Companies succeed not because of great ideas from the top but based on how focused they are on the customer. Every business’s objective is to make more sales, so maintaining a strong relationship with those who are buying products is paramount. The key is finding the right Voice of Customer tools and strategies.
What Is the Voice of Customer?
Voice of Customer solutions marketing reflects its name–it involves considering opinions, expectations, and customers’ preferences. VoC tools provide insight to improve marketing, product development and prevent churn. Touching base with customers can encourage them to refer products and services to others and start a social media conversation about a brand.
Why Voice of Customer is Important
Many business leaders do not have an accurate view of how their customers feel about their companies. In a Bain & Company survey, 80% of companies surveyed said they felt they were customer-centric, while only 8% of their customers agreed. This gap in understanding costs companies billions of dollars in churn every year.
Smart companies have gotten the memo about making customer service and CX a priority. The internet provides many opportunities to find out how customers feel about a product or service. As more companies leverage comments and reviews on social media to fuel their marketing campaigns, the more central a role the customer has in influencing all aspects of the business, from customer service to product development and beyond.
The increasing importance of customer service requires a VoC marketing approach. According to Statista, 61% of millennials surveyed said they would be willing to pay more for customer service compared to 53% of baby boomers. One factor for this development may be the rise of social media, and the expectation consumers have to be listened to when they voice their opinions. VoC marketing is in step with contemporary trends and interacts with customers directly.
Warning Signs Of Losing Touch With Customers
As shown in the Bain & Company survey cited above, many business leaders are in denial about being in touch with their customers. Several telltale signs indicate that a brand is out of step with customers and should incorporate VoC strategies.
If the support team regularly receives notices about the same issues, If there are fewer ratings and reviews and an increasing number of negative ones, if churn is rising, and if promotions receive lackluster responses, marketing strategies could use an upgrade. A company is fortunate to make recommendations that have not been considered before to improve features and products if customers make recommendations. These recommendations should be listened to and, in many cases, implemented.
Listening to Customer Feedback
There are several ways a company can access customer data and feedback. Customers often tell companies how they feel in customer service chats and emails, surveys, and focus groups. This kind of feedback has the advantage of the customer communicating directly to the company, although it tends to be less abundant than indirect feedback.
Indirect feedback includes social media posts that mention the company or brand. The target audience is usually Facebook friends or if the post is public, consumers in general. If the post is public, the writer may have an idea that the company may view the post, but the main audience is other consumers.
Reviews may fall into both categories of direct and indirect feedback. The reviewer aims to advise other consumers about the benefits and drawbacks of specific products, but many have an idea that the company may be listening. Often, reviewers respond positively when company representatives respond to reviews, and the way a company chooses to respond is crucial.
Acting on Customer Feedback
One major difference between VoC and other marketing forms is that VoC aims to close the loop on customer communication. This means not allowing feedback to just sit there in cyberspace, but to respond and act on it and to let the customer know they are being listened to.
Traditional methods take customer feedback into account but do not offer direct communication. Creating consumer insights from data and designing a plan of action seems like a sound plan of action, but the customer is not involved in the process.
VoC establishes a connection with a customer, whether via social media, a review site on a customer service chat, responding to feedback verbally, and informing them when their suggestion is implemented.
It isn’t enough to analyze consumer behavior and sentiment, but a company should collect data on its customer service team to ensure that customer response is efficient, pleasant, and useful. Business analytics, such as the number of clicks, subscribes/unsubscribes, emails sent, can also provide information on how well strategies are working.
Listening to Your Customers’ Voice
Having a cutting-edge idea may feel terrific, but it shouldn’t sidetrack a business from focusing on customers. Keeping customers in the picture at all times by listening to their opinions and responding to them is a challenge but reaps substantial rewards.
Incorporating feedback to improve customer service and product offerings and making the customer feel that they are involved in this development fosters brand loyalty and can generate repeat sales.