One of the most important components of customer experience is a strong voice of the customer (VoC) program. In the past, I’ve written about two core elements of VoC programs: 1) The five levels of customer feedback; and 2) The “LIRM” processes for getting value from the feedback.
My work in this space has uncovered some major shifts; which led me to publish a report called Voice Of The Customer: The Next Generation. To begin with, I’ve found a number of problems with current approaches to VoC programs, the most glaring is that programs are all listen and no action. Companies obsess about the measurements and analysis, but many lack processes for responding to the insights in a closed-loop manner.
Given the current issues with VoC programs and the new capabilities enabled by a host of vendors, I outlined 6 key trends for VoC Programs:
- Tapping into unstructured and unsolicited feedback
- Integrating social media monitoring
- Increasing the tempo of responding
- Widening the access to insights
- Going beyond metrics to diagnostics
- Creating continuous feedback mechanisms.
I can’t go over the entire report in my blog, but I wanted to highlight the first trend. Today, most firms use multiple-choice surveys as the basis for their VoC programs. But there’s a ton of other listening posts that don’t fit into this mold. So companies regularly lose out on critical insights. But new capabilites like text mining, sentiment inference, and social media extraction allow firms to systematically gain insights from unstructured, unsolicited feedback:
These important listening posts include items like inbound emails, calls into the call center, comments on surveys, comments on company blogs, posts and comments on non-company blogs, and feedback on third party sites.
The bottom line: The voice of the customer is too valuable to waste