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Maximizing the Impact of Your Voice of the Customer Program: A Comprehensive Guide

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With 89% of marketers reporting their companies expect to compete mainly on CX, a well-executed Voice of the Customer program can boost your marketing ROI. But what does that look like? Companies that listen attentively and respond earnestly can unlock long-term customer satisfaction, loyalty, and referral business. Here are five best practices to build a powerful VoC program: 

Create a Guide

A voice of the customer program streamlines feedback and helps prevent important cues from slipping through the cracks. It also ensures that impacted teams know what to do with the insights they’ve been tasked with taking action on. To get the most value from your VoC program, ensure it covers all touchpoints in your customers’ journeys. It includes omni-channel surveys and in-person interviews. In addition, it’s essential to leverage a platform that offers survey templates for each of your unique customer segments and can deliver these in any channel.

Additionally, be sure the Voice of the Customer program you select provides your marketing and sales teams with data they can use to create innovative, targeted campaigns that deliver great CX across every touchpoint of the customer journey. For example, if your website has poor loading times or navigation buttons are too small to click on mobile devices, this could be an opportunity to improve user experience. You can even use customer feedback from your ecommerce site or brick-and-mortar locations as an input for your digital CX roadmaps.

Establish a Strategic Roadmap

While many software tools help with this, some of the best Voice of the Customer programs use “mapping” to create a strategic roadmap. A roadmap is a high-level plan defining an overarching strategic objective and capturing the significant steps planned for achieving it. Entrepreneurs and product managers must treat a backlog or project management tracker as the roadmap. It needs to capture the critical element of a strategic roadmap: themes. When you boil your strategic objectives down to a few key themes, it’s easier to socialize them amongst stakeholders and gain buy-in. For example, suppose your customer feedback tells you that most inbound calls to your call center come from unhappy customers because of a new pricing strategy. In that case, you can then use speech analytics to identify the specific themes driving that sentiment and take action accordingly.

Themes should be distributed to all departments across the organization, including your customer support team and other internal groups interacting directly with customers (like the engineering and product development teams). It ensures a cross-functional perspective on the results and recommendations. Keeping these results and recommendations locked away in a single department will only weaken the impact of your program.

Capture Feedback

Capturing feedback can be a daunting task. However, using a structured approach can streamline the process. The secret is to pose thought-provoking questions that encourage participation and guarantee that the answers are pertinent to your company. For example, if customers report experiencing two separate issues, capturing these as individual entries in your database (or other analytics tool) is essential. Using specific codes can help you distinguish between these comments. Unstructured data should be analyzed regularly to validate that the information you receive is aligned with customer perspectives. Examples include CRM notes by your customer success and professional services teams, call transcripts, and other customer interaction data.

Analyzing insights and creating an action plan should be the next step in your Voice of the Customer program. It includes identifying trends in customer sentiment, including identifying detractors and passives, and taking steps to improve product or service consistency. A key piece to this is ensuring that positive feedback is addressed and responded to as quickly as possible. The more extended customers feel their Voice has yet to be heard, the more likely they become passive or detractors.

Analyze Insights

Once you’ve gathered and analyzed your VoC data, it’s time to put that feedback to work. A VoC analytics program systematically examines customer sentiment and uses it to guide business decisions. Technological advances have drastically streamlined the process of gathering and analyzing customer feedback. For instance, software tools enable field teams to quickly identify and prioritize critical insights from survey responses and outreach emails. In addition, their automated CTAs and Playbooks streamline internal processes by allowing team members to create and send surveys directly from the CRM they already use to close the loop on customer needs. Text-based responses are also easy to analyze with the help of technology that can extract tone and intent from customer comments. With this advanced data, businesses can identify and act on customer sentiment to create a more robust customer experience.

Take Action

It’s no secret that it costs five times more to attract a new customer than to retain one. Implementing Voice of the Customer best practices is integral to an organization’s strategy. Effective VoC programs collect feedback from multiple channels like service calls, online surveys, the company website, and more. The best practice is to target these surveys at the right time, such as immediately after a customer interaction. It ensures the feedback is fresh, giving you the most valuable data possible. Similarly, in-person interviews are often used to get an empathetic understanding of a customer’s experience and feelings.

Once the data is analyzed, it’s time to take action. It can be anything from making product improvements to adjusting the price point of a service. By incorporating the results of your VoC program into an organization’s overall business strategy, you can deliver on your brand’s promises to customers. It will increase brand loyalty and create lasting value for your business. Ultimately, that’s the most important thing you can do for your customers.

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