To enhance customer experience and increase business growth, many firms are developing voice of the customer (VOC) programmes.
While companies have conducted customer satisfaction surveys for any number of years, what those do not give you beyond headline numbers is specific, verbatim feedback from customers that can be acted upon.
Successful Voice of the Customer (VOC) programmes can support a cycle of activities; listen to customer feedback, interpret the resulting data, react to improve the experience and monitor results.
What a VOC programme can deliver
While generic metrics like NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) give an overall picture of performance, companies also need a way to collect more detailed feedback, including open-ended comments from customers.
The problem is that most ad-hoc and open-ended feedback is either not gathered in one place, or if it is, it is unstructured data that is hard to analyse and extract useful information from. Plenty of information simply never gets recorded so never makes it way to anyone in a position to analyse it and draw conclusions.
A VOC programme deliberately seeks out customer feedback and does so at the most sensitive time, right after a customer completes an interaction with your company.
While quantitative data, in the form of sales figures, up-sales and cross-sales figures, customer lifetime value, customer acquisition costs, conversion rates, and so forth are all important indicators, if we are to acknowledge that there is any real difference between the old discipline of marketing and the new one of customer experience, taking the time to listen to the voice of the customer is critical.
Typically a VOC programme involves running through a survey with a customer following a recent interaction with the company. The purpose is not just to measure satisfaction for that most recent interaction, but rather to be able to monitor indicators such as satisfaction, customer effort, and NPS changes along entire customer journeys.
Contacting customers via the same channel they used for their last interaction increases participation rates, particularly if the survey takes place immediately after the interaction. For the best speed, accuracy, objectivity and completion rates we recommend using automated surveys. These can include IVR, email, web, and chat-based surveys. We have even installed interactive kiosks in the key facilities of a London council to capture immediate feedback following face to face interactions.
One of our clients, Richard Parsons Head of Business Development at Contact Centre Outsourcer, Ventrica says;
“The measurement of customer satisfaction in outsourcing relationships is a priority for us. The reputation and value of outsourcing increasingly depends on meeting and exceeding end user and client expectations. Any customer feedback is a great basis for continuous improvement and helps outsourcing partners provide a valuable role in their client company’s strategy to win, serve, and retain customers.”
The reputation and the value of a company’s contracts increasingly depend on meeting customer expectations. Customer feedback is a great basis for continual improvement and plays a valuable role in the ability to win, serve, and retain customers.
Closing the loop
It goes without saying that the data collected from customer surveys – and other customer feedback – has to be analysed, disseminated, and ultimately formulated into plans of action. In the contact centre itself that could mean creating new training programmes for agents, or redesigning workflows to make them more efficient.
At a more strategic level, working with the client to turn that feedback into innovative and improved customer experiences adds a whole new value. Providing insight as to what make customers tick, and what they want, can feed into the design of new products and services, the improvement of old ones, the redesign of supply chains or back office processes to make them a better fit for customers’ needs, and many other money-saving and efficiency-gaining measures.
Companies looking to boost revenues and retain clients in this time of digital transformation absolutely must take on the more strategic role of CX. Only armed with a properly constructed VOC programme will they be able to do this.
Andy Moore, Marketing Director for Opinion8. Prior to joining Square Systems in 2015, Andy had a 20 year career with BT followed by running his own successful telecoms franchise. Passionate about customer service Andy is a regular contributor to business networking groups. His interests include dinghy sailing and he is a recent convert to the joys of cycling.
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