What is VoC?
Voice of the Customer (VoC) terminology first surfaced nearly 20 years ago in an MIT paper about quality management techniques for product development. Since then, VoC has taken off as the umbrella term for an increasing number of customer feedback channels.
Where surveys fall short
For decades, customer surveys have been the primary mechanism used to gauge VoC. While metrics derived from surveys such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores and net promoter scores (NPS) are useful, they can be imperfect indicators of how customers view your company.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the average survey response rate is between 5 and 15%. This small pool of surveyed customers tends to express either extreme satisfaction or extreme disappointment, which leads to skewed findings. Additionally, surveys only provide insight into the remembered experience. Survey results can vary dramatically from actual interactions between agents and customers.
Components of a modern VoC program
To uncover a more accurate measurement of customer satisfaction and experience, modern VoC programs utilize a range of feedback strategies alongside traditional surveying. Developing new feedback mechanisms can prevent survey fatigue, fill in the gaps where surveys fall short, and help your business achieve a greater understanding of customer sentiment.
Here are the five components of a modern VoC program:
- Surveys: NPS, CSAT, customer effort scores (CES) and other custom-built surveys are still prominent solicited feedback mechanisms.
- Focus groups or market research: Both online and in-person focus groups and market research can provide valuable insight for product development, marketing, customer support and more.
- Social media monitoring: Monitoring brand mentions on social media can uncover both positive and negative customer insights and provide opportunities for direct response.
- Online reviews: Reviews can be collected as solicited (e.g. as a part of a sweepstakes or giveaway) or unsolicited feedback, and unlock important details for product or service improvements.
- Unsolicited customer feedback: This is primarily collected via the contact center or other channels of customer interaction (like customer success or sales) and can be analyzed for insights that lead to direct business performance improvements.
Practical steps for leveraging customer insights
How do you get started building a VoC program that incorporates both unsolicited and solicited feedback? Let’s look at five practical next steps.
- Evaluate where you are today using a maturity model framework: A maturity model helps target the tactical and strategic resources upon which you need to focus or invest to reach the next level of success and return on investment. You should conduct a maturity assessment at the outset of a program to identify strengths and opportunity areas, and then revisit it on a regular basis to evaluate progress
- Create a customer journey map: Customer journey maps visualize every step on a customer’s path from first contact to online engagement, purchases, and customer service interactions. Examining this journey enables a deeper understanding of customer sentiment and next steps to create exceptional customer experiences.
- Implement a conversation analytics solution: By analyzing 100% of customer interactions with a conversation analytics solution, you can uncover agent patterns that negatively impact CX, such as longer-than-usual AHTs, churn, and silences during calls. You can also examine agent behavior to produce a more effective training program.
- Act on the insights discovered in your analytics: Insights discovered with a conversation analytics platform can be used to enhance coaching and training programs, improve products and services, and drive customer engagement strategies.
- Use surveys to fill in the blanks: After you’ve gained a comprehensive view of customer sentiment through unsolicited feedback, you can more effectively design customer surveys. These surveys can used to prepare for the launch of new products or services, gauge external factors in the buying process, and validate findings from your analytics platform.
The omnichannel approach
The evolution of the omnichannel customer journey enables new opportunities to grasp a holistic view of VoC. By capturing and analyzing every customer conversation, your business can discover patterns of sentiment and emotion, contact drivers and call dynamics. This real-time unsolicited feedback is gold for improving CX, but you need the right conversation analytics technology to collect into that data and uncover opportunities that drive your business forward.
Want to learn more about leveraging VoC to boost customer satisfaction? Check out our whitepaper Beyond Surveys: Building a Modern VoC Program to learn more.