With customers interacting on more channels than ever before, businesses are able to paint a detailed picture of what their customers think about the company, as well as where and why they’re talking about it.
For this reason, Voice of the Customer (VOC) is very much the word of the moment amongst customer management circles. But despite all the buzz around VOC, very few businesses are using this wealth of information to bring about positive change within their organisation.
Let’s think differently about VOC for a moment. Instead of just being a pile of unintelligible data, look at VOC as insight that extends beyond all of the figures and lists, to ask what all of this actually means for both customers and the business.
Turning to technology alone is unlikely to give you the answer. For the time being at least, there is no single technology player out there that can establish a ‘cause and effect’ link between data from multiple channels and a company’s own customer systems. Businesses need to turn to themselves instead, pulling together outputs from several different technology systems to make sense of what they’re seeing.
With all of this data flying around, it can be easy to forget how important it is to have the right people in place as part of the VOC process. After all they are the ones who actually know how to transform data into actionable insight.
We find that in many customer management operations where analytics skills do exist, they are largely focussed on operational metrics rather than thinking about how VOC could be used to bring benefit to other areas of their business. Having identified this gap, we built a team of customer insight specialists whose dedicated role is to turn data into intelligence.
This is where collaboration comes in. For insight teams to be effective – no matter how great their technology and insight capabilities – they must be closely integrated to the wider business so that their recommendations will be listened to, evaluated and, ultimately, put into action.
Our own team has so far delivered some fantastic results, using their insight to put forward plans for change and new initiatives designed to improve customer experience, reduce operational costs and boost revenue for our clients.
But how do you measure if all this effort has been worthwhile for the customer? You have to come full circle here, returning once again to VOC. If a company has successfully resolved a customer issue, then any noise about it will have gone away. A simple idea, maybe, but VOC is a powerful tool that is capable of bringing about tangible change across your whole business. If you know how to use it, that is.