Companies often look for ways to improve their products and services with the hope of greater customer retention. However, this simply isn’t possible when they don’t really know what their customers want. According to the 2020 Salesforce State of the Connected Customer report, 80% of customers consider flawless brand engagement to be as important as product quality, and 53% say they feel an emotional connection to the brands they purchase from most often. Brands must listen carefully to their customers’ opinions—both good and bad—in order to give them greater satisfaction. For this reason, every brand must consider the Voice of the Customer.
Voice of the Customer, or VoC, is a term used to describe the process of capturing and understanding customers’ preferences, expectations, disappointments, and overall sentiment about their experience with brands by collecting feedback in different ways. When brands invest in VoC, they are better equipped to offer the products and services that make customers happy, are able to create optimized customer journeys, and ultimately increase customer retention.
VoC can be measured in numerous ways, including:
Customers can answer surveys at any point of the customer journey. Companies can send brief surveys to customers as they browse the company website, send surveys to customers who have recently purchased or to leads who are considering a purchase, or collect feedback during and after service interactions on any channel while rating satisfaction levels post-interaction.
Customers have plenty to say about brands online. Social listening tools can reveal customer pain points that need to be addressed while also identifying positive brand points that win customer loyalty. Brands can study social media platforms as well as blog comments, online forums, and review websites to collect information.
Brands can review customer service transcripts from voice and other channels to determine how customers felt during their interactions. These sources can also reveal why customers made contact in the first place. KPIs such as CSAT, NPS, and CES can also reveal customers’ feelings about their experiences with a brand.
VoC can be used to offer greater customer experiences when brands do the following:
Real-time feedback allows your brand to constantly evolve practices to meet current customer needs.
CES, or Customer Effort Score, reveals if customers are making too much effort throughout their journey and might leave your brand. Lastly, CSAT measures overall customer satisfaction level with a brand.
Companies should also follow up with unhappy customers to determine what steps could be taken to improve the customer experience.
This may include: Optimizing an omnichannel strategy to ensure seamless customer journeys, improving existing products, improving communication methods between departments, using marketing language that reflects terms happy customers use to describe your brand, and training agents to sharpen their product knowledge skills and practice empathy for greater service.
By taking a closer look at what customers say and feel about your brand, you can create the kinds of experiences they really want. Listening to the Voice of the Customer will give your brand a competitive edge, increase customer satisfaction, and win long-term customer loyalty.
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