What’s Next for the Voice of the Customer Market? – CX Today Roundtable

Dive into the trends that most excite three leading VoC vendors

What's Next for the Voice of the Customer Market? – CX Today Roundtable
Voice of the CustomerInsights

Published: June 21, 2023

Charlie Mitchell

The voice of the customer (VoC) market looks much different today than it did five years ago.

Advances in natural language processing, system integrations, and data visualizations are just some of the tech trends that have pushed it forward.

Indeed, it is now a much more sophisticated space, with Gartner predicting that 60 percent of organizations will supplement customer surveys with conversational analytics by 2025.

Many leading tech providers are driving such developments. These include Verint, Qualtrics, and Reputation, vendors that all participated in this month’s roundtable.

In doing so, they put forward the following expert spokespeople:

  • Aditi Mehta, Product Marketing Director, Experience Management, at Verint
  • Ellen Loeshelle, Director of Product Management at Qualtrics
  • Chris Sparling, Senior Sales and CX Director at Reputation

Read on to capture their insight into how the space will continue to evolve and their business’s plans to stay at the forefront of the market.

How Will Generative AI Disrupt the VoC Market?

Mehta: Generative AI takes open feedback, captures insight immediately, and injects creativity into VoC.

That immediacy is critical. After all, organizations are often successful in collecting massive amounts of customer feedback, yet many struggle to uncover insights and respond to them in real-time.

Thankfully, generative AI unleashes the possibility of responding to customer feedback in a more targeted and personalized way.

Such a prospect is exciting, as it will allow businesses to close the customer feedback loop – which many often find an overwhelming task.

Loeshelle: Generative AI will allow organizations to better understand and support customers at all phases of their customer journey.

Consider service touchpoints. There, AI already allows agents to create deeper human interactions by capturing VoC data, extracting insights, and funneling those through to the CRM.

Moreover, AI analyzes those contact center conversations to unpack further insight. Indeed, many models can easily identify patterns in customer behavior, sentiment, and emerging trends.

The understanding customers receive will only improve with generative AI, helping organizations to make critical data-driven decisions at a pace unlike ever before.

Sparling: As Google and Bing use generative AI to change search, businesses must start managing publicly available data relating to customer sentiment. That includes data from online reviews, business listings, and more.

After all, private data will have little impact on how customers perceive the business through platforms like ChatGPT and Google’s SGE search. As such, it is more important than ever that a company is aware of its publicly referenceable reputation.

Using these tools to see how the business currently fares is an excellent first step, as organizations may gain insight into the information potential customers will be receiving.

From there, that company can filter these insights into a VoC program to influence how generative AI platforms perceive them.

Which Other Trends Will Continue to Shake Up the VoC Space?

Mehta: The art and science of VoC involves combining various data points to develop master profiles of customers, which allow businesses to serve them better.

More businesses are leaning into customer experience automation to improve how they leverage these profiles and advance customer experiences.

Such automation streamlines workflows for resolving customer complaints and issues swiftly. Meanwhile, it also helps with spreading VoC insights across the enterprise.

Data analytics will also play an increasing role in unearthing these insights, surfacing trends in real-time, and enabling a predictive approach to prevent issues or mitigate the after-effects.

Loeshelle: Making businesses more human is a growing trend across the VoC space.

Indeed, organizations are increasingly adopting natural language understanding (NLU) and machine learning (ML) capabilities to better understand feedback and achieve this aim.

For instance, companies may use these technologies to isolate customer sentiment and emotions in real-time to resolve issues in a more personal, empathetic manner.

Recent research from Qualtrics XM Institute highlights the value of such initiatives. It found that empathetic contact center agents are twice as likely to make customers happy than short wait times.

Yet, employees can only act with empathy if they deeply understand every customer. That means bringing every piece of feedback from a customer together into a single view, which surfaces rich, meaningful insights that drive more personal customer experiences.

Sparling: VoC has become more powerful than ever. Bad reviews trump massive spending on even the most innovative and integrated marketing efforts.

These days, brands need to understand that online reviews go beyond leaving a comment on Google.

For instance, TikTok can hold immense power and data on the voice of the customer.

In the US, brands have become victims of ‘review bombing’ after one negative TikTok goes viral.

This year, brands must find a way to engage with a new and active generation who have a lot to say.

Over the Next 12 Months, What Can We Expect from Your Business In Terms of VoC Innovation?

Mehta: Verint plans to further embed VoC capabilities across the Verint platform.

For instance, increasing the connection between VoC and workforce engagement will allow end-users to integrate insights, spot operational improvement opportunities, and guide agent coaching.

Verint also aims to build on its struggle detection feature. These detect and intercept customer issues in real-time, enabling timely, proactive support.

Elaborate rules engines currently support this process, and Verint will incorporate more AI and automation to make these capabilities increasingly responsive.

Loeshelle: The nature of AI and the need to make businesses more human creates an opportunity for Qualtrics to innovate where most human-to-customer interactions are happening – on the frontline.

As such, Qualtrics strives to bridge the gap between digital and human touchpoints, helping frontline teams make smarter decisions and create memorable customer experiences while improving the agent experience.

AI will play a critical role here, helping businesses to better understand customer intent, friction, effort, and the intensity of emotions to take the right action.

Sparling: Reputation is exploring how AI-Powered Text Analytics rapidly discovers themes and sentiment across all feedback routes, and generative AI enables fast sentiment summaries.

Already, AI-powered review responses can save between 50-70 percent of time, creating editable suggested replies in seconds.

However, Reputation still encourages caution in leveraging AI and balancing it with the need for human interaction.

After all, it’s critical that customers feel listened to, especially when it comes to more complicated or sensitive review responses, so having a layer of human input will always be essential.

Just remember, CX is a human game, and we should never move too far away from that.

Miss out on our previous CX Today roundtable? Check it out here: What’s Next for the Conversational AI Space?



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