VOC initiatives need better customer data
When it comes to setting up an effective 'voice of the customer' (VOC) programme, there are a number of prerequisites to be considered, not least of which is the kinds of customer data and feedback channels needed, according to a white paper by Allegiance.
While most marketers would say they want to make the measurement of customer satisfaction and loyalty a top priority, there are still many who either don't know how to do so effectively, or who don't even have the necessary data available, Allegiance found.
The white paper, entitled 'Customer data: The essential element of your enterprise Voice of the Customer programme', suggests that customer data should be gathered through both structured and unstructured feedback:
- Structured feedback Structured feedback is solicited primarily through surveys. For example, relationship surveys are conducted to get a point-in-time read on customer satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement. Transactional surveys, also known as post-event surveys, are performed after some event or interaction has occurred. Other types of structured feedback include competitive surveys, vendor surveys, marketing surveys, advisory boards and listening labs.
"Until recently, structured feedback was the main way that companies could hear from their customers about their experiences," explained author Annette Gleneicki, senior director of customer success for Allegiance. "Customer emails or letters were mostly 'cosmetic' because companies rarely responded to that feedback or changed processes because of it. However, today customers have new ways to communicate, and companies need to incorporate unstructured feedback to get a complete picture of customer loyalty and engagement."
- Unstructured feedback Unstructured feedback is unsolicited and comes in many forms, including social media, online forums and communities, blogs, "Contact Us" pages, and letters or emails to the company. The main challenges are to find ways to harness all of this data, and to put someone in charge of analysing/gleaning insights from it - and of course acting on it in conjunction with structured feedback.
Incorporating both structured and unstructured data into a VOC strategy allows companies to get the full picture of individual customers, target customer segments, or even an entire customer population.
The full white paper has been made available for free download from Allegiance's web site - click here (free registration required).