear their feedback, engage with them and take demonstrable and timely action.

CX diagnostics are an ideal mechanism to capture real-time, omnichannel customer feedback with the context necessary to engage and take immediate action. CX diagnostics will move the needle on long-term CX improvements and subsequently increase customer satisfaction and improve loyalty. But the advent of connected, cross-channel brand interactions requires new thinking regarding what questions brands ask their customers to best gauge customer satisfaction and propensity for loyalty in an omnichannel environment.

Based on knowledge gleaned from over a decade helping the world’s biggest brands improve cross-channel CX, OpinionLab’s omnichannel best practices provide specific recommendations as to how brands should engage with their customers during an omnichannel customer journey. And we’re not alone; leading industry analysts such as Forrester have come to similar conclusions.

We’re excited to be able to leverage our deep expertise and years of experience to bring this thought leadership to our customers. Our CX insights analysts are already applying this thought leadership to help our customers on their quest for a consistent and quality omnichannel CX and the improved customer satisfaction and loyalty that come with it.


Our Latest Customer Opinion Index Report is Live!

I’m very excited to announce that we just published the latest edition of our Customer Opinion Index (COI) benchmark report, which is now available for download on our website. This exclusive report from OpinionLab tracks 60+ customer experience benchmarks across 8 major industries and sheds light on the key drivers of the customer experience across channels.

Published exclusively by OpinionLab, COI is the one number you need to measure your ability to deliver incredible omnichannel customer experiences. We’re proud to help a community of the world’s biggest brands deliver consistently high quality customer experiences. That leadership affords us the ability to publish the industry’s most comprehensive and most actionable set of customer experience benchmarks.

Customer experience truly is the new marketing. We’ve been preaching that gospel for years, and it looks like enterprise leaders are finally starting to catch on. With customers being more connected, more informed, and more empowered than ever, we totally agree with the CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA when he states that “customer experience better be at the top of [the] list when it comes to priorities in [the] organization.”

But it’s not enough to have a killer customer experience strategy. True CX leaders blend strategy with real-time listening and measurement to insure they are consistently thrilling their customers, as well as intervening, with pinpoint precision, the moment an experience goes off the rails. That’s where COI benchmarking proves its value.

COI benchmarks, now accessible to OpinionLab customers in real-time with our Winter Release, provide the type of pinpoint visibility you need to determine if your brand is truly delivering a first-class customer experience.

I invite you to download and read the report, and encourage you to reach out if you would like to learn more about how the COI benchmarking framework can make a difference in helping you drive better and more consistent CX.

The Importance of Customer Community

An interesting phenomenon enjoyed by many leading brands is that as you deliver value to more and more customers, a customer community of interest forms around your brand.

Some are obvious.

Have your ever walked by an Apple Store the week before a new product launch and noticed the people sleeping on the sidewalk waiting to get first shot at the latest? That’s a very demonstrative example, albeit it at the lunatic fringe, of an exceptionally powerful customer community.

Subtler, but no less passionate, communities exist.

Did you know Microsoft channel 9  has over 37,000 members that interact every day to share and learn?

These communities go by many names and take many forms, but they all share a common passion for sharing the value of a brand and learning from each other.

As the leader in helping the world’s biggest brands deliver a high quality and consistent customer experience (CX), OpinionLab has our own customer community.

Customers aren’t camping outside the OpinionLab offices waiting for our next release (yet), but they are still very passionate about what we do to help them deliver value to their customers.

This passion was recently on display in Chicago where a group of OpinionLab customers got together over dinner at the world famous Girl & the Goat restaurant to share best practices with each other.

Introducing the Goat

Award winning chef Stephanie Izard kicked off the evening by articulating the importance of CX in her business, but she soon conceded the floor to OpinionLab customers.

OpinionLab customers shared story after story with each other about how they use OpinionLab’s unique CX diagnostics  as best practice to drive immediate and measurable business results.


Even more exciting were the examples from the world’s top brands of how new capabilities like our Comment Mosaic are already being used all the way to the C-suite to catalyze a culture of greater customer centricity within their organizations.

OpinionLab’s customer community is an important market validation that we’re on the right track in terms of the value we deliver.

But, it’s also an important and constant reminder of our obligation to continue to innovate.

If you’re part of our OpinionLab community of customers, we encourage you to continue to share best practices and benefit from each other’s collective knowledge.

We’re honored to be playing a role in your success.

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