Everything you ever wanted to know about the voice of the customer: the what, why and how
Let’s start with the big question: what does voice of the customer mean? In a nutshell, voice of the customer is an in-depth process of capturing customers’ expectations, preferences and dislikes. It typically involves quantitative and qualitative research.
You can measure your customers’ experience of your business at every step. It doesn’t matter whether those experiences happen online, on the phone, in a shop or elsewhere.
You can then categorise and analyse your customer feedback data, using a combination of software and people power.
Why is voice of the customer important?
By collecting customer feedback and analysing the results, you can use voice of the customer to:
- provide a better service
- build meaningful connections with your customers to create loyalty
- improve the way you run your business
- get the best performance from your teams
- increase profitability and grow your business.
Ultimately, voice of the customer data gives you the evidence and confidence to choose the right approach at every point for your customers. This could include, for example, installing automated voice recordings or a virtual assistant, re-structuring your contact centre or training frontline staff.
What does voice of the customer do?
Voice of the customer programmes are usually software that hooks up to your contact centre and IT systems. This can be an effective way of collecting customer feedback, but the volume of data can be overwhelming. It can be hard to see which issues should be prioritised and dealt with first.
And whilst you can use the data to identify issues, the solutions are not always obvious. The data doesn’t tell you, for example, if you need to make a small edit to your website, update your technology or re-train an entire department.
That’s why Sabio’s voice of the customer is a combination of web-based software and an expert support team. The team help you to interpret the data, identify problems and make changes.
- measures continuously so you can see what’s happening in your contact centre and across the business
- spots emerging trends using predictive analytics so you can plan ahead, solving challenges before they erupt
- flags issues that need to be addressed so you can respond appropriately and proactively.
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How does voice of the customer work?
When a phone call or email comes in to your contact centre, they trigger the voice of the customer software to issue a survey. Your customers then receive this feedback survey via phone, email or text message (SMS).
The survey is branded by your company, and the questions are chosen by you.
Sabio’s voice of the customer package can also measure feedback from visitors to your website and followers on social media.
Once the feedback has been gathered, the software uses:
- speech analytics to categorise customer feedback
- text analytics to categorise email, text message and online form responses.
All this information is stored in a dashboard or reporting tool so that you can keep an eye on what’s happening. If your voice of the customer package does not include expert support, it’s up to you to interpret this data, identify where and what the problems are, and take action.
How to use voice of the customer
If you use Sabio’s voice of the customer, at this point things start to get really exciting. Anyone in your business can log in to the dashboard and see the information that’s relevant to them, based on their user profile.
So, call centre operatives can see their personal stats and customer feedback scores, and how they’re performing against their teams. Managers can see the results for their line reports, and directors can see the bigger picture of every department. You can use this data for Quality Assurance, to monitor people’s performance and to set individual objectives.
Sabio’s expert team can help you put the results into action across the wider business. We will use your customer feedback to:
- map your top customer journeys
- create detailed personas based on evidence, showing who your customers are and what they need, want and expect at each stage
- create a tailored customer experience strategy for your business
- set priorities and expectations every 3 months.
The team can help bring all the numbers to life, using imagery, words and recordings to show your stakeholders how your customers are feeling and what needs to change.
Find out how Network Homes used the insight gained through voice of the customer to change behaviours, improve processes and focus on what was important to the customer.
Three ways to succeed with voice of the customer
Investing in voice of the customer is a great first step to creating a fantastic customer experience and a healthy, robust business. But you need to take action based on the feedback you collect. This covers everything from apologising personally to customers who report a disappointing experience, to investing in change.
To ensure you resolve customer issues, close the feedback loop and solve business problems, you need to do three things:
- Put investment towards aligning your business goals with your customer experience targets. The two need to run in parallel, like two tracks on a trainline, to make sure your business reaches its future destination.
- Break down business silos. Teams need to work seamlessly together, sharing data and solutions to benefit customers.
- Get senior leadership teams on board. Putting customer feedback into action will soon fizzle out if business leaders aren’t passionate about fantastic CX.
When you can use voice of the customer to succeed at customer experience, your business will:
- attract and retain happy customers and employees
- save money and time when it comes to IT, operational budget and staff
- have a competitive advantage in your market
- thrive long-term.
FREE voice of the customer poster
Download our free voice of the customer poster to print for the office. It explains everything you need to know about voice of the customer, at a glance.