Voice of The Customer (VoC) Data: Are You Making the Most of Your Investment?
Many brands invest a lot of time, money, and energy designing and executing a VoC data collection program. Recognizing the importance of having a VoC program (in theory, anyway), brand executives carefully select a vendor and begin the long, drawn-out process of developing the questionnaire. Then they deploy the surveys and shelve the data.
It pains us to think about this scenario, because we know firsthand what voice of customer data programs can do and the growth they can unleash. They’re not just a good idea in theory; they can help brands correct course (in near real time), optimize resources, and seed big product and customer experience innovations. These programs can also build long-term customer loyalty—the biggest revenue driver of all.
If you want to see returns like these and turn your data collection programs into a net gain for your business, it’s time to put your VoC data to good use.
Voice of The Customer Data Can (and Should) Be Used Across Your Organization
No matter what type(s) of VoC data you’re collecting, you’re likely sitting on a treasure trove of valuable insights. Here are five practical ways to extract that value and begin to transform your organization from the inside out.
1. Goal Setting
Collecting voice of the customer data isn’t supposed be a cerebral exercise that serves the C-suite, insights teams, and data scientists. You should use the data to set goals for all your teams and to hold them accountable for achieving those goals.
NPS® is a great metric to use for this purpose, since your score reflects the combined efforts of all your teams—marketing, operations, product development, training, web development, customer service, etc.—to enhance the customer experience.
2. Policy Decisions
It’s easy to make policy changes in the corporate ivory tower to improve cost efficiencies or keep up with the Joneses. But what if that new return policy is confusing? What if your latest omnichannel initiative falls flat? Could these well-meaning efforts to improve your brand position or bottom line be costing you customers?
If you use your VoC data collection programs to answer these questions definitively, you’ll know which policies are working, which are working against you, and what steps you should take in response.
3. Product Development
Voice of customer data is often used to gauge customer reactions to new products. Brands congratulate themselves for a job well done, or they admonish the product team for messing up on the latest product release.
Don’t get us wrong: it’s important to understand how customers feel about new products, and to learn from your mistakes. But to gradually improve your chances of success, you must also read between the lines (both verbatim comments and aggregate responses) and use those findings to guide future product development.
If you’re collecting VoC data in real time, you can use it to do what you can’t with QA reviews at a meaningful scale. You can tap agents on the shoulder in the moment and provide fresh examples of how they can improve their performance on the very next call. Correcting or rewarding agent behavior in this way, rather than in traditional training sessions, can improve team performance by as much as 12%.
If you’re looking to improve first-contact resolution to increase customer satisfaction and lower costs, micro-coaching can accelerate your progress. A longtime client of ours used micro-coaching to achieve a 16% increase in its contact center resolution rate in a single year, despite having a front-line team that was 10% smaller than the year prior.
5. Team Motivation
Front-line VoC data collected in real time improves agent performance in more ways than one. Not only can managers identify high and low performers at a glance and intervene in a timely way, but agents can see the impact they’re making. And nothing does more to build brand pride, enthusiasm, and morale on the contact center floor.
With a steady stream of customer feedback flowing through dashboards and leaderboards in the contact center, agents will be motivated to raise their own scores, compete with each other in a friendly way, and congratulate top performers. In a matter of days or weeks (versus months, perhaps, after corporate-level VoC data trickles down), you’ll begin to see a positive impact on the customer experience.
What Is Your Voice of The Customer Data Doing for You?
Unused voice of the customer data does nothing but drain revenue. When used across the organization—especially in combination with objective data—VoC data can help change the corporate culture, align teams, improve cost efficiencies, and create a virtuous cycle of improvement and growth.