How Can you Maximize the Effectiveness of your Voice of the Customer Program?

In today’s customer experience-driven world, an effective Voice of the Customer (VoC) program is essential. However, too often, organizations go through the effort of conducting a VoC program, only to fail to take action to address customer concerns or implement available improvements. Without utilizing the information gained during the program, the investment into gathering customer opinion is nothing short of wasted.

Not only will the lack of action impact the ROI of the program, failing to listen to customers may lead to increased frustrations and alienation, especially those customers who offered passionate insight.

To maximize the effectiveness of your VoC program, be sure to:

Identify Strengths

While it is easy to focus on negative feedback, it is just as important to pay attention to the positive comments customers offer. Identifying “bright spots” and making plans to increase their frequency and duplicate their success is critical to the buoyancy of the program and helpful to your organization.

Pinpoint Weaknesses

Your VoC program is likely to shed light on a lot of weaknesses in your organization. Your employees are probably nearly as frustrated with these weaknesses as customers are, so use the opportunity to build relationships and create plans for fixing the processes or policies that are less than effective.

Create a Plan

Keeping a balance between emphasizing strengths and addressing weaknesses, be sure to create a plan of attack. Seek input from varying departments throughout the organization to ensure that all aspects of improvements are beneficial to the entire enterprise, and offer the best chances of success.

A good goal for every VoC program is to identify 2-3 specific changes based on the results of each wave or measurement. This will allow for tracking and help to maximize the ROI of the program, without overwhelming the organization.

It is important to note, however, that it takes time for change to happen – the actions you take today will likely have an immediate impact, but the overall benefit to the organization may take time to register on survey scores and customer feedback. Stay the course, and you will see your efforts rewarded.

 

CRM as the Funnel for Customer Data

CRM impacts the success of CX programs in many ways, including serving as the information funnel. Today’s consumer demands the ability to interact with an organization through a variety of channels, including voice, chat, social media, websites and more. Maintaining multi-channel communications is key to ensuring the satisfaction of a wide range of individuals and target groups.

Unfortunately, managing the data flowing through several channels at once can be difficult. Failure to do so will lead to disjointed interactions between customers and agents. For example, let’s consider this situation: a customer initiates an interaction through a chat portal, but is redirected to the customer interaction center for additional help. In this case, an effective CRM solution would transfer existing data gathered from the chat session to the database for access by the CIC® agent who fields the interaction. Without this data flow, the customer is likely to have to start the interaction from square one, and is forced to offer their information and explain their issue once again.

By acting as the funnel that catches and directs data from a wide range of channels, the CRM arms the CIC® agent with the information needed to seamlessly transition the customer interaction from the chat session to the call. The effective transition of the interaction, and the successful resolution of the customer’s issue, increases the likelihood that the customer will be satisfied and feel valued by the organization.

In order to facilitate the collection and distribution of customer data, the CRM architecture must be configured to grab the information from each channel and data source, and to distribute it automatically to agent-accessible locations.

The Consumer of Tomorrow

Examining the various traits of the modern consumer, as well as the consumer of tomorrow, is the first step in identifying opportunities to improve customer experience (CX) strategies. The modern consumer possesses many traits that impact interactions with product or service providers. The average consumer is:

Eager

Consumers who encounter issues or questions want answers quickly. Forcing a consumer to wait for resolutions often results in an unsatisfied customer. Conversely, providing swift and helpful answers increases satisfaction and loyalty in the long term.

Engaged

Modern consumers are passionate about many things, including engaging with organizations that they identify with or respect. The more opportunities you can offer for engagement, the better your chances of gaining and retaining loyal customers.

Versatile

Today’s consumer utilizes any number of communication methods when searching for assistance. From email correspondence to online chats, text conversations to video calls, the modern consumer explores many communication methods other than the telephone.

Informed

The wealth of information available has given consumers the ability to research any product, service or issue. This knowledge is out to good use when considering a purchase, and when dealing with an issue down the road.

Vocal

Social media outlets have given consumers a platform on which to share their experiences with a product, service or company. Both satisfied and dissatisfied consumers freely exchange knowledge and experiences, helping other consumers to make decisions.

Despite their knowledge and awareness, consumers have yet to realize the power they have to influence the future of CX. In coming years, consumers will realize the influence they have over customer experience strategies, and will begin to pressure organizations with sub-par CX to catch up to the crowd.