Step #1 to "Fix Retention"


We are just a few days into the new year, and I feel like people are already being nicer and more positive. The new year has brought in some new vibes. 

I hope it stays this way. Alternatively, we can just leave those losers in 2023; some will never change. 🤣

I am spending the month of January in North New Jersey, closer to the office in NYC, and it’s a good change of scenery. 

This year is a massive year for Yotpo. We’re ready to cook. 

Since its launch over a decade ago, Yotpo has transformed from a standalone reviews platform to a sophisticated multi-product retention platform that now also includes loyalty & referrals, email & SMS, and subscriptions. (Pricing was a hurdle that made me churn years back, but that's changed for the better, too! 😂)

With all this data in one place, the actionable insights are incredible, and I'll share more as we continue building the future of retention.

Over the last few weeks, I've chatted with several ecom operators about their plans for the new year. Almost everyone mentioned retention as a huge priority, but most lacked a strategic plan.

To prioritize retention, it's super important to understand the issues causing customers to churn.

Before you even think about "fixing" retention, you need to understand the problem.

While NPS has traditionally been a go-to metric, response rates are often low, and the delay makes it a lagging indicator, not a live snapshot of what's going wrong.

The other extreme is spending hours sifting through mountains of customer conversations, both positive and negative. I've been there, and while it's valuable, it's time-consuming and inefficient.

What if you could use AI to quickly synthesize customer sentiment and gain actionable insights with minimum effort and more precision?

Today, we'll discuss easy ways to do just that.

This week’s newsie is brought to you by Syncly - the brain behind a game-changing CX Feedback Analyst juiced up with AI, transforming how every CX Team connects with customer pain points and takes action upon valuable insights.

They bring a solid decade's worth of AI expertise to the world of CX, having navigated through the AI domain with a successful exit from their previous startup. That's why they're the real pros in the CX and AI fusion.

While they empower users with real-time customer visibility, their real knack lies in arming businesses with fully customizable, top-of-the-line AI models.

Let's shine a spotlight on some standout features that truly grab attention:

  • VoC Report auto-completion: Say goodbye to manual tagging and Excel marathons. With AI taking the lead, kiss goodbye to 80% of your VoC Report hustle, allowing laser focus on streamlining the customer experience.

  • Negative Sentiment Alert: Detecting negative vibes early on is a game-changer for customer retention. Forget reacting to low NPS/CSAT scores; Syncly's proactive tracking of customer sentiment triggers timely alerts, ready for swift action.

  • Prioritize by Customer Impact: It’s not just about the loud voices; Syncly’s all about those key customers. They dig into revenue impact and specific customer segments to pinpoint the most impactful areas.

Syncly is offering an extended free trial discount for my readers if you schedule a 30-minute demo call with the founders!

What NPS Does and Doesn’t Tell:

While there are a ton of noisy marketers who like to shout about NPS being a useless metric, I’ll tell you this:

As a blanket 0-10 survey, it will give you generic direction, yes. But when asking secondary follow-up questions, NPS can guide you on what is broken or going well in your business.

NPS is simple; it gives you a customer health check and allows you to get customer feedback regularly.

For example, at one of my recent roles, we learned that a big chunk of the folks that rated us 0-6 (detractors) said they rated us those scores because of their shipping and delivery experience (we used Retently to ask secondary q’s.)

We were not offering expedited shipping, and the basic cheap shipping we were offering was a systematic way of annoying customers. We offered expedited shipping and saw a slow and steady decrease of these detractors. 

NPS also tells you:

Loyalty Assessment: NPS can help estimate customer loyalty and potential churn. Evaluating satisfaction and willingness to recommend provides insights into a brand's strength and the likelihood of customers making repeat purchases or referrals.

You can then funnel your NPS promoters into your referral or loyalty program or even pitch them to join a subscription program. 

Market Competitiveness Check: In a competitive landscape, NPS helps assess a company's competitiveness by comparing it with competitors. It helps understand how much customers love and recommend a particular brand.

I imagine some folks with suits at Verizon are constantly tracking NPS vs. AT&T (I actually peeked - Verizon is a 12, and AT&T is a -17! 🙃). 

But NPS doesn’t tell you:

Lack of granularity: NPS, being a simple numeric representation of satisfaction, often may need to provide detailed feedback on specific product features or service intricacies. For most brands, it can take time to determine the exact reasons why customers recommend or churn.

Hard to understand customer needs and sentiment by customer lifecycle: ecom often involves complex and varied customer experiences across many different touchpoints such as product search, checkout, delivery, and returns. NPS alone may not adequately capture this complexity.

Understanding Feedback + Making it Useful:

To truly understand and improve the customer experience, businesses need to go beyond NPS and go deep on gleaning insights.

You know me, I like to go tactical. 

Let’s talk about some strategies and techniques to uncover valuable insights from your customers:

Utilizing Natural Language Processing (NLP): While NPS surveys may not capture the nuances of customer sentiments and experiences, businesses can analyze unstructured data from customer conversations and feedback by leveraging NLP techniques. 

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that focuses on enabling computers to understand and process human language. It's like teaching a computer to speak and understand our messy, nuanced, and often ambiguous way of communicating.

You have a silly amount of data from CX tickets, etc, and digesting all of it can provide valuable insights into the customer's emotional state, pain points, and specific areas for improvement.

NLP helps businesses understand customer needs and preferences better, allowing for targeted actions to enhance the customer experience. (Solutions like Syncly can help)

Leveraging Social Listening: Monitoring social media and online forums can provide valuable insights into customer perceptions and sentiments. 

I’ve always been shocked about how much a marketing team focuses on the future while failing to understand the sentiment going on this second. 

Yes, some costly social listening tools brands like Delta and McDonald's probably use, but most of y’all can get away with a reasonably priced Brand24-type tool. 

By implementing these strategies, businesses can move beyond the limitations of NPS metrics and gain a deeper understanding of their customers. This will enable them to make data-driven decisions, enhance the customer experience, and build long-term loyalty.

Taking Action: 

The next step to leverage Customer Insights is to prioritize and take action by sharing them with product, ops, marketing, and the rest of your organization.

Prioritize: Prioritize customer insights effectively by conducting thorough research and analysis. 

Share: Share valuable insights with product, operations, and marketing teams through regular meetings, presentations, and reports.

Collaborate: Foster collaboration and knowledge sharing across the entire organization to leverage and utilize insights across departments.

Solve: Collaborate with different teams within the organization, including product, marketing, and CX, to find solutions that address customer needs and pain points.

Improve: Continuously review and analyze customer insights to identify areas of improvement and drive ongoing innovation. 

MyRealTrip, a series E hospitality travel ecom platform, used to skim through customer reviews and monitor scores to determine if their customers were happy. 

They used Syncly (this week's newsie sponsor) to learn that location mattered a lot more than they thought. 

They also discovered something interesting: customers booking through certain platforms were leaving happier reviews. 

Why? It turns out those properties were better at catering to specific demographics.

They switched from doing their homework monthly or quarterly to analyzing everything in real-time. 

Imagine chewing through over 30,000 chats and calls a month without any help from the AI overlords. As large as their support team is, chewing through all of those chats takes a ton of time, and it’s impossible to analyze in real time. 

The payoff? They cut down the time spent on analyzing customer feedback by 80% and did not have to scale their team to hire analysts who can easily be more than $10,000/month investment for your team.

Not too shabby for just listening to what data has to say instead of relying on gut feelings.

If I learned one thing in doing research for and writing this newsletter, it’s this:

Most brands have way more data right before them than they imagine.

All you need to do is find a scalable way to listen.

That’s it for this week!

Any topics you'd like to see me cover in the future?

Just shoot me a DM or an email!


Eli 💛