In part one of this four-part blog series, I discussed the first key to VoC success: Get full executive sponsorship. Today, I will focus on the second key.
Key to Success #2: Go beyond surveys to build an ongoing customer connection
Great VoC programs begin with your customers. The conversations you build with them help you better understand their experience with your brand. Because an experience is something that happens internally, conversation is currently the only way to gain insight into customer expectations—and how well you’re doing at meeting those expectations.
Listening to customers regularly and conversationally helps to identify the systemic trends and issues needing to be addressed to keep customers coming back. It can also help drive referrals and advocacy within customers’ circle of friends and followers.
The most common approach today for starting this customer conversation is sending out customer surveys through the devices and technology customers use, and in a language customers understand. This is a critical element to any successful VoC program; however, there is a rapidly growing source of untapped feedback circulating amongst consumers today that brands have yet to fully leverage:
Social media and online review sites
These channels are quickly becoming the preferred method for customers to voice opinions about their brand experiences. As a result, brands are presented with the challenge of continuously improving and delivering positive consumer experiences.
As a brand, you can only drive exceptional customer experiences through a deep understanding of the overall experience customers encounter at your locations. This means listening to customer feedback from any source available, and using it to drive improvements. Companies are using VoC solutions to gain the power and insight into their customer experiences through a combined “multichannel” feedback approach. This not only paints a more comprehensive picture of the customer experience; it can save time by eliminating the need to jumping from, and dig through, multiple reports.
With these solutions, all sources of customer comments—customer surveys, social media, online review sites, and other applicable feedback channels—are all aggregated into a single view giving brands the right information, at the right time, to drive the right changes to enhance the customer experience.
This previously untapped combination of actionable insights can identify the steps needed to deliver the experiences customers have come to expect in today’s world, resulting in increased return visits, improved brand loyalty, and active advocacy.
Stay tuned for the third part of this blog series—Make customer feedback data actionable at the location level—to learn how location managers can take the complexity out of customer feedback data to deliver consistent and memorable customer experiences at their restaurants, retail locations, grocery stores, and banks.