Struggling to get your Voice of the Customer (VoC) programme off the ground? Well, it’s not just the people at the top you need to convince; you need employee buy-in too.
Forrester analyst Adele Sage advises organisations looking to get that all important executive support to appeal with evidence, such as metrics and business results, as well as compelling stories about good and bad customer experiences.
“Ask for execs to support you in collecting feedback from customers, analysing that feedback, taking on projects to improve the experience, and monitoring to make sure those projects are working,” she says.
But the top dogs aren’t the only ones you need to impress. Top-down support is important but just as critical is the need to have employees on board too, she says.
“There are a few important components for gaining grassroots support for your VoC program. Start by collecting frontline employee feedback about the customer experience. They interact with customers regularly and hear everything directly from the source. I’ll let you in on a secret: They want to be asked!”
Sage provides the example of a large financial services firm that began asking front-line reps for feedback on opportunities to improve the experience received an overwhelming request for having a system in place to capture this kind of data. The firm then took the step of making every effort to close the loop with the reps and assure them that changes were being made as a result of their feedback because closing the loop isn’t limited to your end customers, she says.
It’s also important to involve staff in the creation of solutions, which could mean asking them to submit ideas for approval or getting employee feedback on proposed solutions. Frontline employees, given their constant communication with customers, are a good source of knowledge on what customers want and therefore whether planned solutions will be positively received.
However, it’s not just frontline staff that the VoC team must engage with. For non-customer facing folks, it’s critical to bring insights to life through the verbatims on surveys, emails, and phone calls, says Sage.
“This kind of change can only come from a two-pronged approach. If you’re working on building executive support, keep at it! But don’t forget about the bottom-up support of your employees, too,” she concludes.
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