As Government guidance continues to encourage homeworking, the contact centre industry remains under pressure to deliver stellar customer service, even outside of the traditional office environment. Providing the same standard of service without the support of a wider team, a supervisor, or the usual technology set-up is no small feat. From a customer perspective, any potential impact on service delivery can lead to frustration and anxiety, so ensuring that the customer journey remains smooth is a priority for organisations today.
Are we listening?
To create this seamless customer experience, tapping into the Voice of the Customer (VOC) is essential. A voice of the customer programme collects the insights and feedback that customers leave throughout their journey with a brand, and are vital signposts that pinpoint key challenges and highlights along the way. This feedback is crucial to helping organisations improve their customer service, yet it remains surprising how few companies run a true VOC programme. Anecdotally, we know that customers switch brands if they encounter a roadblock in their journey, or if their experience is bad. So, why aren’t companies doing more to listen?
Often, and somewhat surprisingly, the reason is that many companies fear negative feedback. The premise of VOC programmes is to listen to the customer and, given that feedback tends to be on both ends of the extreme, it seems odd to mute this for fear of highlighting issues.
Another obstacle to running a voice of the customer programme is often the time involved, with many companies dissuaded by the thought of yet another metric. However, the solution isn’t inactivity, but rather to tailor their approach around whatever capacity they have.
Amplifying the voice of the customer
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to running a successful VOC programme. For many, the ideal starting point is to begin small by analysing structured data captured from one or two key channels throughout the customer’s journey. This will generate quantifiable results which will highlight where general improvements can be made.
Next, and if there is the capacity to do more, then companies can look at more unstructured, more specific feedback that will give a deeper understanding of customer experiences and journeys. Also remember, if you’re going to make the effort to solicit customer feedback, then you must action meaningful change with that data. Customers want to be heard and know that they are being listened to, so whether that is replying to customer emails or posting on social media channels, let them know that their opinions matter and are helping to make your company better.
The voice of the customer is the most powerful tool in an organisation’s arsenal. It provides valuable insight from the people that matter most into what is working, and more importantly what isn’t. Purely gathering this data isn’t enough though, and to be truly successful, a VOC programme must be a cyclical process, constantly driving change for the better. When done well, this results in improved customer satisfaction ratings, customer loyalty and that all-important bottom line. Surely that’s worth hitting ‘unmute’ for?