Today customers are in control, shifting the power from the brand to the digital customer. This has completely overturned the traditional understanding of the customer journey ushering in the new digital customer lifecycle. According to research from Google and CEB the average customer had completed more than one half of the purchase decision-making process prior to engaging a sales rep directly. At the upper limit, that number ran as high as 70 percent! This means that digital-empowered customers often know more about products, services, pricing and reputation than the brands.
As a result, marketers are now required to anticipate their customers’ needs, wants, perceptions, preferences and expectations in order to be competitive. In order to accomplish this, brands need to better understand their customers and this is where Voice of the Customer comes into play. VoC is not a ‘nice to have’ but a critical ingredient to understand the digital customer lifecycle and create meaningful experiences for digital-empowered customers. According to an Aberdeen Group report, companies that have voice of the customer programs outperform all others.
Below highlights five reasons, according to the Aberdeen report, why voice of the customer is a critical investment in today’s customer-centric world.
1. Lower customer care costs
Companies utilizing VoC saw a decrease of 6.3 percent year over year in their customer care costs compared to a 2 percent rise for businesses without a VoC program.
2. Improve response times
Businesses leveraging customer feedback saw an 11.7 percent year-over-year decrease in response time to customer requests. With a program that collects customer feedback and routes the comments in real-time to the right stakeholders, customer services representatives can solve customer complaints or technical issues quicker.
3. Higher Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Businesses leveraging Voice of the Customer have Net Promoter Scores three times higher than businesses without a VoC program.
4. Greater return on investment
Businesses leveraging VoC see a 12.6 percent increase on their returns on marketing investments, while those that ignore customer feedback see their ROIs decrease by approximately 9 percent year over year.
5. Increase in revenue
Digital marketers employing Voice of the Customer programs improve their annual revenue by 10.9 percent. Brands conducting VoC programs also outperform all others in year over year percent change of customer win-back rates, consumer referrals, cross-sell and upsell revenue all key drivers of increasing revenues.
It won’t happen over night
The Aberdeen Report noted that, “it’s important to note that simply adopting a VoC program, doesn’t drive the above mentioned results overnight”. That’s why it is essential to select the right VoC partner that engages and collects insights across the entire digital customer lifecycle to improve your bottom line.