7 Signs Of A Great Voice Of The Customer Strategy

Brian Cantor

In addition to sharing insights from our research and commentary from our team of expert contributors, CCW Digital Special Reports often include "assessment" tools that help you determine the efficacy of your own customer experience strategy.

Sometimes they take the form of "quizzes."  Other times, they resemble "checklists" or "scorecards."

Ultimately, the goal is for you to determine if so-called "best practices" are truly driving your strategy.

An example assessment from our Voice of the Customer report follows:

The ease of committing to a voice of the customer strategy should not, however, be mistaken  as a sign that success is guaranteed.

The efficacy of a voice of the customer program hinges on various factors.  If these factors are not properly managed with strategy and technology, the organization will not make the most of its data.  It will not acquire the best possible information, and the information it does acquire will not be used as effectively as possible.

Ultimately, the customer experience will suffer.

In an effort to ensure your commitment to the voice of the customer is a successful one, CCW Digital has assembled a proprietary voice of the customer assessment.  Organizations that answer these questions in the affirmative are poised to develop the kind of experiences their customers truly want.

Question One:  Do you have a data strategy?

Why it matters: Invaluable customer insights are always there … if you know where to look.  Before implementing specific tools (surveys, analytics solutions, etc), the organization needs a sense of what data it is seeking – and why that data matters.  Data collection efforts are only as good as the models by which they are being driven.

Question Two: Are you covering all customers and channels?

Why it matters:  Customers are inherently different, and those differences are amplified by specific issues and channels.  “Sampling,” consequently, does not work in a customer experience context.  In order to truly understand the totality of its customer base and the totality of its CX journey, the organization must ensure it is measuring all customer interactions in all channels.

Per its data strategy, an organization can certainly emphasize certain customers or interaction types.  But if it does not have a core understanding of its overall experience, it will limit its ability to grow marketshare and loyalty.

Question Three: Is your voice of the customer technology integrated?

Why it matters: Customer-centric organizations are not trying to write a “market research report” about their customer base.  They are trying to develop a deep, multi-dimensional understanding of their customers.  To achieve this goal, an organization must ensure its customer intelligence tools are integrated with the overall CRM tool.  This form of integration enables a business to determine how certain experiential tend to impact the particular customer relationship.  It also helps a business determine how specific customers engage with the business – and feel when they are involved in that engagement.

Question Four: Does your data tell a story?

Why it matters: “Data” is of limited value to the contact center (and greater business).  Actionable intelligence, on the other hand, drives customer-centric experiences (and the associated results).  Whether done via technology, with a data analytics team or both, a compelling voice of the customer strategy tells a story.  It illustrates the demands, challenges and opportunities facing the business, thus yielding a more targeted, relevant, worthwhile action plan.

Question Five: Can you customize the story?

Why it matters:  Not all demands, challenges and opportunities carry equal importance to all departments at all times.  Robust VoC strategies include the ability to customize the narrative to specific business objectives or departments.  Using real-time analytics data, stakeholders can track the impact on these objectives – as they are happening.  With a better sense of how their “territory” is performing,  individual leaders can take swifter, more productive action.

Question Six: Are you letting agents listen?

Why it matters: Agents, above all, want job security and promotions.  In pursuit of those goals, agents are ultimately going to perform the way they believe leadership wants them to perform.  By granting these agents transparent access to voice of the customer insights (and measuring based on customer data), leaders send the message that customer centricity trumps all.  The company may be signing their paychecks, but it is customers to whom they truly “report.”

Beyond communicating the importance of customer centricity, transparent access to data also helps agents understand the impact their work has on customer sentiment.  This helps them self-diagnose and self-improve, while also leading to more productive training sessions.

Question Seven: Are you anticipating and predicting?

Why it matters: All companies obviously want to fix what is broken; they obviously want to eliminate any ongoing sources of dissatisfaction.  The best companies are not, however, content with reacting to problems.  They want to proactively address future challenges.  They want to spot trends that could impact the mode and motivation with which customers interact down the road.  Using that information, they can make the necessary adjustments on the back end to deliver the most customer-centric experience possible on the front end.