How can you be sure that your VoC initiative stays fresh and relevant?
Continuous improvement is just important for your VoC initiatives as it is for your entire customer experience journey/transformation. What are you doing to ensure that your listening efforts are always fresh and relevant?
Yes, even customer listening programs become stale and must be updated. You’ve made changes to the experience that you want to measure and track; there are emerging trends in the industry and with customer needs; customers change, and new customers come into the fold; and you’re offering new products and services. If you’re using the same survey you did a year ago, it’s time to check that.
But listening programs are not just about surveys, and even if you continue to use surveys, there are much more innovative approaches to surveying than a year or two ago. Mobile survey capabilities have evolved, such that all surveys are now mobile – there’s no distinction between desktop, mobile, and in-app. (What? Your surveys aren’t mobile friendly? Time to get on that!) Don’t forget short, simple text surveys, as well.
The timing of mobile surveys is another consideration; no longer is post-transaction the only (or even the best) way to capture customer feedback. Consider brief, in-the-moment surveys that allow you to get feedback while the customer is, well, in the moment of the transaction or experience.
And surveys are becoming more like a conversation. Some providers are offering more-dynamic surveys, where they’ve incorporated predictive capabilities that go beyond the traditional skipping and branching approaches of yesterday.
Also, I’ve seen folks take new approaches to designing the surveys. Don’t assume you know what’s important to your customers. Traditionally, we might have designed surveys with attributes that were derived from customer conversations, focus groups, or simply from what we knew/heard about the experience. Lately, companies have been asking open-ended questions and then analyzing those comments to identify not only attributes but perhaps emerging trends that should be fleshed out a bit more through the surveys.
Lastly, don’t just use surveys. Use other methods to listen to customers, as well. There are so many options, some qualitative, some quantitative: online communities, online reviews, customer advisory boards, social media, and more.
Important to note is that you don’t want to make it cumbersome for customers to provide feedback. Make it easy; offer forums and feedback options in places where your customers prefer to be; and, finally, act on what you hear!!
If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk. -Robert Baden-Powell
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