A well-thought out Voice of Customer program is your key to becoming customer-centric, retaining your existing customers, and gaining new ones.
Voice of Customer is you listening carefully to your customers at every turn of their customer experience (CX) journey. When you do this, you understand, and are better able to anticipate, your customers’ needs, challenges and desires. You can then exceed their expectations and get the edge on your competitors.
A good process is everything when it comes to Voice of Customer, and it’s crucial that you put the time into following the correct steps before you launch your program. A big part of this is ensuring you have the right VoC tools.
Here we’ll first take you through what VoC is, why it’s important, and show you how to construct your own Voice of Customer process.
Jump ahead here if you need to:
Voice of Customer is the collection of all your customer feedback in one place, giving you a holistic view of your customers’ needs and expectations..
A successful Voice of Customer program relies on frequent customer feedback relating to all of the different touchpoints and milestones along the customer journey.
This feedback is used to understand the customer and make better decisions with regards to products and services. These decisions will lead to better outcomes for your customers due to the fact that you are making them based on their feedback.
Voice of Customer is important because it leads to changes and enhancements that benefit your customer and make their experience better.
Feedback lets you know where you need to make improvements and changes. It can also show what is working well, where there is a need for a new product or service, and where you can offer proactive solutions to potential customer problems.
VoC feedback lets you improve customers’ overall experience with your brand.
And when you do this, customer satisfaction levels rise. Satisfied customers are more likely to be loyal, and therefore, stick around. Loyal customers are also then more likely to become brand advocates and recommend your products and/or services to others.
This all leads to an increase in profits and growth for your business.
In order to build a successful VoC program, you’ll need to follow a clear VoC process. The following 5 steps will help you build an effective Voice of Customer process:
Before you start contacting your customers to hear their opinions, you’ll need to be crystal clear about what kind of feedback you need to collect and where you’ll have to collect this feedback from. This should be closely connected to your business goals.
For example, if your goal is to improve your customer service experience, sending out customer satisfaction surveys and analyzing chat records with customer service will help you get the necessary insights to work towards that goal.
When you analyze your results, you also can check whether your goals are aligned with what the customer expects, and the experience they are receiving.
Your goal should be clear and well-defined. A good way to achieve this is to identify and ask a question. This could be something like:
How can we improve on our last Net Promoter Score?
How can we increase customer satisfaction levels?
When you are clear on the question it is then easier to define your goal. Then you can move forward to the next step: asking for feedback.
The next important step is the gathering of data. Here, you’ll need to take an omnichannel approach. Customer behaviors have changed during the pandemic.
According to a report from Zendesk, 64% of customers used a new support channel in 2020, with 73% saying they plan to keep using it. This means you have to be seamlessly gathering feedback from a range of different channels – wherever your customers prefer to get in touch.
These can be either direct methods of feedback, when you actively request feedback, or indirect, when the customer gives feedback without you having asked for it.
Here are 5 direct and indirect methodologies you can use to collect VoC data:
Surveys are a form of direct feedback that let you get a quick grasp on how your customer is feeling. A big plus of surveys is that you can control them, as you decide when they go out and what you ask.
Timing is important. For instance, if you send out a survey directly following a call with a customer service agent, you can ask questions that are tailored to that touchpoint.
By timing feedback requests you can isolate and identify issues in different parts of the process.
You can tailor questions to find out certain things. So, if you want to develop a new product but are not sure if there is a need, you can create a survey question (or questions) to find out.
Some classic customer satisfaction surveys that are a good addition to any VoC process include the Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES) and Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT).
Online reviews are when customers air their thoughts about a product or service either on the company's website or on an online forum. It’s a useful form of indirect feedback as they are often extensive and contain relevant data that you can use to make improvements.
Reviews also impact other customers' buying habits. In fact, one study found that 95% of consumers are influenced by online reviews. This means you have to know what is being said about you online.
Online reviews can also tell you how you compare with your competition and show you what customers like about your competitors.
Social media is a common place for customers to talk about their experience with a brand. You can listen to this feedback through social media monitoring.
If you don’t tune in to this indirect feedback, small issues can escalate into bigger issues that are much harder to correct. You also run the risk of damaging your brand’s reputation if you ignore this feedback.
Listening to social media chatter also allows you to be proactive and go above and beyond in the way you serve your customer.
Chat is often the first line of help for customers looking to solve their problems. As such, this form of indirect feedback shows you exactly where in the CX your customers are facing frustrations and problems.
Any chat conversations with your customers should be recorded as those conversations can contain within them a wealth of insights that can help you improve.
Recording customer service calls is another way to gain useful indirect feedback. When your customers speak to customer service agents, they are likely to provide a lot of detail with regards to the issues they are facing.
It can mean extra resources are needed to record and organize all of this information. However, the rewards are high when you get detailed information back on how you can enhance your customer experience.
Without the right tools in place, it’ll be hard to make your program efficient and successful. Firstly you’ll need CRM tools to streamline and organize your omnichannel customer experience. Zendesk, is an example of a tool that helps you keep all of your customer information in one place.
Once you have gathered and organized that feedback, you need to process and analyze it quickly and effectively. You’ll also need to be able to visualize all your insights in one place.
Analyzing your data is a crucial piece of the VoC puzzle. It’s only when you analyze customer feedback in a systematic, structured way that you’ll reveal the insights within.
MonkeyLearn can help you analyze and visualize all your voice of customer data in one place. Offering AI-powered text analysis techniques like keyword extraction and sentiment analysis, as well as easy-to-use workflows, MonkeyLearn is an all-in-one VoC analysis solution.
Let’s take a practical example of how you can conduct feedback analysis with MonkeyLearn:
If you don't have a CSV file you can either use our sample dataset. Or, you can download your own data. For example, if you have your own survey responses, learn how to download them from your survey tool using this documentation.
Here you’ll find all of your insights and you’ll be able to:
Want to learn how to pull in all your VoC data and visualize it in a dashboard? Get in touch.
Once you have analyzed your data with MonkeyLearn, you can then use the workflow's in-built dashboard to visualize and slice and dice your data however you need to.
When you have all of your data in the same place like this it is easier to see patterns and draw conclusions. It’s also easier to share across teams, so you can keep everyone in the loop.
As you follow the above VoC process, you’ll need to keep some best practices in mind. Doing so will lead to better results.
This means gathering feedback across multiple channels and then bringing it all together in one place for analysis.
Make sure that all of your teams are on the same page with regards to your VoC goals. Then let them know when you discover insights and how you plan to use them.
Manual analysis of customer feedback is slow, inefficient and sometimes impossible due to the size of the datasets. Using AI and machine learning tools to analyze your feedback is a more efficient and cost-effective solution.
When it comes to VoC, following the right process initially is crucial, so too is having the right tools to analyze your data.
An automated, AI-powered solution like MonkeyLearn will help you to draw more insights out of your data in less time. This will allow you to form a more effective Voice of Customer process where you can get insights that you can then use to improve your customer experience and as a result, your profits.
Sign up for a demo today and see how you can supercharge your VoC process with MonkeyLearn.
December 23rd, 2021