The Voice of the Customer (VoC) is what one perceives as listening to their customers. It’s done with a process of collecting and analyzing feedback to help improve services and products and can greatly enhance your customer service experience(CX). According to Branding Strategy Insider, having a poor CX costs U.S. companies an estimated $83 billion in losses each year because customers are more likely to talk about a negative experience than a positive one. I haven’t come across a single business leader that is okay with losing money due to a terrible CX.
Customer experience is one thing that we can control, but we have very little understanding about. A lot of a company’s CX has to do with your customer’s feedback of what they are experiencing vs. what they feel is acceptable.
Normally, most businesses consider the collective customer feedback important to the growth, but in this case, the VoC attention shift focuses on individual data.
Why is VoC important?
In today’s business landscape, if you aren’t able to meet your customer’s demands, it will likely result in losing that customer. Many companies with any kind of online presence will also run the risk of the customer sharing a negative review with others whether it’s true or not. This opens the door to a whole new set of issues that requires things such as customer experience analysis, mitigation plan, and customer recovery plan.
The optimal position for you to be in is where you are proactive rather than reactive when it comes to your CX. That’s starts with your VoC. A well-thought-out and managed voice of customer program will have an enterprise-wide structure for handling and analyzing customer feedback to enable teams to provide solutions for real-time issues that your customer is experiencing. Businesses that are paying attention to what their customers are
The complexity of what business leaders need to be thinking about is no longer narrow and specific to their line or area of business. Business leaders need to think about their VoC from initial engagement through the sale and customer success to stay competitive.
Low prices or a semi-unique product or service isn’t forcing the consumer to continue to do business with you. What business leaders must be thinking about is improving their products and services in ways their customers are demanding. Consumers are willing to pay a higher price to get what they want, how they want it.
VoC not only collects customers’ data but emphasizes understanding it. A company should use this information to get down to the root cause of the customer’s issues or on the other hand, learn how to continue delivering on what their customers like about their products or services. Listening to the VoC is more helpful than carrying out surveys and hoping to get a good response. VoC focuses on asking investigative questions and being prepared to receive positive and negative responses.
Some investigative questions that should be incorporated into the VoC include:
Are your products/services priced according to your target market?
Does your product or service bring enough value to your customer to outweigh the cost?
Are your products/services making your customer's life easier or better?
Have you revised your products or services according to your customer feedback?
The responses might surprise you, but you will, at the very least, have some insight to make changes.
When a company invests in a voice of customer program, they can better manage their customer service, handle responses quickly and in an organized fashion, and use the information collected to improve business processes.
A company that does not have a VoC program can miss opportunities to meet customer demands and improve its product or service. Linking your VoC to customer service and customer success can provide transparency on multiple fronts of the organization, and the feedback can help dictate the next steps. Thus, it is a crucial tool for enhancing customer success.
Voice of the customer in supply chain
A VoC program also pertains to the supply chain because it can help fulfill customers' needs by streamlining their operations and automating where appropriate. Manufacturing, shipping, and logistics leaders must remember your customers are internal and external; they are your interconnected teams, suppliers, vendors, and patrons. Integrating the VoC program ensures team collaboration, creating a responsive network that meets the customers' preferences and needs. In cases where warehouses aren’t set up properly, inventory isn’t accurately accounted for, and long lead times will alter the accuracy of data, operational gaps, and root causes.
The great resignation has flipped business models on their heads. You need to pay attention to what your customer is demanding, and that’s your internal and external customers because the current environment requires you to figure out how you will make fewer people more productive.
Voice of the Customer in Call Centers
Upgrading your technology will enable your agents to manage the customer’s concerns and update pertinent information, while leadership can capitalize on tools, such as AI to extract information used in operational overhauls. In a call center, designating leaders can capitalize on various modes of technology to better understand their VoC. Contact centers can use some or all of the tools available to better their customer’s experience such as phone and email surveys, call monitoring using software or at random peer-to-peer shadowing, social media, and employee reports in a CRM database. These are all resources commonly used in a VoC program. An important component is ensuring you are setting your agents up for success with the right tools and resources, so they can capture an accurate read on your VoC.
About the author:
Cornerstone Paradigm Consulting, LLC an industry agnostic business operations consulting firm going beyond the symptoms to get to the root cause of your business issues.