We live in a customer-centric age. The abundance of information and choices has shifted the balance of power, placing customers in a position of advantage over companies. With social media, a negative review can influence thousands of people. For brands, delivering the best possible customer experience and listening to what customers actually want must be a matter of practice. This requires companies to connect with the voice of the customer.
Voice of the customer: what is it?
Voice of the customer (VoC) is the process of listening to and capturing customer feedback, expectations, preferences and opinions about their experience in interacting with your brand. Before buying something online, the majority of people tap into the voice of the customer to guide their purchasing decision. They may consult forums and other sources for product reviews and prices that are largely outside of the company’s control. This feedback poses both a threat and an opportunity for companies depending on the quality of feedback available.
VoC is also valuable because it helps companies identify changes, customer insights and new priorities included in customer feedback.
According to Forrester, companies are using VoC programs to collect and analyze customer feedback at critical touchpoints. VoC programs are able to measure customer experience in real time to understand if the company is able to create positive experiences for its customers, and it can be used to focus management and service staff on improving the quality of service in their interactions with customers
VoC programs are gaining in popularity in the enterprise because:
- they may customized and scaled to meet business requirements or to prioritize product and service delivery
- their use increase customer retention
- VoC programs can also improve employee engagement and advocacy by engaging employees in listening to customer feedback and taking actions to improve the customer experience
Voice of Customer benefits
Why is it important to understand the voice of the customer? Voice of Customer programs offer some important benefits for the business:
- The insights gathered using VoC programs can help improve company products and services. Using real customer opinions is an effective way to enhance existing services and communication strategies and to meet customer expectations.
- Monitoring what customers say and their expectations allows you to benefit from the insight found in even weak signals such as dissatisfaction and frustration that, when expressed online could damage your brand reputation. At the same time, by monitoring the voice of the customer, companies may be able to capture new trends to fuel new product development. Having such intellgence can determinethe success or failure of new offerings early in the development stage.
- Listening to the Voice of Customer supports your company in transforming your happy customers into evangelists in order to influence potential customers with their enthusiasm and positive experiences. An outstanding customer service should be an essential part of your business strategy.
Voice of customer and AI
VoC programs can also can be empowered by new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is asolution for more accurately understanding the intentions and preferences of customers in their communications about your brand.
AI solutions for VoC programs are able to understand what customers say, how they are saying it and how they feel about an issue. AI-based solutions understand the sentiment and emotion expressed in the conversations and the users’ overall level of satisfaction with your brand.
Cognitive technology makes it possible to analyze and deeply understand customer feedbacks tomaking the support process easier, more intuitive, less expensive and faster.