How is Voice of the Customer Changing?

Posted by Rew Golding

July 18, 2016


You know the feeling, your phone pings and you see the words ‘take our survey’ light up your phone inbox. You could be in the middle of cooking, getting ready for work, at an event and you’ll most likely swipe the notification away, you might even be more upset that it wasn’t your favourite celebrity following you on Twitter..

Thankfully we’re starting to see a gradual shift in the role of Voice of the Customer as more industries invest heavier into customer experience.

While there have always been the traditional sectors such as retail and finance prioritising customer experience, there’s now been an emergence in new markets such as housing, recruitment and IT who are starting to realise the value behind putting what the customer wants first.

So now that customer experience is finally getting the attention it rightly deserves, how is Voice of the Customer changing?

Low Effort Communication that’s Delivered at the Right Time

One of the main changes to the voice of the customer is that brands have started to look for a far more engaging way of gathering feedback.

In the past, consumers would view any form of feedback as a disconnected part of their user experience with no benefit to them whatsoever. As a result, sectors have veered away from long surveys and have moved on to a more low effort, and less tedious, forms of communication such as point scoring.

‘What did you think of our service?’ with a scoring system from 1 - 10 requires very little effort on behalf of the customer, ultimately meaning that you can expect a much higher response rate and broader feedback results.

It’s very important to ask for the feedback moments after the interaction. The customer is more emotionally charged at this point and has the experience fresh in their mind, remember this when looking to capture true insight.

It’s these seamless forms of feedback that allow companies to gather broad data without distracting or interrupting the customer journey.

The Customer Comes First

Another way in which the voice of the customer has changed to benefit both brands and consumers is a noticeable shift towards more open-ended feedback.

Companies have started to realise that if there’s been minimal emotional engagement from a customer it’s unreasonable to expect any great level of depth in the feedback they provide, it needs to be an equal trade-off. So where previously it would all be about what the brand wants to know from the customer, now we’ve seen brands empowering customers by giving them the option to say what they thought of the service or experience in a few words.

Not only is this a far more human way of interacting with a customer, but by the brand taking a backseat and allowing the customer to drive and dictate the feedback you’re able to gather far more varied and valuable responses. You can then use this feedback for greater visibility on what you actually need to take action on.

The opportunity for a customer to speak their mind will also feel a lot more personal than a generic 15 question survey that’s not even asking the right questions.

People have a natural desire to feel valued and it’s engaging to feel like a brand really does want to listen and act on what you have to say.

Everyone’s a Winner

These changes to Voice of the Customer are positive news for both brands and consumers across the board. Brands can expect higher response rates, broader results and more visibility on the action they need to take, whilst customers can enjoy a more seamless customer experience that requires less effort but also gives them more of a voice.

As we see traditional sectors such as retail and finance reap the rewards of this low effort approach to feedback, we expect for it to gradually start trickling down to the sectors that are slightly newer to customer experience.

What does this mean for the future? It means we will see more engagement between the brand and the customer, where a two-way conversation is commonplace and the role of customer experience is placed at the centre of business priorities.

Topics: VoC

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