Voice of the Customer strategy trends for 2011
By combining engaged employees with well-targeted voice of the customer (VoC) programmes, most companies can achieve dramatic changes in customer retention and profitability, according to online survey and feedback solutions provider Vovici, which has observed seven key trends for the coming year.
Through a study and analysis of nearly 30 ongoing market trends identified by six different research sources, Vovici has identified the seven main trends that will govern the effectiveness of Voice of the Customer initiatives over the coming year, in order to help companies create a customer-centric culture that directly improves satisfaction, loyalty and profitability. These trends are:
- Social Media Five of the six sources explicitly mentioned social media, but it is clear that most organisations took baby steps in 2010 in their experimentation with social media. For 2011, major brands are turning to social media as an authentic and extensive source of the Voice of the Customer.
- Text Analysis Four of the six sources mention that the high-volume of social media content is leading many firms to text analysis, which provides an excellent method of analysing the unstructured feedback gathered by Voice of the Customer listening posts.
- Employee Engagement Employee engagement is an important part of customer loyalty, and many organisations are looking at ways to bring the Voice of the Employee into the Voice of the Customer, leveraging the observations and insights of employees when building a better understanding of the customer.
- Employee-Specific Reports Publishing filtered customer feedback to the hands of front-line employees, to supervisors and midlevel managers, helps employees learn from their specific customers. Nothing prompts change better.
- Closed Loop Feedback Half the sources discussed the need to build closed-loop processes that gather feedback, act on it, track it, trend it and repeat. A great part of this is case management, where feedback that indicates dissatisfaction is immediately escalated to service and support organisations, so that individuals can take action to directly improve satisfaction.
- Feedback Consolidation Most organisations have very decentralised approaches to the collection and analysis of Voice of the Customer data. Large companies are creating or expanding their central Customer Insight departments and are looking to CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM) to centrally manage the data.
- Mobile Feedback The rise of mobile feedback is the ability to capture the customer's opinion as close to the customer experience as possible: at the point of moment where a decision has been made, a produce purchased or a service experienced. It enables organisations to reach consumers as they go about their daily life, rather than when they are at home on the phone or in front of their computer.
"With loyalty being built upon consistent, repeated, successful interactions, the goal now is to leave no interaction to chance and provide closed-loop feedback to measure the pulse of the customer," concluded Jeffrey Henning, Vovici's founder and vice president of strategy.