Customer needs are changing more rapidly than ever before. A 2020 McKinsey & Company study found consumer behavior is no longer linear but influenced by the "satisfaction of new experiences" brands offer. So, what's the best way for brands to provide optimal customer experiences in the rapidly transforming world?
Brands can stay up to date and fulfill the latest customer demands by incorporating customer feedback into their operations. Most companies relied on Net Promoter Scores (NPS) or customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) results for customer feedback in the past. However, these approaches restrict how much feedback businesses can collect and analyze.
Many companies find that an always-on voice of the customer (VoC) program brings the business closer to their customers so they can incorporate customer insights into everything they do. Implementing a VoC program is the most comprehensive way to understand your customers' needs, wants, and expectations. To help you get the most out of voice of the customer, we’ve outlined some VoC best practices.
A voice of the customer (VoC) program seeks to understand the wants and needs of customers through every possible channel. Voice of the customer programs collect both quantitative and qualitative customer feedback. Feedback can come from both formal surveys and everyday customer interactions.
Quantitative feedback helps you spot patterns, trends, and engagement levels with your products or services. You can gather it through website analytics, product analytics, or NPS and CSAT scores.
Qualitative feedback explores the "why" behind your customers' decisions, giving you deep insight into their preferences, behaviors, and responses to your brand's overall experience. You can gather qualitative feedback through day-to-day customer interactions, surveys, interviews, or input left on website forums. Even better when you can quantify the volume and nature of qualitative feedback.
Using all of this rich custom data, your team can then create actionable goals to improve your customer experience. Software tools can help you get all of your data in one place so you can mine through all of the qualitative input, alongside important customer metrics such as revenue and product usage to provide context for the input.
A comprehensive VoC program provides numerous advantages that directly impact your bottom line. The most significant ones include:
By listening to your customers' likes and dislikes about your products, you get a chance to understand what needs to be adjusted, improved, or newly created altogether. Even more importantly, you get to follow trends and developments that customers want to invest in, which leads to higher satisfaction and sales.
You can use both the positive and negative feedback you receive to plan your future marketing efforts. Positive comments from surveys and interviews can even help you in campaigns, highlighting your strengths for prospective customers to see.
Negative feedback is just as advantageous to your customer experience journey, too. By working on customers' pain points, you get to improve your services and create an exceptional experience. As a result, you can decrease customer churn and build a higher customer retention rate.
Now that you know the benefits of VoC, we prepared a list of 4 voice of the customer tips to keep you going:
Ensure your VoC strategy is set for success by clearly defining your objectives. What are you hoping to learn from customers? Are you looking for input on product direction? Are you trying to better understand an emerging segment of the market? What does success look like when you have these answers? Answers to these questions will help you define goals and guide you through designing a solid VoC strategy.
Your objectives will aid you in listening to day-to-day interactions and composing the right questions for supporting research. Your approach will differ meaningfully depending on whether you seek feedback on specific products and services or the overall customer experience.
An omnichannel approach involves using multiple channels to capture customer insights. It also ensures customers have wide-scale and seamless access to your brand and offers them more opportunities to share their feedback.
When gathering data from channels, you can ask for direct and indirect feedback. The former lets you talk to customers directly, and the latter allows you to analyze input you didn't solicit.
Direct methods include:
NPS or CSAT scores
Indirect methods include:
Recorded customer calls
Social media monitoring
Live chat and email message monitoring
You may want to consider using a blend of direct and indirect strategies, as it will give you the most thorough overview.
A VoC program not only benefits your customers but it deepens your entire company's communicative efforts across the board. Getting input from the frontline teams that talk to customers every day will reveal insights that customers may not know how to voice themselves.
In doing so, you can also discover any barriers or challenges employees may be facing while trying to provide an optimal customer experience. Moreover, employees will feel heard and have the same positive experience they inspire with your customers.
Additionally, allowing all departments to access customer feedback data makes the whole process tick. This approach breaks down silos and inspires collaboration to create a holistic customer experience strategy.
Once all of your teams have access to the customer feedback, it's time to examine the results and take action. Although the data will guide your actions, a general step you shouldn't forget is acknowledging customer efforts. Show your customers you appreciate their feedback and explain how you plan to use it to improve their experience.
When it comes to organizing and analyzing the data, we suggest you start by marking patterns or trends across all of your different data sources. Once you examine the data and identify the most valuable insights, you have the foundation to develop strategies to better deliver value for your customers and your business.
Using the right VoC software will ensure you meet your short and long-term objectives.
With the voice of the customer best practices we covered today, you are ready to start working on your customer experience strategy. You and your team can begin settling on your objectives and questions you'd like to ask your customers.
With so many different sources of customer input, from phone calls to emails to surveys, it’s important to consider a platform to help you make sense of all of the data. Quala does just that, but getting all of your messy qualitative customer data in one place to allow you to mine the data, identify trends, and prioritize the most important findings.
Request a demo today and see how Quala can help you and your business make the most of your voice of the customer efforts.