Voting with your feet, index fingers, thumbs, and actions

Before newly graduated doctors touch their first patients, they take the Hippocratic Oath. The basic tenet of this oath that dates back to ancient Greece is: “Do no harm”. Like many tools in the doctor’s kit, the data in our hands is a double-edged sword – it can be used for good or for evil. This compels us to take responsibility and ensure that we data scientists, too, do no harm.

Why businesses need a better alternative to ratings

In my previous post, I described how many survey-based business rating systems are not representative, are prone to manipulation, and offer little guidance for positive change. Lives can potentially be ruined by personal rating systems based on Big Data. Crowd-based systems can be easily misused and put tremendous power into the hands of people with questionable motives.

Ratings exist so consumers can make informed choices and so that business can get actionable feedback. Sounds simple, but this process isn’t always objective, useful or fair.

Paving a customer insight high road

In today’s environment where too often, governments, companies and individuals take the low road by misusing technology, we at Clicktale are paving a high road. We’ve rejected the reductionist approach of boiling down complex assessments to a single rating or score of questionable reliability and value.

When you ask a user to rate a business or a site, or ask them to take a survey, your take-away is their verbal or written response, complete with conscious calculations and intentional biases, which may or may not reflect the customer’s true emotional response. A shopper who votes with her feet is often not sufficiently engaged to bother with feedback.

What you’re not seeing (because surveys and ratings provide no platform to capture it) is their non-verbal communication (NVC) feedback. NVC, which includes gestures, facial expressions and body positions, is unconscious and therefore reflects the customer’s true feelings far more accurately than verbal responses. Behavior, I find, is the best reflection of ourselves: It does not lie and it cannot be manipulated.

How do we do it (without drowning in detail)?

The Clicktale behavioral/mindset approach provides rich, non-binary insights that enable businesses to decode non-verbal communications and read digital behaviors on websites and mobile sites – clicking, hovering, scrolling, zooming, pinching and tapping. What is the velocity of their mouse movement? How fast are they typing? How much time do they spend on each element? What areas do they linger on? Our models translate digital body language into the emotions, mindsets and intent that both determine and reflect how customers experience their journey. The key to eliminating bias is to focus on how people actually behave and not on what they say they think or feel.

We analyze digital customer behaviors and results for each interaction – what did the visitor like or dislike, how engaged was he, and did he buy or not, to understand his emotional state at each step of the journey. We delve into the world of non-verbal communication mechanisms and duplicate the human ability to pick up on these symbols, the micro-expressions that reveal emotions even as humans try - deliberately or unconsciously - to conceal them. Using artificial intelligence, we are working on translating these micro-expressions into digital expressions that will help us serve our customers.

A respectful farewell to old rating scores

Honest, granular insight into customer experience beats ratings hands down when it comes to measuring what customers really think. And when businesses need to know how they are doing, what to improve, and how, robust digital customer experience insight gives them more valuable, actionable guidance than CSAT, NPS and online surveys ever can.

Customer experience analytics do no harm. They take the best that Big Data and psychological analysis has to offer to improve the digital wellbeing of consumers. And the result? A digital environment that is healthier for us all.

Want to learn more about how Clicktale marries data science and digital body language to provide valuable business insights? Contact us today.

Talk to us to explore how customer experience analytics can improve your business
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