Voice of the Customer best practices turns words into action. The feedback your VoC efforts provide are the unique perspective of your own customers, and the actions you take based on that feedback add value to their experience.
Today’s on-demand, subscription-dominated marketplace requires that enterprises pay closer attention to what their customers want from their products—and there’s no clearer indication than their own words.
To make the most of your Voice of Customer (VoC) data you need to know when to request, share, and use feedback in your daily workflows to impress and serve customers.
What is VoC?
Voice of the Customer is usually considered to be the result of direct requests for information such as surveys (i.e. CSAT, NPS) and other feedback channels. Beyond that, VoC is about collecting, listening, learning, and acting. Customer attitudes and overall customer experience are displayed in a range of behaviors and direct communications.
Your Voice of Customer program needs to reflect these broad sources and endeavor to turn them into actionable, goal-based engagements.
1. Gather Feedback from Multiple Channels
Your customers speak to you in all manner of ways beyond a direct Q&A format. Every action a customer takes within your product, such as usage frequency, creating a support ticket, and feature adoption, reflect their experience of value. While direct feedback is helpful, it’s also important to be ready to capture indirect feedback. Some indirect feedback channels are:
- Community forum-style comments
- Support tickets and call center information
- Product metrics
- Social media messaging
You should also value information from different types of customers. End users and frontline workers can provide valuable detail on their daily workflow, while management-level contacts can better describe the overall effectiveness of your service.
2. Share Feedback Across Your Enterprise
Every conversation, escalation, and engagement should be captured within your organization and made available across a common, barrier-free platform. This allows your customer success team to benefit from the data gathered by the sales team; the support team to access a comprehensive history populated by the CS team; and you and your team to personalize upsell and renewal campaigns based on a record of customer behavior.
In short, having access to your customer’s comprehensive history with your organization allows each team member to speak with authority and relevance for every engagement. This helps the customer feel valued and listened to, creating the basis for long-term loyalty and trust—and saves them from ever having to repeat themselves.
3. Make Sure You Respond to VoC
Voice of the Customer best practices tell us that you not only need to collect customer feedback, but it’s critical you take action on it. As far as your customer is concerned, your response to their feedback is most important. Research has found customers are more likely to be loyal to enterprises that listen to their feedback. To capitalize on this trend, you must respond quickly to any direct feedback you receive by acknowledging customer effort and explaining how the information will be used.
Customer suggestions are just that – suggestions. It is not possible to incorporate every piece of feedback, but it is critical you nurture the exchange of information.
4. Seek Feedback at the Right Times
Following Voice of the Customer best practices helps to develop a cycle of dialogue between you and your customer. This open communication is most valuable in times of change, when it’s necessary to understand the needs of the customer and how your organization can best support them. Timing your requests for customer feedback around periods of reflection and transition can let your customer vent frustrations or applaud improvements in the moment.
Good times to seek feedback include:
- Shortly after onboarding is completed
- In response to changes in customer behavior
- In follow up to the introduction of new product features
- After the completion of pre-defined customer goals
5. Personalize Your VoC Requests
Today’s customer-centered marketplace has placed the customer firmly in control of their service partnerships and increased their expectations of personalized attention. Every customer interaction now must directly relate to your customer’s product and brand experience.
You want your customer to regard you as a partner, rather than a vendor, so every engagement is an opportunity to deliver value. Use the data you have to time feedback campaigns around customer milestones and achievements, or recent changes in behavior. Keep your questions relevant and you’ll get more rewarding feedback.
6. VoC Within Your Customer Success Software
As mentioned above, VoC information won’t always fit neatly into a survey response or other feedback channels. It can also be gathered via customer behavior across their product journey. In order to capture this vital data and arrange it into actionable information, you need customizable, flexible customer success software. Your software needs to be able to bring all your customer data together, turn it into meaningful metrics, and provide actionable insights.
This qualitative measurement of VoC and quantitative product usage metrics together give greater context to customer health, and lets you pursue the creation of customer value through goal-driven, results-based actions.
Your customer success software should work for you to turn customer words into enterprise actions. You can create early warning systems that tell you when the underlying data indicates a customer is in need of support or is a prime target for renewal and upsell. This additional layer of customer understanding means you’re always ready to react to opportunity and to thwart churn.
VoC Best Practices: Next Steps
Voice of Customer is a powerful tool for understanding your customers and delivering value that sustains a relationship over the years. Combining that information with comprehensive behavior and product data makes your customer success mission achievable.
Totango offers a customer success platform that can make the most of every piece of customer information you can identify. If you explore Spark you’ll find an easy-to-use database that can help you turn raw information into valuable customer engagements. Create a free trial account to get started today.