The inner workings of a solid voice of the customer programme
Typically the term voice of the customer is used to describe the plethora of technological and insight-led solutions which brands harness to continually improve the customer experience.
The majority of the information that companies receive goes unused, as it arrives in text form and often requires considerable human effort to sift through and analyse. The inner workings of a solid voice of the customer programme, however, are technology-based. Indeed, the most advanced programmes can utilise customer experience analytics tools to make sense of the previously untapped text data. These paint a clear picture of the brand's strengths and weaknesses for employees at all levels.
At Nunwood, a solid 'voice of the customer' programme is typified by three elements:
A solid programme distributes customer feedback to employees at all levels within an organisation, including staff working on the front line, and their direct line managers. These employees are usually interested in the verbatim feedback comments of customers, and these responses can be delivered in real-time to enable brands to initiate fast recovery activities, or use the comments as motivational tools in staff training.
However, higher-level employees may wish to look at customer feedback from a different perspective. By listening to the wider message vocalised by the voice of the customer, stakeholders can make more informed, strategic and tactical changes to processes and experiences, based on a priority list driven by the customer voice. In this instance, a solid programme can bring the voice of the customer into the board room, allowing for more evidence-based decision making at a strategic level.
This more strategic and tactical approach is made possible through customer experience analytics – a prerequisite for any programme of substance. These analytics are as wide-ranging an area as voice of the customer programmes themselves. However, they typically provide statistical analysis of structured variables through primary research, combine customer research with internal data, or take a closer, more detailed look at the customer verbatim comments alone.
But despite this depth of analysis, even the most refined voice of the customer programme won’t be able to cover every process to the level of detail required to derive actionable recommendations. It’s crucial, therefore, for any programme to maintain a degree of flexibility in its approach to the analysis of under-performing areas. Such flexibility might allow for ad hoc quantitative or qualitative studies or verbatim deep dives, meaning that the customer experience analytics can then prioritise the areas that require further investigation.
Torsten Fritz, the Head of Quantitative Research at Nunwood, explains: "Voice of the customer programmes can take many and varied forms. The main denominator, though, is that the organisation can start bringing the customer's voice into the board room, or indeed, any other meeting room, where decisions are made that will impact on customers. And with the growing integration of social media in customers’ lives, they’re spending more time listening to voices of their peers. Can a brand afford not to…?"
· Nunwood will be presenting at our Evolution of VOC Directors Forum on February 24