Back to School: Voice of the Customer 101

Posted by John Rake

9/1/15 1:00 PM

Click2coach workforce optimizationHow does today’s voice of the customer (VoC) differ from yesterday’s? In a myriad of ways, such as in how businesses use it to approach customer feedback from surveys, how those surveys are delivered to the customer and how they have been made more customer-friendly. And improvements don’t stop there—think more relevant, current and targeted customer responses—thanks to VoC software solutions from companies such as Envision.
While typical surveying approaches commonly yield about a 10 percent response rate, VoC solutions have been tied to 50 percent or greater response rates, according to a recent article in a leading CRM publication.VOC software’s success can be directly tracked to its abilityto ensure that customers only receive surveys that are unequivocally pertinent to them.

What is VoC exactly? Just like teachers across the country are currently reviewing curriculum in back-to-school regimens, so too shall we make sure that you are primed to take advantage of everything VoC has to offer with the following refresher:

What customers are thinking

This is the primary information that VoC research attempts to discover and use in marketing strategies—customer predilections, expectations and dislikes. Industry pundits predict growth in VoC deployments, and have indicated that companies have so far only grazed the surface of the technology’s potential. In fact, a Forrester study indicates that as many as 66 percent of all CEOs see the deployment of customer experience management and VoC infrastructure as a fundamental requirement for maintaining market share.

VoC collection practices:

  • Past: Companies tried to uncover this knowledge (not so effectively) by simply asking their customers. They mailed out questionnaires, surveyed customers by phone and ran focus groups. Response rates were typically slow; survey fatigue was rampant, as surveys were drawn out and stacked with company, not customer, interests. These outdated methods also failed to yield specific data on the customer mindset.
  • Present: With the Internet’s rise to prominence, companies began to adopt email and the Web to canvass their customers, limiting steep phone and postage costs. CRM systems are used to enhance survey responsiveness by targeting surveys to customers who are sure to understand the issues under query.
  • Today’s cutting-edge VoC solutions: Software like Click2Coach from Envision enables businesses to go far beyond surveying. Traditional feedback is taken from siloed channels to craft a unified strategy that addresses the total customer experience across multiple channels.

Organizing collected data

The core mission of VoC is to create a pyramid of needs, and to prioritize them relative to particular business goals. VoC solutions include tools to segment customers and collect their feedback, but also tools for analytics, reporting and data management to acquire insight from the feedback and share it companywide.

Implementing corrective action

As the final step of a VoC program, then, weight and purpose are derived from the customer data and turned into action that can affect business improvements—including in the customer experience, retaining customers, selling on successes, driving innovation, increasing demand, improving market effectiveness, evaluating market chains, understanding brand perceptions and others.

In most cases, current VoC deployments are tied to enterprise feedback management solutions, while a few more advanced adopters (mostly from retail, telecommunications, banking and insurance industries) have linked feedback collection tools to speech and text analytics to derive insight. Here at Envision, our VoC solutions fall into the latter category.

Click2Coach offers speech analytics—for mining recorded calls—to document agent-customer interactions, enabling managers to analyze audio interactions and convert them to text. This allows you to search for keywords or phrases, helping identify trends and take action. Similarly, the software mines text-based communications, including email, Web forms and postings on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Click2Coach also offers VoC features like:

Net Promoter Score scale

See your agents and your company through the eyes of your customers. You will garner insight into communications programs to bring agent-customer interactions to a higher level of proficiency, increasing customer satisfaction.

Interaction evaluation survey

Collected data that will arm you to map out future customer acquisition and retention strategies. Know immediately what your customers are ordering through what process and whether they are happy with their exchanges with your company.

Identify trends

Make strategic decisions based on feedback collected on trending topics—which can be quickly identified and measured.

These and other benefits of a VoC strategy can be achieved across many verticals. It’s hard to think of an organization that wouldn't profit from more firsthand information straight from the customer’s mouth, so to speak.

To learn more about how Envision can help improve your bottom line, click here.

Topics: customer experience, voice of the customer, data capture