Capturing expectations

If the customer is always right, then getting into their heads is invaluable. Confirmit explain how to lay the foundations for successful Voice of the Customer programmes


As Voice of the Customer (VoC) programmes mature, expectations are rising rapidly. Teams tasked with building a VoC programme are expected to deliver results that drive business change and generate significant return on investment.

It is vital that you understand when and how they wish to engage with your brand

Successful customer experience management provides insight to increase revenue through reduced churn, improved cross-sell and better attract new customers. VoC programmes also help to reduce costs by improving processes and creating greater consistency. Finally, taking a customer-centric approach to every facet of the business drives cross-functional change and makes a real impact on organisational culture.

Define and design
There are several stages that are crucial when building a successful VoC programme. The first of which is to agree clear, phased objectives and success criteria. It is imperative to define the main business issues that you need to address – increasing revenue, decreasing costs, driving culture change – at the outset so you can build a programme that will influence business and customer key performance indicators.

Once you’ve agreed the objectives, map the customer journey to ensure you listen to customers at important touchpoints. It is vital that you understand when and how they wish to engage with your brand. Identify the decisive ‘moments of truth’ for customers so that you understand which interactions most impact the customer experience.

The programme must be designed to deliver both tactical and strategic benefits that meet your business objectives. Decide what channels your customers will find most engaging (web, mobile, telephone, paper) and the appropriate frequency of interactions. Take into account both relationship surveys, which analyse the health of the relationship on an ongoing basis, and transactional surveys which are better suited to identifying issues and process improvements at major points.

The next stage is to implement multi-channel data collection to increase response rates and deliver deeper insight. Identify a solution that will provide a secure and scalable way to gather customer feedback, automate alerts, and generate tailored reports that provide stakeholders with live insight.

Make sure you collect information from across your organisation – add VoC data to enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management platforms, employee feedback systems and external benchmarking data. You need to gather robust, balanced information, using appropriate and relevant channels and integrate it with internal systems.

Analyse and act
Improve business results by analysing data and creating a clear view of the issues and opportunities. Tactically, this means using alerts, for example about dissatisfied customers or poorly performing team members to improve problem resolution and retention, or about happy customers to motivate employees and leverage positive word-of-mouth.

Strategically aggregate data to identify pivotal drivers from your customers’ point of view to help you to prioritise long-term investments that will drive business change.

Next you need to act by closing the loop with individual customers. This allows you to deliver quick wins, and is often easily linked to short-term financial benefits. Set up structured, actionable alerts that empower employees to retain customers, produce leads and cut costs.

In parallel, build the foundations that will deliver long-term results: tailored reports that give insights on a larger scale – i.e. what you need to know about your most profitable opportunities. Everyone in your organisation has a role in improving customer experience, but this is only possible if they have access to actionable information, at the right time and using the right channels.

Finally, it’s vital that you review your goals and revise them regularly. You should be prepared to examine all aspects of the programme with a cross-functional team of experts, to seek continuous improvements, to re-focus on new issues as they arise and to adjust your priorities along the way.