Last week we attended the Customer Engagement Summit.

At our Round Table sessions we discussed “Implementing a Voice of Customer Programme to Match Your Business Objectives”.

We would like to share the main points from the Round Table discussions on “Implementing a Voice of Customer Programme to match Business Objectives” with some insights on how to address them.

Our experience gained from managing over 50 Voice of Customer projects across various sectors in Retail, Financial Services, Insurance, Tourism, Services, etc. across various business models (B2C, B2B) allows us to share in-depth knowledge and insights on these topics.

1) How to make surveys and voice of customer insights actionable?

Organisations should design or review their VoC program with a business driven approach:

  • WHY? – What is the business objective pursued? E.g. grow sales through word of mouth, reduce customer service costs through better quality during the first call…
  • HOW? – What are the operational levers that the stakeholders can activate? Are stakeholders in a position to drive cross-functional improvements or “local” improvements in their departments? Should the organization focus on offer/process/systems improvements or on work force management? How should the loop be closed once customers have shared their feedbacks?
  • WHAT? – It is only at the third stage that the survey protocol should be designed (target, media, questionnaire…) as well as the features that will be utilised to make insights actionable (dashboards, alerts and actions).

Some attendees shared the challenges they face when attempting to identify how to improve their products based on massive volumes of data that seems homogeneous. Indeed, even if technologies can help to spot very specific insights that can drive such improvements, it can be challenging to translate the customer words into a clear, valuable and specific actions.

When dealing with employee engagement and workforce management, all agreed that setting up a customer-centric / customer-driven enterprise culture is critical. Sharing customer feedback throughout the organisation – from top management to agents – can support such transformations. Making sure dashboards and reports are both personalised and real-time is another key success factor.

Finally, all attendees recognised the importance of closing the loop with customers sharing feedbacks and especially those having raised dissatisfaction. However, doing a bit of homework before reengaging customers is mandatory. Some feedback does not deserve a call back (e.g. “I am sick of getting your sales calls”, “disappointed you don’t plan to open a point of sales in my city”). In other situations, callbacks should aim either at clarifying the customer pain, or at acknowledging it, or fixing it. Defining whom to call back, by whom and with what mission is crucial to ensure a positive customer experience.

2) How to design and implement the best governance model for CX initiatives?

All round table participants were on the same page regarding the importance of getting support from their executive teams about the VoC and more general CX initiatives. The following topics were particularly important:

  • Identifying an active sponsor in the Executive Committee
  • Assembling the relevant cross-functional committee to review and drive enterprise-wide CX initiatives
  • Designing the relevant dashboard linking CX indicators with the other key performance indicators of the company

Even if companies are generally highly KPI-driven, there was a consensus on how important it was to share throughout the organisation selected qualitative customer feedback (verbatim). Reading the actual customer words enable companies to better feel the experience lived by customers, to better identify areas for improvement. Positive feedback should be forgotten as they not only promote best practices but also stimulates the organisation and reinforces its customer-centric journey.