Voice of the Customer and Customer Experience initiatives are strategic imperatives today, helping organizations measure and enhance experiences, satisfaction and loyalty.
Organizations that elevate and improve these areas can potentially realize powerful benefits including improved customer loyalty, reduced customer churn and deep insights into customer behavior.
Last week I interviewed the Director of Customer Insights from a large telecom company and the Regents Professor of Marketing Emeritus from Georgia State University, who wrote a blog post on Delivering Great Customer Service, where he shared customer service excellence examples from Chick-fil-A, Mercedes Benz and others. The director believes there are seven core areas that are fundamental to a well-developed VoC strategy:
- Assess and incorporate existing VoC programs: What programs are in place today across the organization? Who runs them? How are they being used? Can they be part of a centralized program? Centralizing and aligning existing programs can help improve comparability across business units, ensure consistency of programs and reduce costs.
- Gain support for metrics and governance: Determine shared CX measures. Gain support from key managers, directors and executives in the organization. Establishing and collaborating with a network of stakeholders and champions is one of the most powerful ways to help ensure your strategy is a success. (This is also often one of the more overlooked areas, as many VoC program owners focus a disproportionate amount of time on data and dashboards, and sometimes neglect communication and collaboration.)
- Partner with champions on a survey strategy: Establish key business partners and identify attributes/levers to examine and take action. Here are some common areas to develop: Net Promoter Score (NPS) champions, engage in journey mapping, measure First Contact Resolution (FCR) in addition to CX areas.
- Employ Appropriate Sampling: Make sure to have appropriate sampling. Determine a consistent process; minimize changes in data sets and timeframes. Why? Because you want to make sure a movement in scores/results is based on performance, not based on different data samples or out-of-synch time frames. Also watch out for “toxicity”—don’t overwhelm the target audience with too many surveys or too many questions.
- Strive for actionable reports: The telecom director showed a power slide that showed the value of at-risk customers based on their level of satisfaction and their potential re-purchase $ value: 95% of promoters plan to re-purchase, followed by 65% of passives, 17% of mild detractors and 3% of detractors. The organization identifies customers that are at risk—and then takes action. (We aren’t able to share the slide here, but email me at email@example.com for a .pdf version.)
- Close the Loops: Focus in “big loop” areas include strategic, cross-functional, systems and policy areas. At the same time, give attention to “small loop” areas such as front-line employee feedback and individual customer feedback from verbatims. Retain customers one by one and turn detractors into promoters.
- Foster a Customer-Centric Culture: Integrate customer feedback into the rhythm of the business:
- Have live customer data on internal intranet
- Present VoC insights regularly
- Share customer comments at start of meetings
- Recognize successes
- Continually learn and evolve.
Regarding VoC and CX excellence, did you see the exciting news about the combination of Verint and OpinionLab? OpinionLab captures desktop, mobile web and mobile app “opt-in” customer initiated VoC to let customers describe their experience in their own words. The platform is a powerful complement to company-initiated surveys and helps support a comprehensive VoC strategy. Check it out!