The true value of Voice of the Customer in Customer Experience Management
by Duff Anderson, on Aug 21, 2018
Data is only as valuable as what you do with it, and Voice of the Customer (VoC) data is no different.
In a world where a superior Customer Experience (CX) is now viewed as a key competitive advantage, leveraging VoC as part of your Customer Experience Management (CEM) efforts has never been more important.
Naturally, you must take a customer-centric approach to your CEM efforts, otherwise you run the risk of designing an experience that doesn’t meet their needs, and that places you behind the 8-ball compared to your peers. You need to better understand how your customers think - what makes them interact with your brand the way they do, and how they feel about the experiences you provide them.
These insights go a long way, but what exponentially increases the value of this customer feedback is how you leverage these insights as part of your CEM to build better experiences for your customers.
In other words:
The true value of VoC is that it empowers your organization to be customer-focused, helping you align internally more quickly, and act on your customers’ expressed intentions and needs so you can deliver optimal experiences at all times.
Let’s look at this in more detail.
VoC helps you align internally, more quickly
The Temkin Group found that employees try their hardest, and companies have the best financial results, when senior executives place “meeting customers’ needs” as their most important priority.
CEM is a team effort; it requires your organization to see eye-to-eye on key aspects of your CX and react quickly to ensure you stay ahead of the game. You can’t implement a great CX program if the views and goals of your key decision makers, especially your C-Suite, are not aligned.
Whether it’s a result of departments only being focused on their own department-specific goals, or a lack of communication departments, this lack of alignment and ‘silo-mentality’ is a detriment to your overall CX efforts. This can lead to delays and countless debates about “what is happening”, whereas they should instead be focusing more on “what should be done” to improve the experience.
VoC is rooted in your customers’ own words. This diminishes the need for your key decision makers to make assumptions about how your customers view their experience, helping to eliminate many of the debates around your CX.
This frees your organization to better prepare and react more quickly to the changing marketplace and the ever-evolving needs of their customers. This is an extremely valuable commodity to have over your competitors.
VoC gives you the tools to deliver optimal experiences at all times
The importance of offering a positive experience has been magnified to the point where a single negative experience can push your customers away. PriceWaterhouse Coopers has found that nearly one-third of all customers will stop interacting with a brand they love after a single negative experience, and almost half will stop after several bad experiences.
CEM is about having the right tools in place to offer a great experience for your customers with each brand interaction, wherever they may be in their customer journey. This means having a plan to address short-term (or urgent) needs, along with a long-term vision of how you will continuously improve your CX and adapt it to your customers’ changing needs over time.
A mix of the right Voice of the Customer methodologies can help you cull insights to inform the short-term (tactical) and long-term (strategic) aspects your CEM strategy. Combining these insights with your other customer data sources like web analytics, session replay or CRM (to name a few), can also provide crucial context that your organization can leverage to understand how to best optimize workflows that improve the experience for your customers.
VoC provides your organization with a clearer view into the minds of your customers so they can make more informed, customer-centric decisions that are critical to short-term and long-term success of your CEM strategy.
This also necessitates putting in place a reporting infrastructure where your key CX stakeholders always have visibility into these insights. This can include anything from implementing a real-time, closed-loop system that notifies your Customer Service team as soon as certain keywords or rating-thresholds are detected in the customer feedback so they can take immediate action. Another example would be providing your key internal CX stakeholders easy access to dashboards to keep them abreast of KPIs or emerging trends.
Act on your VoC data to improve your CEM
Voice of the Customer is the single most important factor in driving successful Customer Experience Management.
As the great Wayne Gretzky once said: “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” This is no less true when talking about VoC - collecting insights is important but you can only truly benefit from them if you can act on them.
VoC is all about having intelligent conversations with your customers, and the best VoC solutions not only give you the tools to make a more informed, customer-centric decisions based on these conversations; they also provide experts who do the heavy lifting that comes with setting up and implementing a VoC program, allowing you to focus entirely on how you will optimize your CX.
The need for brands to act quicker than their competition and have a faster reaction time to address bumps in their Customer Experience is paramount. Voice of the Customer is the key that can help you unlock the true potential of your CEM.
Banner image source: Photo by Jordan Ladikos on Unsplash