In the voice of the customer world it is our role as market researchers to listen and follow through on what the customers are saying. Quite often this puts us in the position of ‘middle men’ between the customers and internal groups (e.g. sales, marketing, finance, customer service, etc.)
Collecting VOC data has become increasingly easier to do. Online survey platforms such as Cvent facilitate data collection and reporting. Other streams of VOC data include: voice response programs that ask callers if they would be willing to participate in a brief survey after their call; social media scrapping which allows researchers to mine online comments about brands; and website chat logs which capture transactional dialog.
Scarcity of data is so not the issue. Creating and implementing processes that move the data into the hands of staff that can impact outcomes is more daunting. The metric to be conscious of is time to resolution. The Internet has increased the amount of information available and has also decreased customer’s willingness to wait for a response. In short they have become conditioned to expect immediate or near real-time response to queries and concerns. Companies that respond quickly can use this as a lever in their customer acquisition and retention management efforts.
A personal example came from a recent visit to the automotive dealer for new tires and minor service. This event took over four hours and the quality of the service I received was less than stellar. Two days later I received a customer satisfaction survey, and the day after completion of the survey I had the service person calling me repeatedly. Tight timelines are the norm in customer service.
From the survey perspective, response to customer comments can be facilitated via email alerts. On the survey design page questions can be flagged and alerts added based upon a respondent’s choices (e.g. they select ‘dissatisfied’ from a scale or a value less than five on a net promoter question). See the example below. These alerts will be sent to the designated person(s) for follow up. At this stage this is where we as researchers need to work with support staff to establish ‘rules of engagement’ that ensure customer queries are being responded to in a timely fashion.
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