Thanks to Cvent for their white paper “5 Steps to Driving Sales with Customer Insights” (http://bit.ly/neiBFC).
Proven strategies to ensure the success of your voice of the customer (VOC) program: 1) identifies what matters most to customers; 2) facilitates better business decision-making; and, 3) drives revenue.
- Set the stage. Start with clear goals and objectives. Get senior management agreement on the importance of obtaining and addressing customer insights. Empower employees to obtain and access customer insights. By giving employees access to VOC results, you integrate and embed insights into the organization’s culture. We did this in my company and the kudos the sales force received, as well as the consumer insights we obtained, were invaluable. By asking employees to provide VOC feedback, you’re telling reinforcing the importance of VOC to your employees.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. Many companies avoid implementing VOC programs because they want to avoid complaints. Negative feedback is the most valuable insight. Being told the organization is already awesome doesn’t drive innovation or change; however, it can reinforce positive behaviors like providing outstanding customer service. Eighty percent of customers want to give feedback but less than 50% of organizations listen. Would you rather your customers tell you about a problem or a way to improve, or tell their friends? If customers don’t give you negative feedback, how will you know a problem needs to be addressed?
- Listen actively. Integrate CRM and survey systems so you have a comprehensive look at customer satisfaction. By integrating feedback from web-based surveys, transactional data from your CRM and case information from CSRs, a company can perform more in-depth analysis to uncover valuable consumer insights. Create an FAQ for any question that is asked more than once to enable your customers to find answers for themselves. By the way, the answers to these questions also make great blog topics.
- Measure your efforts. Even the most eye-opening feedback means very little if it cannot be tied to financial gains. Organizations need to link key feedback metrics to financial goals in order to have an impact on the organization’s growth and success. We tracked our Net Promoter Score (NPS) with all of our other KPI’s.
- Act fast. In today’s highly competitive global economy, organizations need to act fast, revise strategies, create timely marketing campaigns and respond quickly to changes in market trends and consumer preferences. Monitoring feedback from VOC initiatives allows you to do this. Real time monitoring and alerts help organizations capitalize on customer opinion shifts and stay ahead of the competition.
If VOC programs focus strictly on customer satisfaction, they can overlook insights into customers’ preferences. We had two open-ended questions that gave respondents the opportunity to tell us what else was on their mind regarding how we could improve the products and services we’re delivering.
What are you doing to create a dialogue with your customer and obtain customer insights?