You know when you move into your first dorm room or apartment and realize how helpful a toolbox can be. Hanging pictures on the wall, securing furniture, fixing odds and ends that need improvement. You might have a beautiful space, but without the right tools, you can’t maximize its potential. As you move from dorm room into an apartment, or maybe a home, you’ll need to grow your toolkit — restocking and adding new appliances. The same is true of a Voice of Customer (VoC) strategy.
It’s widely understood that many parts make up a Voice of Customer strategy. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Strategies are made up of various stakeholders, resources, and channels of data.
They have customer journeys and road maps, design plans, integrations, the list goes on. Successful customer-centricity comes from strong and pervasive strategies and cultures. To implement the philosophy, you need an actionable strategy – a toolbox of sorts- and assembly is required.
You need the right resources, people, and mindset to see success. Here are three easy steps to build an effective VoC toolbox:
The first step to building your VoC toolbox is empowering your team with the right resources.
Set up a clear analytics structure with metrics, insights, and a dashboard. The customer data you need includes customer profile, browser type, behavior, preferences, and qualitative feedback. You’ll find this data through a variety of channels and touchpoints, and you must be able to visualize it all. Why? Visualization will help your colleagues digest the information quickly, so clear patterns in customer behavior can be shared throughout your team.
Analytics technology like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics help you collect quantitative data about your digital users’ behavior. Pair the data with qualitative feedback for a comprehensive look at your customer’s experience. Together, feedback and analytics help you identify gaps – where you are versus where you want to be, as well as where you are versus where your customers want you to be.
A Voice of Customer solution like Usabilla can help you collect qualitative and quantitative feedback. Ask your users questions at any time, opening up a conversation to capture real-time insights.
To constantly improve, though, you have to be able to quickly sift through your feedback and find patterns. Tagging, filtering, and case management help you organize your feedback so you can efficiently act on it.
Nuts & Bolts: Integrations
No solution can do it alone. Integrations are the nuts and bolts of your toolbox. An arsenal of integrations shows you a robust view of your customer journey.
A/B testing tools like Optimizely show you what your customers prefer. Session replay solutions like Clicktale, Tealeaf, and Decibel allow you to see exactly what went wrong for a customer and why they dropped off. With ticketing integrations like JIRA, negative feedback can immediately be routed to the appropriate support person to close the loop.
The right resources make things easy. With the correct tools, you can start a steady flow of feedback and improvement to keep up with your customer’s needs. These tools help you understand your customers in-depth and communicate that understanding to key stakeholders.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before. The most successful VoC programs are the ones with both middle and upper management involvement. Even better, the whole organization is on board. Your CEO is customer-obsessed, your marketing and product teams are using analytics and feedback to inform their decisions, and your customers are consistently thrilled by your personalized and seamless UX.
OK, we can agree it’s not that easy — so how do you arrive at such success?
Maybe you send a report out to your team once a month including customer data that you break down with commentary, or you include feedback in your monthly newsletter. You could assemble a team, one person from marketing, one from sales, and one from product, and meet to discuss customer behavior and your roadmap.
Rob Volpe, CEO at Ignite 360, a customer insights firm based in San Francisco said, “We encourage clients to find one senior level champion of a VoC program, enroll them and collaborate to model the expected behavior to the organization. We have had clients where leadership says ‘yes we need to do this’ but then fail to make the commitment to clear their schedule and make time.” We know it’s more difficult than it looks to get executive buy-in.
Still, it’s your job as a VoC practitioner to get your colleagues on board and disseminate customer knowledge throughout your organization. Make sure your company understands the value of customer centricity. Your VoC strategy, as well as your ability to hit your own goals, will be much stronger with the right people behind you.
If VoC strategy is a shape, it’s either a figure 8 or a circle. Customer-obsessed companies listen to their customers, quickly adapt to their needs, and are open to changes.
Define & Refine
As you test your hypotheses, you must continuously be creating new ones. The Internet changes rapidly, and customer preferences are extremely elastic. As quickly as new designs and technologies come into being, they go out of style and are replaced by new standards. Not only do you need the right people in your toolbox, you need them to be open to define & refine your customer journey on a continuous basis.
“Compared to those who do not seek to regularly improve, organizations who invest in continuous optimization are much better equipped to quickly adapt to changing customer needs, behaviors and expectations, allowing them to provide a relevant and engaging conversational experience.” (John Dionne)
Ultimately, the people you hire are the ones who define your organization’s vision and harness the power of your data and technology. Without the right people behind the hammer, you might end up with a hole in the wall.
If you hire employees with the right mindset, your VoC strategy becomes actionable and can make real changes (i.e., increased customer satisfaction and higher revenue). You can build a culture of employees who share values and behavior in line with creating exceptional customer experiences.
Forrester reports, “You can’t just tell employees to make CX better. You need to define what “better” means so everyone exercising the competencies heads in the same direction.” With the right resources and stakeholders on board, a group of people working together to optimize your digital channels will be highly effective.
Do you have the right tools?
Customer-centricity isn’t a simple task. Not only do you have to collect the voice of your customers, you have to mine the data for value, and disseminate the insights you gather to the people who matter. They have to then incorporate that feedback into their workflows and decisions.
With the correct resources, stakeholders, and plans, you can put your strategy in place to set yourself up for success in the future. Remember, with the right nuts and bolts, the right people on board, and a mindset of continuous improvement – you’re well on your way to providing excellent products and services for your customers.
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