Finding and keeping the right insiders is the first challenge you’ll encounter when establishing a VoC program.
A few years ago, in order to drive their Voice of Customer (VoC) program, a coffee chain offered a free drink to those willing to fill up a survey about their experience at the cafe. At the end of the questionnaire, the program would deliver a four-digit code the customer had to write down on the transaction receipt and bring it to any shop to exchange it for a cup of joe.
Soon enough, the coffee chain realized there was a considerable disparity between the number of surveys completed and the number of drinks redeemed. Turns out that rather than fill out the questionnaire, patrons were just writing down random four-digit numbers and getting their free coffee. No follow up, no accountability.
This is an example of a VoC program that failed to reach the appropriate people from square one, a mistake bound to reverberate through every step that followed.
Big lift, high reward
A VoC program is a company’s approach to gather, analyze, and act on customer feedback to create a customer-centric culture. A successful VoC program puts customers’ needs at the heart of everything a business does, a strategy that in the end drives brand, product, and service improvements.
In order to achieve a superior customer experience by the way of a VoC program, your business needs to listen to customers at every stage of the journey. Understanding this is key. Many organizations, like the one depicted above, believed periodical net promoter score (NPS) or customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys would suffice, but they were only scratching the surface.
An active collaboration with your customers is likely to increase their lifetime value and the creation of better products and experiences. All of this hinges on your ability to select the right customers to provide the insight to kickstart your program.
What it takes
- Your opening move should be rooted in customer loyalty: Since customer loyalty describes an ongoing emotional relationship between a brand and their customer, a long-time patron is more likely to engage and provide insight throughout the entirety of the journey. They see your success as theirs. In all likelihood, there are multiple points of interaction for you to connect with these loyal customers.
- Keep an eye on those who don’t engage: A common challenge for VoC programs is to recruit from groups known for being stingy with their feedback (Millennials come to mind). Rather than move on without their insight, look for tools these groups are more responsive to, like surveys delivered via SMS or personalized experiences.
- Know what you want to know: You could bore a loyal customer with questions, so much so, they may not want to hear from you again. Clarity of purpose and brevity can help you preserve your feedback providers.
- Be ready to take on the data: Without an appropriate Voice of Customer software to support your company’s efforts, there’s a good chance you won’t make the most of all the feedback you’ve received. A strong VoC program would consider collection, analysis, and the tools necessary to close the feedback loop. If you have multiple data channels, they better be connected.
- Profile variables are your best friends: Say you have successfully created a pool or a community of customers. You would be well served by developing profile variables (PVs) for them. PVs are pieces of information associated with a customer or member of an insight community. These variables can be updated over time as their information changes, but retain their history so you can use this swath of data to better benchmark, segment, and keep a finger on the pulse of your customers.
- Walk the walk: Among all Voice of Customer best practices, using the feedback you receive is paramount. By large, consumers don’t believe companies do anything with their insight. It’s key to demonstrate the opposite in order to keep them on your side, otherwise you may face frustration and reluctance to respond in the future.
With Alida’s customers insights platform, you can lead with intelligent, customer-validated business decisions. Tap into the voice of your customers to build real relationships and delight them with products and services they love.