We talk a lot on this blog about how your customers are arguably your best source of information on your brand image, service offerings, and overall customer experience. Taking advantage of this resource to have an honest conversation with your target audience is referred to as utilizing "Voice of the Customer", or VOC. A VOC program includes any method which you use to collect, understand and implement what the customer is saying - surveys, market research and emails are some examples. Marketing professional Tom Smith gives us a few reasons to implement VOC programs in your organization, thanks to market researchers Peppers & Rogers.
- Improve the customer experience. This is a no-brainer, yes?
- Determine how the business is doing. As I wrote about in this post, high customer satisfaction is one indicator of overall success that includes sales, profit and stakeholder returns.
- Customer retention. A happy customer is a loyal customer. if your customers are telling you they're dissatisfied, find out why and fix it.
- Encourage innovation. A customer might have a really great idea for improvements that your own team lacked the perspective to consider.
- Evaluate specific areas in which customers interact with your company. If your product is stellar but there's a breakdown in call center service, that will affect your bottom line.
- Use feedback to make products and services better.
- Know what people think about you. Is your brand considered a leader in a certain sector? Or do your customers think you're promising things you can't deliver?
Smith makes a good point when he notes that many VOC solutions are now of the electronic persuasion. This makes it especially critical to have well-designed surveys that offer clear and concise methods of response, and to follow up with customers on a more personal level in order to ensure that you fully understand what they're saying.
The Aberdeen Group's most recent study, Customer Feedback Management: Leveraging the Voice of the Customer to Amplify Business Results, outlines steps and strategies best-in-class organizations take to achieve their VOC goals (including contributing $33M more to top-line revenue). Download your copy to see how a VOC program could help you along your customer experience journey. If you need help designing customer feedback methods that adequately support your Voice of the Customer needs, don't forget Cvent can help.