In today’s world, customer experience can make or break any brand. Businesses that deliver an amazing experience on every channel for their target audience benefit from better brand equity, increased customer loyalty, and reduced churn. On the other hand, the companies that fail to live up to expectations can quickly lose their most valuable clients to competitors.
Unfortunately, cultivating an incredible customer experience isn’t easy. It requires companies to develop an in-depth understanding of their audience, their needs, and their pain points. The good news is that voice of the customer technology can help with this. VOC solutions help companies to capture insights from consumers, using text and voice analysis, AI tools, and surveys.
The right tools can assist businesses in orchestrating the customer journey, segmenting customers, and delivering more personalized, memorable experiences. Here’s how business leaders can compare VOC solutions and choose the right technology for their teams.
Step 1: Examine the Customer Journey
The first step in choosing the right voice of the customer technology, is for businesses to determine where they have opportunities to listen to, and learn from their audience.
In the past, companies relied almost exclusively on surveys and automated requests for feedback delivered at the end of a customer service call. However, as the world has evolved, business leaders have begun to discover new ways of capturing insights from the customer journey.
Social listening tools can provide businesses with a behind-the-scenes view of what consumers are saying about their products and service reps without being prompted for feedback. Analytical tools enhanced with AI can draw insights from sentiment and intent from messages sent on a chat platform, and conversations held via voice and video tools.
Examining the customer journey provides businesses with a way to determine which channels they need to bring together with their VOC tech, to get a comprehensive insight into the patterns and trends that influence customer loyalty, retention, and churn.
Step 2: Set Goals for VOC Technology
After defining the touch points and channels where they can collect crucial information about their customers, business leaders need to define what they want to accomplish with VOC insights. The solutions available for collecting voice of the customer data today can deliver a range of benefits to business leaders, depending on their needs.
A primary goal for many companies will simply be to use customer insights to drive better customer experiences. Defining what customers like and dislike about a product or service can help businesses to mitigate the frictions in their customer service experience, create new strategies for CX, and even produce more valuable products. However, insights from VOC technology can also:
- Preserve brand reputation: The right tools can help businesses to understand the overall perception customers have of a brand, so they can improve their presence in the modern world, and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
- Enhance journey orchestration: With insights into customer experiences across a range of platforms, businesses can determine which customer experience channels, marketing strategies, and sales methods they should be investing in most.
- Improve business performance: VOC solutions can help companies to identify their most successful team members, and come up with effective strategies for training and coaching new employees, improving overall productivity and efficiency levels.
Setting the right goals will help businesses to determine what kind of features their VOC tools need, from real-time dashboards to artificial intelligence, and automation capabilities.
Step 3: Identify Crucial Features
VOC technology can come in a variety of different forms, intended to address unique business goals. Companies who simply want to learn more about what customers like and dislike about their services might use survey and automatic feedback tools to help them collect comments, and curate user-generated content for social proof.
On the other hand, businesses who want to map and orchestrate the full customer journey might want to invest in more innovative tools, such as platforms enhanced by conversational AI more carefully. Gartner suggests 60% of all businesses using VOC programs will start supplementing traditional survey tools with NLP, NLU, and machine learning tools by 2025.
AI technologies can provide companies with behind-the-scenes insights into information that might otherwise be missed in a standard survey. For instance, an AI solution can detect sentiment in a customer’s voice or use of language, or use deep learning insights to determine the intent of a customer as they move through their purchasing journey.
Some platforms even come with automation capabilities built-in, to reduce the work involved in collecting feedback, and assist businesses in creating dynamic, rich customer profiles.
Step 4: Analyze Reporting and Analytics Options
Most Voice of the Customer technology will allow companies to convert raw data from surveys, sentiment analysis, and AI insights into valuable reports. However, different vendors offer various solutions for how to visualize and present information.
Some platforms will offer custom report-building tools, which allow companies to focus on the specific KPIs and metrics that drive the biggest results for their teams. Others will come with templates and visualization tools that convert raw data into graphs and charts. There are even solutions which can use AI to automatically clarify data insights on the behalf of teams.
For companies who want to take advantage of the real-time advantages listening to the voice of the customer can offer, it may be crucial to look for analytical tools that can extract and deliver insights in an instant. Some platforms come with real-time dashboards that can be used to inform and guide employees during critical conversations with customers, increasing loyalty rates and retention.
Step 5: Choose a Deployment Strategy
Finally, business leaders will need to determine how they’re going to implement the voice of the customer technologies into their existing workflows. First and foremost, it will be crucial to choose a solution that can integrate with all of the sources of data businesses want to leverage when learning from their audience. The right VOC solutions will connect with CRM tools, contact center platforms, and other enterprise resources, to deliver more comprehensive insights.
Secondly, companies will need to consider whether they want to leverage a separate platform for VOC analytics and feedback management, or select something already built-into an existing platform. Many CCaaS vendors and CRM leaders have begun adding voice of the customer technology to their toolkits in recent years, making it easier to deploy these features into everyday workflows.
In either instance, it will be crucial to look for a vendor that can provide access to easy-to-use, flexible, and agile software, capable of adapting and scaling to the changing needs of the business. Leading VOC solution providers can offer everything from access to APIs, to automated workflow builders and training tools, to help businesses get the most out of their new technology.