VoC: The good, the bad, and the indifferent
It’s not unusual for companies to implement enterprise feedback programs as a way to capture and manage complaints. The organizations that do this utilize surveys and other feedback channels primarily as tools to identify unhappy customers. Invariably, they set up tiers of alerts when negative feedback is received and build sophisticated processes aimed at saving at-risk customers.
This “damage control” approach is not necessarily a bad thing. But it is only one side of the coin. Organizations that disproportionately expose their teams to negative feedback are not taking advantage of the real power of the voice of the customer, which is not just to point out failures or shortcomings, but also to highlight what customers really like and appreciate.
According to the 2016 CX Trends Report, “If this is the only, or even the primary, way a company is using its customer feedback, it could be conditioning employees to think of customer feedback in a predominantly negative, reactive way.”
In essence, it makes employees skittish (or even worse, afraid) to listen to customers, which is the exact opposite of why companies implement VoC in the first place. It’s critical to provide staff visibility into the entire customer story — sharing positive, negative, and even neutral customer comments. From a process perspective, we recommend integrating your feedback solution with CRM, so that the flow of information is automated and instantaneous. Doing so will eliminate the false perception that all customer feedback is bad and it will motivate teams to increase their efforts in generating positive responses. Providing visibility and access to feedback connects employees to the real voice of the customer, which includes a variety of opinions and experiences. It allows them to have skin in the game, so to speak, in directly affecting those interactions.
What’s more, focusing on the negative has detrimental effects on customers as well as employees. Sure, the squeaky wheels will get their oil. But those who express positive and neutral comments should get just as much attention. It’s not enough to offer a “thank you for your feedback” response to happy customers. They want to know that they’re being heard just as clearly as the complainers.
In fact, consumers rated “transparency” as their second highest priority in the 2016 CX Trends Report. In other words, they want to know what effect their input will have your products, services, and processes. A new best practice is overtly stating how you plan to use the feedback and crafting more personalized responses to address comments, depending on the channel.