Voice of the Customer initiatives equip companies for listening to and understanding the sentiment of their customers. When properly implemented, such tactics can minimize the damage caused by operational errors and boost public perception of a brand. As the power of customers continues increasing, contact center technology solutions that measure and track the Voice of the Customer have become more vital to business success.
Defining Voice of the Customer
Businesses uses the term Voice of the Customer (VoC) to articulate how customers respond to every facet of their experience. When an organization has the ability to understand what customers expect, prefer and dislike, an opportunity exists to develop tactics that precisely accommodate those concerns. Ultimately, an effective VoC strategy can drastically improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
As a result of giving attention to VoC, companies can increase the value of their brand through broader appeal and better service throughout the customer lifecycle. As technology evolves, the opportunities for contact center improvement have increased, offering to help companies increase their sales and profitability.
Specialized software applications can monitor important data points and, through analytics and reporting, equip business managers and owners to monitor call center performance. The practice ensures that every customer interaction can result in value for the firm. In many settings, contact centers represent the majority of one-on-one interactions between a brand and its prospects and customers.
Tracking the VoC can require an extraordinary effort and the intense use of human resources, without the use of technology. Now that applications and services exist that can collect and interpret VoC data, businesses have a chance to leverage their call centers to create a competitive advantage.
VoC systems focus on two basic areas: customer feedback and analytics. Every customer-facing role within the business environment should be measured and monitored to track the effect of interactions on the overall VoC. After the integration of such robust measures, decision makers will have the ability to mold the VoC to their advantage. Every contact center should monitor the following key features:
Customer Feedback Acquisition
Contact center solutions can use tools such as IVR surveys, email questionnaires, web forms, text messaging and social media to acquire information from customers. Such software-based methods gather information directly from people who have interacted with a company but too often reflects only a sliver of the overall customer experience.
Contact center technology can now monitor and assess a broad range of interactions between agents and callers across multiple channels. Such tools can sort through voluminous data to produce an accurate representation of the perceived positive and negative aspects of the customer experience.
As the VoC system acquires feedback and evaluates interactions between customers and the contact center and customer, they use the following functions to support decision-makers within the company.
Automated surveys can unify various communications to supply contact center operators with a single stream of information. When companies learn about positive and negative customer experiences, they can identify and capitalize on their strengths while taking steps to address weaknesses.
VOC systems analyze words customers use in their contexts to determine the emotional state of the customer. VoC monitoring can determine the effectiveness of efforts to improve the customer experience by monitoring changes in vocabulary. This type of analysis can evaluate individual customers as well as the entire customer base.
Contact center systems can analyze the topics discussed between a company and its customers to determine what topics have the greatest impact on satisfaction and loyalty. Customers can be scored based on their likelihood of abandoning a brand and provided with remedial support.
Systems that monitor VoC can evaluate the tone, volume and other vocal characteristics of callers to “listen” to the voice of the customer.
By tracking VoC in real time and comparing it to agent behavior, managers and supervisors can provide targeted, individual training that can boost overall contact center performance.
Visual and textual reports give contact centers the information they need to measure their performance relevant to VoC. The reports can identify weakness within the contact center that can be addressed to improve the customer experience.
Contact center performance affects VoC, so managers can use available systems to find correlations between metrics such as talk time, and call volume and customer sentiment.
Having happy, satisfied customers with positive perceptions of a brand can attest to the quality of the products and services a company delivers. VoC monitoring can empower managers to quickly respond to quality issues by identifying when customer attitudes begin to sour.
The Benefits of a Successful VoC Program in the Contact Center
Every aspect of the customer experience and lifecycle becomes manageable and actionable when an organization has a VoC system in place. Without this technology, companies struggle to achieve these benefits:
Departments such as billing and marketing, for example, might infrequently interact with customers on an individual level, but their performance impacts the customer experience. VoC strategies incorporate involve every department that interacts with the customer.
VOC systems provide valuable information that can drive innovation. Based on VoC data, business owners and managers can evaluate the performance of their products and services and adapt them to conform to customer expectations.
As contact center agents and other employees interact with customers, they shape customer opinions and emotions. VoC data can identify the employees that negatively impact customers and provide them with targeted training. Also, managers can either replace or reassign workers with persistent negative VoC issues.
Monitoring the voice of the customer gives business owners and managers vital information that can help them refine their products, procedures and attitudes in ways that please customers. In the past, monitoring VoC was an inexact and cumbersome process. Now, however, technology has evolved. VoC strategies can now give firms a competitive edge by identifying challenges and opportunities that might have otherwise gone undetected.
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