Listening to customers is still your best long-term CX strategyby
Customers are your best source of business and market insights. By listening to them, you can learn what they want and need from your products & services.
Customers are your best source of business and market insights. By listening to them, you can learn what they want and need from your products, services and employees. This knowledge is essential for creating great customer experiences. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t prioritise formal listening to their customers.
In fact, recent HubSpot research shows that 42% of businesses don’t even survey their customers or collect feedback. And of those that do, many don’t take action on what they learn.
With today’s business focus on being more customer-centric (and delivering better customer experiences as a result) your customers’ voices have never been more critical to competitive success.
Their voices can provide a compass to help you navigate your next steps, including prioritising investments in products, services and experiences, and knowing what will drive the most valuable improvements.
If you’re not incorporating customer feedback into your decision-making process, why start now?
Is your organisation among those that don’t currently listen to their customers? If so, you have a problem. Because a combination of radically changing customer expectations, a shifting market landscape, and increasingly uncertain times has made reacting to change more important—and customer feedback more critical—than ever before.
The fact is, insights from Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) and insights customer data will help guide business decisions for today and tomorrow, because listening closely to your customers ensures short- and long-term success at meeting their goals, while also fulfilling your organisational objectives.
After all, your customers are the ones who interact with your organisation on a regular basis, so they have a unique perspective on what’s working well and what could be improved. Why wouldn’t you want to hear—and learn—from them? (And no, it’s never too late to start. Just like saving for retirement, better late than never.)
Customer listening systems help organisations understand what customers are thinking and doing
Call it what you want, but VoC or customer listening is more than an activity. It’s the process of regularly gathering and analysing customer feedback to better understand your customers’ needs and expectations.
Customer listening systems leverage software to help organisations listen in a systematic, predictable and scalable manner.
There are many different types of customer listening systems, each with its own unique features and benefits. Most help you gather and analyse data using tools like surveys and text analytics. Some will also analyse call centre recordings or assess customer progress across your journeys. The capabilities are many and varied.
And while more comprehensive tools (i.e. Enterprise Feedback Management platforms) aren’t needed by everyone, software of some sort is.
Because consistently gathering and analysing customer data across the multiple listening posts that almost every organisation has, requires automation, analysis and technology to regularly listen to, analyse, and act on customer feedback in ways that generate insights, not just data.
What should your customer listening plan be?
To enable a successful customer listening system, you need to find the right tools and technologies aligned to your unique business needs.
And while the introduction of new systems can be daunting, figuring out how each component (people, processes, data and information and technology) works together in relation to your existing systems and business goals radically increases the odds of success.
After all, there’s a reason that developing an organisation-wide customer listening capability is such an important part of establishing a more customer-centric culture.
Because it’s very hard to be customer-centric if you don’t know what your customers want, think, feel, and need.
Michael Hinshaw is Founder and President of McorpCX, a customer experience consultancy and services firm based in the San Francisco area, working with enterprises across the globe. An innovative executive, speaker, educator, and...