Use These Tips for Your VoC Program
- Prioritize your VoC program. Understanding customer needs ultimately improves CX.
- Have a list of what needs to get done. A VoC program only works if objectives and processes are clearly defined.
- Try the following tips for success. From customer data to feedback, use the information at your disposal to craft the perfect VoC program.
A Voice of the Customer (VoC) program is a powerful tool that enables organizations to gain insights directly from their customers, helping them understand what works well and what can be improved. Gathering and analyzing customer feedback shows a clear picture of your customers’ preferences, behaviors, motivations, expectations and pain points.
Benefits of a VoC Program
I’ve been designing, implementing and assessing VoC programs for organizations spanning a multitude of industries for more than a decade, so I know how invaluable their benefits are.
VoC allows you to make data-driven decisions, ensuring your business strategies align precisely with your customers’ desires. Additionally, it helps you identify and address any potential issues before they become major problems, fostering customer loyalty and retention. By consistently acting on customer feedback, you demonstrate that you genuinely care about your customers’ experiences, thus enhancing your brand reputation.
Below is a list of what companies need to do to align themselves with the best practices I’ve seen.
Related Article: What Are Voice of Customer (VoC) Tools?
VOC Best Practices
Objectives and Outcomes
Tie the Voice of the Customer (VoC) program objectives to the achievement of organizational goals and link the outcomes to business strategy. When it comes to these goals, make sure they’re clearly defined — either the specific areas to be improved or the questions the organization needs answers to. These efforts can be focused effectively.
You can also use feedback to drive companywide change, incorporating it into operating rhythms and reporting at both an executive and frontline level to drive incremental change.
Capture feedback from a variety of sources including social, digital (email, chat, web and SMS) and voice channels. Select the channels that best suit your audience, then collect feedback on the same channel as the interaction. A best practice for this is to incorporate the collection of feedback into the interaction itself.
Types of Feedback
Collect both quantitative and qualitative feedback. Quantitative feedback enables measurement of performance. Qualitative feedback helps you identify where the experience can be improved and understand the emotional impact the experience has on the customer.
Memory fades quickly, so collect feedback as close to the trigger event as possible. It’s also important to keep surveys short, straightforward, relevant and easy to understand. Don’t forget to let customers have the opportunity to provide feedback at the completion of every meaningful interaction.
When it comes to data, make it easy for respondents. Integrate relevant data based on what the company knows about the respondent into the survey to personalize it, reducing the amount of effort it takes to complete the survey. Remember, your customers’ time and effort is valuable, so don’t ask unnecessary questions. It will drive higher response rates.
You can create a service recovery process where customers who provide extremely low scores are prioritized for contact (best practice is within 24 hours). Then, close the loop by telling respondents what you plan to do with their feedback (“you told us this, this is what we’re going to do”).
Finally, keep track of who has been surveyed and when to ensure customers are not over-surveyed. If there is more than one survey utilized by the organization, use common questions and wording across all surveys to ensure comparability of results and a consistent brand.
Related Article: Voice of the Customer (VoC): Much More Than a Satisfied Customer
Ensure VoC collection processes are robust so that the data is trusted by everyone within the organization. Your data needs to be statistically significant (particularly when results are tied to employees’ remuneration).
Communication & Insights
When it comes to feedback, summarize and report on it regularly (usually monthly). Ensure you have real-time access to this data to keep your finger on the pulse of customer sentiment. After all, a VoC program requires the delivery of actionable insights (for example, the drivers of customer satisfaction within the different stages of customer journeys).
Reporting should include customer stories to bring the data to life. You can use this information to create customer rooms or customer walls, which include things like journey maps, personas, video interviews with customers, feedback verbatims, perception metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer effort score (CES) and customer satisfaction score (CSAT) and how they were tracking over time, as well as notes from positive customer-to-staff interactions.
Other tips include merging customer perception data with operational data to add weight to insights — then tailoring these insights to the needs of various roles within the organization. This ensures that stakeholders get the information they need.
Use an appropriate customer perception metric. For example, if an organization is public or a monopoly, a Net Promoter Score won’t be the right metric to use. Customer Effort Score (CES) may be a better proxy for the experience in those situations.
If more than one survey exists with an organization, use a common customer perception metric across all surveys to ensure consistency of reporting.
Storage of Data/Access to Data
Create a central repository of all customer feedback/insights to provide a single view of the customer — “a single source of truth.” If data is stored in multiple systems, ensure those systems are integrated.
Additionally, democratize feedback data and insights make them freely available to the entire organization. Have the customers’ voice ring out internally.
Use what customers have to say to engage and identify coaching opportunities for frontline staff. This means sending feedback straight to the employees who can learn from it.
Operationalize your VoC program. Collect feedback, analyze it, use it to identify pain points and design CX improvement initiatives to address those pain points. Then, report on it and close the loop with respondents. Then start again. As a tip, ensure your company’s VoC program is overseen by a single department with roles and responsibilities clearly defined.
Parting Words on VoC Programs
A VoC program is at the heart of every good CX strategy. Follow these practices to ensure you’re getting the most out of yours.
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