In today’s digital world, with the ubiquitous adoption of technology, customers are in control and they are calling the shots. As a result, the customer experience has become a growing priority. CMOs have responded by turning to Voice of the Customer (VoC) solutions to understand and anticipate their visitors’ intent, needs and experiences. According to the Aberdeen Group, brands employing VoC programs lower customer care costs, improve response times, and improve annual revenue by 10.9 percent! However, Aberdeen also noted that, “Simply adopting a VoC program, doesn’t drive the above-mentioned results”. That is why it’s essential to select the right VoC solution.
Below are nine characteristics you should look for in a first-class Voice of the Customer solution:
1. Addresses your business objectives
To ensure you implement a successful VoC program, the results need to address your key business objectives. For example, if you are looking to increase customer satisfaction, it is important your program provides insights into the key drivers of satisfaction on your website, and how you can improve satisfaction.
Yet, satisfaction is just one objective a VoC solution can help you solve. That’s why it is important that the VoC vendor you select provides access to a solution that offers adequate flexibility to help you answer any of the business objectives you may have, including (but not limited to):
- Increase marketing effectiveness
- Improve customer retention
- Drive audience engagement
- Increase conversion
2. Straightforward Implementation Process
Launching a VoC program will always require you to place a snippet of code on your website. This means working with your IT department to get your VoC program off the ground.
To prevent having to manage different implementation codes, or having to involve IT every time you want to make a change to your survey, your VoC provider should minimize the complexity of the implementation process, and offer:
- A single script that can be implemented on all your different websites
- This script should be ‘plug and play’. You should not need to customize the script for it to work.
3. A responsive interface
Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. After agreeing to take a couple of minutes out of your busy day to share feedback on your website experience, the last thing you want is for your feedback experience to be clumsy, and lead you to drop out in frustration.
This is especially important when you start considering how your visitors’ experience can differ based on the device they use. Whether it is on desktop, tablet, mobile or in-app, visitors are more likely to leave feedback when the experience is engaging. Also, if the survey isn’t adapted to the right device, it can impact the results you get with visitors dropping out and not wanting to provide feedback.
Therefore, when selecting a VoC solution, ensure that:
- All question types are responsive and work on mobile and tablet devices
- It is optimized for touch screens
- It includes handicap accessibility
4. Security and transparency
We now live in an interconnected and digital world where data security and quick access to your results are critical. Each of the countries and regions in which you plan to conduct VoC research may have their own set of security and privacy guidelines that you need to follow. For example, websites in the European Union need to inform their visitors that cookies are being used to gather information about their session.
Your VoC solution should provide:
- Full access to your research, results, and reporting via a SaaS-based platform
- A 24/7 emergency hotline
- A guarantee that it adheres to the different worldwide security regulations
5. Speed and agility
Agility is key in today's global marketplace. Consumer preferences change with stunning velocity, as do the dynamics of markets and product lifecycles. This culture of urgency means that marketers are entering a new golden age with an increased need for speed and agility, particularly when it comes to understanding their customers. That’s why your VoC solution should provide:
- Ability to run and manage multiple surveys simultaneously using advanced triggering, while reducing your reliance on IT resources.
- A single script that can be installed once and can control all your surveys
6. Ease of Analyzing Your Data
In addition to providing a suite of reporting tools that allow you to easily tackle your data from different angles, your VoC provider should offer the following items to help you triage and manage the data that you collect from your VoC program:
- Roll-up reporting that allows you to easily perform macro analysis (e.g. market vs. market) and micro analysis (e.g. specific visitor groups in specific markets) of the metrics you are tracking
- The ability to create user accounts and assign permissions to your colleagues who can also analyze and leverage this data on their end
7. Text analytics capabilities
What do your customers want? This is a question that every company is continuously striving to answer. Typically, the best method is to just ask. Asking customers on your website to provide feedback and answer open-ended questions, like “what do you want to see on this website”, allows customers to describe in their own words what they want.
Nothing beats open-ended questions in terms of insightfulness, level of detail and context. However, open-ended answers are harder to analyze, especially when you collect a large volume of responses. Therefore, you need a proven method to capture what people say and zoom into the most important comments.
That’s why you should select a VoC solution that provides advanced text analytics capabilities, including:
- Advanced segmentation and open text search so you can discover themes, patterns and emerging trends in open-ended comments
- Word and concept clouds to easily identify common themes appearing in your visitors’ feedback
- Ability to easily filter any open-ended questions to focus on the experience of specific cross sections of your visitors.
8. Benchmarking capabilities
Your results are in. Your customers have spoken, but what do the results mean? You can measure your performance over time, but without context on how other sites are performing, you are in the dark as to how well you are doing. Are your results good or bad? Only benchmarking will give you that context, and this knowledge is essential when making strategic decisions that will impact the performance of your website.
A first-class VoC solution should provide some form of benchmarking capabilities. One of the best types of benchmarking capabilities is a comparative benchmark that uses real customer insights to provide you with the right context for your industry and site objective, without the need to leverage panel research.
9. A team of experts
Collaborating with a team of experts will save you time and resources. When selecting a solution, ensure that they can provide you with the support of a dedicated team who have a track record of delivering results, and who will get the most out of your VoC investment.
For more information about leveraging a team of experts to get the most out of your VoC program check out this blog post - 5 Reasons You Should Consider A Fully-Serviced Voice of the Customer Solution.
Image source: Christian Lambert