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Put VoC at the heart of CX & drive differentiation

16th Oct 2018
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Wouldn’t it be great if we could really capture and understand what our customers think about us, what they expect from us and what they really like and dislike about our products or our services, so we can satisfy their needs?

It’s a common desire from businesses the world over, the need to capture the voice of the customer. It means more than just carrying out surveys or resolving complaints. It’s about getting detailed feedback from every customer touchpoint, across every channel, analysing it and making sure that the right people get the right data and do something proactive with it.

To put Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs into context it’s worth a quick look at five key benefits. The first is that they analyse both structured and unstructured data, everything from text analytics through to the measure of emotion during any customer interaction. The second is that no VoC program is bound by geography so it can deliver a global perspective and work across multiple languages. Thirdly, feedback is instant, so companies can assess what customers are saying and respond in near real-time.

The fourth benefit is that instead of a brand, marketing or product manager trying to manually keep on top of customer feedback, a VoC program is automated. And finally, companies could even consider reducing the number of customer surveys they carry out. They are expensive, and if they can’t be dismissed entirely, then they could instead work in tandem with a VoC program.

Despite this, however, too many companies that implement Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs are unable to successfully act on the insights. In research (1) carried out by the Temkin Group last year, most companies reported that their VoC efforts were successful, but less than a quarter (24%) were good at making changes to their business based on the insights. It’s not always easy to understand why this happens, particularly when those that do follow through reap such rich rewards.

A case in point is one of the USA’s most prominent, internationally distributed, daily newspapers. Like many other print publications all over the world, the newspaper was forced to focus attention and resources on customers who would remain loyal during its digital transformation. It used a VoC programme to identify a particular customer pain point in performing account related transactions online and, as a result, overhauled its subscription communications.

This produced an 11% year on year increase in self-service transactions, which reduced customer effort and lowered call centre costs. The data it was able to extract from surveys, call centre interactions, live chats and native app reviews has allowed it to systematically deliver a positive customer experience for its audience.

This was an example of how a company was able to use the insights to good effect. Where projects are not leading to positive change, it’s likely that they stall once the data on customer feedback has been collated and extracted. It might be as simple as ensuring the data is presented in a dashboard that is intelligible and structured, so it is easy to think about the next steps.

In the second half of this blog, I will look at the importance of a champion when it comes to driving VoC projects through.


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