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Improving Customer Experience with Data Storytelling

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Read more about author Amy Brown.

Each day, one in four health care customers becomes stuck in their customer journey, unable to resolve their issue. This situation creates tremendous frustration for the customer; even worse, the customer might give up, switch providers, or miss a treatment or therapy, risking their health and leaving with a negative customer experience. 

By uncovering the root causes of these disruptions, health care organizations can resolve the top sources of customer friction. 

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How do they start? By listening to the actual voice of the customer. 

Teams can uncover often-missed insights when they listen to their customers’ voices. The data-backed stories that surface allow providers to walk in their patients’ shoes to better pinpoint and enact change on the most pertinent customer experience (CX) issues.

The Value of Mining Data for Stories

Customers already (and constantly) give feedback through existing communication channels without being prompted or questioned. Unsolicited feedback surfaces customers’ direct, honest thoughts, feelings, and opinions – in their own words. Bidirectional conversations where organizations can access this data include:

  • Phone calls with the contact center
  • Chats and text messages
  • Emails and online messaging

Companies struggle with managing and analyzing data from unsolicited feedback because traditionally, there’s been less accessibility to unstructured data sources. Unlike structured survey data, unsolicited feedback typically requires very manual efforts to consume and analyze. More than 80% of conversational data remains unused because of the limited resources and time required to do a more comprehensive sampling. Many organizations also find themselves hampered by the outdated methods used to listen to or measure CX.

But this conversational data collected from health care organizations – more than 400,000 calls annually – offers a goldmine of insights. Ignoring this resource means missing out on uncovering large-scale data trends on the customer journey. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to identify key themes and topics in customer conversations makes it easier to identify areas of improvement and where customers are struggling.

Contact centers offer an opportunity – through data storytelling, which simplifies and turns complex information into accessible stories – to learn where customer frustrations lie and give organizations insight into customers’ needs and wants. In the health care industry, those needs and wants boil down to customers’ expectations for a smooth patient experience.

Creating a Narrative

Mining data for stories starts with creating a compelling data narrative including the same elements as the typical story: setting, characters, conflict, and resolution. For example, let’s take a life sciences company seeking strategies for improving patient journeys and presenting a unified agent voice. 

The setting? This particular company. The characters? Its patients and call center agents.

The organization used conversational intelligence to study touchpoints throughout the CX journey – especially journeys with a high volume of calls. The holistic deep dive identified the conflict: areas where messaging wasn’t clear or was missing entirely, thus creating patient stress and confusion. To reach a resolution, the organization used data storytelling to pinpoint specifically where the confusion arose:

  • Incomplete understanding of the organization itself
  • Confusion about how the pharmacy could adequately communicate and support its patients and caregivers
  • Areas where patients might spiral into additional confusion
  • Complex situations requiring a “single-voice” agent rather than a more routine “any agent” check-in

Ultimately, the health care organization confirmed two things. Many agents can convey a unified voice when speaking with patients and caregivers. But complicated situations benefit from a single agent voice who is better equipped to remove barriers to understanding, maintain positive sentiment, and deliver a positive CX. In this case, the life sciences company’s understanding of adherence rates increased and reaffirmed previously identified areas of opportunity. 

Using Storytelling to Speak to the Head and Heart

Graphs and charts speak to the head. Customer voices speak to the heart. Yet most organizations’ leaders don’t work daily in customer or patient experience. It’s important to harness and present data generated from unsolicited feedback to these leadership teams because those insights have the greatest influence. Engagement and understanding data is the first step of prompting action.

Bring storytelling into your voice of customer programs through call montages built from shared data. You can program speech analytics technology to listen for specific keywords and trends when creating these montages. 

Montaged clips of actual customer conversations are especially effective because they don’t just contain words – they contain emotion. You won’t get the same level of insight into customer frustrations from reading feedback on a survey, since survey feedback lacks nuance. But when you allow the customers to share their stories in their own words? You’re generating many more layers of data and insight.

Examining patient interactions by taking time to listen to customers’ voices empowers organizations to:

  • Quantify themes in patient experience and feedback.
  • Pinpoint customer challenges and pain points.
  • Conduct root cause analyses of underlying drivers of customer and business pain.
  • Learn, understand, and continually improve and adapt current processes.

Quantitative and qualitative data have the power to come together to tell a complete story, communicating a need for action and turning insights into strategies. These insights enable leaders to create a data-backed and comprehensive response plan and influence their strategic vision.

Take Action to Create Change

Combining data with crucial insights into consumer behavior by leveraging conversational intelligence with storytelling helps leaders see logical and emotional cases for making CX changes. Those changes can include:

  • Rewarding and celebrating what’s working.
  • Revamping processes, technology, or both to reduce identified friction.
  • Offering professional development and training to customer-facing teams.
  • Developing corporate response initiatives to the ideas, feedback, and suggestions generated from conversational data sources.

To start, prioritize the most critical areas of improvement you’ve identified and create a plan to make systematic improvements. Begin with one question, department, team, or case, and expand as patient experiences improve, using refreshed data to retell the story.

Building a Better Experience with Customer Voices

Data storytelling enables business leaders to make more informed decisions and improve customer interactions. Single data points alone can’t provide the meaning necessary to drive true business change. Why? Because true, lasting change needs context – and story elements help create true understanding. Data stories add value, meaning, and context, helping health care organizations’ leaders connect the dots and put insights into action.

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