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Voice of the Customer (VOC) is probably the most talked about subject in customer management circles right now but it’s also the most misunderstood, with skills gaps and a lack of joined up thinking stopping organisations from recognising how VOC can bring broad benefits for their business.
Positive steps are being taken by many to improve how and where they look to gather VOC, moving away from the idea of prompted customer feedback, to also capturing conversations the company has with its customers as well as what they say about the business in the wider social world.
However even with all of this customer insight, very few businesses are successfully measuring the impacts of VOC, as well as what this means for revenue, engagement, loyalty and cost.
Unless organisations are prepared to change the way they operate, this myriad of customer voices won’t actually let them hear very much at all. For VOC to make real business sense, it has to be not only captured and analysed, but, perhaps most importantly, acted upon.
This presents a significant challenge for companies not only to think about how they join up technology to get the best out of VOC, but their wider business too. At present, there is no single technology player that can truly deliver VOC insight from data collected across multiple channels. Instead, businesses need to find a way to make sense of what they’re seeing using multiple technology solutions.
Keeping VOC as the preserve of the customer management department may somewhat improve the service experience but the impact of VOC on the wider company and its financial performance will be greatly limited, unless all areas of the business are willing to work together.
For VOC to have a tangible effect on the wider business, it needs to be managed by a multi-disciplinary team that can break down organisation silos and galvanise each department to resolve issues identified by VOC.
At Webhelp UK, we recognised that analytical skills used by customer management teams were purely focused on operational metrics, instead of thinking about the broader uses and benefits of VOC. Responding to this skills gap, we built a new team of customer insight specialists whose dedicated role is to turn data into intelligence that can provide real insight into customer behaviour and needs. Armed with this insight, the team recommend changes and new initiatives to improve customer experience, reduce operation costs, and, wherever possible, boost revenue for our clients.
But how can a business tell if all this effort has paid off? The answer is to return once again to VOC. If a company has successfully resolved a customer issue, then any noise about it will have gone away. VOC may seem very simple but, when used effectively, it is an extremely powerful tool to drive positive organisational change.