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Why the voice of the customer is more important than ever

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Seemingly overnight, COVID-19 changed the way we do business, communicate with one another, and live our lives. And while life as we knew it is slowly beginning to return, there will undoubtedly be lasting impacts that will continue to shape the way we build brand loyalty, interact with customers, and recharge business growth. As a result, companies must listen to their customers more than ever before.

While the ability to adopt new technologies, streamline operations, and other capabilities are critical pieces to running a high quality support center, if you are not truly listening to your customers, you cannot reach your full potential. Capturing the voice of the customer—including sentiment and feedback, aggregating it, and taking actionable steps in order to deliver value—is essential to creating an experience that will stand out, leave a lasting impression, and keep your customers coming back.

However, the actionable steps you take can only be as good as the customer data you are capturing. Here are a few of the best places and practices that can be quickly and easily implemented in order to truly capture the voice the of the customer.

Capturing individual customer data

While most voice of the customer metrics have traditionally been viewed in aggregate, the shift toward gathering individual voice of the customer data is underway. Securely gathering and collecting data on the individual-level such as purchase history, product settings and usage, and other relevant contextual information not only helps customer support and other areas of the business close the loop on gathering a full understanding of who their customers are, it also allows support teams to arm their agents with the information needed in order to provide and personal and VIP-like style of service.

Empower agents to make more strategic suggestions in real-time, from upsell opportunities to providing feedback and recommendations on how customers can better maximize how they’re using their products.

Capturing cross-channel feedback

The reality is, customers are breaking down silos and interacting with businesses in many ways. It is essential that businesses do the same when it comes to capturing and collecting voice of the customer data. Customers today are reaching out and interacting with customer support across a multitude of devices and channels, each of which presents a unique opportunity to capture customer feedback, sentiment, and satisfaction.

Cross-channel voice of the customer data provides support teams with insights into what channels and devices customers are predominantly using and how to communicate with them. For example, if the majority of your customers are reaching out via email about a bug in your latest product release, sending email notifications for patches and further product updates will resonate more and likely reach more customers than if these notifications were sent out via social media, SMS, etc.

Cross-channel customer feedback also provides support teams with the insights they need in order to optimize and connect the entire customer journey. This cross-channel data makes it possible to create identical experiences no matter the channel, meaning that as customers maneuver between different channels, their experience doesn’t change.

Creating a customer-first enterprise

Capturing voice of the customer data and using it to ensure a better customer experience is crucial to the success of support teams, but it is also valuable data that can be leveraged across the enterprise.

While many companies say, “we put our customers first” or “we’re a customer-first business,” the reality is that lots of companies are not exactly practicing what they are preaching. By making voice of the customer data accessible company-wide, businesses can begin to truly implement a customer-first culture and approach to business objectives and operations.

Having access to comprehensive voice of the customer data can help nearly every part of an organization. Product teams can hear feedback in real-time, allowing them to quickly pivot and make necessary adjustments to current products and features. They also will have critical insights that can help prioritize future releases and updates. Voice of the customer data can be tremendously helpful for marketers, who are always looking for the best ways to engage with current customers while also looking for innovative strategies and tactics to amplify their brand, strengthen their messaging, and connect with new customers. Finally, sales teams can benefit from this data as well, as having real-time feedback can arm them with more comprehensive industry knowledge, insights, and experiences, which can then be shared with prospective customers.

Response is key

Up until now, we’ve focused on how to best go about collecting voice of the customer data and how to take action both within customer support and within the greater enterprise. However, it is just as, and arguably more important to take action with your customers. After all, at the end of the day, customers just want to be heard. In fact, according to Atlassian, 97% of people said they would be loyal to a company that listens to their feedback.

Acknowledge customers, let them know that their voice is being heard, and provide tangible examples of how your company is taking action to ensure each customer is being recognized and that steps are in place to create a better experience moving forward.

It is important for support agents and business leaders to remember, they are customers as well, and to think of what they would like to see from the brands and products they use and begin implementing those tactics within their own organization.

We’re all in this together

There’s no doubt about it, we’re in unprecedented times and the way we not only get through it, but recover and come out better on the other side is by working together. For customer support teams, this means emphasizing and prioritizing the voice of the customer and making customer insights, feedback, and data as essential pieces of their customer support strategy..

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