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Why Listening to the Voice of the Customer Is a Must for Your Brand

Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs are becoming more popular because of their tremendous impact on a company. Find out why it's a must for your brand!
customer experience services

Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs are becoming more popular because of their tremendous impact on a company. VoC summarizes customer expectations, preferences, experiences, needs, and feedback, allowing brands to understand their customers better. 

Even a 5% increase in retention rates boosts profits by 25 to 95%, and the VoC plays a significant role in understanding what will help customers stick around. But where do you start?

Why Using VoC Methodologies Is So Important

Data-driven VoC analytics programs create better customer experiences and reduce friction across the customer journey. By capturing and acting on customer feedback, brands can better understand the complicated decision-making process of both customers and prospects.

Collecting and actioning feedback increases upselling and cross-selling opportunities, Net Promoter Score (NPS), and top-line revenue. That process also leads to the development of better products and services. 

There’s a strong effect on your contact center, too. Agents can handle calls more efficiently, decreasing average hold time and improving call-deflection rates. That improved operational process saves you money in the long run. McKinsey found that brands that transition to digital customer service save 30% on costs while seeing a 19% increase in customer satisfaction. You’re creating brand advocates, increasing customer retention, cutting operational costs, and seeing a greater ROI on your products and services. Those changes positively impact your entire contact center. 

How You Can Build a Data-Driven VoC Program

Data comes in from so many different sources. Online customer surveys, phone calls to the contact center, focus groups, customer interviews, emails, live chat, website behavior, social media listening, and CRM systems all contribute to an extensive mountain of information. 

To effectively harness all of that information, a VoC program is a must-have. Here’s a step-by-step look at how to launch one that ladders up to your entire contact center strategy.

Get Buy-In

While it’s tempting to leap into the thick of things, a VoC program won’t go anywhere if it’s not backed at the executive level.

Make sure to get the proper buy-in from your team. An engaged workforce with a clear vision is the key to solid VoC results.

Choose the Right Tools

VoC data analytics software is the foundation for more extensive processes by providing data, insights, and more, all from a single view.

The proper tools offer flexibility, rich reporting, customizability, and the ability to answer tough brand questions.

Collect and Prepare Your Data

Customers share comments and complaints across channels. Bringing the data together reveals friction and revenue opportunities across the entire customer journey, so it’s critical to view VoC data from a holistic perspective.

Choose the channels that are most important to your customer base. Where are your customers most active? What channels are they sharing feedback on, and how are they doing it? Where are they most frequently contacting and connecting with your brand?

Those are the channels — and the data — you should focus on.

Analyze the Data and Draw Conclusions

Once you’ve gathered and prepared your data, it’s time to analyze it. While you could certainly go down a rabbit hole of one conversation, it’s better to look for trends in the data.

If you’re using a customer experience analytics tool, it can reveal trending topics across your customer data. You’ll see not only what people are saying but also why they’re saying it and the overall context of the conversation.

Even if you’re not yet using a CX analytics tool, an Excel or Google sheet of customer interaction data can help reveal pain points. Search for common themes, topics, keywords, and other consistent trends within the data.

Prioritize the Insights

VoC programs highlight friction points or revenue opportunities previously unknown to the brand in most situations. The data you receive sheds light on those opportunities, offering a guide for what’s most important to your customers.

After you’ve analyzed the data to understand how customers feel and where your opportunities are, decide what you’ll take action on first.

What’s the lowest-hanging fruit? What friction has the strongest effects on your customer base and revenue? Is there something that needs immediate addressing?

Tackle the insights that will result in the most significant impact first.

Determine the Insights Owner

You’ve analyzed your data and prioritized your most urgent needs. Now, how do you make sure those next steps happen?

Because insights often reside in different departments, contact center leaders should determine an insights owner. The owner can communicate what each department has learned and the result of those insights on revenue and cost savings, highlighting the need for immediate action.

After receiving those insights, develop a proposed action plan with timelines and task owners. Everyone should clearly see where they’re needed, how they’ll contribute, and their respective deadlines. 

Remember, these types of upgrades take time and commitment from the entire organization. But they’ll positively impact revenue, NPS, cross-selling, upselling, and so much more. If everyone remains on track and focuses on the process and vision, you’ll see those improvements across your brand — and celebrations from your customers.

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Staci Satterwhite, COO at Khoros

Staci comes to Khoros with more than 30 years of technology experience, including roles in programming, consulting, sales, and customer success. Her experience spans both small and large companies and includes completing two Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and one private equity exit. Additionally, Staci has broad leadership experience in customer-facing roles in services and sales at companies including Microsoft, Vignette, HEALTHCAREfirst, and Dell.

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