This is important! The customer experience, and hearing the voice of customers, can help you understand the buying process - insight which can help you refine your marketing plan and could save you thousands of dollars in misdirected marketing efforts. It can also help you to understand the extent to which a customer is loyal to a brand – which not only primes the pump for future purchases and or up/alternate sells, but it also impacts the viral word of mouth marketing that used to be called “referrals”. Repurchase and referral behaviour directly impacts financial business results. And if it’s done right, you will gain deep insight into a customer-centric value chain – a blueprint which shows you the relationship factors at play and which, if managed appropriately, can accelerate revenue growth.
So how do you go about hearing the voice of the customer? You create customer listening posts. You need to get your eyes and ears into the places where customers will write or talk about you. Sure, sometimes it is focus groups or advisory boards, which to many can seem a bit too “staged” and even expensive. And often it is customer journey mapping - a powerful technique used with a range of (potential) (non) customers to understand how they buy, when they might consider you, what gets in the way of an effortless experience, and how they feel about their customer journey. But as important, believe it or not, is to make sure that you are reviewing customer verbatim from inbound channels of communication (e.g., emails, faxes, phone calls and comment cards) – and while this advice seems so simple, it is often realized that this type of review is just not happening. No one wants to take responsibility for consolidating and reporting on this type of data. And that is a shame, because it is data that comes at very low cost.
Don’t neglect the social web in order to understand the voice of your customer. Review what’s being said, if anything, in your category at Twitter. Check out the review websites – like Yelp and Chowhound. Web search engines should make data like this pretty easy to find if it’s out there. Social monitoring and curation platforms - they can bring the world of comments and content to your doorstep.
Finally, the feedback that comes from customer care employees can be most revealing. (And lack of it also can be revealing in that disturbing kind of way!)
With all these sources of data – and so much of it unstandardized – how do you get it all to line up in ways that shed insight? That's where we can help. We have tools and content strategies that will help you make sense of your customer feedback - to create insight from seeming chaos.
Guiding Star Communications and Consulting can help you build internal support, created the process, implement the platforms, conduct the analyses and take action on your customer experience challenges. We'll help you to understand what’s valued and how relationships can be strengthened to your advantage.
If you give it a few seconds of thought, you will realize that an organization just can’t be customer-driven in the absence of a way of hearing the voice of the customer. Insight. Gained. Shared.
Guiding Star Communications and Consulting - as an expert in customer experience consulting and owner of the online customer journey mapping platform called Journifica - has produced: