Sometimes business success isn’t about having all the answers, but being willing to ask questions.

What do your current customers wish you were doing differently? Is there more you can do to build loyalty and prevent churn? Where in the customer journey are you converting well — and where are you falling short?

While the answers may not always be what you want to hear, gathering honest feedback from your customers can help keep them loyal and give you a better idea of what you need to do to boost your overall customer experience (CX).

THE IMPORTANCE OF CUSTOMER INSIGHTS

It’s no secret that a better CX means higher profits. Customers don’t just want a product or service, they want a partner that can cater to their specific needs. A 2019 survey of executives by the consulting firm North Highland found that the vast majority of respondents (87%) identified their customer experience as the top driver of new revenue growth. Great CX keeps customers loyal and increases their chances of referring your product or service to others.

But how do you know if your customers appreciate what you're doing? To find the answer, you’ll need a system for accurately collecting the Voice of the Customer (VoC).

VoC gives you customer insights that offer a window into your buyer’s perspective. It’s important to determine what kinds of indicators you’re looking for and how you’ll gather them. These steps are key to getting started with any VoC initiative (more on that below).

In addition to gathering customer insights, your organization will need to have the analytical capabilities to parse through feedback and data, pick out trends and make the necessary adjustments. One strategy for doing this is to pick a few areas you think you need to improve on and focusing on collecting feedback on them specifically. According to the McKinsey Quarterly article “Prediction: The future of CX,” the ideal CX solutions are clearly tied to a business outcome. In other words, information for information’s sake won’t cut it.

WHY VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER MEANS BETTER CX

One way to gather and aggregate customer insights and use them to boost CX is through a VoC solution. VoC solutions give you the tools to gather feedback, compile that information in one place and turn it into insights for your customer service, sales, product development and marketing teams to use.

The ideal VoC solution will help you to collect extensive and high-quality data and aggregate it based on demographic, customer journey and behavior data. Insights across these points will make it possible to fully understand where you’re doing the best job of delivering value to your customers — and where you need to make improvements.

FINDING NEW WAYS TO GATHER DATA

For the fullest picture of your customers’ opinions, you’ll want to engage with them at as many points in the customer journey as possible. This will allow you to spot problems early — before they impact retention — and also send a clear message to your customers that their feedback is valued.

In the past, the method of choice for collecting feedback was through customer surveys. These are often still the best avenue for collecting information, but the best VoC solutions ensure that you are collecting feedback directly at the point the customer is engaging with your product. Other options for interacting with customers beyond surveys include live video chats and social media engagement.

These tools, however, need to be backed by a commitment to analyze and act upon the information you gather. The ability to look through large amounts of feedback and pick out trends makes it more likely you’ll be able to draw insights that will make an impact on your business. In addition, you should look to see how this written and spoken feedback you’ve received connects to other metrics you’ve gathered, like sales numbers and customer churn rate.

LOOKING AT THE BIG PICTURE

Ideally, investing in VoC should be part of a larger CX strategy. Gaining new customer insights is great, but it only matters if you actually use them to enact change. It’s absolutely essential to secure buy-in from both leadership and employees.

Collecting customer feedback can be hard. Listening to it and making changes, especially when the feedback isn’t what you want to hear can be even harder. Ultimately, with the right VoC solution, and an effective strategy built around it, you’ll be well on your way to understanding pain points in your customer experience and how to fix them.

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