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How AI Can Replace Focus Groups And Customer Surveys

AI is essential to understanding customers’ behaviors today and can even replace more traditional methods like customer surveys and focus groups.

If you run a small local business, collecting feedback on the spot is easy – all you need to do is to conduct surveys with your customers by asking them some questions or distributing some simple feedback forms. But what if you have thousands of customers? What if you have customers scattered around the world?

This is when collecting feedback through focus groups and customer surveys becomes very challenging and probably time-consuming when your time should be dedicated to developing a new feature or product instead.

The solution? AI (artificial intelligence).

With AI, you can collect customer feedback more effectively and efficiently. It provides better customer insights that can lead to increased sales and brand loyalty.

But first, let’s take a look at what’s wrong with focus groups and customer surveys.

These days, the market environment changes rapidly, and so do customers’ needs. The data businesses collect from surveys can go outdated so easily that what fit the customers last week may no longer work the next week. To stay up-to-date with customer needs all the time, a lot of effort is required to conduct research again or gather focus groups manually, let alone to conduct this kind of research and analysis continuously.

Besides, most customers don’t really know what they need or what is best for them. They may only be able to see their problems on the surface, or are biased because of what others have told them. An example would be a customer looking for some painkillers because of back pain, not realizing the root cause of their pain was the many hours spent sitting at work, which could be solved by purchasing an ergonomic seat cushion or a new work desk and chair. A simple survey of asking what this customer wants will surely not be able to help a business get to the root of their problem and get them the best solution.

Therefore, relying on customers’ own introspective to tell businesses what they need probably doesn’t help to get the most accurate information or to offer customers the most suitable product or service solution. Not to mention that businesses won’t get that much data as samples for analysis, anyway, because it depends on the number of customers who are willing to give feedback by filling out a survey or signing up for a focus group.

How AI facilitates customer experience

There are several ways in which AI can facilitate customer experience and help your business grow.

For example, with no need to passively wait for customers’ feedback, AI actively obtains a lot of data by observing customers’ behaviors and makes analysis, no matter the number or location of customers. The collected data are a lot more accurate with no bias as it is obtained objectively by a machine.

With accurate information comes more accurate analysis and interpretation of customers’ behaviors. This helps to generate useful feedback to improve the customers’ experience, creating a quick feedback loop.

For instance, at Revuze, it is understood that the only way to get unbiased data about what customers think is via collecting UGC data from multiple sources. The only issue with this is that data are unstructured and contain a lot of fake and solicited reviews.

To fix this, Revuze collects data from dozens of sources, keeps cleaning up the data, and sorts them into topics to extract actionable insights. In addition to analysing reviews, Revuze applies NLP for keywords, topics, and even sentiment extraction from survey responses and social media platforms. This allows Revuze to create an ongoing survey about every feature, product or brand that answers the most important question every business wants to know: What do your customers think about your product, brand, or service experience?

In addition to a quick feedback loop, any new solution or improvement deployed based on the data collected from machine learning can be easily measured with AI by going through the same observation and analysis again. Thus, businesses can continue to learn, improve, and strive efficiently.

In conclusion, AI is essential to understanding customer behavior today. By analyzing certain actions a customer takes, AI can make an analysis and identify the customer’s root problems through machine learning, so as to suggest the most suitable product or service solution.

Want to know more about how AI can enhance CRM? In this E-3 interview, Alon Ghelber talks about how his company Revuze can help organizations improve customer expierence.


About the author

Alon Ghelber, Revuze

Alon Ghelber is a Tel Aviv-based Chief Marketing Officer who supports B2B tech startups in capturing customers’ (and VCs’) attention through marketing based on data-driven storytelling.

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