Hearing the digital voice of the customer
In general communication and increasingly in business, listening is a critical factor in building relationships that last. To meet changing needs and grow, business needs to really hear the voice of the customer, says Shikesh Lalbahadur, Head of Digital at Quality Connect (QConnect), a contact centre and customer engagement specialist.
The voice of the customer is described as all customer feedback, across all engagement channels, which describe customer needs, expectations and experiences of dealing with a brand.
“To improve business processes, a variety of methods can be used to hear the voice of the customer (VOC),” he says. “These can be in the form of surveys, interviews, reviews, observations or online communities. These feedback mechanisms are critical to understand how your business rated during the customer journey.”
Social media platforms and social gatherings (external feedback loop), and views and opinions expressed through colleagues (internal feedback) all add value to the VOC.
These comments and feedback from myriad sources can answer key questions, such as: "Are my customers loyal to my brand?" and "What can we improve and how can we improve it?"
However, organisations can be challenged in sifting through hundreds – or even thousands – of calls, e-mails and social messages to hear the VOC. Another challenge is having the right number of people with the right level of skill to handle those interactions.
Lalbahadur says: “To future-proof your workforce within an omnichannel environment, you need a balance between demand (of interactions) and supply (of workforce) across your enterprise. We at Quality Connect have best-of-breed solutions for workforce engagement to enable you maximise the performance of your employees while reaching your organisation’s objectives.”
He notes that simply keeping records of the feedback is not enough – organisations need to understand and act on the VOC. “With sentiment analysis to determine whether a customer is neutral, satisfied or dissatisfied with your brand, you gain insights around the probability of the customer staying with you. It also helps discover trends that can be utilised in your contact management strategies.”
Lalbahadur adds: “Reconnecting with your audience through feedback mechanisms is priceless for the next iteration of customer engagement. It provides feedback mechanisms that influence purchasing decisions and contains added value for all business streams to meet targets and ever-changing customers’ demands.”
With advanced digital voice of the customer (DVOC) approaches, organisations can adapt to the changing needs of the customer, acknowledge complaints, preferences and problems, and show empathy around their reason for contacting you, while increasing customer retention. Lalbahadur says: “More often than not, it is about how we make customers feel, having mutual respect, earning their trust and showing every individual that they are important. Rather than apathy, cognitive empathy is being aware of the emotional state of another person, whether they are sad, happy, disappointed or stressed. It is the emotional connection between your brand and your customer, which results in satisfaction or dissatisfaction; or positive or negative net promoter scores. That is a lot to adopt and employ; however, with the right strategies, tools and partners enabling DVOC, the impact on business and market is tenfold.”
Quality Connect enables businesses to hear the VOC and deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time on the right platform, using advanced omnichannel solutions, AI-enabled self-service and analytics.