Here’s What Your Voice Of The Customer Program Should Look Like
First, here’s why you should care about customer feedback
If you’re reading this article, you probably already appreciate the impact that happy customers have on your business.
In fact, a study by the XM Institute at Qualtrics found that happy customers are:
- more than 5 times as likely to repurchase
- 6 times as likely to forgive
- 8 times as likely to try other products/services
- 3 times as likely to spread positive word of mouth
With this in mind, let’s focus on what it takes to listen to your customers and delight them at every opportunity.
What is the ‘Voice of the Customer?’
The voice of the customer is exactly what it sounds like – customer feedback directly from the voice of the customers. Customer feedback is arguably the most important data you can collect on your business. Quite simply, paying customers keep your business afloat and you’ll want to ensure you have a system in place to 1. Capture 2. Analyze and 3. Act on the detailed feedback you receive. Customer feedback is vital to understanding both: how well your product or service is being delivered today and the constantly evolving expectations of your market.
It’s important to have some formal entity that manages the learnings from the voice of the customer, whether that is a large, dedicated Voice of the Customer department run by Customer Experience professionals or just a small Voice of the Customer committee that convenes in addition to their other roles in, say, Product, Engineering, Customer Service, or Operations. Standard practices in Voice of the Customer programs include text analytics and sentiment analysis, but that’s only one component of the ‘Close the Loop’ feedback system often utilized by the world’s top organizations.
Relatedly, you should implement a “Close the Loop” practice
Firstly, the goal of any feedback loop is to learn and grow from the process. In a Close the Loop process, the goal is to create a ‘Net Promoter’ customer by listening and responding to concerns and then transparently communicating the impact the customer has made (presumably from a change you’ve made in your business because of them).
At a high level, “Close the Loop” is flywheel made up of three distinct phases:
Listen | During this phase, customer feedback should be captured in as much detail raw as possible. You’ll want to ensure you have several channels available to your customers so contacting you is convenient for them. Being hard to contact is not only frustrating to customers, but it also deters many from providing you with FREE detailed feedback – feedback that you can often only get from paid focus groups! Email forms, social media, and call centers are often standard practices, but you should also strongly consider live chat, due to its relatively low cost, auto resolve capabilities, and ability to enable robust text analytics capabilities (that I will elucidate more below!)
Analyze | As long as you’ve asked the right questions and collected lots of raw detail during the Listen phase, you’re ready to run the feedback through data science frameworks to visualize patterns and significant metrics that inspire changes to the customer experience.
Act | During the final step, it’s time to convert the insights into action items due for improvement. This step can be easy (operational legwork only) or hard (heavy cognitive load required to triage issues) depending on 1. how clear and detailed your insights are and 2. how clear a priority the items are. I’ll talk later on about what Spiral does to suggest how to prioritize your roadmap – ranking issues by # of customers impacted.
Closing the loop ends with some form of transparent communication from your business to the customer, whether it is a direct phone call from a Customer Service Manager or a mass email to a segment of customers who experienced similar issues to let them know it’s been resolved and their experience influenced the fix.
“Being hard to contact is not only frustrating to customers, but it also deters many from providing you with FREE detailed feedback – feedback that you can often only get from paid focus groups.”
You should be analyzing customer support conversations
In another article, I go in depth as to why NPS, surveys, and social media don’t tell you enough about your customers’ issues and give you a very incomplete picture of the customer journey and your customers’ values. It’s not enough to just have a subscription to, say, Medallia & Clarabridge to find several high-level themes, as only 2-5% of customer issues can be found within your NPS and surveys. By making the commitment to scanning your customer live chats, emails, phone call transcripts, and secure messaging, you’ll become aware of the remaining 95-98% of customer issues that can’t be found using traditional customer experience platforms and current voice of the customer tools.
It’s important to vet out a solution that can comprehensively scan your customer support conversations to remove major blind spots from your awareness.
What is Spiral?
Specific customer issue detection using the latest machine learning (ML) + AI research, and neural networks.
How is Spiral related to Voice of the Customer?
Spiral’s real-time list of customer issues serves as the starting point for any customer-obsessed company seeking to calibrate their roadmap to the needs of their customers – we help you figure out what to work on and in what order.
How can I try Spiral?
If you’re curious what Spiral’s turnkey insight solution can find in your customer feedback, let’s chat. Schedule a demo and before our first call, we’ll scan your company’s customer reviews and show you a personalized demo dashboard based on your public data.
We can get started with as little as one feedback channel, or process all channels in your omnichannel support program. We work with live chat, support emails, phone calls, NPS, DSAT, CSAT, social media, reviews, SMS, surveys – or any channel you consider to be feedback.
Our customers come from spaces such as: financial services / banking / credit unions, fintech, connected hardware and software, insurance, retail, B2C SaaS, and managed marketplaces – and we’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading!