Today, businesses must gather, analyze, and interpret details about their customer experience (CX) in realtime and then adapt their practices to effect positive change. The faster they can do this, the better, as this demonstrates the priority and effort made to put the wants and needs of their customers first.
Considering that CX is based on every interaction customers have had with your business and how these interactions made them feel, it follows that CX managers require direct feedback from customers to truly measure the real effects of their efforts to improve customer perceptions and experiences.
This type of feedback, commonly referred to as Voice of the Customer (VoC), typically includes what customers think you’re doing well and also their thoughts on what you could be doing better. In some cases, customer feedback may also come with suggestions on how to improve.
In a previous blog post, we discussed the key steps you should follow when implementing a VoC program. Today’s blog will supplement that original list with five additional suggestions to help you extract the most value from your VoC feedback and the insights that come with it.
5 Key Practices to Make the Most From VoC Feedback
1. Actively listen
Customers won’t always be able to provide feedback at the time you send them a survey, or they may simply choose not to do so. However, there will also be instances when they want to share their thoughts with you (for example, after receiving exceptional service from one of your customer support representatives), and there won't be a survey easily available for them to do so.
That's why it's crucial to offer feedback opportunities to customers after every interaction. Additionally, for situations where there hasn't been any direct interaction, you should create active listening posts to gain further insights. These could include a discreet feedback tab on your website, a form link in your user guides, or a phone number displayed on your company vehicles. Everyone is busy, so it's essential to make it as easy as possible for your customers to communicate their thoughts with you when, how, and wherever it’s most convenient for them.
2. Optimize the survey experience
Since survey response rates typically range between 5% and 20%, it's crucial for companies to optimize the survey experience. Every additional completed survey yields greater customer insights. Typically, customers are more inclined to provide feedback when surveyed through the same channel they chose to originally contact you on.
Sometimes, though, achieving this can be challenging, especially in a physical retail setting. The key is to simplify the process as much as possible for consumers. Many retailers now utilize kiosks or tablets in-store that pose a single question with graphics-based response buttons. For instance, at the supermarket exit, there might be 5 buttons with graphical expressions ranging from anger to joy. This enables customers to provide feedback on their in-store experience in less than a second, with minimal disruption to their day.
3. Determine drivers
If you are already tracking a metric, such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Effort Score, you should correlate the scores you receive with other data to gain a better understanding of the factors that influence them. For instance, an e-business might analyze website downtime, a help desk might focus on staff expenditures, and a technology company might consider product defect rates.
Understanding why customers rate you as they do enables you to perform regression analysis to better predict how a variable or change will impact your chosen metric. Using the technology company as an example, regression analysis could reveal that reducing product defect rates by 10% will likely result in a 2-point increase in their NPS.
It makes sense to give your more strategic customers, those that spend more with you and/or have been with you the longest (especially in a business-to-business environment) – a louder voice. Segment your customer base by profitability and give greater priority to fixing the issues that are causing these customers to churn, rather than focusing solely on the easy fixes. Ultimately, losing those long-term, high revenue customers is going to hurt your business much more than losing customers who are making one-time purchases.
5. Close the loop
This may seem obvious, but in our experience, very few companies actually ‘close the loop’ – meaning letting customers know their voices have been heard. After you've implemented the relevant actions based on the feedback they provided, reach out to your customers and explain how their insights and recommendations have inspired change or positively impacted the future of your business.
People are much more likely to provide further feedback if they know that their opinions were heard and valued. You could achieve this through a newsletter, a website update, or above-the-line advertising that states something like, “You told us X, we listened, and here's what we've done with your insights…”
The Value of CentraCX
Following these steps to make the most out of the customer feedback you’ve worked hard to collect is difficult without the assistance of automation and proven solutions that can help you action that feedback. Cyara CentraCX is a revolutionary real-time VoC feedback management solution specifically crafted for contact centers. This cloud-based solution empowers you to collect and evaluate a powerful combination of qualitative metrics and quantitative open feedback across all interaction channels.
Once automatically gathered, the data collected is organized and can be easily shared with contact center leaders and teams. This fosters a consistent practice of enhancing CX based on customer needs and insights, thereby improving the overall CX and safeguarding your brand reputation. Critically, contact center agents can further add to this customer feedback by providing their own insights and context, a practice that has been shown to help elevate employee voice, morale and engagement.