Why Voice of the Customer?

A Basic Understanding of What VoC Offers Brands Like Yours

By Robert Zoch

To ensure customer experiences that engender loyalty and positive word-of-mouth, businesses must understand what customers want when they interact with the brand. Voice of the Customer (VoC) is the means to achieving that understanding.

VoC enables brands to demonstrate that customer feedback is both welcome and valued; customer input can be used to improve customer-facing processes, and inform coaching (as well as performance bonuses and other initiatives) for frontline employees.

More than 90% of customer journeys now involve more than one mode of interaction, which is why competitive VoC technologies gather and construe customer feedback from a number of mechanisms, such as interactive voice response (IVR), email, web chat, website, SMS (text), and others. Measuring, however, is but the first key step in building a transformational customer experience strategy.

According to Ram Kamp, Customer Success Director at NICE, “a truly complete voice of the customer program addresses all facets of the customer experience: your customers, your employees, and your strategy. Measuring customer experience is not enough, and sometimes even counterproductive. You need to be able to measure, use the findings to take action, and close the loop internally as well as externally.”

Key Features

The best available VoC applications support this goal by delivering the following capabilities:

  • Cross-channel, adaptive surveys ‒ Construct surveys to reflect business priorities or drivers. Solicit feedback at any number of customer touchpoints, build ad-hoc surveys as the need arises, and re-poll customers to ensure issues have been resolved. “A voice of the customer platform needs to be able to deliver the right survey, through the right channel, at the right time to the customer, in order to capture high volumes of valuable feedback while the experience is still fresh in their mind,” says NICE CX Solutions Product Manager Yuval Marco.

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Adaptive surveys encourage industry-leading response rates.

  • Indirect feedback capture and analysis ‒ In order to gain a holistic view of the customer, include input from indirect channels, such as call center recordings, online chat, and social media.

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Categorize and read cross-channel verbatim comments, and uncover trends in customer feedback.

  • Advanced text and speech analytics ‒ Categorize customer feedback based on comment analysis, determine sentiment (positive vs. negative) from survey responses and recordings, and observe “hot topics” in real time, to ensure issues most in need of attention are addressed.
  • Root-cause analysis ‒ Empower analysts and managers to investigate and resolve issues, eliminating pain points from future customer journeys.

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Gain a clear picture of which topics concern customers most, and the sentiment associated with them.

  • Alerts/customer recovery ‒ Ensure customer concerns are being addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible, and close the loop with frontline employees.

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Use alerts to notify management of customer service issues, and manage responses to ensure efficient resolution.

  • Role-based capabilities, dashboards, and reports Empower different roles within the organization to interact and take action on voice of the customer insights.​

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Interactive dashboards vastly improve customer service capabilities across every organizational touchpoint, from the executive level to customer-facing agents.

Results

Applying these capabilities as part of a strategic, customer-centric VoC program has delivered the following results for NICE clients:

Industry

Observed Customer Experience Improvement

Financial Services

NPS® increased 13 points. The organization responds to CSAT issues affecting bottom-line business results more quickly, and is able to promote higher internal awareness of CX importance.

Retail

The brand gained more than $10 million in additional revenue after improving its close rate and revenues per contact, improving NPS® by 15% and average resolution satisfaction by 3.9%, and reducing AHT by 27%.

Delivery/Logistics

The organization achieved 100% call recording capture, aligned internal call evaluations with customer feedback, reduced customer dispute payouts and agent turnover by more than 50%, increased coaching productivity by 20%, reduced AHT by 24%, and reduced average speed of answer to nearly zero.

Telecommunications

The brand achieved 45% response rates for both transactional retail and contact center satisfaction surveys, surpassing industry averages by 15 percentage points, and ensuring more customers are engaged and heard.

Across our VoC customer base, we’ve observed the following KPI improvements:

  • 30% increase in CSAT
  • 61% complaint reduction
  • 12% increase in FCR
  • 10% reduction in “waste” (unproductive) contacts
  • 56-point NPS® improvement
  • 64% increase in staff motivation
  • 60% reduction in high-performer attrition
  • 75% QM reduction
  • 25% reduction in MR budget
  • SMS response rates above 40%
  • Millions of dollars in retained customer value
     

“The most effective voice of the customer project is one that drives a customer-centric culture throughout the organization, aligning all parties around the goal of identifying customer desires, surpassing expectations, using these insights to develop competitive advantages, and anticipating what customers will want in the future, ensuring long-term, profitable relationships that multiply,” says Shoval Bolotin, Senior Director of Customer Experience Analytics at NICE.

“As an integral component of a customer-focused technology ecosystem that may include tools for customer journey mapping and analysis, performance management, quality management, and others, voice of the customer helps to ensure revenues remain high and churn remains low,” he adds.

Learn how Alliance Data uses voice of the customer technology as the lynchpin of its customer experience strategy, improving customer satisfaction and revenues as a result.

 

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