More channels, more ways to hear VoC
Companies can hear the voice of the customer louder than ever, especially with the expansion of social media and online review sites. But these newer channels bring up new questions about how (and how well) VoC data is being used. An increasing number of companies certainly take these channels very seriously and are finding better ways to respond to them, as research continues to prove that doing it well will increase loyalty and retention rates, and reap significant financial benefits.
A 2015 Aberdeen Group research report cites that “Companies aiming to excel in this area must ‘operationalize’ the VoC data captured across multiple channels” and that by doing so, they may “…grow their annual revenue by over 48.2% year-over-year.”
But, more often that not, VoC data is fragmented across many systems. As customers move from channel to channel, information about their experiences gets stored within disconnected technologies and the big picture can not be seen (or in the case of VoC — heard). The same Aberdeen report finds that “…6 out of 10 organizations are already using multiple touchpoints to track and capture VoC data…. These include online surveys, interactive voice response (IVR) surveys, complaint forms on company websites, text message surveys, and social media monitoring tools.”
What to do with all that data?
It’s been the longtime rallying cry at Clicktools to leverage the CRM system (which to our customers, usually means Salesforce) to centralize feedback and VoC data. Salesforce is without a doubt a powerful-enough platform to handle all-things-customer (with other systems acting as feeds or carrying out specialist functions, such as using Clicktools for the customer feedback piece). The point is that to achieve “operationalized VoC,” it’s imperative to integrate solutions, thus transforming isolated VoC data, which may be of little use, into an actual competitive advantage.
And speaking of competitive edge, it’s absolutely critical to share the unedited voice of the customer across your organization to let employees know what customers really think and empower them to respond in ways that have impact, such as allowing direct, personal responses, encouraging input on process changes, and making it easy to escalate issues. Centralized access to VoC data, such as adding it to Contact and Account records in Salesforce, or creating shared reports facilitates these efforts.
As one of our customers shared this month on TrustRadius, “Clicktools has been a tremendous help in streamlining [feedback] requests from departments across the organization. We’ve been able to … build a dashboard within Salesforce that allows stakeholders to see how [our] customers are feeling during different interactions with our business.”
This leads us back to the concept of “operationalizing” VoC data, which ultimately means using feedback to identify customer preferences and needs, and continually adjust the business to better suit them. Therein lies the real and long-term challenge. To truly institutionalize VoC means to develop ongoing feedback loops with built-in checkpoints to identify areas of improvement. It’s a tall order, yes, but one that may provide more insight about what makes your business tick than any other measurement.
I mentioned review sites, namely TrustRadius, above and if you are a Clicktools customer and would like to share some feedback about your experience, we welcome your input on any of the following sites: