In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s more important than ever that companies deliver amazing customer service. Focusing on customer experience just might be the single most critical investment a company can make. But as CX guru Shep Hyken notes, while 80% of CEOs think their companies deliver a great customer experience, only 8% of their customers agree.
Simply put, it’s not enough to say your company delivers great service—you have to make sure your customers agree.
A great service experience exceeds expectations, delighting the customer with a memorable outcome. And customers are ready to open their wallets for great service—86% of customers would be willing to pay more for a better experience.
That makes customer experience the leading factor driving revenue and retention, projected to eclipse price and brand as the key brand differentiator in 2020.
With that in mind, it’s clear that companies need a dedicated Voice of the Customer (VoC) program to capture powerful insights and drive increased value through CX improvements
Implement a powerful VoC program with Salesforce
You may not be aware, but GetFeedback is the leading customer feedback solution for Salesforce. Leveraging the flexibility of GetFeedback with your Salesforce instance is a simple, effective way to create an end-to-end program.
Whether you’re just launching a VoC program or expanding an existing one, GetFeedback’s framework helps you succeed from the start.
A VoC program involves more than just asking for customer feedback. It requires a systematic approach to gathering feedback then mining and analyzing that data for powerful insights, which drive critical business strategies.
With a solid VoC program, your company can:
- Improve customer experience and exceed customer expectations.
- Drive more loyalty, increase referrals, and lower service costs.
- Evolve company culture and boost employee morale.
A VOC program is a critical pillar for great CX
Any VoC program will face challenges along the way. While these vary from company to company, there are five typical areas where VoC programs face challenges along the way:
- Culture: Companies that are not customer-centric, or don’t put the customer first, are often reluctant to invest in VoC programs.
- Budget: Leaders are often unwilling to allocate funds if they don’t see the value in a VOC program.
- Urgency: Unless stakeholders understand what’s at stake, they may not see a VoC program as a priority.
- ROI: If VoC results aren’t tied to clear financial metrics or business goals, you can’t validate the impact of your program
- Buy-in: When one or more of the above criteria are not met, leadership may not see an incentive to invest in a VOC program.
The good news is that a strong VoC program can meet these challenges successfully by focusing on five core areas during planning, implementation, and follow-up phases.
Let’s take a closer look at these areas.
Step 1: Know where to start
Don’t just rush in. Lay a foundation through focused prep work. It’s a great idea to start by mapping out your customer journey, which will help you visualize the business issues that currently impact customer touchpoints.
Let’s take an example. You may notice errors in communication or confusion in task ownership as a result of teams working in silos, with the result that customers wait too long for service. It’s important to note that the problem—high customer wait times—is actually the end result of pain points in the employee experience. You’ll first need to tackle employee behaviors, workflows, and other internal processes that are causing the delays.
As you review, it’s possible you’ll identify a number of opportunities for improvement. Be wary of tackling too many obstacles at once, though. It’s best to start small and dial in processes for improvement, rather than attempting too much and ending up with costly mistakes.
Patience is required as well—truly great experiences can take months or years to create, with multiple iterations along the way. But once you’ve started dialing in your processes for improvement, you can continue to build your program.
Step 2: Set clear goals and success metrics
Once you’ve gathered insights from your customer journey mapping, the next step is to set clear business goals and success metrics for your VoC program. Stop and consider—what is it that you want to accomplish? Do you want deeper insights into customer churn? Are you concerned about high effort processes that may be driving customer attrition? Knowing which questions you want to answer first will help you position your program more effectively.
Next, decide on the KPIs—or key performance indicators—that you want to measure. Remember that leadership buy-in depends on being able to demonstrate the value of changes implemented based on VoC insights. That means it’s critical that you use quantifiable measurements, such as NPS, CSAT, and CES to provide hard metrics.
Step 3: Integrate your program with Salesforce
Now that you’ve built a solid foundation, you’re almost ready to start asking for feedback. First things first, though. You’ll want to integrate your GetFeedback VoC program with Salesforce before you start collecting data. This is a critical step. By connecting customer feedback with customer data, you’ll create a holistic view of your customer experience that will level up your final insights.
With Salesforce, you can pull in unique customer details like—name, location, or purchase history—to tailor the survey experience and provide more context for your customers.
You can also push survey responses to the customer record in Salesforce so you always know where each account stands. This keeps you from having response data trapped in a third-party platform, which can make data stale and unactionable.
Step 4: Optimize the survey experience
Now you’re ready to gather feedback! There are a few different approaches to take, but here are some tried-and-true tips that will help you get started.
- Aesthetics: Consider the look and feel of your survey. Make sure surveys are designed to be aesthetically pleasing and are optimized for any device to simplify responses from customers who are on-the-go.
- Questions: It’s tempting to ask a lot of questions (there’s a lot you want to learn from your customers) but don’t overdo it! A four-question structure is a great starting point – begin with your KPI, ask for clarity on that score, ask about other preferences to expand their customer profile, then close with an open text field.
- Customize: Personalized surveys see higher results. Remember that Salesforce allows you to tailor the survey experience for customers. By bringing in unique customer details, you avoid asking them to just repeat information you already know. It’s also helpful to use survey logic to guide customers down different paths based on their responses.
- Channels: Where you ask for feedback is just as important as how. Meet your customers on the channels they already use, such as email, chat, or SMS. Keep the conversation in context wherever possible. For example, if a customer contacts support through chat, use that same channel to ask for feedback. This instantly closes the feedback loop, yielding higher response rates and more quality data points.
- Automate: With automation tools, an always-on feedback program will far outshine the traditional batch-and-blast method. For example, setting up workflows that trigger NPS surveys in 90-day intervals will help you gather feedback continuously. This way, you avoid survey fatigue while managing data in small doses.
Step 5: Take intelligent action
The final part of your VoC program is an action plan. Surprisingly, some companies actually overlook this step, even though it may be the most important one. Customers are aware of this – in fact, 43% of customers don’t leave feedback because they don’t think the business cares.
Closing the loop with customers is absolutely critical. After all, collecting feedback and measuring KPIs is meaningless if it doesn’t lead to action. Keeping in mind that not all feedback warrants the same form of action, there are two primary strategies to consider.
First, let’s consider the benefits of a 1-to-1 strategy. Once a customer submits feedback, your team follows up promptly to thank them and demonstrate how their feedback is important for your business. This is of vital importance when customer feedback highlights recent or on-going situations that require immediate intervention to salvage a relationship.
A 1-to-1 approach can help strengthen your customer’s bond with the company through customized care and follow-up, but it can also be difficult to manage. Luckily, GetFeedback Actions helps you set up alerts to surface time-sensitive feedback and assign specific actions to internal teams for swift attention.
You may also want to consider a 1-to-many strategy. After all, it’s important to close the loop on your VoC strategy and deliver customer insights to stakeholders and business leaders.
How will you share your findings? What next steps are you planning to address the problems highlighted in your data and drive positive change for your business? It’s helpful to distribute monthly reports, based on continuously monitored feedback, to keep internal teams aligned.
Leverage feedback to enhance multiple initiatives, such as improved team training, developing proactive approaches to customer interactions, and updating knowledge base resources.
No matter which strategy you land on, make sure to tie it back to the goal you established at the start. This helps you measure improvement over time and track the ROI of your VoC program.
As you monitor overall results, keep track of critical patterns and trends across your organization, and consider granting key stakeholders full access to results. With full transparency, they’re more likely to understand the value of your VoC program, leading to increased buy-in for future initiatives.
A VoC program involves more than just asking for customer feedback. It requires a systemic approach to gathering, mining, and analyzing feedback for powerful insights that help you drive critical business strategies. By opening a dialogue with your customers, you give them the opportunity to provide feedback, sending the message they are valued and heard.
A VoC program is the heart of any CX roadmap, helping you keep a steady pulse on customer happiness to build loyalty, prevent churn, and increase revenue.
Learn how GetFeedback can help you exceed customers’ expectations—start your free trial today.