Why closing the loop is vital to Voice of the Customer success
Gaining real value from your Voice of the Customer (VoC) program requires not just collecting insight, but ensuring that all relevant teams across the business have access to this intelligence, and can then act on it. This is not always easy with traditional VoC approaches. These often just provide a headline metric, such as an NPS score without the context behind it or the ability to drive changes. Overall, this is one of the main reasons that 78% of brands don’t feel that their VoC programs give them the deep insight they need to transform their business or the experience they provide to customers.
In a previous blog, I talked about the need for collaboration between teams, and how they have to share information and work together to deliver the customer experience that today’s consumers demand. In this post, I want to talk about how brands can ensure that they close the loop and ensure that customer intelligence is acted on quickly and appropriately.
Clearly, to achieve this, companies need to go beyond simply providing a satisfaction score, to look at why consumers are feeling the way they are. This supports a more customer-centric business and enables more informed decision making that is based on real data, rather than hunches and guesswork. From my experience working with big brands in the retail and financial services markets there are four areas your VoC program needs to cover in order to close the loop:
1. Provide the context for greater meaning
Consumer behavior and the conversations they have with brands not only enables you to measure their satisfaction but gives qualitative insight that provides a deeper context. By analyzing verbatim email and other digital conversations brands can see why consumers are happy or upset, based on their own words. Sharing this information with teams enables them to come up with relevant improvements based on real insight, thus closing the loop. For example, a store manager may see that satisfaction has dropped when looking at NPS scores. If they then drill down into verbatim customer conversations they can uncover the issue behind the fall, and thus take informed actions to counteract any problems.
2. Automatically share best practice
Particularly in large brands, there is a great deal of knowledge within the organization, based on previous experience. The same issues might come up in different branches or parts of the business, for example. Reinventing the wheel and creating a new solution every time is not only time-consuming, but risks brand reputation as responses are inconsistent and potentially ineffective. Instead, automatically sharing best practice recommendations alongside VoC reports helps managers and teams to solve issues more easily and therefore boost satisfaction. The key to achieving this successfully is to integrate action planning and sharing of best practice inside the process so that it is clearly and quickly communicated to the right people in order to close the loop.
3. Empower collaboration
Many issues that appear through Voice of the Customer feedback span multiple teams. For example, concerns about the delivery process might require input from different departments:
- Logistics, to ensure that all deadlines are being met and third-party companies are meeting SLAs
- Customer service, to communicate the right information to consumers across every channel
- The web team, to adapt and update the corporate website to ensure that the process is clearly displayed within the customer journey
- Digital/CX, to look to improve the process, for example adding the facility for consumers to login and track their delivery through self-service
VoC information, therefore, needs to be communicated across all of these teams, and any other relevant departments (such as senior management). Yet Eptica research found that while 82% of brands shared VoC data with customer service teams, only 38% provided it to e-commerce departments for example. This needs to change if organizations are to provide the holistic, customer-focused experience that consumers require.
4. Measure again to show change
The final part of closing the loop is obviously demonstrating that the changes you have made have had a positive effect. On an individual level this should mean analyzing feedback from a consumer that has had an issue – are they now satisfied, and has the response actually had a positive impact on how they view the brand? On a wider level improvements in NPS score can demonstrate greater satisfaction, but brands need to drill down to see what has driven this change. That means analyzing customer conversations to see if the issue is still appearing in verbatim data and if the tone of these has changed from negative to positive.
Rising customer expectations mean that every brand needs to be continually improving the experience it delivers. Consequently, the process of listening to customer feedback and acting on the insight this provides has to be continuous, spanning the whole organization and driving ongoing improvements. That means your Voice of the Customer program has to support you in closing the loop, providing the timely intelligence that you need to drive success.
To find out more on how vecko, Eptica’s next-generation, AI-based customer intelligence tool, can help you transform your Voice of the Customer program visit our dedicated minisite and/or request a demo.