Our survey says . . . that surveys don’t actually work very well anymore. In fact, average survey response rates today can be as low as 2-5%. This has resulted in brands shifting towards low effort forms of feedback where the level of emotional engagement from a customer dictates the amount of feedback they give.
Why should they comment on the product packaging when it was the delivery driver’s service they were impressed with?
Why aren’t brands giving customers a platform to voice their opinions and drive conversation?
While it’s difficult to predict exactly how Voice of the Customer is evolving, when different sectors are moving at such different speeds, there are some key developments that we can see materialising over the next year.
More Contact Channels
Twitter revolutionised customer service with it’s launch by giving consumers the means to instantly voice their thoughts to brands. It also meant brands could capture their entire audience and market in a much more subtle fashion.
Moving forward, platforms such as Periscope are disrupting the convention. By allowing brands to live stream directly to their audiences it means yesterday's platforms such as Twitter are facing more rivalry than ever to keep up.
We believe that the ability for brands to open themselves up to even more contact channels could be a crucial development in the Voice of the Customer over the next year.
For example, instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp will present companies with the opportunity to engage their customers in a more natural way. The more engaging and low effort a communication between brand and customer becomes; the higher response rate you can expect.
The idea of communicating with a customer in the exact same way that they would with a friend or partner is the kind of experience we might expect to find in the more immediate future.
The Digital Journey
Now more than ever we’re seeing brands rely on their digital presence to connect with their audience through social media, apps and even virtual reality.
A prime example of this would be Atom Bank, who are the UK’s first bank built exclusively for mobile. Their entire business model revolves around providing a service that’s extremely personal and accessible. It looks like more brands could follow in their footsteps by prioritising the digital journey of their customers.
By developing an acute focus on the customer’s digital journey, brands can create more opportunities to make their transactions seamless and lower effort.
The lower the effort Voice of the Customer becomes, the more insights brands can expect to be able to capture, ultimately meaning greater visibility of what they need to take action on.
It’s also likely that there will be less of an onus on the more traditional touch points such as telephone calls that are typically used for solving problems as a result of the increase in digital contact channels.
This means that contact centre agents and engineers will take responsibility for more complex challenges for their customers. While FAQs, knowledge bases and bots handle simple queries thus allowing for a smooth digital journey.
This role reversal will mean that brands won’t just be able to consistently get the basics right, but they’ll also have the chance to showcase their ability to move mountains for their customers when faced with the more complex problems. It also creates more challenging and stimulating roles within an organisation that feel less admin orientated. This could, therefore, make contact centre roles more varied for frontline employees and increase their engagement levels within the workplace.
The way things stand at the moment, all roads seem to be leading to a more consumer-centric approach to Voice of the Customer with seamless digital integration holding the key to a better brand experience.
As if millennials aren’t creating enough problems for managers all over the country, they could also add complications to the changing Voice of the Customer.
Having grown up from such a young age using technology, your future employees will know all about the importance of a seamless digital journey. Therefore, if a potential employee doesn’t feel that an organisation has the right contact channels then they may opt for a company who they believe have more of a foothold in the digital landscape.
As for the type of companies that may struggle with this new and improved Voice of the Customer, it’s likely to be the less agile organisations that fail to adapt, those who don’t have the infrastructure and capabilities of rolling out a new channel such as WhatsApp or Skype with ease.
Therefore, companies such as banks, who have typically paved the way for customer experience, could face problems if they’re not able to adapt to the growing number of customer touchpoints.
Ultimately the brands that will benefit the most over the next year are those that are willing and able to adapt their entire culture to Voice of the Customer. The desire to really listen to what their customers say needs to be ingrained throughout the entire organisation from frontline staff right up to management. Once this mindset is in place, a brand can look at the digital journey they’re paving for their customers and start to reap the rewards - catching true insight from their customers allowing them to define great experiences.
Recently we published an article on 'How to capture the true Voice of the Customer', which details a short but sweet exercise to help you engage your customers and achieve the results you want from a VoC programme. Click below to learn more!