It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business, it’s about how you conduct business. Some of the best-known brands have fallen by the wayside because they’ve not kept pace with modern customer needs - they don’t understand the traits and characteristics that define what customers now want.
We’ve seen a real change in customer expectation, where in almost every industry new brands have emerged purely on the strength of their Voice of the Customer (VoC) programmes. Their approach has resonated with an audience of customers who are fed up with how they are treated and expect something better. Many of the most successful companies today have earned their position because of the quality and consistency of their VoC programmes.
Whilst a step in the right direction, it’s isn’t enough to simply start a Voice of the Customer programme with little thought behind it. Brands have to cultivate a genuine, heartfelt approach that allows everyone in the organisation to listen and react to customer needs. They have to demonstrate the key traits that make VoC programmes successful.
#1 Integrate different feedback sources into one place
Whether feedback comes from Amazon Alexa, email or mobile, having it all in one place is vital for a successful VoC programme. Otherwise, individual customers could leave multiple pieces of feedback that are never associated with each other.
For example, if a customer complains via text and then again via a phone call. If the feedback sources aren’t feeding into one place, then it’s much hard for brands to identify customers that are particularly upset and take steps to help solve their problem.
#2 Remove silos between different departments
Often, brands will have different sets of data residing in various departments. Marketing has some information about the customer, the product team will use data from a different source and customer service has a further level of customer data.
This then creates silos where there is no single truth about the customer. Often they occur because of legacy systems, which have never been integrated. If you can gather all this information into one place, such as your CRM, then you’ll have a complete picture of your customer from which to start analysing.
#3 Embed the Voice of the Employee into your VoC programme
Voice of the Customer programmes can only ever be a success if your people are also engaged in the process. Your employees are the heart of the business. Without them, there would be nobody for the customer to turn to when they need help.
Listening to what your employees have to say and working to improve their experience will have a positive impact on the way they engage with customers. Ultimately, happy employees are more likely to go the extra mile for customers and do what is needed to deliver an excellent experience.
#4 Show a Return on Investment to the business
While the view that VoC is a nice-to-have or an added-extra is thankfully becoming less common, it’s still tough for businesses to invest in programmes that aren’t delivering financial results.
VoC programmes are long-term investments, but that doesn’t mean they can’t deliver quick wins for the brand. These can be straightforward steps, like process tweaks that make life easier for the customer and reduce the number of inbound calls you receive.
To show ROI effectively, get the right resource in line from the start of the programme. For example, brief your business analysts, so that they are on hand to get the most out of your VoC data and report the success back to the business.
Are you struggling to engage senior execs with your Voice of Customer programme? You're not on your own, in fact, it's very easy for businesses to dismiss CX programmes as a ‘nice to do’, rather than a critical business choice.
The best way to overcome this problem can be found in our free guide 'Return on Investment for Voice of the Customer'. We show you how to build a solid business case, and best of all, you'll have the numbers to demonstrate exactly what the business impact is.