How do you capture the true voice of the customer?

Posted by Sam Roberts

June 10, 2016


Customers aren't completing surveys, so what can you do?

We believe that the time for surveys has long gone, customers aren't engaged and brands are wasting valuable resource. Although the topic isn't new  (we alluded to this back in 2014 in our 'Is anybody out there article') we're still seeing frustration from businesses in trying to capture the true voice of the customer. 

Instead we encourage businesses to ask only one open-ended question (and capture a score alongside this) at relevant parts of the customer journey and immediately after service delivery. This approach leads to response rates of between 35-50% (compared with 2-5% for traditional surveys - and this doesn't even take into account drop out rates), as well as much richer insight, as we are getting the views of customers in their own words.

If you imagine an entire customer journey, by picking the key points and asking for feedback at them, you're still able to build up the same intelligence you would get with a survey at the end of the journey. However this way makes the questions much more relevant to the customer and the insight is more valid because it's captured in the moment (Gartner shows this increases accuracy by 40% compared to just 24 hours later).

Now imagine a survey being asked weeks if not months after certain interactions have occurred, your views will be skewed and impacted by other interactions, not only with that company but other things that may have happened in your day-to-day life (your emotional journey).

A good exercise is to try the following...

1) Map out your customer journey - it doesn't have to be an entire one maybe just one aspect

2) Grab the scissors! - Take your current survey and cut up the questions so they are individual.

3) Make it relevant - Place ONLY the questions that are relevant at each stage of the customer journey. If you have gaps in your customer journey then maybe your survey wasn't telling you everything you should know and therefore you might need different questions.

4) Capture the RIGHT metrics - At times along your customer journey certain metrics will be more applicable. For instance if it's an online interaction then a customer's priority it to get this done quickly and with as little pain as possible, in this scenario the Net Easy metric (Was that easy? YES or NO) would be most applicable. If however it was at the end of the Journey then NPS would more than likely be the most relevant. Equally C-Sat would probably be best used in a Contact Centre interaction.

5) Don't create feedback fatigue - You want to ask at the right times NOT all the time so ensure that you aren't bombarding customers with too many requests for feedback. Instead only ask at key times and at other times give them the ability to reach out should they wish (signs that prompt them to do so), this could be a Point of Sale Display encouraging customers to text some feedback to a shortcode, leaving feedback via a widget on a website, or via a button on the bottom of an email (we call these Listening Posts).

There's no exact science to this so we advise that it’s important to constantly experiment until you get the insight you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to fail fast and if something isn’t working then stop and try something else.

Capturing the voice of the customer doesn't end here, we advise you to think about how you can align the Voice of your Brand to your Voice of the Customer strategy to make your feedback a bit more fun. Take a look at our full eBook: How to Put the Fun Back into Customer Feedback to find out exactly how.


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Topics: Customer Surveys, Voice Of The Customer

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