With an unlimited amount of choices, consumer power is at an all-time high. According to Oracle’s Customer Experience Impact Report, 89% of customers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience, which is why the customer experience has become key to creating a sustainable competitive advantage for any organization.
So, exactly how do organizations create an exceptional customer experience? It’s all about the Voice of the Customer. Voice of the Customer (VoC) describes the process of capturing and incorporating your customer’s expectations and feedback into employee behavior and everyday operations.
VoC feedback can be used to improve the customer experience and build long-term relationships while increasing customer retention and satisfaction. The key to the VoC process is to establish employee behaviors and develop processes and procedures that align your organization with your customers; instead of having to change processes and procedures once customers complain or even worse, seek business elsewhere.
If you aren’t talking to your customers about their needs and experience with your organization, you will be operating based on what you think is best for your customers. Let’s take a look at exactly how you can acquire and use VoC feedback to build brand loyalty:
Collect customer feedback. Before your organization can begin to improve its customer experience, you need to gather the three types of VoC feedback: direct, indirect, and inferred.
- Direct feedback is when the organization directly contacts a customer for their input. This data is captured through surveys, market research, comment forms, etc.
- Indirect feedback occurs when the customer is speaking indirectly about the organization, but not necessarily to the organization. The most common sources of indirect feedback are social media and review sites such as forums.
- Inferred feedback is captured based on associations with customer experiences. Inferred feedback includes things like sales, purchase history, and contacts to customer service.
Interpret the data. The next step in using VoC feedback is to interpret the data you acquired. Are customers generally satisfied with your customer service? Do they complain about experiential aspects such as the call center or employee attitudes? Look for recurring themes in your customer’s feedback and make note of what your organization is doing well and what it needs to improve on. The more dissatisfied comments you hear about a business-critical area, the more you’ll know where you need to make a change.
Share and react to improve customer experience. It’s one thing to listen to your customers. But the harder (and more important) part is taking action to address their feedback. It’s important to share what you have discovered with your executives and employees.
Reacting to VoC feedback could involve something minor such as sending less emails to customers, or it could require a major change like transforming your organizational culture to deliver a better overall customer experience. Regardless of the size of the action required, you should include VoC data in your business review and planning sessions.
Furthermore, requiring that your service and management employees address issues raised in VoC feedback through regular reporting can help ensure challenges are resolved.
Monitor changes. The last step in using VoC feedback is to monitor customer satisfaction with the changes you’ve made. This brings us back to listening to the customer. Keep track of data such as sales and call complaints for the following months after you’ve made changes to improve the customer experience. If customers are still unsatisfied, you may need to make more drastic changes.
Customers want to feel valued and important. In fact, 86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience. Using VoC feedback will help your organization stand out from the competition and create long-lasting, profitable customer relationships.
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