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Voice of the Customer

6 Reasons To Consider A Full-Service Voice of the Customer Program

by Duff Anderson, on Jan 16, 2019

There is no questioning it; we are living in the age of the customer.

Superior Customer Experience Management in 2019 is widely recognized as one of the most important and defining competitive advantages.

With the amplitude of information and options at their fingertips, customers now hold most of the power. This is why the Customer Experience (CX) has become a top attribute on which brands compete, and the need to conduct a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program has never been greater.

Measuring the experience across the customer journey is crucial to your Customer Experience Management (CEM) efforts. The insights you gain from collecting the voice of your customers can help guide your organization to make more customer-centric decisions, and help you take control of the CX.

However, each consumer is unique. There is no one single customer journey to manage, but an unlimited amount. The same goes for VoC programs – there is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting the insights that will help you better manage the Customer Experience.

You could do this undertaking yourself, but there are several reasons why you can benefit from a full-service VoC program – one that is handled by an outside CEM solution provider.

Alongside a full range of customer feedback collection capabilities, a first-class CEM solution provider will also offer give you access to a team of experts who can:

  • Develop a VoC program that’s tailored to your needs
  • Manage all the time-intensive tasks that revolve around collecting and analyzing your customer feedback
  • Ensure that your program delivers a return on your investment

Let’s look at six reasons why you should consider taking a full-service approach with your Voice of the Customer program.


1. No learning curve

A VoC program can be comprised of several surveys that each tackle different business objectives and target different audiences. Not to mention, it can span across multiple websites and countries, depending on how your organization is set up.

A strong CEM solution provider will offer you access to an experienced team who has implemented and managed countless VoC programs across many industries and ranging in complexity. This means that the team is already ‘power users’ when it comes to designing an effective VoC program and customer feedback management processes, not to mention the platform in which this research must be programmed. This minimizes a potentially long learning curve, so you don’t have to spend any time to get up and running.

Also, with an expert team behind you, anytime you need to launch a new survey you will get it right the first time and every time. Think of this expert team as your very own ‘pit crew’ that knows all the ins and outs of collecting relevant customer feedback and how to squeeze the greatest value out of it based on your business needs. 


2. Objective voice

Information is powerful. However, it is also controversial. One of the greatest obstacles to obtaining insights from the voice of your customers is the objectivity of the results. 

The query… ‘what questions were used, who wrote them and why?’... often becomes an unnecessary distraction with custom questionnaire design. With the amplitude of self-serve survey tools available today, everyone in the company seems to have results to a survey that argues for their preferred agenda.

With an independent expert designing your survey, you will not only get alignment around questionnaire design and objectivity of results, but also insights that allow you to take action and improve your Customer Experience. This is, after all, the true value of the voice of the customers when it comes to Customer Experience Management.


3. Adapt the best practices to your needs

From the way you word the questions in your surveys to how you engage your customers and visitors for their feedback, there are many things that can have a huge effect on the types of customer feedback you collect, let alone the quality of the data you obtain.

A very basic example of this concept is the use of a common survey template question, ‘how satisfied are you with company A’. This is a great question but if you don’t have a follow-up question to ask dissatisfied customers as to why they are dissatisfied, you miss out on critical insights that can help you improve the customer experience for these customers.

Survey creation is not just about asking a bunch of standard, templated questions; it's about having short, intelligent conversations with your visitors. It is about building your brand and getting better intelligence on your customers. 

Every company has different objectives that change over time. The top CX metrics might not match your business objectives. That’s why it is important to have a professional help you craft your survey using the industry’s best practices to your unique situation.


4. No need for extensive internal or IT resources

Running a VoC program is not a case of ‘set it and forget it’, in the words of famed pitchman Ron Popeil. Existing surveys should be regularly managed and monitored to ensure that you keep getting the most value out of them, while new, targeted surveys should be launched regularly to dig deeper into specific business challenges.

For example, if data from your global satisfaction survey shows that visitors who came to make a purchase did not do so during their session, you might want to run a new, concurrent survey to better understand the reasons behind their shopping cart abandonment.

Therefore, managing your VoC program properly can typically involve hiring an implementation programmer, BI Reporting Expert and Insight Analyst. This can be costly, especially when you have pressure on your program to deliver results in a short time frame.

With a managed VoC solution, you can leverage the solution provider’s resources and their expertise to monitor and drive the program forward and avoid costly delays.


5. Quality assurance

A VoC program is a very public initiative, with your customers being asked to provide feedback directly on your website, mobile app or on any of your other channels. So just like with these channels, the program needs to go through an extensive quality check. Unfortunately, if you have a small team, QA can often be overlooked.

With a managed solution, a full-service CEM solution provider will perform QA to make sure all aspects of your VoC program are running as they should. This means having an experienced team, one who is familiar with all aspects of your surveys, regularly check that:

  • There are no problems with the implementation of the survey on your website, mobile app or anywhere else you want to insert your survey.
  • Survey invitations are shown to the right people at the right time
  • Keeping an eye out for problems with skip logic and branching and grammatical errors as your research evolves.

Anyone who has had to do QA testing can attest to the amount of time it can take to do it right. A full-service solution vendor should essentially shoulder this responsibility for you, so you can focus primarily on taking action on your data, as opposed to spending large quantities of time dealing with the intricacies of QA.


6. Assist with data integrations

Collecting customer feedback is an important undertaking for any brand in an age where Customer Experience is a key competitive differentiator. However, brands should have the necessary infrastructure in place to allow employees and key stakeholders to take action on this data, ideally as soon as possible. 

A full-service CEM solution provider should help you do this. Based on your business needs, a team of experts should help you integrate your customer feedback with your other data sources, such as web analytics, session replay, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or transactional data, so that it is incorporated within your existing internal dashboards, or within a custom-built dashboard provided by the CEM solution provider.

Your key stakeholders should have easy and immediate access to customer feedback to empower them to deliver a positive experience for your customers, and a CEM solution provider can deliver this via a full-service VoC program.


Looking to launch a Voice of the Customer program? 

A VoC program that spans across the entire customer journey on all your touchpoints can require a lot of resources, time, speed and objectivity. Not to mention, having the infrastructure in place so that each team and department benefits in their own way from the insights culled from this feedback.

If you are looking to purchase a CEM solution, make sure that the provider offers managed solutions that give you access to a team that can offer the support and the expertise you need to make sure your VoC program provides a return on your investment.

With an experienced team that has managed 1000’s of VoC programs since 1999, iperceptions offers managed solutions that can make sure you get the most value from your VoC program. From implementation experts who can help get your program up and running on your website to analysts who can dig into your VoC data to extract actionable recommendations, the iperceptions team can manage your VoC program from A to Z. 



This post was originally published on January 10, 2017

Image source: rawpixel on Unsplash

Duff Anderson
Duff Anderson

Duff Anderson is a visionary in Voice of the Customer research with over 20 years’ experience.

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