A Voice of the Customer (VoC) program gathers customer feedback on the pre-sales, purchase and post-sales experience, and gathers information/metrics on how simple it is for a customer to order products, whether they received timely customer support and whether they understood how to use a product after purchase. This information is critical in evaluating customer experience (CX), but too many organizations never get to the analytics stage to figure out how effective their CX strategy actually is. Effectively implementing VoC programs allows your organization utilize that data to drive positive change.
Essential VoC Goals and Metrics
Many companies assume they know what their customers want, but sometimes customer expectations are a surprise. A VoC program gathers critical feedback to identify what customers are missing in the CX, areas that need to be addressed and notably effective components of the CX strategy.
VoC Goal Setting
You need your CX end-goal in mind before you create a VoC program. The program's shape—from the questions you ask customers to the feedback implementation—revolves entirely around your end goals. Are you looking to increase customer retention, cut down on average call resolution times, or introduce new customer support channels? Establishing your goals also guides metrics to track.
What Metrics Do You Want to Track?
Avoid generalized feedback when you establish the metrics your VoC program should track. You can't identify trends if your customers provide information on a hundred different metrics. Instead, focus on the data that's useful for establishing your end goal. If you're doing product research, look into your typical customer's day to day life and identify where your solutions fit in. Talk to consumers about alternative customer support channels and discover their feelings on changes to the process.
Data Collection Methods
Don't lump all your customers together when you're gathering data. Each segment has their own wants, needs and product solutions applicable to their life. Once you segment your customers, consider how you want to hear their voices. Customer support surveys provide valuable analytics on how the CX is performing. Live chat support software often has feedback form functions. For phone support, survey questions can be worked into the overall support experience, or as a post-support follow-up.
Look into scaling methods to support your VoC program. Incorporate surveys questions, studies, or dedicated focus groups into customer communication channels. You need to open up communication with your customers so that they're comfortable giving you this information. One way of increasing trust and comfort levels is to create transparency in what you're doing with the data. Let customers know you want to improve customer support, your product features, or other areas of the company with the feedback.
Elements of a VoC Audit
A VoC program grows with your customer base and your company. An audit of your program helps your company determine whether the VoC is truly helping improve CX, whether the data you're collecting meets the established business goals and whether any part of the process could be improved.
Research new solutions for soliciting feedback in your channels. New feedback applications and methodologies are always in the works, so a new survey method may get a much higher response rate than your existing solution. Do split tests or another testing method to determine whether a new data collection method is more effective.
Are you utilizing the VoC program to make actionable change and fulfill your business goals? The VoC program is in place for more than data collection. The information should be used to change your CX strategy for the better and identify weak points at any part of the process. If the program isn't doing that effectively, fix the process.
An effective VoC strategy improves your company as a whole by setting your CX apart from your competitors. Your organization may not have many ways to differentiate itself through its product selections, pricing, or shipping, but using a VoC program to improve CX makes a world of difference in customer conversion, loyalty and retention.