voice of the customer

Voice of the Customer – More Than Just a Survey

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Contact center managers often tell us, “My contact center needs a customer survey tool so I can know what my customers are saying.”  And these managers – like most of us – are conditioned to automatically think only of customer service surveys when they hear phrase “voice of the customer program.”

However, the reality is that, just like a song isn’t one note, you need more than one way to capture all of the tones in your customers’ voice.

Customer Surveys

Customer surveys are invaluable, as “hearing it straight from the source” not only provides unique insights, but also makes customers feel heard, engaged, and appreciated. But you need to remember that customer feedback is often reflective of the two extremes of customer experience – the very best and the very worst. To get a a more accurate picture, you need to get feedback on your average interactions that may be more reflective of your contact center’s norm.

Ask two different people to recount the same occurrence and you will undoubtedly get two slightly different versions of the truth. Each person sees life through a different lens, so any answer will be their perception of what the experience was. Similarly, when you solicit customer feedback on their experience or interaction with your contact center, you are getting their perception or opinion of the experience at that specific moment in time. Feedback is tinged with other beliefs, biases and experiences, whether that be other experiences they had with the organization in the past, or even how their day was going before they interacted with you! Was the experience really that negative? Or did they just talk to the agent shortly dropping their cell phone in the bathtub?

It goes without saying that your customers’ opinions are incredibly valid. Customer perceptions are literally what the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is built on, and robust software can empower you to capture that direct feedback via any channel your customer wants to complete the survey on – voice, chat, email, or more. However, if you want to coach and incentivize your agents related to voice of the customer, and you want to know what REALLY happened in an interaction –then you should get the full picture of what happened with omnichannel analytics.

Omnichannel Analytics

Omnichannel analytics solutions provide actionable analysis of every customer interaction. According to Esteban Kolsky, CEO of ThinkJar and former Gartner analyst, “Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain, the rest churn.” So, it’s critical that you use analytics to capture customer insights from those 25 customers who didn’t complete the survey in order to proactively remedy the situation and save their loyalty? before it’s too late.

An omnichannel speech and text analytics engine ingests every single interaction that goes through the contact center, over every channel. It analyzes the content and identifies trends and opportunities to improve the customer experience. As you view the trends and analysis in dashboards and reports, you can drill into individual interactions and actually listen to the conversation, or read the transcript from the call, chat, email, etc. With this approach, you can see both the customer’s and the agent’s side of the story. To make things even easier, out-of-the-box categories draw attention to interactions where either the customer or agent had negative or positive sentiment, expressed frustration as an indicator of NPS, and more.  Additionally, the discovery capabilities in an analytics solution will lead you to new insights that you can then add into your customer feedback survey.  You can also leverage analytics to validate initial findings from customer surveys to understand if a customer’s feedback was an isolated incident or a trend that is being observed across multiple interactions.

Quality Management Analytics

A quality management software solution infused with analytics also enables you to develop a deeper understanding of voice of the customer. With this solution, evaluators can effectively pinpoint specific interactions to evaluate and coach specific agents on the voice of the customer. For agents, hearing and understanding the voice of the customer in the context of their individual interactions makes it more relatable and transforms high-level customer experience goals into personal and real objectives. With a quality management analytics solution, a contact center manager could create a quality plan that automatically identifies interactions where the customer had a negative sentiment or complaint, and route them for further evaluation. This capability enables evaluators to accomplish two goals at once – better understand the customer’s complaint and improve the agent’s performance through coaching.  

Different Insights, One VOC

So, what are you trying to understand with your voice of the customer program?

Are you looking to understand your customers’ perception and what they could be potentially telling their friends and family? If so, a customer survey solution will be key!

Are you looking to understand the actual experience of the customer as they interacted with the contact center? Well, then you should consider an omnichannel analytics solution as well!

Lastly, are you trying to understand the voice of the customer to better coach and develop your agents? Then a quality management analytics solution is a no brainer!

Most highly successful contact centers employ all three approaches to capture a more holistic voice of the customer. Used independently each is tool is powerful, but when used in concert, you are able to really, truly hear your customers’ full voice and better understand where your customer experience is succeeding and where you need to improve. To learn more about call center software and voice of the customer, watch the on demand webinar “Voice of the Customer Programs: From Listening to Action”.