6 Steps to a More Robust Voice of the Customer Program

As retailers we are hyper focused on the customer experience. When it comes to understanding the customer, one of the most important things we can do is listen. This is where having a concrete Voice of the Customer (VoC) program becomes vital to the success of your company.

A good VoC program will help you improve your customer experience and gather insights that can be fed into a business strategy that resonates with their needs.

With that said, putting a successful VoC program in place is not something that happens overnight. It should continue to evolve based on changing customer needs. Here are 6 tips to help you get more value out of your VoC program:

Get the leadership team on board and involved

Whether this is a top-down or bottoms-up program, it is essential to get the leadership team involved and engaged. If they don’t view the program as a priority, it will be brushed aside as other things become more important.

Set goals and report on progress frequently

It’s important to set quantitative goals around measured metrics, keeping in mind your company’s baseline and your industry’s best practices/standards. Metrics should be defined along with established baselines.

Don’t forget to keep your team engaged throughout the process. This can be done by frequently reporting on goals. It ensures the company is making progress towards goals that have been set.

Assign ownership

A good VoC program has representation across the organization. Areas like customer service receive a large amount of feedback but need departments like marketing and technology to act on it.

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The program needs a singular owner, but that person doesn’t have to own every survey or metric. Ensure that every portion of the program has a lead while the owner monitors strategy and overall execution. Assigning ownership will also make sure your leaders are being held accountable.

Survey customers at multiple steps in their journey

Customers will often only give feedback on their most recent touchpoint, so offering multiple opportunities will help broaden the customer voice.

Examples of what this could look like include:

  • An on-site form while shopping to submit technology bugs
  • A post-checkout survey to gather feedback on the website and shopping experience
  • A product review survey a few days after receiving their package
  • A survey after every interaction with the customer happiness (service) team
  • A Net Promoter Score survey 20+ days after purchase to see if the customer is likely to recommend you to a friend (and why or why not)

 

Analyze both quantitative and qualitative feedback

Monitoring metrics over time gives the team quick insights into how customers are feeling about each step of the purchase journey. Actions are more easily taken after digesting and analyzing qualitative feedback from customer surveys. Although technology can help, a manual (human) review of the feedback is the best way to dig into customer suggestions.

For a bonus, try reaching out to customers to thank them for their feedback, ask for additional clarification and/or solve an issue that was surfaced during a survey.

Annual reviews to ensure it meets your needs

The owner of the VoC program and the leadership team should evaluate the program each year to ensure it’s still meeting the needs of the company. Are you seeing a good ROI? Should you add or remove customer touchpoints? Are you meeting or exceeding your goals or falling short? Is the information being gathered actionable? Are you taking enough action on the feedback?

Together, these 6 tips will give you a blueprint for creating a robust VoC program. It will enable you to collect, analyze and execute on customer feedback in order to meet your business objectives and enhance the bottom line. You’ll find that listening to customers will garner real, measurable data that delivers immediate results.

Angie Stocklin is COO and Co-Founder of Readers.com

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