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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Use Voice of the Customer to Transform Your Contact Center Results: Part 1

Contact center

It comes as no surprise to learn that our research reveals that the number one goal contact centers try to achieve is improving customer experiences, considering almost all businesses see the contact center as a vital piece in addressing customer needs. Despite this, the same Aberdeen research where we surveyed 445 contact centers across a wide variety of industries over the world shows that only 57% of contact centers have an established process to regularly capture voice of the customer (VoC) data and gauge how they fare in meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

Briefly, a VoC program is an organizational effort where companies use various channels such as email, IVR, and text message to ask customers their sentiment and receive feedback on their experiences. Aberdeen’s Voice of the Customer study published in 2018 shows that companies that establish a Best-in-Class structure to design and run VoC programs enjoy significant performance improvements, such as 45% greater customer retention rate and 13.3 times greater annual improvement (decrease) in customer service costs, compared to those without a well-designed and executed VoC program.

Aberdeen’s research shows there are four key areas contact centers can focus on to drive significant benefits from VoC programs:

  • Understand & Evolve Addressing Customer Needs
  • Optimize Customer Journey Management
  • Gauge Agent Performance
  • Seamlessly Manage Contact Center Activities

We’ll examine the first two here, and the others in a forthcoming post.

  1. Understand & Evolve Addressing Customer Needs

VoC data comes in various forms. This includes solicited feedback by the company, where customers are asked to share feedback by filling out an online survey or a post-call IVR survey; and unsolicited feedback, where customers share their experiences interacting with brands’ websites and through social media portals such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Contact centers use social media monitoring tools to monitor customer conversations about company name, products and services, then incorporate it within existing account data to utilize unsolicited feedback available through social media portals.

Contact centers can use tools such as business intelligence and root-cause analysis to uncover hidden insights and trends in VoC data. For example, they can observe if customer complaints about a specific self-service feature emerges as a leading frustration among clientele, and use this information to enhance the self-service experience. They can also uncover that customers contacting the business through live chat about a certain issue indicate that their needs weren’t addressed, and that they needed to contact the business again through phone. In such cases, the live chat interaction can be updated so customers are encouraged to contact the business early in their journey, instead of seeking resolution through chat. These are just a few of the countless examples that illustrate how listening to the voice of the customer and acting on it can help contact centers bridge the gap between customer expectations and their activities.

  1. Optimize Managing Customer Journeys

Aberdeen’s research shows that only 37% of contact centers currently tailor customer interactions by using contextual / customer journey data. Those with this capability minimize customer effort and excel in delivering truly omni-channel interactions. If you currently struggle managing customer journeys or plan to put a journey management program into place, then VoC data can help. Specifically, using customer feedback and sentiment data, and analyzing how this data changes in correlation with specific activities across the customer journey, helps contact centers uncover which activities provide a positive impact on customer experience results and which don’t. To do such analysis, you first need to integrate VoC data within existing account information. You should then use journey analytics to observe the impact of each activity throughout the journey on influencing VoC results.

If you haven’t used these two building blocks, we highly recommend you incorporate them into your activities, as doing so will help better align your results with that of the Best-in-Class contact centers.

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