CMSWire’s Top 10 Voice of the Customer Articles of 2023
- Strategic foundations. Understanding, serving and listening are fundamental pillars in building a customer-centric culture.
- VoC significance. Voice of the Customer (VoC) strategies are pivotal in enhancing customer engagement and loyalty.
- Generational insights. Tailoring customer experience to fit different generational needs is crucial for businesses.
In the world of customer experience, understanding and amplifying voice of the customer (VoC) is more crucial than ever. Our top 10 VoC articles of the year tap into how businesses can effectively harness this area of customer experience (CX) to enhance customer engagement and loyalty.
Consider your customer experience strategy akin to constructing a house. The first pillar lies in deeply understanding your customers — not just who they are, but what they do. Next, we turn to tying relevance to product and service offerings based on what we understand about the customer.
The third pillar, listening to the customer, forms the roof of this structure. It’s about continuous improvement, measuring how products and services perform and how they resonate across channels. Ultimately, the end result should be an agile, customer-centric culture.
Let’s go back to Valentine’s Day. But instead of showing love to your sweetheart, we’re talking about showing appreciation to your customer advisory board (CAB) members. How can you do this? For one, by ensuring their time is well spent in meetings that offer real value. Organizations can also make a point to provide an executive experience with high-quality amenities and engaging content.
If you really want to engage CAB members, focus on members’ challenges rather than sales pitches. And follow up on customer suggestions and ensure their feedback leads to tangible changes. To really sweeten the deal, don’t forget to include a send-off gift as a token of appreciation.
Customizing customer experience to fit different generational needs is a must for businesses. Generational preferences vary greatly, particularly in technology and customer service expectations.
Baby Boomers and Gen X, for instance, show less patience with customer service response times compared to millennials and Gen Z. And the pandemic further shifted these preferences, highlighting exactly why businesses need to continuously update their understanding of customer needs and segment these groups.
Voice of the customer tools are essential solutions that help brands gather, analyze and act on customer feedback. Core functionalities of VoC tools include data collection from diverse sources like surveys and social media, advanced analysis and reporting for actionable insights, sentiment and text analytics for understanding customer emotions and trends.
AI’s role in VoC tools is increasingly important, especially in enhancing accuracy and efficiency through features like sentiment analysis, predictive analytics and speech recognition. The integration of AI, machine learning and natural language processing allows these tools to be more effective in understanding customer needs and improving the customer experience.
Launching a customer advisory board can be a strategic move for companies seeking deeper engagement with their customers. Unlike ad-hoc methods or salesperson-led interactions, CABs enable strategic discussions with executives that offer higher value input.
CABs formalize the process of gathering and prioritizing product feedback, often revealing new product use cases, bottlenecks and desires. For new product launches, CAB members can provide invaluable feedback and insights, increasing the chances of a successful launch. Moreover, CAB members make ideal product testers, as they’re ultimately invested in the company’s success.
In this age of inflation, brand loyalty takes a hit as customers search for more affordable alternatives. To maintain loyalty, chief marketing officers (CMOs) must improve their efforts to offer incentives and show appreciation.
Voice of the customer campaigns can help gauge loyalty by focusing on high-priority customers. Smart loyalty programs, leveraging personalization and understanding a mix of loyalty metrics, are essential. Ultimately, loyal customers — who are often willing to pay more — become a lifeline for brands navigating these inflation challenges.
Customer dissatisfaction, when aired publicly, can have a big impact on brands. Just take a look at these three case studies as examples.
In one instance, after Delta Airlines damaged a musician’s guitar and refused compensation, a viral YouTube song titled “United Breaks Guitars” led to a 10% drop in United’s stock value. Another case involved British Airways losing a customer’s luggage, prompting the customer to spend $1,000 on promoted tweets to express his frustration. In the third case, a South African businessman, dissatisfied with the service from Cell C, erected a billboard calling them the “most useless service provider,” leading to legal battles that Cell C lost.
Creating a great customer experience begins with a company’s culture. And a company’s culture is reflected not just in what management says but also in its actions and policies. Often, there’s a disconnect between a company’s stated customer-centric values and the reality of its operations.
For a culture to be genuinely customer-centric, the focus on the customer must permeate all levels of the organization. Leadership plays a big role in this, with actions and behaviors aligned with customer experience strategies. Employee engagement is also closely linked to customer engagement — highly engaged employees are key to outperforming competitors and creating positive customer interactions. In the end, cultivating a culture that balances human connection with profit and prioritizes customer experience is essential for any organization looking to stand out.
Businesses are turning to storytelling to craft more engaging and memorable interactions with customers. This approach becomes especially powerful in the context of social media, where customer stories — whether positive or negative — can significantly influence a brand’s reputation.
Effective storytelling in CX lies in understanding and empathizing with customer needs, presenting information logically and making sure customers feel they are actively participating in their journey with a brand. By applying these principles of storytelling, companies can transform customer interactions into compelling narratives that not only satisfy but also delight.
Voice of the customer tools help businesses collect, analyze and act on customer feedback across various channels like surveys, social media and customer service interactions. With ever-evolving consumer behaviors and demands, delivering a good customer experience has become as crucial as the product or service offered.
VoC tools enable data-driven decisions for improving customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. Selecting the right VoC tools that fit the company’s needs and objectives is crucial for any organization focused on improving its CX and maintaining a competitive edge in the market.